At camp this week, it occurred to me that there are two kinds of sewers, perfectionists and free spirits. Our camp was full of both kinds and it yielded interesting results.
Let's first talk about the perfectionist sewer. These are sewers who are little Martha Stewarts in the making. Their projects look just like the examples and everything is almost perfect. If a mistake it made, it's fixed. Colors and fabrics match. Plans are made. Personal, creative touches are added here and there. Everyone oohs and ahhs at their projects and comment about how they could sell it or it looks just like you bought it at the store.
Next comes the free spirit. These sewers are kindred spirits with Amy Sedaris. There are no plans, no thinking, just making. Most will look at the example, chose some fabric and start cutting and sewing. Mistakes? They are just opportunities for creativity. We can fix that with some more ribbon or perhaps a button. The embellishments are often overdone and the project may never be completed because you can always add one more thing. You can try to replicate the free spirit's project, but it just won't look the same. How did they do that? They don't even know.
It's all in the process. Both sewers are highly creative and personal in their own way. The perfectionist is constantly thinking and making calculated choices while the free spirit is a bit more spontaneous and impulsive. Both produce amazing work that will be cherished. They admire each other's work but understand that they work very differently.
Can you be both a perfectionist and a free spirit? I think so, once you get older. I might be getting there myself. When creating pattern for Sewing School, I would just make something that I had in my head. If it didn't work (which was often the case), I went back and adjusted as needed. Then, I went back and tried to figure out exactly how I made the project along with measurements and tips to help kids to make it too. I am fully aware that many kids who make my projects may never look at the directions. The pattern and example is all they need. Meanwhile, others will pour over the photo illustrations and written directions and try to make theirs "just right." Either way, it's fun to see what kids create.