I am very proud of the fact that I offer a 100% money back guarantee on my How to Make Doll Clothes and my Learn to Love Your Serger (Overlocker) Courses and am pleased to say that the majority of my customers have been thrilled with the content and I haven’t had to worry about refunds.
The other day however, a lady who purchased the online course with the intention of using it to help her teach her granddaughter how to sew sent me an email requesting her money back. The following is a snippet of her email.
‘I purchased this course with an eye toward teaching my granddaughters to sew as I learned, by sewing doll clothes with my grandmother. This isn’t possible using your course since there is way too much bad information. I want them to learn things the correct way so that when the time comes, they can transfer from doll clothes to sewing for themselves and have the information they will need to make that transition without having to relearn everything.’
At first this reminded me of the doubts I had when my friend first suggested that I should create my How to Make Doll Clothes course. ‘I’m not professionally trained’, ‘my way is not the “correct” or traditional way’, ‘nobody wants to know this stuff’, and the list went on.
Thankfully my friend reminded me that it doesn’t matter if you’re not professionally trained but how much experience you’ve had and how good you are at doing what you do. She also pointed out that there is never a right or wrong way to sew something, only a difficult way and an easy way and so long as you are happy with the results, there is nothing wrong with doing things the easy way.
And this is what I had been doing for years – finding easier ways to make the doll clothes I sell as doing it the right way was far too difficult and time consuming especially when I had to make LOTS of doll clothes. Finding an easier way doesn’t necessarily mean you are cutting corners, it just means you are finding more efficient ways to do something.
In sewing, as in all classical crafts, there are ‘traditional’ methods of doing things but often this makes things more technical or complicated than it needs to be. My aim is always to make sewing as accessible and enjoyable as possible, regardless of your skill level.
I was feeling rather sad as I issued a refund to this lady and it wasn’t because I was issuing a refund BUT because I thought about all the fun the children that would be learning how to sew from this lady would be missing out on. To me sewing is not about being perfect and having to do something a particular way because that’s how it has always been done. Sewing is about having fun creating a garment or an project, experimenting with new techniques and even making up new techniques, making mistakes and learning from them, finding easier and better ways of doing things so that ultimately you can enjoy your sewing journey even more. Ultimately, it’s all about getting creative!
Now occasionally you will experience frustration and feel like throwing your sewing project out the window – we all do at some point, but it’s important that if something is not working as it should, don’t be afraid to try something different. Tweak the design a little or tweak the technique a little, in my eyes it’s okay if you don’t always follow the instructions because if you’re happy with the end result and your way was easier for you, then you’re a winner!
If you have found an easier way to do something related to sewing doll clothes please let me know as I would love to share it with everyone.
One of the reasons I like to sew doll clothes is that it doesn’t have to be perfect or should I say the ‘correct’ way. And its harder to do things correctly a lot of the time because the doll clothes are so small sometimes. I’m with you Rosie especially as you said the kids won’t have as much fun if grandma is going to be so pedantic about ‘doing it the correct way’!!
Oh Kendra, I can see you would be a wonderful, fun grandma. Happy sewing 🙂
Sorry that you had to refund a customer. You should be proud of your on line course. Continued success.
Thanks Marilyn. I’m okay with refunding my customer, I just feel sad for the grandchildren.
I’m sorry but I have to totally disagree with the grandmother who said you are teaching the wrong way Rosie. For those of us who have studied the art of doll clothes making, the best way is not shorter but different. The one thing that comes immediately to mind is sewing as flat as possible for as long as possible. This is in no way “wrong” but instead makes the doll’s garment much more professional looking. Also, to expect to transfer doll clothes making to human clothing isn’t reasonable. I know this because human clothes are a LOT more complicated starting from the simple point of measuring!!! I’m sorry that you had to issue a refund, Rosie, but you kept your word–another indication of what an outstanding person you are!!! Maybe the grandmother you were dealing with didn’t want to admit that maybe you did, indeed have a better way of doing it. I hope the grandmother won’t be SO technical with her granddaughter that she’ll miss the pure joy of interacting with her granddaughter on such a wonderful thing/”craft.” You’re awesome, Rosie….we all love you so much!!!
Thank you so much for your kind words Kathleen, it’s actually because of something you wrote in my FB group that I pulled this blog out from the ‘Not to be published’ drawer and decided to publish it. I want everyone to know that sewing is all about creativity and often ‘mistakes’ can actually turn into something wonderful. So don’t ever think that you can’t do something or that it’s not good enough. As long as you are having fun and happy with the results, then you’re doing it ‘right’! Happy sewing 🙂
Oh Rosie, I am so sorry you had to deal with something like this. Your patterns and videos, and your course are great. If she is such a task master that there is only one way to learn then I feel sorry for her granddaughter. She will not enjoy herself if she is kept to the straight and narrow. I feel bad for her. I love your videos, even though I don’t have to look at the first part of them any longer. They are all wonderful. I thank you for including a video with each pattern. They are always something to go back to if it has been a while since you made an item. You are appreciated by so many so don’t listen to one nay sayer. We love them!
Thanks for your kind words Kathy. That’s exactly how I felt, so very sorry for the fun these grandchildren were going to miss out on. Love the positivity and encouragement you always bring to anyone who posts in my FB group, thank you. 🙂
I have 2 shortcuts that I use when I costume. The first is making a shirt–for a doll I cut a 2nd bodice out of iron on interfacing. I sew the shoulder seams on the bodice and the interfacing. I then sew from center back, up and around the neckline and back down to the center back. I trim the interfacing and turn. I then iron the two together. I also use zig zag across dental floss whenever I am making gathered skirts or the top of a puffed sleeve.
Awesome tips Cora! Thanks so much for sharing. 🙂
Oh Rosie I’m just rolling my eyes at that!
Don’t you doubt that that your Course is truly awesome and I’d be proud to teach my grandchildren to sew using your techniques. If we want to be ‘proper’, whatever that means, then we can search out certified professional courses and go down that path but gee whiz anyone would be hard to please to find ‘bad information’ in any of your courses – I certainly have never found any and would recommend your Course to everyone!
I say a big Congratulations and Well Done to you for this excellent Course….and for sharing it with us.
Personally I’m so grateful as your Course has rekindled my love of sewing and creating after a hiatus of many many years.
Thank you so much!
Thanks so much for your kind words Julie. I’m so glad I’ve helped rekindle your love of sewing and it’s awesome having you in my Facebook group as I always love seeing what you’ve made. 🙂
If she wanted really wanted them to progress the”easy” way she should have taken a leaf out of my loving mothers book ,handed me a pair of her precious sewing scissors a bag of scraps, no needle and cotton, and cotton and told me to leave her and make my own,5 years. At 10 years yea! I helped cut a pattern, and material, and sew it on the machine for my mum! Rosie what does that woman know!!??
And look where you are today Robyn, sewing up a storm. Love having you in my FB group! 🙂
Hi Rosie, I totally agree with all the other comments!! Your course has helped me teach my grandchildren to create their own ‘fashion treasures’ and build their confidence to try other things. My young friend,Kayla, is starting to make things for her own little girl. Awesome stuff. This lady sounds like my sewing teacher at High School who told me to give up the class – because I am left handed and NOTHING I did was ever good enough! ( I’d love to show her my daughter’s wedding dress. Ha! ) You have a wonderful gift for teaching and I’m looking forward to gifting your courses to my grand daughters soon. We’ve bought them a Janome 2160DC for Christmas (they think it’s mine, at the moment) and I’m showing them how to use it so they are safe with it. Your enthusiasm for sewing has a ripple effect that will just keep spreading. Best wishes always. Cherrlym
Oh Cherrylmaree I am so honoured to have been a small part of yours, Kayla’s and your granddaughter’s journeys and so excited for your grandchildren! Oh, I can just see the joy all around at Christmas time when you give them this machine. I am so thrilled for you, you did not let this one teacher dictate your future and have gone on to be a wonderful mother, a great mentor for Kayla and the best grandmother these girls could ask for. I actually feel like part of your family and appreciate you keeping in touch. xxx
Hi Rosie, I don’t usually comment on open threads and have not bought your course yet. I came across your website searching for Doll Clothes as I am about to attempt them after only sewing for children and adults. Yes there may be a traditional way to teach, but why frustrate a youngster, show her both ways. I know which way I like, the shortcut all the way. Your comments on that Dolls Clothes are not like Human clothes and the advise to sew straight for as long as you can has given me the confidence to start. So thank you and I am looking forward to buying your course.
Donna, Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog, I really do appreciate it. It’s wonderful to hear that you now have the confidence to start sewing doll clothes and I look forward to being part of that journey. Please do keep in touch and let me know how you go. 🙂
Absolutely Linda! 🙂
I am 79 years old and started, as she said watching my grandmother. She would have loved all the
sewing “toys” I have now and would have found a good way to use them. As with any thing we do, if you can find a better way to do it–GO FOR IT!!! I love your patterns.
Sounds like you have some special memories of your grandmother Sandra. It’s wonderful to hear that you love my patterns and share my view that if you can find an easier way, GO FOR IT! Happy sewing 🙂
When I need to sew something together that needs to be turned, I sew the whole thing and then rip out stitches where I need to , to be able to turn it. The space where the stitches are taken out have a memory and are easy to turn in and hand stitch after being turned.
I have never thought about doing it that way Janis but do understand what you are saying about the fabric having a memory and it being easy to turn in and hand stitch. Thanks so much for sharing this tip. 🙂
I’m like the grandmother in that I get a vision of what I want and go looking for that. I probably also miss good opportunities by being so focused. It is wonderful how easily you gave her money back, so she can continue searching for what she wants. But I wish she could hear from some of us about how well this way works for doll clothes and how much your course helped so many of us!
Thanks for starting the blog. I’d love to hear your thoughts on sewing tips, tools, doll clothes designing, sewing with children, etc.
Thanks Glenna, I appreciate your honesty and thank you for your support. 🙂
Rosie – I think your courses are very good and easy as they step by step for beginners. Please keep the new courses going.
It’s wonderful to hear that you find my courses helpful, thank you for the feedback and support. 🙂
I have done a lot of sewing throughout my life and was taught the ‘right way’ of doing it. Eventually, I discovered shortcuts that worked. Since joining this group, I have found some really great ideas and thought “I wish I had known that years ago!” I haven’t made many doll items but am thoroughly pleased just reading all the posts and especially enjoy seeing the pictures. A huge hooray to all especially Rosie!!
So good to hear that you have found the confidence to try different ways of doing things until you found shortcuts that work for you. It’s lovely to have you in our group too Doreen and don’t be shy, share a photo or two of your projects, even if they are not doll clothes as we’d love to see what you’ve been working on. 🙂
I haven’t taken your course, but I have “done” your bride’s dress and loved your instructions. I’ve been sewing for 50+ years -made everything from my daughter’s wedding gown to slipcovers to handbags and suit jackets. So I speak from experience when I say there is no one “right” way to do things . I think you’re videos are a great introduction to sewing for a beginner and this grandmother will probably wind up turning the granddaughter off of sewing for many years, if not forever. Let the criticism roll off you Rosie-you are helping more people than you know discover the joy of sewing.
Wow, you have put your hand to many different projects over the years Janine, and I feel privileged to hear that you made my bride’s dress and loved the instructions. Thank you for your support and kind words. Happy sewing 🙂
Oh Rosie, it seems there’s one bad apple everywhere! I already could sew well when I bought your course, but it was the little things that you taught me that I’ll never forget. I had never seen up close and personal how to properly sew a sleeveless bodice that’s lined, matching up the lining and outer fabric. To some, that may come as second nature, but seeing your video and how you explained it was eye-opening to me. How anyone can think there’s a right or wrong way to sew is beyond me! I sew as best as I know how. Sewing doll clothes is lots different than people clothes! Sure, some techniques can be used on people clothes, but I’d honestly rather not sew people clothes, been there done that, don’t like, LOL! I’m sad that someone didn’t like your course enough to want a refund, that’s just tacky in my book, but I’m sadder for that person because she clearly didn’t give it a chance. If she wants to muddle her little granddaughter’s mind with couture techniques for doll clothes, that’s her prerogative, but your methods to me are both correct, quick/efficient and turn out beautifully! Keep on doing what you do best (I know you will, you’re much too happy a person for someone like this to get you down!) Big hugs from the US!
Thanks so much for your wonderful words Tari. I certainly haven’t let her get me down, my sadness is with the grandchildren and the fun they may miss out on. I feel your hugs, thank you. 🙂
I’m so sorry you had this experience with that customer. It seems to me that her request for a refund was simply the result of her own insecurity and not willing to learn new ways of doing things. It’s a shame that her grandchildren will bear the negative results of this fear and rigid kind of thinking. I would think that most of those of us who sew absolutely love to learn new and easy ways to do things, not giving a care to the “correct” method, whatever that is. Please keep up the good work on what you’re doing and don’t let the spoiled apple mess with your style!!
Yes Judy, I agree. With all the comments and support I have received as a result of this blog, I know she is certainly in the minority and most of us love to learn new and easier techniques when sewing so that we can enjoy this wonderful craft even more. Thank you 🙂
I’m sorry, I should have proofread before I posted. I meant to write “those of us who sew absolutely LOVE to learn new and easy ways”
I’ve been sewing since I was 6, and I’m still learning and loving being creative! I love to learn new ‘easy tricks’ from Rosie, and also all the lovely sewers on Rosie’s Facebook page, who kindly share and encourage me!
Aww thank you Ruth and I’m so glad you are enjoying being part of my Facebook group. 🙂
I’m sorry you received that letter Rosie. That lady reminds me of a sewing teacher I had in junior high school eons ago, and as recently as 8 years ago when I purchased a new machine and attended an introductory course at the sewing center from where I purchased it. I use the term ‘sewing teacher’ tongue and cheek as both women had no patience for anyone who was just learning and belittled and ignored them. How can anyone say your instructions are bad…it is ludicrous. Your patterns are precise and your instructions are impeccable. Add to that your passion and love for sewing and you’re near perfection. It is a joy to have discovered you!
Thank you so much for your kind words Valerie. I’m sorry you had such a negative experience with these other ‘teachers’ and I’m so glad you discovered my courses and patterns so that you can now enjoy your sewing. 🙂
Hi Rosie, it’s odd how one negative reaction can have such a lasting affect. I think what you are doing with the videos is wonderful. I am venturing down that track myself as soon as I get over the blocks! I am always trying to apply human drafting and sewing methods to doll clothes to see what works or not. I have just been reading about drafting collars and can’t wait to apply some of the techniques to doll collars. I will post some of my adventures in the facebook groups I am in. I know you hang out in some of those too. Thank you for being such a great role model for me and others in the doll clothes business.
My pleasure Val and thank you for your support. Looking forward to reading about your adventures with doll collars. 🙂
Hi Rosie, i just read this post (browsing through some things).
What a ridicoulus and negative email. Here in the Netherlands we would say: “spijkers op laag water zoeken” (that’s translated in “insignificant grounds for arguing”.
About 30 years ago i did the costumiere training and of course learned a lot there. I learned it at the “old fashion way”. We had to work a lot with string thread. Before sewing the items we had to put string thread on all the marks at the paper and so on. All the items we cut we had to put together with string thread and when it was alright we could sew. I hated that. As soon as i stopped with the education i went on doing things my own way. As you say: “there is no right or wrong”. I just recently bought your patterns and i learned a lot already. Forgotten skills pop up again and never thought a “chopstick/barbecuestick” would have been handy to keep my fabric at its place.
Ok, sometimes i struggle to with some parts of the videos, but that is because i do not see directly what you are doing and because i also have to pay attention in what you say.
Just keep on going with your lovely patterns/designs and i’ll be learning another dimension on sewing AND on my English. (never heard the word jiffy but now i know what it means).
Thanks to you i like sewing again and i think there are enough reason to go on with it.
Hi Moon, thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your story here, and for your lovely words of encouragement. It’s great to hear that you are enjoying sewing again and learning new sewing techniques and English words. You are doing very well with your English and I can’t wait to see some of your doll clothes creations. Happy sewing, Rosie 🙂
With so much information on sewing these days, it has been a pleasure to find your wonderful site and your great videos. The friendly way you teach and the short videos that can be rerun over and over are really wonderful. I have been sewing for a very long time – I can’t believe it either – but it has been 63 years since my Mama taught me to sew clothing for myself. I have sewn doll clothes but it was years ago – pre-Velcro and so on. BUT, I love trying things new ways, and I am all about easier and all about learning new things in general. Please do not feel bad about this lady – she has closed herself off to “sew” much in life I am guessing!!!! 🙂 Carry on!!!!
Thanks for the lovely comment Michele, it’s great to hear that you are still open to learning new things after ‘sew’ many years at the sewing machine. I’m thrilled that you are enjoying my patterns and videos. Wishing you many more years of happy sewing 🙂