Fail Friday: Perfectionism!

My “fail” this week isn’t a specific project, but more of a mind-set. I’ve suffered from “perfectionism” all my life- as a child, my dad used to offer to pay me for getting a grade below an “A”- and I never took him up on it! I graduated high school, college, and grad school all with 4.0 GPAs, and strongly believed that not only was perfection desirable, that it was actually achievable.

Of course, after college, real life hit, and that fantasy quickly got buried with the messy business that is working, marriage and parenting. However, every so often, my perfectionistic nature rears its ugly head, and it’s been doing so lately in my sewing.

Although I consider myself an intermediate seamstress, I make mistakes on a daily basis, sometimes due to lack of understanding, and sometimes due to being rushed, impatient, etc. This is all totally normal. The problem occurs when I start to see these mistakes more than I see the finished product, start to dwell on them more than I enjoy the process of sewing. Then, perfectionism starts to rob me of the joy of sewing, and I can’t let that happen!

To make myself feel better, and to help set realistic expectations, I went fishing in my closet for a few ready-to-wear items. The number of RTW items I own is dwindling fast, so these are actually favorites I’m pointing out. By examining the flaws in RTW clothes I love, I am able to reassure myself that while mistakes do happen, and things are always going fall short of perfection, I can still enjoy the things I make and wear them with pride.

Ready to dive into the imperfect world of Ready to Wear? Let’s do it!

One of the things that I get on myself most about, is when seams/stripes don’t align perfectly. Let’s take a look at a couple shirts from my closet- do they line up (or even get close?!)

Another thing that bugs me is when I don’t get my serger tension perfect, or when my armpit seams don’t line up. Here’s a great RTW example of those problems- and I still wear this top to death!

Finally, I get mad at myself if I take sewing “shortcuts”, like not making french seams. Check out this RTW shirt that simply pinched a rounded neck closed and sewed across, to mimic the look of a V neck.    

This little voyage into my closet helped me realize that despite their army of industrial machinery and endless supply of labor, my RTW clothes aren’t perfect- and I shouldn’t expect my me-made items to be either. Enjoying the process, and trying my best to create a quality garment that I love, should be my #1 focus! 

What about you- do you see all the flaws in your me-made clothing? Do you Put lots of pressure on yourself to get it perfect every time?

Check out my other “Fail Friday”, or “Tip Tuesday” posts in the Tutorials Section of my blog!

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  1. Jennifer @ Kutti Couture on August 25, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    So true, girl! When I started sewing, neckbands were the thing I got frustrated with most. If they didn’t lay perfectly flat, I’d be touching them all day long. Then, I started looking at my husband’s RTW neckbands, and I was like, “Hey–his do that too!” Thankfully, I’ve now learned more about neckbands and how to troubleshoot issues…and I even sew his to save him from the RTW lol…but it’s so helpful even in my business to remember that if I make a tiny “mistake” that only I will notice, that my customers will never notice…because things we usually buy in the store make wayyy more of what I see as “errors” and they sell like hot cakes.

    • Sarah on August 29, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      So true- all the errors in RTW only became apparent to me after I started sewing! You rock with your business- I love seeing all your makes!

  2. Kathy Howard on August 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Sewing errors is why I don’t enjoy sewing items to sell. I stopped making things to sell on Etsy because it was just so stressful for me, plus I didn’t sell much (seems you have to have a big inventory before much will sell). The reason to sew these items was to use fabric that I wouldn’t use in quilts and move it out of my house. Instead I have a box of unsold items instead. Guess I will give them to a few people I know who like handmade items.

    • Sarah on August 29, 2017 at 2:28 pm

      Im sure your friends and family would appreciate any gifts! I totally understand- I can’t imagine selling for this reason!

  3. Stephanie Allen on September 4, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    Girl, I am a perfectionist, too! Sometimes I get this mental block with a project, I’m afraid to fail so I put it off. That’s why I love pattern testing. That deadline is sure a motivator and it kills those little fear thoughts!

    • Sarah on September 13, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      That sums it up perfectly- I need a deadline to work efficiently!

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