Category Archives: Failure
Scope creep has nothing on me.
So, you remember that shelving unit I was going to put in my closet with cloth drawers in it, that the drawers don’t fit in? The one I was going to buy a second one of? Yeah. Um. About that.
I actually made it to the hardware store and bought another shelving unit. Then I went to Target to check out bins. At that point it became very painful clear that there were absolutely NO bins that would A) fit B) in reasonable colors that wouldn’t look awful and C) be sold in the quantity I would require.
Out of curiosity I went to the next aisle to look at the shelving units. They had one that was perfect. Made to fit the cloth boxes, and in the correct orientation. CRAP! So, after some hemming and hawing, I decided to buy three of those shelves, which will fit about the same space as the original two shelves. The shelf that is currently being built, I took a wild guess and said it will probably fit, upright, in another part of my closet. Maybe.
For those of you playing the home game, that makes six cabinets I’ve bought now, one which is halfway assembled, two I’m returning. The three that are actually going to serve as my shelf – which you might remember was the original project – are sitting in boxes, mocking me with their cold cardboard stares.
I have two shelves to return and none of the things I bought are going to the places where I was planning to put them. I forgot all about stacking wood with a friend who was coming over. I gave in to scope creep twice. I started yet another project, editing video of me putting together the shelves. The shelf I had been assembling is going to go somewhere that will require me to rearrange my closet for it to fit. It is now 8PM, and I’m updating my blog and eating dinner instead of finishing any of the things that need doing. Bad Ideas? Ohhhhhh yes.
I have a secret confession to make. Its a Bad one, so brace yourself.
I own a sewing machine.
Yeah yeah, it doesn’t sound so awful, does it? At least until I let you in on my other secret confession: I can’t sew. Oh sure, I can make simple things, like pillows and blankets. Things that are square, with straight lines. I’ve even successfully hemmed pants.
I am fascinated with the idea of making my own clothing. I have been ever since I was a little girl. Not knowing what I was doing, I attempted to construct outfits for my teddy bears and barbie dolls, using scraps of fabric and elmer’s glue. The resulting misshapen, stiff garment-alikes were never used for long before they were discarded.
Disaster struck the day I inherited my mother-in-law’s unused sewing machine, along with a box of thread in every color, buttons, even a repair kit. But the machine never worked right, either due to mechanical flaw or my own failing in setting it up properly. I blamed my inability to make anything on the way it would bunch up the fabric and ruin my projects before they even got started.
Then I bought a new sewing machine, and actually took the time to learn to use it. I no longer had an excuse. Nope, I just can’t sew.
I still like to pretend I can sew. I’m smart, I can figure it out, right? I look at fabric and I see so much delicious potential. Its why I have four piles of fabric, with matching thread, buttons, and other “notions*” sitting in my craft pile. I look at them and can still picture in my head the skirts and shirts they might one day be. I can picture some of the steps required to construct them. Not all, but some.
It might help if I could follow a pattern. I tried once. I got an entire pair of pants traced and halfway cut out. I even got so far as sewing together the pocket. Now, seven years later, I still own a pile of pieces of pre-pant, and one very nice pocket.
Despite knowing full well that I cannot sew, I still somehow seem to think that I can. I think it is a form of madness, brought on by the smell of fresh fabrics, the tactile excitement of running my fingers over soft cottons. “I can totally do this,” is the lie I tell myself, followed quickly with “…and I’m totally gonna this time.” As though it is only loss of steam that stalls my sewing, instead of the truth, that I just don’t know what I’m doing and I give up when it is obvious that I have ruined something beyond my ability to repair. I don’t even know how to use a seam ripper properly!
My delusions of grandeur lead me to believe that I can make not only simple items, but complicated, involved projects like a halloween costume. So one year, I was determined to make myself a ladybug costume. Complete with a second set of jointed arms that moved along with my real arms. It would look SO COOL! My mental image made it look pretty awesome, at least. The fact that I had no idea how to make one was no concern, I’d figure it out as I went along, like I always do. I made a few sketches that were extremely rough, but already showing that I had no idea what I was doing. I ignored that fact, and proceeded to Goodwill to buy some supplies, and then to the fabric store for more.
I got as far as doing some passable shirt Mad Science, grafting the shoulders and arms from one shirt onto another. Some foam tubes provided the stiffness for the arms, and a pair of blown-up Nitrile gloves stuffed into a pair of gloves would be passable for a second set of hands. Lacking anything better, I used some thread to attach it to my arm at the appropriate points.
At this point, it was looking pretty good. I decided to make a mock-up of my idea for the vest and beetle shell. And then.. it gets a little fuzzy in memory. The Madness had overtaken me, which is never a good sign. I can’t recall exactly what happened, but I do remember the aftermath, of realizing that I had no idea how to make a vest. It took about three years for me to give up on this idea, though I never revisited it. I did eventually manage to let it go enough that I could throw away the evidence of my failure.
Maybe I’ll sign up for a sewing class.
* Notions are one of those things I absolutely LOATHE about sewing, and one reason why I won’t follow a pattern. I just unreasonably hate the term. It sounds so stupid. Notions are the crazy schemes in my head, not an actual real thing that I need to buy! I actually don’t know what it means, but I dislike it anyways.