Thursday, February 2, 2012

Necessary Error

Yesterday should have been satisfactory, because I got a query out, did a lot of work on my blouse, and in the evening got my game disk back.

Unfortunately, the fact that I pushed through the rise of a bad dizzy spell to finish the sleeves, only to discover that they were cut too small (though, based on experience with past sleeves, I cut them two sizes larger than the bodice) tends to wipe out the rest on the satisfaction meter.

Which is perverse. Because I hadn't done this blouse with these sleeves and collar before, I'm making a "wearable muslin" - i.e., a draft version that, though I'll be able to use it when it finally comes out right, is made of fabric I got so cheap it doesn't matter if it's completely mucked up. I think it was on the clearance table for $1.99 a yard or something. I have plenty enough of it to cut new sleeves, and I now know how to do the sleeves, which I didn't before. Yesterday's work wasn't wasted, even though I'm now slightly farther from finishing than I thought I was yesterday morning. In fact, I am closer by the discovery of the cutting/sizing error.

Which, face it, under the circumstances, was unavoidable. It's not like my arms look hugely bloated compared to the rest of my body and I should have known I needed to go up three sizes. I've never done a sleeve that had to clear my elbow before and had no idea how much ease I needed compared to that assumed by the designer. I didn't have the knowledge base to cut the pattern correctly.

If this blouse were a story, I wouldn't be frustrated about this. Or anyway, not as much. I've successfully internalized the truth that making the error, undoing it, backing up, and redoing it is a normal and necessary part of the drafting process. The point is to work on something till it's done right, not to make a set amount of visible progress every day.

I guess it's because sewing is something I want to get done, rather than something I actively want to do most of the time, that I have trouble extrapolating this truth to it.

But it's true across the board. Whatever you're working on, all the work you do on it counts. You can't lose the work; you can only overcome your illusions about it.

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