As some of you know, I was recently in Salt Lake City to teach at Sewing Summit. It was such a fantastic time. Hanging out with hundreds of enthusiastic sewists was a huge creative jolt, not to mention getting to spend time with blogging buddies like Sunni and Mena.
(sorry for the lousy phone pic)
One of my favorite parts of the whole conference was Mena’s talk on sewing your own wardrobe, due in no small part to the fact that she’s a wonderful speaker. She had everyone laughing throughout the hour. And, I must admit, it didn’t hurt that she threw Colette Patterns a whole lotta love.
Mena’s message will probably be familiar to those of you who visit the Sew Weekly. She thinks sewing should be fun, and who cares if it’s perfect? Just get it done and make something you like.
As someone who focuses a lot on technique, this really made me step back and think. Do we try too hard to be “perfect” sewists? To make clothes that look like RTW or even better? Do we beat ourselves up when things don’t come out just so? And does it take the fun out of sewing, at least sometimes?
For me, the answer to the last questions is yes. Sometimes it does. Especially when you’re showing your projects off online, it is really hard not to be hyper critical of yourself and what you’ve made, and to forget that this is not a contest. It’s supposed to be FUN.
The real reason I focus on technique isn’t because I’m on a quest to be perfect. Perfection is way overrated. Perfection is boring.
The real reason is that it’s fun to learn. I genuinely enjoy sharpening my skills and learning new ways of doing things. To me, that’s the best thing about sewing. You never stop learning.
So even though Mena is a “get it done” type and I’m a “slow down and enjoy the process” type, I feel like we’re on the same page. Sewing should not be taken too seriously. It shouldn’t be work, and it shouldn’t make you feel inadequate. And if anyone tries to tear you down because your sewing isn’t perfect, they’re the ones missing the point.
Whether you’re in it because you love the process or because you love the final product, there is room for all kinds of enjoyment.