10 Things I’ve Learned: Cheryl
Tempest over at Fanbloomingtastic
wrote a neat little piece on the ’10 Things Learned’ whilst participating in the Sew Weekly
Challenges. Seeing as that reflection is key to learning and growing, I thought I would do the same! So here’s my ’10 Things Learned’ through participation on the Sew Weekly.
- Planning–It is such a necessity. Each time that I’ve felt really good about a garment and each time I’ve been featured it’s been with a garment that I carefully planned from start to finish. At the same time, not every one of those feature garments were something that I was ‘proud’ of. Still, the fact that I had planned them out, made the outcome satisfying rather than frustrating.
- Patience–I usually sew my challenge garments in a day or two. The best ones, though, came out just right when I took my sweet ass time. Even if there were flaws, they were there because of my lack of skills not because of a rushed job. I am a big believer that if you are going to get better and grow in any field you must make mistakes. Often I’ll fight through a tough technique and if I get it great, but if I don’t then I attempt it a few more times or stop when I realize where my mistake is originating.
- Take copious notes–I used to laugh at this, but it has been so helpful. I write on the pattern. I write in the ‘notes’ section of the instruction booklet. When I fight through those techniques, I am often too tired or the fabric is in such a bad sort that I cannot necessarily get the fix without destroying the garment altogether. Before I took notes, I would make those same stupid mistakes, and curse when I realized it. Considering the amount of time I spend nagging my students about taking notes, you’d think I’d take my own advice.
- Practice–Sewing is a skill, and to maintain it, you must practice. It is so nice now that I’ve sewn once a week for the last six months to look at the pattern pieces and just ‘know’ where they belong and when they belong together. I still follow the instructions, but it’s still nice to have that confidence.
- Realistic Goal Setting–I’m the kind of person that shoots for the moon on each project. The more I sew for Sew Weekly the more I realize that realistic goals are so very important. When I’m sewing a garment in a day or two, it can’t be something too crazy…there’s too much of a chance that I’ll mess a small part up and then that small mistake will cause me to miss a deadline. With summer break coming, I’m not too worried, but summer won’t last forever so I need to practice this one more.
- The Importance of Touch–I didn’t want to listen to people about this…I’m kind of stubborn if you haven’t noticed ;) It is so so so so important to actually touch the fabric that you’re planning to sew with. Now I know that it’s not always possible, but at least get to a fabric store to touch a chenille fabric so that when ordering online you know exactly what you’re getting.
- Trust your gut–When I’m doing something right I need to trust that I’m doing something right. When I’m doing something wrong, I need to recognize it and do a double check of the instructions. So often, I make a mistake because I’m looking to power through a project. Deep down, I know that I should just put the damn project to the side and think, but I don’t. My gut is right and I have lost many a battles to it.
- Sewing for Me–I love to do things for other people, it’s in my nature. Often, though, I’m such the perfectionist that a project will take forever for someone that, in the end, I feel very little satisfaction. More than anything, I am relieved that it is over. When I sew for myself, though, I feel that satisfaction from wearing a garment.
- Styling Matters–If I’m not feeling so great about a garment, it becomes hard to wear it, and that is when accessories are so wonderful! My shorts were a project I completed, but didn’t necessarily love. They just weren’t my style…However, with the tights and my hat, I felt a lot more comfortable than without. The other project I realized the importance of styling was with the ‘Green’ challenge…There I wasn’t sure to go with the blue shirted or black shirted look …I took pictures of both and realized that I felt more comfortable with the black top and combat boots.
- Finding a Sewing Home– No matter who you are or where you are, having a sewing home is so important. I never finished projects before I had a dedicated space for all my stuff. It was like my creative juices were bottled up in the closet. Once they were set loose upon the spare room, I turned up the music and those projects just flew out the door!
Sorry for being a bit long-winded…Although, if you follow my posts each week, you’re probably used to it by now ;)