It got me thinking a lot about creativity, failure and risk.
The first time I sewed a pair of pants for Indigo, a few people made jokes about them, in a lighthearted way. The pants were lopsided. They looked silly. The first time I took my camera out of auto and took an indoor photo, it looked yellow. A couple of people cringed and encouraged me to put it back on auto. And when I was first learning how to bake and frost a homemade cake, I frosted the cake while it was still warm and the frosting dripped, dripped, dripped off my cake. I have the pictures to prove it. The yellow, out-of-focus pictures, I might add! ;)
Have you guys seen that quote by Ira Glass that's been making its way around the Internet? If not, here it is.
"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners. I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple of years you make stuff, it's just not that good. It's trying to be good, it has potential, but it's not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it's normal and the most important thing you can do is a lot of work.... It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met. It's gonna take awhile. Its normal to take awhile. You've just gotta fight your way through that."
Now I'm not saying I have great taste, but I am saying I have totally experienced what he is describing here. There have been (are) times when my work disappoints me. There have been (are) times when I look back at things that I've made and cringe. When I first started sewing, I sewed things together backwards, regularly. I ripped my seams all the time. I made lopsided pants!
I think that's just part of it. Or at least it was part of it for me. But when you make the same mistake over and over again you start to internalize what went wrong and those lessons become a part of you. Now I don't have to think twice about sewing things right sides together or feeling for the bumpy side of the interfacing to be sure it's facing the fabric so as to not gunk up my iron. At the risk of sounding cheesy, in a sense there are no real failures, only lessons that teach us how to do things better next time.
I also think it takes a bit of courage to try something new. It's easy to stick to things that we naturally excel at, things that are safe. It's harder to take that step out of our comfort zone, whether it's sewing with knits, trying that unfamiliar pattern, or finally sewing for oneself. (I'm nudging myself on that last one!)
This pattern was an easy one. Thankfully. I needed easy after not one, but two fails.
It's Burda #144 : Girls' Flouncy Dress and it's a quick sew. I was able to sew it up in an hour or two over the weekend. As far as Burda patterns go, this one is pretty basic and straightforward. I left off the back slit at the neckline, keeping things even more simple.
I cannot remember where I got this knit. It feels like a Kaufman jersey but I can't be certain of that. Tia loves this dress and says that she feels like an angel in it.
Also, she has been having the best time with her new rain boots. This was her expression when she put them on for the first time.
Man, I love this kid!