- Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Sewing and Perfectionism
I would not describe myself as a perfectionist. In my life, as in my sewing, a desire to get things done overtakes any attempts at perfection. Once I see the end of a project is in sight, I can get a little slapdash in the race for the finish. But that's fine - I think I know this aspect of myself well. Besides, perfectionism can be damaging - it's nice to be able to let something go and know that you are up to 99% happy with it, and that's enough for you.
But how do perfectionism and home sewing interact? I have never been 100% happy with a garment I have made - there are always things I would do differently, from fit to finish. But I think this is fine as it keeps me motivated and thinking of what I will make next. And I'm a human, not a machine, so why would everything look absolutely perfect?
The nature of making something by hand means that it will always show the mark of its creator, and I think that can be a really lovely thing about home-sewn clothes just as it is about vintage or couture items. I don't have a serger so I don't have the option to finish my seams with a neat criss-cross of thread. Instead I use a variety of different seam finishes, from simple pinking to flat felled seams, french seams or turned and stitched seams. Again, my finishes are never perfect, but I love looking at this aspect of homemade vintage clothing and seeing how other dressmakers before me finished their seams and added personal touches to their garments.
How do you think sewing and perfectionism interact? Are you a perfectionist and how does it affect your sewing?