Last night while I was finishing off the last in the series of Dressmaking Isn’t Rocket Science workshops, I started out the session by talking about my more modern take on sewing and how to enjoy it.

I shall go backwards in this tale to go forwards.

I had a call earlier in the day from a lady who was asking my about private tuition.  I asked her what in particular she was interested in achieving if we did a session together and she said that she just wanted to get better at certain things – like invisible zippers. I asked her what specifically she meant and she said “well. for starters it isn’t invisible – I can still see it!” and we laughed.  She said she had put in two, maybe three of these and in her own words, she was getting better but you could still see the zipper. She said “When I look at the ones in the store, they are perfect”.

I had to stop her in mid sentence (politely of course)!.

I told her that the ones she looks at in the store are made in a factory where one person’s job will be to put in hundreds, maybe even thousands – of these zippers in a week.  They have to be perfect to keep their job. They don’t have much joy in doing what they do – it is just a job. A means to an end.

A means to an end.

Here is a video that helps you see a bit about what making a pair of jeans in a factory is about – take a look at the size of the washer!

The Making of WeSC Denim from WeSC on Vimeo.

What I really wanted to tell her but was afraid it would sound a bit to “woo woo” is that enjoying the process of dressmaking helps you get in a zen frame of mind about perfectionism. And this is what I started out last night by telling the ladies.

We have the choice to be joyful when we sew. We can stop, look at the beauty in the thing we are making, at our own pace and with our own taste.  Stand back and take a look at the table that has all the pattern pieces laid out and enjoy the view.  When you get your fabric out, really look at the beauty in the pattern you have chosen – I bet you when you really look at the warp and weft of the thread, you will see a pattern within a pattern. It becomes almost fractal in the way it looks.  

And as you start to piece it together, just enjoy the “piecing” process. I told the ladies last night it is almost like watching a puzzle come together – you piece it together in a smaller bit and they become a larger bit…and the puzzle starts taking shape.

But most of all, don’t worry if it isn’t perfect when you finish. Each pattern you do is one step closer to a better version of the one before….

Zenfully yours!