Saturday, February 22, 2014

It's not you...It's me...

In an average day, I peruse dozens of sewing/craft blogs and one of the things that I notice is that everything looks so PERFECT. Now, I can confidently say that there is no sewer/crafter on the planet who doesn't struggle regularly with flaws and imperfections. We are often dealing with things that don't work out the way we want them to - our tools go wonky, inconsistencies in our materials, etc... But, no one wants to post their failures on the internet, right? We want pictures taken in the perfect light, at the perfect angle, hiding that errant wrinkle or jagged stitch. We want people to "ooh" and "aah" over our skill and creativity even though, in reality, our skirt hems are often jacked up, and our fabric was chosen based on the "what coordinating fabrics do I have the most yardage of?" criteria.

Well, folks, I'm not feeling it today. I am tired of all of the perfection making me feel like I'm not good enough. We learn best from our mistakes, and I think that we should showcase those every once in a while- in the interest of being real with each other.

My biggest failure during the past month of making girl's dresses came from this pattern that I LOVE:
The styles are all classic and versatile. There are a million fabric choices and embellishment opportunities. The skirts drape like a dream (no gathering!!), and the design is fast to sew.
Unfortunately, this pattern never sews up the way that I expect it to. The bodice always looks too wide (even though there are darts in the bust), the straps never line up right (even though I match up all markings), and I can't keep the hem from flipping up in random spots and needing to be pressed down again (repeatedly).

In my most recent attempt at it, I chose a white textured fabric that was absolutely see-through even with 2 layers. So, I selected a pink cotton to line the bodice. Smart, right? No. It looks...weird. I probably should have lined the bottom flounce as well, but I wanted to keep this summer shift as light and airy as possible.
Also, I had toyed around with several different strap closure ideas (attempting to make the straps adjustable), but in the end I just attached them to the bodice without any adjustment capabilities. Of course, I had already sewn up the bodice, so I had to seam rip and top stitch and reinforce the straps. Yikes.

Honestly, it is not the pattern's fault that I am a hot mess with this. It's me. I think that I need to set it aside until I see how these dresses actually fit my niece. Once I can visualize the drape on a human body, I may be able to construct it more effectively.

The point is, my mistakes and imperfections encourage me to do better. Perfect pictures may inspire us, but knowing that we are not alone in our flaws provides the comfort that we need in order to push through the creative road blocks.


ElleC said...

I believe that with some exceptions, most of the perfection we see on sewing blogs is due to good photography or Photoshop skills. We have all pored over the Sears catalogue, and sometimes their clothes look awesome. But really? Usually they are poorly made from cheap fabric. A perfect example of how good photography can make all the difference.

Almost all of us make wadders from time to time. I sure do. I see plenty of blogs showing poorly made clothes, as a matter of fact I started a secret Pinterest board of bad sewing from bloggers, to make myself feel better, it helps.

Don't be too hard on yourself.

Angela said...

Thanks, ElleC. I'm usually pretty easy-going about what I sew. I mean, I'm not selling anything that I make, or trying to pass as a professional. But, I feel like Pinterest is mocking me and my efforts sometimes, you know? I often wonder how many beginning crafters are put off by the illusion of perfection. I hope, not too many..