Life lessons

Yesterday I was taught a very valuable life lesson and it has made me change my way of thinking. This is a positive thing and I am glad this happened, but in another way I feel sad as it made me realise how low my self esteem can be.

As you may already know I love sewing. I have made clothes for myself since I was a teenager and I loved having clothes that suited me, were one of a kind and exactly how I wanted them to be. After having little lady I went through a very bad time and pretty much gave up sewing. I couldn’t bear to wear anything I made as it wasn’t good enough so I put my lovely Brother away. I couldn’t even look at him without feeling inadequate. It was a very sad time for me.

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Eventually, about 2 years ago I started sewing again. I made dresses for myself and for little lady but I very rarely wore the things I made for me and little lady’s dresses were hidden in the back of her wardrobe after one outing. Why? Because they were handmade no HOMEmade. Little lady loves the clothes that I make her but I hide them after she has worn them once as I fear her being that child in school who wears homemade clothes.

Does anyone else see the difference between the two words? Handmade brings to mind quality whereas homemade is something a bit “thrown together”. This was my mindset anyway. If I wore anything that I had made I would shy away from people in case they commented on my outfit. In fact the thing I dreaded most of all was someone asking “have you made that?” This was, to me, full confirmation that my dress was so poorly made it screamed “HOMEMADE” and that hurt. It further reinforced my feelings of inadequacy. Even my recent Deer dress has only been worn twice and I LOVE LOVE LOVE that dress. Even reading the post back I mention that I was afraid to put the picture up in case you judged me.

But something happened yesterday morning that made me rethink my attitudes. I was lucky enough to get a second hand new-to-me gorgeous Laura Ashley dress. The print and the fit of the dress is gorgeous. It feels lovely, it looks lovely, it quite frankly IS lovely. Yesterday was the first outing of my new dress and I felt fantastic in it. Well why shouldn’t I? It’s a lovely dress.

I got to where I was going and a friend came up to me and commented on my dress “I love your dress” she said before adding “did you make that?” I was a bit shocked and said no. Why would she think I had made it? It is a gorgeous dress. Surely she could see that?

By the time I left 3 other people had made the same comments about my dress. All of them saying how lovely it was. All of them asking if I had made it! On the way home my mind was reeling. Why would they think I had made this? Hubby said that it was probably due to the print. Yes I suppose the print was different to other dresses you would see in the shops but then, it isn’t a dress you would find in your average high street shop. I thought about the other dresses I had made. All of them had a fantastic print/design on them. None of which you would find in your average high street shop.

I think that is when the penny dropped. People were not asking me if I had made my outfit because it was so poorly made, they were asking me because it was so different. And that is the exact reason I started sewing in the first place! Low self esteem had not only taken away all the confidence I had in my makes, but had taken away my love for sewing altogether 😦 this makes me feel very sad.

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However, every cloud has a silver lining they say and this harsh truth has made me want to sew again. I already have a dress in mind and will start drafting the pattern this week. Can you believe how excited I am? This time I plan to wear my handmade outfits with pride.

Strawberries in spring

I have seen more strawberries last month than I care to count and its not quite spring! They weren’t even the lovely juicy edible ones either 😦

At the beginning of February my little lady was looking through her wardrobe looking for something to wear. Apparently I can’t be trusted to decide, having only been dressing myself for the last 25ish years! Anyway it turns out little lady has, according to her, “nothing to wear” in the overflowing wardrobe of hers. The problem was solved temporarily, by a boycott of clothing altogether (oh to be 5 again). So what had caused this?

Little lady has always been small for her age but has suddenly shot up and now a lot of her dresses are getting too small. She was quite saddened by this so we decided that a trip to the fabric shop was in order.

She has very good taste and chose this fabric for her soon to be dress.

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So one Monday when lady was in school and hubby and baby D were off doing “boy things” I borrowed one of her dresses and botched fashioned a pattern for the new dress. I found an old quilt cover to use as lining and off I went.

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Little lady tried it on (over her pyjamas naturally!) and apart from some minor adjustments around the armholes, it fit nicely.

All that’s left to do is to bind and hem it and its finished.

Ta da…..

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Oh dear I have just realised that the pattern repeat is so small it makes the photo look blurry. Sorry for that!