Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life

MMM Week 1: On feeling self-conscious

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It’s week 1 and I’ve worn three me-made or refashioned items this week. I’ve really been surprised at how easy it has been to, well, just get on and wear my creations. Outfit 3 consists of one of my sewing attempts from last year. I have made two tops from this pattern and I’ve been very pleased with them both. The other was made earlier this year and I wrote about it here.

As promised a few thoughts on this week’s experience, on the theme of being self-conscious.

I’m always worrying that when I leave the house in a me-made item that everyone can tell. Somehow to me, me-made clothes look different.

I remember my Mum, an accomplished seamstress, had a few skirts that she used to wear for work. A couple of skirts she’d made and a couple of cheap ones she’d bought. From time to time she was complemented on one of the cheap skirts and although she agreed that she liked the fabric’s design, she could never quite see why this skirt was always the one that people seemed to like and the ones she’d made were never commented on.

I think part of this may be that people are very unused to seeing custom-made clothes. I do think they look different – mass-produced clothing is made to a budget and cuts will be made to fabric quality and to the fullness of the garment. A home sewer hasn’t got those constraints and can use better quality fabric and use more of it!

It’s this experience of the “difference” in my clothing that makes me a little nervous about wearing it. I don’t wish to look “odd”, but would be quite happy to accept complements! Very few people know that I sew my own clothes and certainly no-one at work. I think that just wearing something to work that I’ve made and no-one making a comment means that the clothes have “passed the test”; they look fine. To be honest, I can’t really expect more, since I work in a male-dominated environment and they generally wouldn’t comment on anyone’s dress-sense anyway!

On top of this, when you’ve made something yourself the tendency is to see the flaws (and the agony of making it) more than the actual final garment. I know that other people can’t see this, but I find it difficult to put that feeling aside.


Author: steelyseamstress

Sewing a new wardrobe

One thought on “MMM Week 1: On feeling self-conscious

  1. Me too. I see flaws and it makes me aware of my clothes in an obtrusive way. I don’t know how to overcome this. I try to tell people when I make stuff I am wearing, and usually they are impressed/surprised. I hope it’s just that I need practice letting go of perfection…

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