Posted on | July 28, 2015 | 9 Comments
Crafting, whatever your poison, is something that should be fairly carefree (unless we are talking about gauge swatches, they should never be carefree). Creativity and making is what keeps many of us sane.
However, I’ve noticed something over the last few months. When I begin planning a new project I experience fear.
Maybe fear is too strong of a word, but it’s very much what I feel. For example, I’ve had this Liberty print fabric for over a year (it might even be two) and the perfect pattern picked out for it. But every time I made plans to tackle the project, I stalled. I made a muslin last summer, refit it again last April, made a test garment, wore it a bunch of times and loved it, but I still made excuses when it came to cutting into my pretty Liberty floral.
I’ve noticed this when designing knits as well. I’ll start off strong with numerous sketches, but then it comes to the swatching stage? Nada.
I used to throw caution to the wind! I was never the kind of crafter that started off with the beginner project. Knitting? Went straight for a sweater. Sewing? Give me a tailored coat any day. And so on. Experimentation was my middle name.
It seems silly, but when I get down to the bottom of it, I think the more I learn about any given craft, the more I fear making mistakes. As I learn the “correct” way of doing things I’m paralyzed by the thought I might press a dart wrong or forget to use the perfect left leaning decrease. Meanwhile, making mistakes is how we learn. Circles, circles!
The perfectionist, and to a lesser point the time engineer in me, wants everything to be perfect and on schedule. No stopping, no standing. This is not the way the creative process should be!
I’ve thought about various creative exercises to help break me out of this funk, but my brain keeps shouting at me, “no time, just get it done!”
So last weekend, I finally set aside some time for that Liberty dress. As of this moment it’s a collar, placket, and hem away from being wearable. As I cut into the fabric, nothing terrible happened. As I sewed it up, the machine didn’t eat it. As I ironed it, I didn’t burn a hole right through it.
Hopefully this dress will be the break in the dam that I need!
Have you ever experienced this sort of thing? If so, how did you overcome it? I need all the suggestions I can get!