Mindful sewing: Knowing when to quit

20170108_145121One of my goals over the past year is to use patterns multiple times for several reasons: you save time as your muslin is already done, you get to be creative with small alterations to the pattern each time, and it allows you to perfect your technique.

20160815_140607This summer, I tried a PDF pattern for the first time and made a pretty cute black and white checked blouse. Not totally happy with the fit, I tried again with a flowy black and yellow rose print, taking out the waist darts and extending the back to make a blouse more suited to skinny jeans or leggings. After that one more or less bombed, I decided to try again with some black and white polka dots. That one turned out better, but I still wasn’t happy with it. And not just because I nearly burned a hole through it with my iron.

20160828_125528This blouse ended up taking me way longer to make than I expected (I blame Christmas), and I had originally planned to make it and a red plaid version that would get me through holiday parties. Considering holiday parties are long over, I am no longer feeling the push to make the red top. What’s more, I don’t want to waste that fabric.

20170106_155248I’ve now made three tops with this pattern and I’m not quite happy with any of them. I’ll wear them, but not a one would make it into my rotation in the coveted “favourite top” spot. I’ve decided that I just don’t like this pattern and that I’m going to lay it to rest. I will put the red plaid away and move on to something else.

In reviewing my year of sewing, I realized I made more functional clothes this year, and had less disasters, but also didn’t make anything that I couldn’t live without. I’ve decided I don’t have time to waste on pieces that aren’t going to be automatic favourites. I’m not admitting defeat, I’m just letting go. It feels oddly liberating.


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