02 June, 2011

Hi, my name is Jacqui...

...and often my daughter won't wear the clothes I make her. It's my crafting shame and not one often talked about in blogland it seems. In blogland all children are enraptured by their mothers' creations, love wearing them, demand more and wear them endlessly. And after gorgeous photos are taken of the item in question, everyone goes off and has organic snacks while playing educational games or communes with nature and some pinecones and then everyone is home-schooled. I wish I lived in blogland...

But no, I live here and there is refusal, sugar, school, Barbies, arguments and tv. And also quite a lot of smooching and cuddles :)

This reflection was brought on by my production of three pairs of really kick-ass leggings that were roundly rejected and one pair was literally flung across the room with the comment "these are the worst pants in the world!" Yeah, we're working on a few anger-management issues in our house at the moment, added to which she's a stubborn and head-strong little so-and-so and has very decided views on what she is willing to wear. I'm actually holding out hope for the leggings as it's progressively getting colder and and even Hazel can't continue to try and dress like it's summer for much longer; but until the moment when rationality kicks in and her legs get cold, those leggings are O. U. T. baby.

But the item that she rejected that really kills me, like actually breaks my heart, was the Zigzag Dress from last year:

Zigzag Dress

I initially bought the Nani Iro fabric for me on my pilgrimage* to Purl Soho, and adored it, but the only time she wore it was for these photos. I can't let it go even though I know it'll never get worn! 

So tell me lovely people - what have YOU sewn that hasn't been a success and that still bothers you? Leave a story or a picture or a link to it in the comments and we can all commiserate, pat you on the back and admire the item. Join me in my pity-fest tonight! The more the merrier!

To aid my recovery from the leggings debacle I've been sewing up a quilt! And you know what? She wants it on her bed. If you can't get them one way, sneak around the back and attack them from another direction.


*I'm not joking, it totally was!

30 comments:

  1. I have known mothers that lie about the clothes they make for their children, and tell the children that they are actually hand-me-downs from the admired older cousin.

    And I had to laugh last year when my niece stashed spare clothes in her kindy bag so that she could take off the clothes her Mum made her after drop-off...only she wasn't clever enough to change back before pick-up and got busted.

    Does you daughter see your blog?  My daughter started wearing my sewing after she saw me post photos of her in my sewing on my blog for everyone to admire.  And once or twice, people have asked her where she got her dress from, which has added to my credibility.

    If I sew for my partner (or even buy him stuff), I just put it in his closet for him to find, rather than make a fuss and have him parade in it.  Seems to work better that way.  Perhaps you could try sticking the clothes in her cupboard, several items down, for her to find herself.  Sort of like appealing to hunting and gathering instincts.

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  2. Hi, my name is bec and my daughter doesn't always wear what I make her either! I have about half a wardrobe of the picky 7yr olds that she won't wear, and annoyingly a few 'bad' things I've made that she loves! It's like she humors me -'yes, mummy, i'd love that' than rolls her eyes when i've left haha. I feel your pain!

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  3. Ellie -PetalplumJune 2, 2011 at 10:22 PM

    M won't wear anything remotely Wintery warm either -it's all skimpy Summer dresses.

    One of the preschool mums was telling me her daughter doesn't care what she wears, will pit on anything she finds on the floor. Except the only thing she won't wear is mama-made clothing!!

    I must admit that I don't do as much clothes sewing as you; I can't bare to waste the fabric on another unworn item...... Feeling so sad about the Nani for you, all over again.

    Glad you're back, been missing you and your firm hold on reality. {been thinking /feeling similar things about blogland and how I often come away feeling irrationally inadequate because of some woman's wonderful snippet of life stories.}.

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  4. I made this pinafore http://www.flickr.com/photos/17747010@N00/1495437059/in/photostream
    for my eldest when she was about 2.5.  I loved it - partly because it was one of the tidiest sewing jobs I'd ever done.  She hated it, and would grab it and throw it in on the floor and look at me like I was trying to damage her for life.  Eventually she started wearing it occasionally.  However her sister LOVES it, and wears it whenever it's clean. 

    The other thing that drives me nuts is when you spend ages making something, and after one wear it's stained, ripped or lost. 

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  5. I am so sad for the loss of YOUR fabric... perhaps a refashion is in order? Reclaim the gorgeous fabric!!!

    p.s. I totally love that dress :)

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  6. I don't totally avoid making clothing for the reasons that you state, my son would wear what I made, i am sure of it. Only it would be 2 sizes too small by the time it got finished... & Boy shirts look soooooo hard to make...

    Back to flat quilts that don't have to fit.

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  7. When my daughter was little, I made a few things for her, it didn't last long, she began the refusal to wear when she was 4. Oh well.....

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  8. How about ANYTHING I've sent to my husband's family or my siblings?? I only send iTunes gift cards now, I am tired of stressing over gifts that never get used :). Do you follow Rae at Made by Rae??? Most photos of her boy modeling mama-made clothes include some sort of candy as a bribe to wear the clothes! :)

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  9. Annie is sitting on my knee eating her toast while I blog browse through my google reader. She tells me the dress is "Pretty" and it is. I'm lucky, she's too little to have an opinion, but that's why she gets so much handmade now, I know from experience it won't last!!

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  10. umm yeah, it's hit or miss at our house.  Some things get worn almost daily (like a patchwork skirt I made a couple years ago) but then things that have too much elastic around the arm or feel too clingy don't get worn as much.  I think it helps that I've got two girls, so when one sees the other wearing something I've made, they tend to wear handmade more.  Who knows, ha.  I'm still confused as to what they'll like, you never know!  

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  11. I agree things aren't always as rosy as blogging land makes it out to be, not only do things go terribly wrong when we take on these projects, but the recipients aren't always as grateful as you imagined they would be while labouring over the intended best gift ever, and sometimes is not always kids!... but unfortunately most of my rejects have been knitting with my kids, so I agreed it deserved a post on my blog found here http://hootnz.blogspot.com/2011/06/sometimes-kids-just-wont-wear-it.html , by the way, I love the sneakiness of the quilt making!

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  12. worst case, the fabric would make a lovely spring/summer handbag for you :)

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  13. I did tell Hazel once that Santa brought something I made, but I don't think she'd fall for that again - she knows what clothes I've made look like! Hazel does know about the blog, but it doesn't seem to make much difference to whether she likes something or not. I should say though, that we have the same issues with store-bought clothes - she'll say she likes them in the store and then refuse to wear them once they're home and washed and non-returnable! Luckily Mat appreciates the shirts I've made for him, he certainly pesters me enough to make them!

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  14. Oh it's the bad things that are the killer - handmade or not! I made Hazel one top from some rather cheap knit that has sort of stretched out and it's a bit too big and my husband hates it, so of course she loves it. I'll take my successes where I can get them I guess!

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  15. I feel exactly the same about wasting the time and fabric - but I just can't seem to stop! It's like some compulsion or a masochistic streak maybe. But then she likes something and it almost makes up for all the failures and I'm compelled to keep going, looking for the next 'hit' of acceptance. :P

    Every morning Hazel appears wearing a short skirt and a tshirt, and then there's a royal battle to get her into a jacket and socks. Honestly. Though considering how many Kiwis are still wandering around in shorts and jandals, or barefoot, it's not surprising. She never has her shoes on when I pick her up!

    It's nice to see you around too!

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  16. Awww...it's so cute! You should be proud! I've given some of the unsuccessful items to our next door neighbour's daughter Abbie who is a year younger and some of them have been a HUGE hit, so I'm somewhat mollified. Abbie clearly has exquisite good taste :)

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  17. Yeah I should, shouldn't I? Somehow, in some way... In the end it wasn't quite enough to make something for me, so a dress for Hazel was the obvious answer, and she said she liked it, but I should have known the style would be pushing it for her. Perhaps I could refashion it for her in some way... good idea, thanks!

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  18. Yeah, I have some finishing issues too! But actually shirts aren't too bad as long as you have a good pattern. Oliver + S have one that has a simplified collar and they always have great instructions for beginners.

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  19. I think that was about when Hazel started to get really difficult too, but even before that she had some definite ideas! I guess I'm glad she does, rather than just wearing whatever, but it makes life a bit harder for sure!

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  20. Yeah, my brother and SIL are like that too - the only thing I've had feedback on (good or bad!) was on a dog coat I made for their puppy. But then there's resounding silence for bought gifts too!

    I have been to the Made By Rae blog a few times for her great patterns and tutorials, but hadn't realised about the candy - what a hoot! Must try that bribe next time :)

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  21. Well you might get lucky you know, some kids are a heck of a lot more biddable than others, or have tastes that match their mum's!

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  22. Oh you'd make a million if you could pin down how to tell what they'll wear and what they won't! The leggings I made Hazel were close-fitting but really soft and stretchy and no more so than bought ones, so I think it's psychological more than anything. She's starting to become aware of trends at school though, and currently it's for wearing shorts over leggings, so they may come into their own at some point! I want to try making those Elsie Marley knot shorts, see if I can sneak them in under the guise of "well Elise and Taylor are wearing shorts and leggings". Or is that going to mess her up for life? You know it's bad when you're contemplating psychological warfare to get them to wear your clothes ;)

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  23. Great post! I've had some abject failures with fabric that Hazel has begged for, from patterns she has personally chosen - it just makes it even worse so I feel your pain! I feel your son's pain too though, I have memories of scratchy sweaters and hats and scarves when I was a kid - in fact just thinking about it now makes me want to itch!

    Oh hey, I actually got that nappy stuff down out of the attic ages ago, and then realised that I hadn't found the snaps I know are up there and the initiative faded - are you still interested? It's a fairly mixed bag of stuff, probably not enough PUL for nappies but hemp, suede cloth, microfleece etc.

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  24. Oh, I can relate to this SO much. My daughter always gladly wore whatever outfit I put together (and believe me, I spent some serious effort organizing her wardrobe!) until she turned about 5 and then it all turned and I was seriously in shock. I kept making things until I realized that this was just not healthy. I think she just liked the power of breaking my heart again and again (although I never let her see me cry!). So, I decided to really start sewing for myself and although it is more difficult to get the fit right, I am enjoying it even more. She'll just have to learn to sew for herself I think!

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  25. I had to chuckle when I read your post. My daughter is incredibly defiant about what she does and doesn't wears... and I cannot pick any pattern to what she refuses. likes or dislikes. No pants or anything to keep her warm like a jacket/ jumper cardigan!
    However, I remember with great shame rejecting the most beautiful handmade evening bag my mother presented me for my final school formal. She had made it out of vintage pieces of black felt and lace she had from her material collection. And what did I do at this charming age of 17....I was really sulky and made it really obvious it was not the type of thing I wanted! I still feel ashamed and all red in the face when I think of the incident. My mum was incredibly graceful about it and said she should have included me in the process and asked what I had wanted. She gave me some money to buy the bag I wanted. Now that shopping purchase was not a very pleasant experience as I new I had hurt my mum and didn't know how to make it better but I really wanted this other stupid bag. I had buried that memory away but remembered it after having my children. I rang mum and apologised because I don't think I ever had...my mum told me not to worry about it, because that is all part of being a mum, she didn't hold a grudge and assured me that I would experience something similar one day with my children and that you just have to "swallow your pride and move on and keep loving them!"

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  26. Ha ha ha, laughed out loud at this post.  I have three boys and a two year old girl who already is very how can I say it 'headstrong?!'.  I love reading craft blogs but had to stop after a while because every now and then you feel super inadequate and less than average to say the least.  So, I love reading honest raw emotion posts how yes we love our kids beyond belief but they can also be little so and so's every so often. 
    ps - if you're up for it I would buy that dress from you.  I lurve it so bad and if you're daughter isn't keen I would love to give it a try over here?  Let me know.
    Love your blog.  Keep up the great work. Leah
    PS - i am a very beginner sewer to say the least - I sew heaps of stuff that is a disaster but I'm learning that this is the only way I will get to become better.  My main goal with sewing is to have the mantra 'done is better than perfect'.  It comes in handy when I'm heading into my sewing room with all these UFOs.
    dana@westvic.com.au

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  27. Haha, this post is fantastic! My daughter sounds exactly like yours, just younger. I stopped sewing her stuff because she hated wearing anything that wasn't stretchy baggy knit, screaming "TOO TIGHT, TOO TIGHT!" Now at 2-1/2 she's getting into the girly princess froo-froo phase, so maybe I'll try and make her a twirly skirt. It had better have Ariel or Belle somewhere on it though, or it's bound to be soundly rejected.

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  28. Sounds like Hazel with the too tight too tight! Needless to say she refuses to wear jeans ever. I do have better success with the frou-frou and less serious stuff, and dress-ups.

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  29. Aw, thanks for the offer with the dress, but I don't think I could bare to part with it! It's like a poke in the eye every time I see it, but the fabric could be repurposed and I can't quite give up on it yet :)

    I really struggle with letting go of perfection, the last few years have been a real journey for me in that regard! I find it very hard to overlook my mistakes but it's been wonderful learning to live with them and not care! And after awhile they disappear, which is even better! I'll never be slap-dash though, that would be pushing things a bit far emotionally :)

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  30. Oh man, don't talk to me about getting Hazel to wear leggings under a skirt or a cardigan to keep warm! The battles and tears we've had (on both sides).

    I figured all this was karmic payback for me too, for not appreciating my mum's handmade stuff. All I wanted was store-bought! I don't think I ever directly rejected things she made me like that, but she'd pretty much stopped by the time I hit 13 or 14 or so. Though I do remember her helping me (or trying to because I'd get really mad at stuff and not finish or rip it up) later on for my highschool grad gown, and once she came with me into a changing room and we took a pattern off an outfit I really wanted! So perhaps she learned to step back and wait to be asked? I know I didn't appreciate it like I should though, so fully expect Hazel to be the same!

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