I’ve been ruminating again on process. How sewing is all about process. How I abhor process and yet keep picking activities where process is the main theme. And it got me to thinking about how I would rather skip from A to Z without learning about all the letters between. Z being an expert sewist who makes no mistakes and never has a wadder.
Although I intellectually understand that mistakes are learning experiences, I still want to be the person who never makes a mistake. The one who never creates a wadder.
But what if we reframe the term wadder so that it has a positive meaning rather than a negative one. What if we thought of wadders as badges of honor. As proof that we have learned something along the way. As proof that we took some risks, that we had faith in our abilities. I look at Carolyn who recently stepped out of her TNT comfort zone and tried a new pattern. She didn’t like her first dress with this new pattern (although I thought it looked fab), but she’s already changed the pattern and is going to try it again.
I have always feared failure and wadders, sewing ones or otherwise. You see, I’m a perfectionist. Perfectionists don’t like mistakes. I once told a mentor of mine that I couldn’t possibly be a perfectionist because I wasn’t perfect yet. As soon as the words left my mouth, I realized that I was one. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a perfectionist in every part of my life. I do pick and choose my battles. High on my list is loading the dishwasher perfectly, but my apartment is far from neat. I will settle for a zipper slightly off at the top, but not at the bottom. I will jury rig a lining so that it won’t show below the hem of the fashion fabric, but take a finished garment completely apart to fix it.
But what does perfectionism do for you? For me? Nothing good. The bad it creates (anxiety, fear, disappointment), cannot be good for me. In fact, it’s what holds me back. It’s why I am so slow to start each new project. It’s why I procrastinate. It’s why I hired my teacher Thea. I wanted her there for every project, each step of the way, so I wouldn’t ever have a wadder.
What is there to be afraid of though? Am I going to let my perfectionism or negativism stop me from learning? From progressing from a beginner level to a couture level (who knows if I will ever get to that level, but I will keep trying)?
So, I am going to reframe my sewing world. I am going to be positive. I am going to embrace wadders for what they are, as pieces from which I learn a lot, like what not to do or how to do it better. There’s enough negativity inherent with sewing when you throw body image into every aspect, from fitting your patterns to what size you are in pattern sizing. Why make a learning experience a negative thing?
What do you think? This is the question of the day. Should we reframe the term wadder? What should we call it?
Happy wadding everyone!