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The Art of Doing Things Well

I’ve been doing some sewing today, and it’s always something that makes me sit down and think. It always always always takes longer than I expect/want it to. (Maybe saying always always always was a bit of an exaggeration. There have been some very quick and satisfying projects, if I do say so myself.)

But most of the time, it takes a lot of time.

There’s the inspiration stage of flicking through sewing books, searching craft blogs, opening all my crates of fabric and seeing if anything stands out. This stage is one of happiness, for the frustration hasn’t yet set in and there’s a hope of making the perfect item.

Then there’s the putting-together-stage. Where you gather what you’ll need, rethread the machine, cut out your pieces of fabric, pin it all, and try to make sense of the instructions before you.

Then there’s the actual-sewing-stage.

I always try to rush this stage because I just want to be finished and I want a cool new thing, whatever it is, I just want it done. I want my work to have paid off and I want to show people what I’ve made and I want to pack up. No, no I don’t want to unpick this whole section. No, no I do not want to realise I’ve sewn the wrong pieces together. No, don’t tell me any of this.

I like rushing things. I like having something done and I like never having to do it again. This is why sewing, in the final hard-yards of the-actual-sewing-stage, I get frustrated and want to give up. Because to make something good, you can’t rush it.

Putting in effort sometimes means being patient and sticking with something and taking the time to carefully go over every aspect. But I just want it done.

When I was twelve, I made a pillow in which I embroidered the word Winter on, along with embroidering a snowman and attaching on some fancy-frilly-trimming-stuff. It was some assignment about different seasons? I don’t know, whatever it was, I decided to sew a cushion.

Things were going really well.

Until I had been working on it for several hours and I really wanted to stop. Like, I really wanted to stop. Mum warned me to not rush the embroidery, but I did anyway.

The word Winter… let’s just say, the inter looked great, but the W was a mess. I was rushing, I no longer cared, and the result was a wonky-wobbly-unevenly-stitched W. Like, it was every sewers nightmare.

You know what happened?

I had to unpick it and resew it, thus taking up more time than if I had done it carefully in the first place.

I have no doubt that there’s some great life lesson to be learned in here somewhere, but if I’m being honest I’m still impatient and I still like rushing and I still prefer to be finished early than to have done a good job. Sorry not sorry?

Sarah xx

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