Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I have a problem when it comes to sewing.  I have lots of great ideas (at least I think they are great) but fear of messing up the fabric holds me back.  I don't mean expensive fabric, ANY fabric.  I hate to waste things.  Messing up fabric because I didn't plan the garment correctly or I made silly mistakes along the way...fear, plain and simple.  It took me 5 months to work up the courage to cut into my lace and satin fabrics for my wedding dress.  It took me almost a month to cut into the muslin for Nancy's dress.  Normally I don't mind messing up muslin but Nancy paid for the muslin.  The dress pattern was very different from anything else I've used so I was afraid of making mistakes.

On the flip side when I finally ignore the fear and dive into a project, I love my finished garment even if the fit isn't ideal or the fabric doesn't behave the way I thought it would.  I made up four V-neck, button front, double knit cardigans in January.  The armholes are too big and I didn't do a FBA so the cardigans pull across my bust in a weird way.  The rayon-poly blend double knit fabric has lost it's silky feel and started pilling due to all the wash and wear.  Basically, they aren't that great but the cardigans are my first knit garments in almost 20 years.  Knits always scared me before and now I think I prefer them. 

As for Nancy's muslin, it looked like an amateur mess last night.  The side back panel was almost 4 inches too long to ease into the center back seam.  The armholes were HUGE.  The bustle was a big lump of fabric.  I became so stressed that I didn't even sew the skirt or add the top skirt pieces to the bodice.  I did work up the courage to bring my muslin disaster to Nancy's house this evening for a fitting.  I armed myself with my Palmer & Pletsch Fit for Real People book, tons of pins, scissors and all my favorite marking tools.  Nancy didn't even bat an eye when I pulled out the crappy muslin.  I put it on her and acted like I knew what I was doing.  After 5 minutes, I found my direction and went to work.  I'm still patting myself on the back.  That muslin may need a ton of alterations but it actually looked good on her when I was done pinning.  I might actually be able to pull this off!  I left Nancy's house anxious to get home and start ripping the muslin apart.  (That didn't happen due to a number of errands on the way home but I'm still looking forward to working on the muslin tomorrow night.)

The point of this rambling post is fear will hold you back with your sewing.  Fear will not help you improve your skills and confidence.  Fear only results in a closet full of fabrics, patterns and unrealized potential.  If you didn't read the career advice article on Threads today, check it out.  Kenneth King's comment really hit home with me.

"Perfectionism is a disease, and a form of fear."

I can't say I won't still have fear but I will try to be more fearless.  Most of the fabrics in my stash were a steal anyway.  What am I really losing if I take a chance and mess up?  Or more importantly, what am I losing if I don't take a chance at all?

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Just my opinion....

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