Monday, April 18, 2011

Am I "sort of" a perfectionist?

Is there such a thing as being "sort of" a perfectionist?  Because if there is, that's what I am...
The true fact is, if I don't think that something I made is "perfect" (to my standards) then I will simply put it away and just tell myself that I will work on it later.  I have a gown I started over ten years ago that still hasn't been finished, not even touched, because I don't like the way the zipper went in.  I didn't have much experience with zippers back then, maybe I should bring it back out...  I also didn't want to touch the hem.  I think the best way to hem it would be an invisible hem, which at the time I was creating the gown, needed to be done by hand.  I HATED hand sewing, so it was just an additional reason to put it away.
I have too many projects in some state of progress, either because I got to a point that I couldn't make perfect, or because I found something that I thought I could do more perfectly.
What does this mean exactly?  Well, when it comes to my project of making diaper bags to sell, it has drawn out a project/idea for over five years.  Nothing was perfect.  I shopped for fabric, found a pattern style I liked, and started cutting out pieces.  That's where things fell apart.  I couldn't find the "perfect" linings, the "perfect" zippers, the "perfect" additions to make these bags my own.  I would blame it on things like not having the right sewing machine, not having enough money, not having the right resources.  At this point I have enough fabric for about 100 bags, and have about 50 in some stage of production.  I've completed only half a dozen bags so far, a couple as gifts, a few for sale, and I made two custom bags for myself.  In those six, I may have only felt that one or two were "perfect" to my own standards.  I have even asked people what they look for in a diaper bag, so that I can create that "perfect" bag.  Too many notes, not enough follow-through.
I don't know what I am searching for.  I think I want someone to tell me that my stuff is no good, because sometimes that's how I feel.  I have had little actual training, mostly I have just learned by doing.  I have gotten better over the years, well, my sewing technique has.  My zippers have much straighter seams, I trim away excess allowances, I have even been known to press a seam every now-and-then!
I have an upcoming shower for a family member and of course, I want to make a bag and a blanket!  I got way over-ambitious and added more to my list, I wanted to make a nursing bracelet, some wash clothes and burp clothes.  I had to reel myself back.  I don't have time to try new things, especially not jewelry making!  (rolling my eyes at myself)  If I still feel the need for the burp clothes and wash clothes, I can save that for a "coming home" present!  So, that's just the first of my distracting ideas that lead me down the path to not finish a project.  Then we come to the actual preparation work...  I don't love the patterns I use, but I haven't had time to create my own yet.  What better time to create something new than when I'm on a schedule, right?  Uh-huh...  I cut out the squares that will be the blanket top, that's a no-brain-er.  On to the bag.  I want it to be do-able with the supplies I already have, but to add my own customizations.  I started too big, and reasonably paired-down the bag.  Although I didn't get as far along as I would have liked, I feel like I found a happy medium to satisfy my creative edge and wanted to customize a gift, while still looking to make everything "perfect".  Since the gift is due in two weeks, I will post pictures later.
Let's see how much trouble I can get myself into in the meantime... 

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