My #MeMadeMay15 takeaway – I need to ‘fail’ more!

Let me explain with a story I heard recently about Spanx founder, Sara Blakely.

Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studios in organic cotton sweatshirt jersey and Alexandra peg trousers by Named Clothing in organic cotton denim.
Linden Sweatshirt by Grainline Studios in organic cotton sweatshirt jersey and Alexandra peg trousers by Named Clothing in organic cotton denim.

As a young girl, the father of Sara Blakely, the founder of famous shape wear brand, Spanx, would ask her, how many times she’d failed that day. He wasn’t interested in the things that’d gone well but in the things that hadn’t. It wasn’t that he wanted to dwell on negatives but rather that ‘failing’ is a sign that you tried something and if you don’t try and fail and learn from your mistakes, you can’t grow and improve at what you’re doing. Sara credits this habit of acknowledging and analysing the ‘failures’ over the ‘successes’ for what made her persist and achieve the success she has with Spanx. She pushed through many failed attempts until she had a product that worked. This concept resonates with me and my attitude towards my sewing.

My #MMM15 challenge this year was to only post garments made with organic fabrics. I can remember a time in Germany when you could only buy beige, cream or brown coloured organic fabrics and the choice was really limited. Now you can buy a vast array of colours and types of fabric, the choice is growing all the time. I was curious to see if I could make everything I wanted to make using organic fabrics.

I’m satisfied with the quality and variety of organic fabrics I’ve got and the range of garments I’ve made but I’ve played it safe with styles. I latched onto the Linden sweatshirt pattern for instance because the pattern is easy to make and conveniently fast to squeeze into my limited sewing time. But as much as I like the pattern, I ended up remaking it countless times rather than moving on and challenging myself to make something more technical – trying something different. Overall my makes from #MMM15 were ‘safe’ style-wise but I want to shake things up and make more exciting stuff.

So my take away from this year’s #MMM15 is to make and fail more. I need to give myself more space to mess up. I often worry whether styles are age appropriate for me and if they show my old gnarly knees etc, LOL but I need to get out of my head and onto my sewing machine more and experiment. As well as admit I’ve been sewing for years now and it’s time I pushed myself to use more difficult sewing techniques. I’ve got many failed garments that I haven’t shared because they disappointed me. I wanted to discard and forget about them but I need to accept them as learning experiences and learn to embrace them instead.

So my new post-#MMM15 pledge is: ‘FAIL MORE!’.

How about you? How many times have you ‘failed’ today? How are you pushing yourself out of your comfort zone? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Happy ‘failing’,

Christine

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