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When Mom Projects Her Insecurities, You Project Them Right Back

, , , , , | Related | September 24, 2021

I sew as a hobby and have been occupying my free time by making clothes for my toddler. I’m showing my mother some patterns I got on sale and a bunch of fabric. The fabric has cute stories behind it: extras from prior projects, fabric and trim I found while helping clean out my late grandmother’s place, and fabric I bought at an estate sale for a nice old lady I traded tips with.

She is not impressed.

Mother: “Well, with all this talent you have, why not make some clothes for work? That’s far more practical than all…” *waves hand over my cutting table* “…this.”

Me: “Because most of what I have are scraps. A yard or two is plenty to make clothes for a kid, but not enough for a grown adult.”

Mother: “You could use those scraps to make me some pants instead of spending your time going to thrift stores and making all this frilly stuff. Is [Daughter] even going to wear this?”

This is not the first time she’s made snide comments about my hobby, but I’ve had it at this point. I put on my best customer service smile.

Me: “You know, I have six yards of black twill I need to use up. Why don’t you grab my tape measure and give me your measurements? Waist, hips, and inseam.”

She does this, feeling smug as heck. I compare them to my master sizing chart and go through my stock of patterns, pulling out every pants pattern in her size. There’s a variety of styles, but they are all “women’s” or “plus” patterns.

Me: “Okay, pick one.”

Mother: “Um… these are all… big women’s patterns.”

Me: “Yes, your measurements put you in women’s sizing and not misses’. Pick one, please.”

Now it’s my turn to be smug, as I watch the realization dawn on her that vanity sizing (a common retail practice of labeling a garment as smaller than it is) doesn’t extend to sewing patterns. She puts the patterns down and starts backing out of the room.

Mother: “I guess the pants I have are fine.”

Me: “I guess they are.”

She left it alone and I go back to designing for my daughter. She loves her new outfits! The ladies in my moms’ support group are starting to offer to pay me to make clothes for their kids!