Time is probably the most valuable thing we have, especially as we get older. But even as Einstein might suggest that time is relative….on Earth for us now, it still passes at an even pace, as we as humans are bound to it, so it is precious to us.
That said, there are some things to consider about the time you spend in your studio. Of course you want it to count for the most you can get out of that time. At the same time, as your expertise begins to become more advanced, so too will the time involved in completing your project. Don’t short change yourself here.
There are two things to keep in mind with time in your studio. First is that this is fun, and keep it that way. This is also a process, which means that one time block builds on another and don’t get too concerned about some tasks taking a long time while others don’t. Yes, you can complain and be a little upset, but don’t let it stop you from continuing on. When I’ve been doing lots of ball gowns and wedding gowns, and come back to do my first welt pocket, it takes me a while to get back into that mode of tailoring as opposed to the finishing work I do on my formal gowns. This is normal to take a while. And this is especially true if you are doing something new.
The next thing is to remember is that the time you take in making a seam, stitching, detailing or general assembly of the best result possible, will be worth it. Don’t think that a short cut here or there will save time and no one will notice. You will, and that’s what counts. Now I’m not talking about some stay stitching or other construction stitching that won’t show. If that isn’t perfectly straight, no matter, but the wobbly sheer seam; the puckering zipper; the poorly trimmed curved-faced edge; the curled-up jacket front hem, are the sorts of things that matter and are worth the time it takes to make them work right.
Which brings up my last point…
Don’t sabotage yourself by trying to do a project in record time. At my very best condition, which means I’ve just finished 5 or 6 ball gowns in a row, the fastest I can do a gown is about 10 days….that’s having my client at my beck and call for fittings just as it comes off the machine. Don’t try and do anything like this for yourself.
Give yourself enough time to complete the project, and what I do for myself, is always have a plan B in the wings in case something goes terribly wrong and I can not finish. This takes loads of pressure off me, and guess what? I usually get it done in record time.
As well as the value of time, there are some other things you are learning here:
- Be gentle with yourself while you are learning new techniques.
- Often a simple 5 or 10 minute break every 3 hours can bring a whole new perspective to a situation
- If you can sleep on a project, that also brings a new perspective (and usually a whole new solution to a puzzle)
- Don’t loose your enthusiasm while running into a series of challenges
- And most of all don’t believe that sewing is some mystical knowledge held by some high muckety-mucks who have a lot of letters after their names – this isn’t brain surgery, so don’t make it that hard.
Take a deep breathe and start in – one step at a time, and it will be a memorable adventure.