Re-Making an Old Project - New Year's Resolutions

So, this got stuck in the drafts - but it’s out now with updates coming soon. Happy March!

Happy New Year!

As many people do, I am taking early January to reflect upon what I would like to change in this coming year. It means making an honest assessment of my weaknesses, and not letting it drag me down to the point of inaction. That’s usually too intimidating a task, and I get derailed right off the bat.

Not this year! (For now).

The situation outlined above points to the main issue that effects my sewing, and the one that I am going to address here. There are plenty of others, but for the moment they can remain irrelevant to this.

I hesitate to describe myself as a perfectionist, because so much of what I do is far from perfect. However, I have been holding on to an expectation that the first time that I do something it will be good. Most often, it’s not. Over the past few years, I have made progress on this by trying again when something isn’t good the first time. Goodness knows I wouldn’t be here with sewing patterns if I didn’t try again and again and again.

However, I have projects a plenty that have been abandoned or finished sloppily out of frustration. This year, I am going to revisit at least one of them.

I made a corset for a photoshoot with very little notice. I did not have time to fit a toile on the model, so did very minimal shaping. I also did not have enough spiral steel bones at the time, so left half the channels empty, and finished the inside poorly. Through a combination of circumstances, I never received photos from this shoot.

When I got the corset back, I put the rest of the bones in, but the finish was even sloppier this time. I have used it in a few shoots on models that it didn’t fit properly since then, but instead of fixing the issues with the corset, just tried to hide it.

Now, I am doing the thing I like least - I am unpicking the whole thing and making it right this time. It’s a beautiful silk and coutil, and deserves better than this. It should be a project that I am proud of, not a source of shame. To get there, I have to take it all the way apart.

So here goes! Unmaking an old project to re-create it as something beautiful. Using new skills that I have learned, and using patience and care.

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Helena Smith