How much practice does it take to make perfect? Perhaps more than I could ever manage. Each and every project I've ever attempted is flawed. And, you know what, I'm good with that.
Often, especially while I'm knitting, I make mistakes. Maybe I twist a stitch, forgot an increase, maybe I skip a repeat. The gravity of the mistake typically dictates whether or not I forge forward. It's easy, relatively speaking, to unravel a few rows to correct an egregious error. Sometimes, I just keep working and accommodate my mistakes by adding/subtracting an extra stitch in the next round, etc... I like to think of my work as well done, quality handicraft. But, I, friends, am not a perfectionist.
I do try to take care. I feel accomplished when I've done good work. I learn from each project. I correct myself along the way. And, I promptly find new ways to make a mess of things, like here, on my latest Hollyburn (only one more, I promise.... for winter, anyway).
I am no stranger to plaid. I LOVE the stuff. Make it a wool plaid, and I can barely contain myself. I've grown accustomed to lining up the horizontal lines across seams when I'm sewing with plaid fabrics. I like the continuity of the lines and the effect it gives to my finished garments. That was my plan when I pulled this yummy wool off the shelf. I was very aware that I had barely enough yardage to squeeze a Hollyburn from my available fabric. I very carefully aligned the grain and found a layout on my fabric using the thickest, center brown stripe as my matching line. I decided that it didn't matter that I had to alternate the direction of my patterns pieces in order to squeeze them onto my yardage, because I had those center lines matched precisely across the notches!
It might have worked. It might have been brilliant say, if the plaid was symmetric. It is, however, not. This plaid is absolutely directional. I had complete tunnel vision when I started, and I lost sight of the big picture. To start, there are thin brown lines on either side of the center brown stripe. To be exact, there are four thin lines on one side and five thin lines on the other. DOH! There is also a light tan and a light grey stripe woven into the fabric. Again. One color happens above the center brown line; one happens below. All this to say, when I flipped my pieces to sew them together, they didn't line up.
If this skirt had been a knitting project, this would be the point where I stopped to ask myself, "Do I care?"; is the error a deal breaker? In knitting, if the answer is yes, then it's RIP city. But this is sewing. Once you cut, you're stuck. As I see it, my choices were to either keep sewing or declare this project a wadder. My aforementioned love for plaid and wool, especially in combination with one another was the deciding factor.
Ultimately, this skirt gets a page in the story of my sewing evolution. I didn't toss in the towel after I screwed it up; I know not to make the same mistake again. Live and learn, point out the mistakes to everyone so we can laugh about it together. Gear up for a new project.
I'm certain I'll never see past this mistake when I look at this skirt (you probably can't either now, can you?!),but it hasn't stopped me from wearing it. The fabric still tickles my heartstrings. It's gloriously warm and it works with a lot of past projects sitting in my closet. Truthfully, I like more about it than I don't- That makes it a victory, right? At what point do you declare a project dead? What do you do with your dearly departed projects?