Thursday, 15 August 2013

Grand Plans – Poor Execution

Lately, I’ve found I have lost confidence in what I can make.  Not in terms of the technical (sewing) side of things, but in terms of transposing my ideas into reality.  As a result, I have lovely fabrics sat on shelves or lying across hangers all forlorn and feeling forgotten.  They are not forgotten though, rather I’m too scared to cut into them and attempt my ideas in case they don’t work out.

  • Knowing that I spent good money (not necessarily a lot) on these fabrics should spur me on to use them, but it doesn’t.  (Counter argument - the money is really wasted if I make something gross).
  • Looking in my wardrobe and feeling uninspired should spur me on to make lovely things, but it doesn’t.  (Counter argument – I’ll have even more yucky things to choose between if I fail).
  • Recent past successes should spur me on to make lovely things, but they don’t.  (Counter argument – I’ve had some failures too).

And then I read two blogposts that made me feel a little less nervous and ponder things in a different light:

Karen’s post about a seriously interesting and inspiring woman.  That post taught me that even “failures” serve a purpose – to improve us.  This is not a foreign concept to me.  When I was learning to ski as a child (a child that hated getting things even slightly wrong), my lovely (and patient!) older sister told me: if you haven’t fallen over today, you haven’t learnt anything.  I know this to be true.  My big sis said so.  Then there is this great quote:

The second is Sunni’s post about improving your wardrobe one piece at a time.  Looking at all the items you love, but don’t wear, working out why and fixing it.  Seems unrelated, but the message (ha ha Keith Lemon has ruined that for me: Yes, but what’s the message of your new book/record/trash mag sponsorship deal...”), anyway, the message I took away from that post was in relation to refashioning things.  If an item isn’t being worn anyway, what is the harm in trying to refashion it?  If it all goes pear shaped it can be recycled/donated/thrown out (without guilt) because now there is a good reason not to wear it.

In truth, having a stash makes me feel guilty.  To me, it represents money that has been wasted because the fabric isn’t being used.  (Side note, I’m really happy for any readers who view their stash like the fabric equivalent of saving for a rainy day – that’s lovely, and valid.  Enjoy your stash for me!).  I need to bite the bullet and put my ideas into action.  So what if they are duds?  I’ll learn something along the way.

Here’s to facing our fears.


  1. Hmmm, interesting, and I definitely relate! We all go through down times of less confidence and less productivity, and I'm sure you'll get the urge to create again soon :) When my Mum voices guilt over her stash my dad just says, if she enjoyed herself buying it then there's that pleasure that was had, and no harm done (within reason, of course). People collect stamps and all sorts of things and no guilt involved, why should we feel guilty about a collection of fabric? Of course, making it up into something brings even more happiness down the track, which you can enjoy then :)

  2. Well that is a very good way of looking at it, thanks Carolyn (and your Dad!). Got to love good old Dad advice :-)


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