How Do You Respond To Compliments On Your Sewing? Learning How To Take A Compliment Like A Boss

blue dress 300
Devil's in the details.

Why Do We See Flaws Where Others Do Not?

imageplaceholder Jill Case
Online Editor, Sew Daily
SewDaily.com

I love dresses, especially summer dresses. As I progress on my sewing journey one area that is difficult to get right is the bodice. I find getting a bodice to fit is more difficult than pants! And, that is why I like to sew easy summer dresses.

Sleeveless dresses are perfect for the beginner seamstress, no worry about getting the sleeves in right. And, sleeveless dresses come in a variety of styles. Choose a fitted sleeveless dress for work and pair it with a light weight shrug for the cool office. Or my favorite is the tent dress.

The image of me above is in a tent style dress. This is amazing to sew, there are no darts, zippers or fitting to deal with. It's the perfect summer dress! And, if you don't want to deal with fitting issues this is the style for you (and me). I made a belt to cinch it in, but it is great without too.

But, what does this have to do with flaws you ask?
Well, I see the dress above and I love it, but when I look at it I see that there's more that I could do to make it better. Sometimes it's hard to just enjoy the dress or whatever it is that we make. How many times have you made something and when complimented on it you immediately point out the flaws? I do that EVERY time! When you factor in a photo, good grief then there's all sorts of self-loathing going on.

I think it's time for me to woman-up and take a compliment like a big girl. Own it and be proud, right?

My homework for today is next time someone compliments me on something I've made and I feel the need to pick apart every flaw seen or unseen I'm going to STOP, and just say thank you.

How do you take a compliment? Let me know on the blog.

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Sewing for Beginners
Jill

About Jill

I am the Online Editor for Sew Daily and I am so incredibly excited to meet everyone here on this amazing sewing community!

My first passion is garment sewing, I love vintage sewing patterns and working with knits and silks. I also get very jazzed about sewing pants and love learning couture techniques. What about you? I can't wait to get started finding out more about you and what you like to sew.

14 thoughts on “How Do You Respond To Compliments On Your Sewing? Learning How To Take A Compliment Like A Boss

  1. Sometimes I think there must be two of me, other times, I’m not so sure. By two of me, I mean direct opposites. Sometimes I can be proud of my accomplishments and just say thank you.

    And other times, like you, I’ll point out the flaws. The side of me that points out the flaws also doesn’t accept compliments very well, in fact, there are times I loathe compliments because I stutter and stammer and can’t speak one word clearly, let alone put two sensible words together. Talk about self-loathing! I’ve just about gone as far as attempting to avoid all compliments because of that bad reaction.

  2. Would you share the pattern number on that cute dress? I’m working on one that is a little more challenging and I’m not happy with it. Your dress looks adorable!

  3. I can attest to the fact that accepting compliments gets easier with practice–I’m a retired grandmother of 4. A simple thank you will suffice, although you can often just add a quick comment such as, “I really love these colors”, “I enjoy trying out new dress patterns”, “This is a favorite pattern”, “I was inspired by a garment I saw at xyz pricey boutique”, etc.

  4. You sound just like me — the only problem is that I’m 66 years old and I still do the same thing. I am trying very hard to just accept a compliment however it is a very difficult thing to do! When I was young I could never succeed according to my Father. No matter how hard I tried, no matter what grade I came home from school with, it wasn’t good enough, I could/should have done better! I suspect that is where this sense originates. You’d think that after being out of his influence for 50 years I would have learned to accept a compliment however I know the flaws in anything I sew, knit, crochet, quilt or cook — and feel “obligated” somehow to point them out.

    I hope you overcome your aversion to compliments soon — remember that you have worked to your best on an item you have copleted and accept that others see the beauty in it. They really don’t care if some of your seams are crooked or you had a little nick in a seam with your scissors that you had to fix/cover up. They are being genuine in their praise, smile and say “thank you”!

  5. I think most of us are prone to that reaction. That’s why I started the Good Enough Movement 😉

    “Good Enough is recognizing that while you have not achieved perfection, you have done your work to the best of your ability and you find that acceptable. Since you learn from everything you do, you know that next time it will be better, but you are satisfied with this piece right now.”

    https://darcylewisdesign.wordpress.com/what-is-good-enough-design/

  6. I do get compliments every once in a while (at a meeting on Monday, in fact), and I long ago learned to just say “Thank you”, with maybe one sentence on why _I_ like the item (I do jewelry as well as sew).

    What totally gets to me, though, is how often people will find something – something they just got through praising! – suddenly ‘unworthy’ because I admit to having made it myself. I just mentally shrug and do what my Mom called ‘consider the source’, but I still just _don’t_ understand why it happens!

  7. I do get compliments every once in a while (at a meeting on Monday, in fact), and I long ago learned to just say “Thank you”, with maybe one sentence on why _I_ like the item (I do jewelry as well as sew).

    What totally gets to me, though, is how often people will find something – something they just got through praising! – suddenly ‘unworthy’ because I admit to having made it myself. I just mentally shrug and do what my Mom called ‘consider the source’, but I still just _don’t_ understand why it happens!

  8. Some wise person taught me how to gracefully accept a compliment when she told me that when you point out the flaws in whatever being complimented, you are actually insulting the complimentor’s taste and opinions. Not wanting to be rude, I learned to just smile, and say “Thank you.”

  9. I smile and say well thank you so much, I made this myself! And I DO NOT point out any mistakes I’ve made because no one will see them but me and if they see them they know I’m human too!! Usually they just say very nice things and I let the compliments soak in!! And I feel proud of the work I’ve done and if by chance someone doesn’t like the style or fabric choice ive made that’s ok too because we all have different tastes. It would be very boring if we all had the same tastes in things!

  10. This is very topical – my daughter and I just had another ‘debate’ because I found it very hard to handle someone really gushing over my work. I honestly find it easier to take a straightforward compliment than the ‘you’re amazing – I could never do anything like that’ kinds of statements. Since I have done a fair amount of making some over-the-top theater costumes, I get compliments from a lot of people who are looking at my work in a very different setting; part of an overall production. These tend to get some really hyperbolic praise, even when there are things I see as glaring mistakes.

    As I told my daughter, I find praise from other skilled folks both easier to take and more gratifying, since there is some real understanding of the process. When I hear comments that imply I am using magic, I feel a much greater urge to point out flaws and make the point that this is a skill that they could learn if they cared to. Frequently I urge people to try, since to my knowledge no one ever died in a terrible sewing accident, and the worst thing that might occur is that you have some dust rags.

  11. I am like many of the others and you. Compliments are hard for me to accept. I am learning to accept them for the positive that they are and like another person commented, no one else will see the flaws except for me–that is unless my mom is around! My mom is my hardest sewing critic, but she is also hard on herself. Breaking the cycle of achieving perfection is hard!

  12. It’s more difficult to accept a compliment when the project didn’t live up to my expectations, but realizing that another person is seeing it for the first time and has no idea of my expectations is helpful. I usually go with “Thank you……it was fun to make”. Sometimes that sparks another conversation, about sewing or other interests. I’ve made a number of new friends when we discovered similar interests.
    I must admit to reacting badly if someone comments “I suppose you made that.” I’m never sure if it’s intended as a compliment, but try to give the benefit of the doubt.

  13. I have had the tendency to point out the mistakes I made — ad nauseum. Of late though, I have come to value the talents I have and say ‘thank you’ and, sometimes, ‘I like it too’ when I receive a compliment.

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