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NonSewing Partner's Knowledge Level

ThreadKoe's picture

Over breakfast this am, DH casually mentioned it was too bad I had passed out early last night. There had been some sort of award show on, with all the fancy dresses. We like to watch them together and pick them apart. At least I do, and I thought he just sat there.
Turns out he absorbed far more over the years than I thought. He described several serious sewing faux pas, ripples in wide shoulder straps, folded fabric sewn where eases should have been, darts that were in the wrong places, and ill fitting, and "pookie" darts. His comments were: "Arn't these supposed to be custom dresses from those fancy designers? I expected them to be sewn better than that." "Shouldn't they have taken the seam out and resewn it?" "The strap must have been sewn in two different directions."
His other comment was that most of them were Mermaid Dresses and that they pretty much all looked the same.
Ok, so my question is this: How many of you have nonsewing partners or family that take an interest (or support) your creative efforts, and How???? Cathy

jane4878's picture

(post #23863, reply #1 of 63)

Wow Cathy...who'd have thunk it!  My DH doesn't notice anything ever.  I've tried to get him to help some of the more mathematical stuff in instructions (i.e. my kilt) and he won't.  He's a journeyman carpenter and has a tremendous knowledge of drafting and proportions etc. His math is way better than mine.  He has however made me clapboards etc. and I filch his T-squares, levels etc.  He's fairly supportive though--except if the stash grows too much!  However, you've been doing this a very long time and I haven't.  My DH knows a lot about clinical lab and medicine from being married to me.


Ocrafty1's picture

(post #23863, reply #2 of 63)

I'm in the same situation that you're in.  My DH, also a journeyman carpenter, could care less.  Especially about his own clothes.  I, unfortunately, introduced him to bibbed overalls many years ago. It was, in my defense, a fashion trend for young women at the time.  But he is still there.  He even owns a pair of 'herringbone' denim ones that he refers to as his 'Sunday' bibs. LOL

He is occasionally impressed with some of my creations, most recently the two wedding gowns I did this last summer; but for the most part, refers to my sewing business as my 'expensive hobby.'  Of course, when he does custom carpentry, I'm supposed to go gaa gaa over his work.  And I must admit, it is excellent...but what goes for the goose......

I love to watch 'Project Runway' and Gunn.  Lots of info and ideas, but must watch them after he goes to bed, or he complains.  That is one of the perks of being married to a carpenter....they go to bed early.  And after 26 yrs., I can get away with staying up later.

As far as getting him to help with my sewing room....I might as well ask him to go to a fabric store. NOT!!!! But I can't count the number of times I've gone to a lumber, home improvement, plumbing, or lighting store to get material for his projects. 

Cathy.....count yourself one of the lucky ones!!!!

jane4878's picture

(post #23863, reply #3 of 63)

Yes, it's a waste of money when I sew.  He has a metal lathe and collects and rebuilds guns..  Hmmmm...  I occasionally gently remind him of that lathe.  He's spent over a year making a gun from scratch, making every bit of machinery, steam bluing himself. etc.  Time is the bigger issue for me.  Take care of the house and kids, so I can sew!!  However he is appreciative of my rather pathetic sewing ability.  If I produced a wedding gown, I think he'd die of shock! 

He won't dress well either.  Drives me nuts.  I basically decide what he'll wear and he compliantly wears them. I throw out his crappy jeans and replace them.  He wears unironed cotton work shirts.  I'm rather fussy and iron everything.  My dad was an immaculate dresser.  Nothing exciting but he always looked well turned out.  Fortunately my son is more like him then his dad when it comes to dressing.  DH hauls me in to help him with colours and furniture design.  He could help me with the same.

I've heard that we in Canada might get Project Runway on a channel I get.  I'll have to look into that.  I've watched some on Youtube and I find the contestants rather whiney and backstabbing.  Makes me glad I don't work in that industry.


ThreadKoe's picture

(post #23863, reply #5 of 63)

The other side of the coin is that I have had to take the hard knocks course in farming, and tractors, and machinery repair. Just up until now did not realize he had absorbed as much as he did. I have known for years he has a pretty good eye for what looks good on me, and has been pretty helpful at some fitting, within limits. He is a welder, not a carpenter. His machinery know-how has been helpful as well. I also know his support for my creative needs has been pretty good as well. Most of the time. I guess that my sewing pickiness he picked up on at some time, and never realized it. Cathy
BTW he is not the snappiest dresser either, comfort over looks!

Edited 1/17/2009 3:38 pm ET by ThreadKoe

starzoe's picture

(post #23863, reply #4 of 63)

My ex did compliment me often about my sewing, for him and for the boys. He never questioned the size or price of the stash. He particularly liked the frugality aspect I think as once he said to me after a friend complimented my outfit "you didn't have to tell her it cost you $4.00 to make".

The four of us, teen-aged boys by this time, built a large house. I mean, literally built the house, did almost all the work on it. Ex had been an aircraft engineer so everything he did was meticulously measured, and with me being a sewer we took a lot longer than the usual tradesmen would have, getting everything to fit exactly right. It should last through to the next millenium and was an excellent way to channel teen-age sons' energies. Each of them picked up many skills that they continue to use in their adult lives.

damascusannie's picture

(post #23863, reply #6 of 63)

My DH is not only supportive, he's the ultimate enabler! You should just see my big sewing table....

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at:

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at:
Ocrafty1's picture

(post #23863, reply #10 of 63)

How wonderful for you!  (Grumble, grumble...) 

DH bought over $8K in specialized woodworking equipment 3 yrs ago...we're still paying on it...'cause  he needed to upgrade so he could do 1 job. Now all the neighbors and his work buddies are using them.....'cause he's working as a carpenter in a factory and hasn't touched anything resembling carpenter tools here for at least 3 yrs.  He's even hired a laid off journeyman to do most of the work on the addition to our house. (DH will probably be laid off himself within this yr., so work will halt on that.)

 I'm still trying to convince him that my old Kenmore is on its last legs and I could do so much more, so much quicker, with a machine that has a tension knob that actually works!  He says to save up my sewing money and buy one......Grrrrrrrrrrrrr!   (Smiling sweetly)

Consider yourself VERY lucky...and smart enough to marry a guy who 'gets' what you do!!!!



damascusannie's picture

(post #23863, reply #12 of 63)

Believe me, I KNOW how lucky I am. I hear so many stories about husbands that grumble about every little spool of thread purchased. Granted, I've been a professional quilter, so the table was needed for my job, but I definitely don't NEED 60 sewing machines, but I've got them!

Annie in Wisconsin, USA
~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns
~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine.
See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at:

Annie in Wisconsin, USA ~~Doodlestein Designs Quilt Patterns ~~Finely Finished: Machine quilting worked on a treadle sewing machine. See patterns, quilting, and National sewing machines at:
joyfulneedles's picture

(post #23863, reply #13 of 63)

The other side of the coin.  Years ago, my partner, Bob, had a friend over and they had the dining room table covered with stamps.  I was sitting in the living room reading a book.  Bob was as compulsive about his stamps as I was about my hobbies. 

The friend said something like, your wife is really good about you having all this mess on the table, my wife would have a fit.  He just smiled and said, yes she is.

He knew the mess I could make on that table when I was sewing. 

It is one of my sweet memories of him.

moira's picture

(post #23863, reply #17 of 63)

This was a lovely little cameo and conjured up such a homely picture in my mind. How good that Bob had a male buddy to share his hobby with too.

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #23863, reply #15 of 63)

Has your DH priced curtains lately??? Perhaps if he knew how expensive they were to buy, he would consider the purchase of a upgraded sewing machine to handle the work of doing the heavier sewing required for such a job would tweak his perceptions of your needs. Put your tool requirements on par for what is required to do your JOB on a level he understands. Make sure he understands that it is THE TOOL that you need. When you frame your need for a tool in terms that relate to a job the way he thinks of his tools for his job or work, you are likely to make him understand better. When you price out work you take in, make sure that he sees that the cost of the tool is included in the markup. Cathy

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #23863, reply #19 of 63)

Tried that...didn't work.   Suffice it to say its his $$, since I'm not working outside the home, and I don't earn enough sewing to buy my own.

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #23863, reply #20 of 63)

I really feel for you! I am in sort of the same boat, in that the farm equipment always comes first. I want an embroidery machine. So I have been saving. I have been throwing my change, and part of my earnings in mason jars. I use my earnings from my sewing and crafting towards my future purchase as well. Maybe if you can save up half, he would kick in for the other half? I saved up for my first sewing machine this way, it took a couple of years. But I was young and frivolous then, maybe I am older and smarter and it will not take as long this time. Cathy

MaryinColorado's picture

(post #23863, reply #38 of 63)

"it's HIS money?"  sorry, he signed on for a partnership honey, so that's "family income" in my humble opinion.  Don't want to cause problems for you, I know it is not good to "rock the boat" but you might benefit from some councelling.  I went through much the same thing, hoping things would improve, 30 years later they haven't....your self esteem may suffer as he gains more and more control over all the decisions and you may become alienated from your family and friends.  God bless you and I hope things work out for you. 

moira's picture

(post #23863, reply #7 of 63)

DH and I were at a post-Christmas wedding for which I had made the bride's gown and bridesmaids' dresses. I've just told him I'm reading about sewers' husbands on my sewing forum, and commented that I didn't think he'd noticed any of those dresses at the wedding.
His reply? 'I noticed that they were wearing something'.

That says it all!

miatamomma's picture

(post #23863, reply #8 of 63)

My DH is also very supportive and an enabler to my sewing habit.  He has created an sewing room for me that is fantastic.  He often asks what I am working on and complements me after I have finished it.  I am even encouraged to add to my stash even though I tell him I really don't need that piece of fabric.  He is very creative with his hands in working in wood, etc. so he understands the concept of putting pieces of fabric together.   He is doing some major remodeling in the kitchen now so he is happy working there being a cabinetmaker, electrician, plumber, etc. while I am sewing.


artfulenterprises's picture

(post #23863, reply #9 of 63)

Your question made me DH, a corporate salesman at the time, joined me in a startup clothing design and manufacturing business in the 80's. Besides his sales chores and computer work his designated title was "head cutter" with all the lovely double entendre intended! He learned a lot about fabrics, pattern layout, production cutting, "designer vocabulary" and even today, many years later, he'll watch "What Not to Wear" with me and add his pithy commentary. (But that's probably his sense of justice at play because of the enforced football watching during Green Bay season.) ;o)

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #23863, reply #11 of 63)

Too funny.  I'm the one whose a football nut around here.  I have to watch every game that I can pick up on our satellite dish.  One yr. DH bought me the big package so I could watch them all. Not this yr.   DH got so tired of listening to it (he plays games on the computer while its on) after this Thanksgiving weekend that he threatened to jerk the cable out....  So...for the next two Sundays I drove the 25 miles to our friend's restaurant/pub and watched it with the rest of the 'guys.'  They wanted to know where he was...and why he wasn't I told them.....After 2 weekends of my going to watch football on my own he changed his attitude.  I'm sure the ribbing he got from the 'guys' helped enormously.  LOL


Tracy's picture

(post #23863, reply #59 of 63)

Brilliant! I, too am a football fan... but I think I learned it along with sewing at my mother's knee. She used to listen to 49ers games on the radio on Sundays and do sewing projects while I was either napping in my bassinette or playing with my toys in my playpen. So, when I got old enough to learn to sew, it just seemed natural to listen to sports (either on the radio or t.v.) while sewing. I still do that. It's relaxing, you know. My husband is great about it (and about the size of my stash and about my sewing).


Ocrafty1's picture

(post #23863, reply #61 of 63)

OMG. I have been a die hard 49ers fan for YEARS, even though I live in Indiana. Back in the early 70's a neighbor boy graduated from IU and then went on to play for the 49ers. He looked like a Greek god and when he was in HS, he used to plow my dad's fields (shirtless) before Dad got a tractor.  My sister and I would sit and drewl while we watched him. (Tee hee hee) I followed his too short career (injury) and became a fan for life. Sadly, he passed last yr.  His family was friends with both mine and DH's.


Tracy's picture

(post #23863, reply #62 of 63)

Wow. That's totally cool! May I ask what his name was? I bet both my dad and mom remember him!


Ocrafty1's picture

(post #23863, reply #63 of 63)

His name was Mike Fulk, and he would have played during the mid '70's, if my memory serves me right.  I actually ran into him at a local event after his football career. I thought I would faint when he asked me out....I'd had such a crush on him yrs. before, and he was still a hunk...but I had to decline; I was engaged to DH....   I always have wondered what would have happened if I had gone out with him...LOL


Teaf5's picture

(post #23863, reply #14 of 63)

A daughter of a journeyman carpenter, I have a lot in common with you!  My dad was in charge of making everything with wood and metal, and my mom made everything from fabric, fiber, yarn, and string; they combined talents on furniture restoration and functional design for the whole family.

My DH, formerly a journeyman auto tech, also appreciates the results of my sewing, so he's very, very supportive.  At 6'5", he loves the long-enough robes, pj pants, soft shirts I make him, as well as the soft coverlets, throws, and pillows I've made for the house.   

Since he also does carpentry and numerous other hobbies, his stashes are far bigger and more extensive than mine, so I don't hear any complaints there.  He's really helpful when I'm modelling a new garment and need his advice, though he tends to be overly positive.  The best is when his eyes light up, and he says, "Wow, you look beautiful!"

sewelegant's picture

(post #23863, reply #16 of 63)

I've loved reading this thread!  It covers the gambit and I envy those of you who have married someone who is also a collector or has a creative talent... it is like finding a kindred spirit.  I met and married my DH in less than 6 months and if I had wasted several years getting to "know" him, it probably never would have happened because we are such opposites, but we are still communicating and agreeing to disagree after 45 years.  He always considered my sewing an expensive hobby, but did make the comment one time that if I would make something for him once in a while maybe he would think more kindly of it!  I actually did but he never liked what I made as well as his purchased clothing so I never made it a point to sew for him.  Now that he is no longer a "dressform" size, he is more agreeable and more than likely has come to grips with the fact that my hobby is not going to go away, but he still cannot, for the life of him, understand my stash!

Edited 1/19/2009 3:23 pm by sewelegant

Thimblefingers's picture

(post #23863, reply #18 of 63)

Well, my first husband pretty much didn't care what I did as long as all he needed to do was watch TV.  He did catch on a little eventually - he was playing with my hair one day (which is very fine and soft) and said, "Your hair feels like very fine quality ... polyester."!!!

My current husband doesn't care what I sew as long as it is for him or his kids.  Needless to say, I haven't sewn anything for myself, my daughter or grandson since my wedding dress, but have sewn a fair bit for him and his kids.  He gets angry when I want to sew for my family, but is very helpful and loving when it's for his side.  My sewing equipment is still pretty good (thank goodness I bought a cover stitch machine before I got married!) but I haven't come close to his expenditures of a new computer ($2000), a new mountain bike ($3000), and a new camera ($1000) since we've been married (1 year).  All of those things, of course, are for "us" (even though I have my own), but my money is "ours" and his is "his".  I'm not even allowed to drive the new car we just bought although he told me when we bought it that I would get to drive it.  I make as much as he does working so that isn't the issue.  Sometimes, it's overwhelming!!  But he's not home right now so I have about an hour to sew - for myself - which I am going to do right now!!  

MissLou's picture

(post #23863, reply #23 of 63)

Good day to all, 

 I can relate to this thread as well.  When my husband and I had begun dating he was very supportive of my sewing, whether for myself or for my customers.  He felt very privileged to be asked to help deliver a project to customers homes.  We used to joke about his rise from the role of transporter to helper to apprentice.  We have been married about 7 months now and when I opened up my sewing studio recently he wondered what his new title would be.  I came up with the title installation director.  He was ecstatic!  He said "I am going to go have a work shirt made with my name on it with my new title "Installation Director" embroidered on it.   We laughed when I blushingly told him others might want one to.  ( I hope I don't get banned from this sight for this comment.) 



ThreadKoe's picture

(post #23863, reply #24 of 63)

That is just tooo funny! I am glad he is so enthusiastic, and has a great sense of humor! I often use my DH as a sounding board for ideas, even if his opinion is not always taken seriously, tee hee (blush). Sounds like the start of great things to come. Cathy

Ocrafty1's picture

(post #23863, reply #25 of 63)


Yesterday DH asked if I wanted to go to Indianapolis with him. He wanted to look for a heated suit to wear on our Harley.  I figured I'd been in the house for 3 days and needed to get out, so OK...its about 70 mi. to Indy.  We went to 3 Harley shops; no luck with finding a suit.  So we headed home...I thought. 

DH knew that I'd been wanting to check out a well known fabric store in Noblesville, but with gas prices so high this summer, I wouldn't spend the money just to go look.  He'd found out where it was and had planned to take me there.  He actually had looked it up on the internet (he had to call one of my daughters to find out the name)...but he was really excited to be able to take me there.  I found one piece of fabric that I can use to underline a top I've been wanting to make. Other than that I was really disappointed.  I'd been told that they had a fantastic selection of fabric.  Not so.  Nice wools, and bridal/specialty fabrics and laces, for what they had, but there wasn't much of a selection. There was a lot for quilting...and they do a lot of machine repair.

The best part was that DH had actually thought enough to take me there. He's bi-polar, and not on meds, so one minute he is not so supportive; the next he pulls something like this! This place is geared for women, but has interesting things for our DH's to look at, so he didn't grumble a bit. We stopped for lunch and really had a nice afternoon.  Who'd a thunk it!!!!


Edited 1/20/2009 9:44 pm ET by Ocrafty1

ThreadKoe's picture

(post #23863, reply #26 of 63)

DH and I both ride, so that was a perfect anti-January blahs day! It was actually sweet of him to do that. He sure earned his Brownie Points that day! Cathy

miatamomma's picture

(post #23863, reply #27 of 63)

Deb-Very familar with that store in Noblesville.  I think they have gone more to quilting fabrics over the last few years.  Seems like they used to have a lot more in the way of woolens.  They are very good about ordering items for you.  They have ordered bolts of Ambiance in shades that they didn't have in stock for me.  Have also ordered various laces and trims.  Glad you had a nice day even if disappointed in the store.