Amateur: For the love of it

Years ago, I learnt that the root of the word amateur is the Latin “amator,” or lover and originally referred to someone who simply took part in an activity for pleasure,  rather that someone inept. This knowledge has stuck with me in a really profound way since the connotation through the years has become so negative.  What could be more positive than a pursuit driven by the love, rather than recognition or financial gain?  Sewing for the love of it is the theme I hope to promote in my practice going forward.  If you think about it, so many of the things we do in life because we must or we should.  At the same time I realize that I enjoy a privileged place in this world and I want to honor that with my gratitude.  I want to let go of any stress and pressure I've put on myself and simply be thankful that I'm able to enjoy this outlet.  If I’m perfectly honest, the clothes I have could easily last me the next few years.  I don’t need any new clothes and lord knows I'm not earning or even saving money doing it.  I sew because I love it,  simple as that.

Looking ahead, one of my intentions is to tune out fear of missing out and opt out of challenges that don't work for me.  Case in point: I started off strong with my ‘2018 Make Nine”, but soon lost interest in the plans I made in the beginning of the year.   The problem is that I see things in mostly black and white, so the idea of a ‘gentle challenge’ can easily turn into a mandatory to-do list, and such unnecessary pressure.  Midway through the year I had learnt a lot about what I actually wanted to wear, plus the season had changed and new patterns had been released!  Lesson learned: for me, planning for the short term works best and my inner stickler can still be proud of my follow-through.

I'm also finding my old über practical wardrobe philosophy has lost it’s appeal.  Telling myself that I need a *cream cardigan* or *black slacks* easily ends up in the purchase of mediocre fabric or a handmade garment that bores me.  It makes much mores sense to keep my eyes and mind open to fabrics that move me and projects that get me excited to sew.  Of course, I don’t see myself steering away from solid neutrals any time soon, but they should be made in quality fabric with special details and maybe in a new silhouette.

I also hope to free myself from the stigma around perfectionism.  I wish I could credit the source, but I heard recently that perfectionism is really only a problem if it causes you stress.   My truth is that the more I hone my craft, the more I realize how much the smallest details when done just right can bring me joy and satisfaction.  I still agree that imperfections can be embraced, but that doesn’t mean I need to lower my standards.  I also won’t let the fear of failure to produce a perfect garment hold me back, I’ll jump right in ready to learn and make it even better next time.  I can both aim for perfection and accept something less if I have to, with it letting it torment me. On that note, I am ever more dedicated to slowing down my pace to allow plenty of time to those professional finishes.  My output will be whatever it turns out to be.

In other developments, I’m over the moon about a stylish refresh to my sewing space (thanks Mr. Old Bones), I’ve fattened up that stash (no regrets) and I’m even working on an indoor photo setup  (buh-bye alleyways and peeping neighbors).  2019 has two projects under it’s belt already and I'm going strong. If you need this amateur she’ll be buried under the pile of Avery leggings she’s about to cut while scheming ways to level up the  craftsmanship on that lace wedding dress that needs to get done stat.


xo April