So things have been a little busy around here. With workshops being finalised, and this year's retreat to be launched, and registration to be opened. Which means the normal rambling that goes on around these parts has been a little bit sparse. But hopefully I am back.
The point of today's post is to talk about an oft overlooked tool in your crafty arsenal - the hack job. Loud and proud, I want to say that in spite of my perfectionist tendancies that I LOVE a hack job! Not as an everyday way to operate but as a way to move forward in times of trouble. Let me explain....but first a definition.
The Hack Job: A project in which the finish is the only goal and to get there there is only one speed - fast, and only one direction - forward. While achieving a wearable/useable outcome is still a priority, finishing is the true destination.
With all the busy around here lately, has come some frustrating times re crafting. I have found that either my head is too full to start something. OR if I have a project on the go, then it needs to be simple, or it sits there and sits there and sits there. So what to do....
The first thing I've done is gone back to old favourites like Granny's Favourite and the Geranium Dress because I can make them without-a-single-thought. Because really that is where it is at at the moment - there are no brain cells left for crafting. What is needed is totally craft as comfort!
But I have another tactic that I use in tricky times I thought I would share today and that is where the hack job comes in. It is the perfect antidote to the perfectionist procrastination. Hack job energy often comes on suddenly after a long period of thought/stalling. All of a sudden you just want to get it done. It's almost a feeling of exasperation that I have let it sit for so long. I just want to get it done and out of the sewing room. All the normal rules get thrown out. No going back to fix things, no worrying about a beautiful inside, no worrying about doing my best.
I've talked about my ability to do dodgy craft before, but today I'm going to show you just how dodgy my dodgy craft gets. There are those of you out there who would not feel at all satisfied doing this kind of craft. It would make them twitch. Actually sometimes it makes me twitch... but for those of you who like the idea, I want to say that this kind of sewing is valid. The projects that come out of it are valid and can sometimes be just as satisfying and fulfilling as ones where you have laboured over every stitch.
Two examples for you today. 1. Although things are hectic, I really need some clothes and really really want to finish a dress that has been sitting in the basket for probably six months. Eva is a lovely newish pattern from Tessuti that is an unusual shape for me. One that I hoped would be flattering, loved but after cutting it, felt nervous. The procrastination has been due to fear mainly - all about the perfectionism. Fear that I will have cut the Nani Iro, spent the time sewing it and then won't like it. Fear about the unusual shape. I guess it is about stepping into the uncertainty. And so to get it done I got to the point where I just needed to get it done. I started and was super careful not to loose momentum. I didn't neaten seams. I didn't worry when the pockets were a total mess. I didn't unpick and I didn't redo. I did grimace and occasionally I had to shield my eyes from the mess. But Eva is now a totally wearable garment. A gorgeous dress that has got compliments wherever I wear it of the "what a gorgeous dress" kind. Win.
And the second example is the tutu in the photo at the top of the post. It sat in the basket for a good few months. It was an old tutu given to us by a friend, that my small person kept trying to wear and get to stay up. She loved it but it was totally unwearable. And I kept thinking I had to fix it properly - maybe redo the shirring and put on some delicate straps before I realised that was insane. And really all I needed to do was to put something together so the kid could wear it. I decided to do it there and then. And all I had on hand was this rather wide elastic.
But it works so well. She loves it. It is super comfortable, super wearable and perfect for twirling. This project has the added advantage of providing joy to others around her. Anyone who sees this schmozzle smiles at her. What is not to love about it.
Now a hack job is completely contrary to how I normally sew. but it is also an incredibly good way to get going again after getting stuck. It ensures that the stuckness doesn't linger and turn into a drought. Performed once in a while, a total hack job really shifts something in me. It shifts the fear it won't be perfect. It gets me sewing again. It reminds me that it doesn't need to be perfect for me to love it. It is incredibly freeing. It is sewing with no rules (other than seam allowances obviously ;)) and sometimes it is what is needed.
So how about it? The hack job - something you might try? Something you find horrifying? Love to know your other strategies for continuing to craft in times of stress and busy....
PS. I just want to say thanks for all your registrations. I have been blown away by the response. It is going to be a special weekend. x