Sunday, August 10, 2014

On Not Being a Perfectionist

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I spent a sizable chunk of my weekend making this shirt for my husband, and I'm pretty happy with the result. Notice I said pretty happy? It's not perfect, and of course all the little flaws stand out to me, but I'm also  happy and proud because I just really love the whole accumulative skill building aspect of sewing. I guess I could go back and redo that pocket. If I was a perfectionist, I certainly would....and maybe I will (it's not like it's going anywhere)...or maybe I'll move on. I don't know what I'll do, but I will say that making a button-up shirt is a LOT of steps. I'm just grateful that he ended up with something wearable.
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So Beej and I were having this conversation, and he was saying something about me being too critical of what I'm making - basically saying I'm a perfectionist. I actually don't think I'm a perfectionist and I see that as a good thing. Because if I was a perfectionist, I would never have finished this shirt. I would have gotten hung up on the pocket or some other detail and would not have let myself move forward. There were a lot of first-time steps, and I think when you're doing something for the first time it's good not to break up the flow too much by starting over. It's best to look at the big picture.

So here are my notes:
  • This is the Colette Negroni. I like the pattern a lot in terms of fit and style. I started with a medium on top and graded to a large towards the bottom. That's what's so cool about sewing, right? Customize. 
  • I took an informal poll with my men friends about shirt pockets. It seems that a lot of men are fairly indifferent. I debated leaving them off all together but didn't want to cop out, so I added one pocket.  Double pockets only highlight a lack of symmetry. And those double pockets with the pleats are the worst, according to some male friends. I think they're usually found on vintage shirts- probably for holding smokes back in the day. My one pocket  doesn't look so great if you were to look closely. 
  • Flat fell seams are not my friend. At least with this shirt. It may have to do with my beginner/wonky seams, or because I chose a lighter colored thread which highlighted my beginner/wonky seams, but I ended up ripping them out and serging off the excess. i.e. I started by attaching the sleeves with the 1/4 fold and then serged the fold off.
  • Using the correct needle really does make a difference. I forgot and started sewing with the jersey needle attached. My sewing machine freaked out and skewered the linen test fabric into something unrecognizable. 
  • Oh yeah, the fabric is linen. Beej picked it out, and I think he did a great job. Not only does it match his eyes, but it was on sale. Double bonus. (If I were at my pretend job where I write descriptions for a catalog or house paint, I would describe this color as Stone Blue.)
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So that's my first men's shirt. I learned a lot, like figuring out my buttonhole attachment, the yoke, a collar. I'm afraid I might have driven my husband a little crazy as I worked through the pattern. "Look, I just made a collar, and it looks like an actual collar!" "Sweetie could you try this on again? Nice, right? Do you like it? Be honest." He's a trouper, that man.
Anyhoo, that's my experience with the Negroni. Have a lovely week!

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