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The Sew What’s New Archive

This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: seamstress16
Date: 04-03-2005, 07:51 PM (1 of 12)
Hi all. I am sewing for this lady who owns (or is going to own) a very upscale boutique in downtown Atlanta. She keeps reiterating the fact that she wants PERFECTION. And when she says perfection, she isn't joking. She notices EVERYTHING! I went a little, and I do mean a little bit, outside of a perfect line on the inside of a skirt, and she commented on it. On Tuesday, she wants me to come over to her house and sew with her for the whole day so she can "show me exactly what it is she wants". But, I know the real reason she wants me to come over is so she can inspect me at work. I know that she is a little nervous because of my age. I am just graduating high school, so I am young and she thinks that my age means I have no experience in sewing. Even though she has seen examples of my work and said they were perfectly done. Does anyone have any helpful hints for me so that I can make sure I get this job. If I do, it will mean a really nice opportunity for me, so I would appreciate anything you guys can offer. Thanks!

User: seamstress16
Member since: 01-29-2005
Total posts: 88
From: esrun3
Date: 04-03-2005, 10:25 PM (2 of 12)
Hi Danielle,
Sorry but the only hints I can offer is to be yourself and do your best. Wanted to wish you lots of luck though on this endeavor!!
User: esrun3
Member since: 12-02-2004
Total posts: 2345
From: Chrysantha
Date: 04-03-2005, 10:34 PM (3 of 12)
Yep...I'd listen to her too..if it's a job you WANT, then you better do what she wants the way she wants it. Perfection isn't a bad thing, just don't let her bully or disrespect you in ANY way. (she probably thinks that because you ARE young, you need some more teaching and we can ALL use that...)
Just relax, listen, be courteous and do your best....and good luck !
User: Chrysantha
Member since: 09-06-2002
Total posts: 2414
From: SummersEchos
Date: 04-03-2005, 10:51 PM (4 of 12)
Good luck, sounds like an interesting opportunity for you. Be yourself and go in with a good attitude. Do not ler her scare you, if she does maybe you need to rethink it all. Be postivie, you must have done something right to get her interest in you. Something I learned while taking my Masters Classes, was if you are a perfect student, then you have no room to learn or to try to see. You are set in your ways, and are not willing to change. Being good means that you know what you are doing, are willing to listen and learn. Give it your best shot and relax. Good luck once again.

User: SummersEchos
Member since: 09-29-2004
Total posts: 884
From: DragonLady
Date: 04-03-2005, 11:10 PM (5 of 12)
She sounds to me like a person who wants a lot of attention paid to her knowledge and her taste. So, if it were me, I'd ask a lot of questions, and be very careful to listen closely to the answers -maybe even bring a notebook and make notes about the things she has to say.

Even if you ask questions you think you know the answer to, she will appreciate the chance to show off her knowledge. And in fact you probably will learn a LOT.

Good luck to you -sounds like a job most of us here would love to have. :up:
"No more twist! No more twist!"
User: DragonLady
Member since: 11-10-2004
Total posts: 152
From: Sewhappie
Date: 04-03-2005, 11:27 PM (6 of 12)
You are never to old or to young to learn something new when it comes to sewing. There are many times I have been reminded of something that I was taught years ago but had forgotten over all my years of sewing. This lady just may have an easier way of doing something but hopefully she also is willing to listen to you. One way of doing something is not always the right and only way of doing it. I learned this lesson in my many years of Industrial Sewing of children's clothes. It may be something as easy as how you set yourself up at the machine, or if you are getting a rhythm and flow that will help with your production. Small things like this can affect how you sew. If you are working in a cramped area at your machine, you might not be giving yourself the room you need to swing your projects and have a smoth flow causing you to stop and start to many time. This can cause you to jerk your projects, even slightly, making you miss your marks. Is your project up on the table of hanging over the edge? Keep an open mind and you will be suprised just how much you can learn and improve. Ask questions!!!!That's how you learn. Take notes!!!!! Something as small as a sticth change can be a very important lesson learned, there is always a reason for why it is done. Could be the fabric reaction, the threads reaction, the way the machine handles different layers, etc. All machines are not alike.
And as the others have stated, do not let her degrade you. Gently remind her that you are very willing and eager to learn in a good working environment. Time will tell you if it will work or not, then you can make the choice to stay or leave.
I really hope that it is going to work for you.
User: Sewhappie
Member since: 10-27-2001
Total posts: 1427
From: mamadus
Date: 04-04-2005, 12:30 AM (7 of 12)
Danielle.. everyone has given you very good advice... I always told my kids when approaching a new job or a new teacher, figure out what the boss/teacher wants, and do your best to give it to them... I"m sure you're right, she's probably a little apprehensive about your age... work to the best of your ability and demonstrate a willingness to learn new and or different techniques.. be friendly and courteous, but not a doormat.. that's sometimes a tough line to walk.... you sound like a very mature young person, so I'm inclined to think you'll do fine... and if perchance it doesn't work out, look at it as an opportunity... by even going through this process you're learning some very important skills in dealing with people... and those are things that will stand you in good stead all your life, regardless of the field you find yourself in... Good Luck... do your best, and keep us posted... we're here to listen if you need us... please do let us know how it goes...

crossing my fingers for you...

life is too short, not to explore
User: mamadus
Member since: 12-31-2004
Total posts: 492
From: DorothyL
Date: 04-04-2005, 08:25 AM (8 of 12)
When someone starts a new business they are very nervous and frightened. Many people feel about their businesses like children so remember this is her baby. And she probably does have a lot to teach you.
As for sewing tips -- read this site and every book and magazine you can get your hands on. And ask her questions. She'd probably rather have you ask than do it wrong (in her opinion).
Remember there is always a lot to learn. No one knows it all. This could be a great opportunity for you. Good Luck.
User: DorothyL
Member since: 12-09-2002
Total posts: 3883
From: TupJane
Date: 04-04-2005, 09:07 AM (9 of 12)
Many years ago I was in the same position as you, wanting to work for a local seamstress. When I answered the ad, I did not have samples of work to show her and I certainly wasn't a perfectionist (yet!). Anyway, I quickly learned that what she wanted was someone who could be trained to do things to the level of perfection that she expected. I remember putting a set-in sleeve in a jersey dress 8 times before she was satisfied. I nearly wore the material out trying but you know what I don't think in the past 35 years I've had to put a sleeve in more than once to achieve that no pucker look that she wanted.
Bottom line: she is concerned about pleasing 'her' customers. You will represent her competence with your work. As the owner she has the right to want you to do the best work possible in her judgment. There were times 35 years ago when I resented the perfection necessary but today as I work in my own alterations/dressmaking business, I realize that she did me a great favor. I am proud of my work and I make sure that nothing 'looks altered' when I'm finished. My customers seem to appreciate that commitment on my part. Business is growing weekly.
See Jane Sew
User: TupJane
Member since: 02-04-2005
Total posts: 55
From: MaryW
Date: 04-04-2005, 09:42 AM (10 of 12)
Be yourself Danielle and good luck. :up:

I for one would not want to work for a perfectionist. Not my style. :yawn:
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: seamstress16
Date: 04-06-2005, 04:33 PM (11 of 12)
The meeting went great! Thank you all for your advice. :-)
User: seamstress16
Member since: 01-29-2005
Total posts: 88
From: Serenity
Date: 04-09-2005, 08:29 PM (12 of 12)
Many Congrats,

I wanted to wait to hear how it went. Everyone gave superb advice and I am so glad you went and the meeting was a success.

"The struggle is not greater than the goal". Be blessed. Stay encouraged.
User: Serenity
Member since: 01-12-2005
Total posts: 85
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