I don’t sew as much as I’d like to, but most days my children are wearing at least one item I’ve sewn. Lately in our new community people have complimenting my children’s home-sewn items. I say, “Thank you,” but don’t often reveal that I sewed it unless they ask (which happens about half the time). But if my husband is around, he will proudly crow that I sewed it! The last few times he has also pointed out the responses from women are usually to immediately start talking about why they DON’T sew. In other words, they take no time to ask me how I did it or where I learned to sew or further compliment or inspect the workmanship. They immediately (and with an oddly dismissive manner) talk about how they couldn’t possibly take the time to sew, or they could never manage to do it so they gave it up (implying some kind of magic or fussiness on my part that I can), or what-not.
I have my theories on why ladies do this, but it hurts my feelings and slightly chaps my hide all the same.
I sew with and around my kids. My husband is always astonished that they (5 and 3) seem to respect my bobbins and needles and pins and machines, even though my “studio” is our living room. He is also amazed when I’m working on a project and the kids are in and out I am actually OK with them “helping” me (most times).
I think the reason my little children respect my sewing and sewing tools is they’ve seen me doing it since they were little. They also are wearing many of the results of my work and know that it’s really work (or it can be!). They think everyone sews just like everyone washes dishes and folds laundry. If they see anything they like, they ask me to sew (not buy) a similar item (yes, I’m aware that as they grow they may switch to a consumerist model). It makes me happy to see a love of sewing already ingrained in them, whether they grow up to sew or not.