Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The 6 Stages of Sewing Grief

There are 5 stages to dealing with grief due to loss, but I'd like to propose the 6 stages of dealing with a sewing project that just doesn't go right...And I went through most of them last night.  I'm still working on the 'acceptance' stage.
Crafting Grief can sneak up on you...looks how nice this topstitching turned out!

And then..WHAM!  Oh, I'm sorry, did you NOT want it to look like I chewed on the thread before I stitched it down?
1. Shock - "What happened??? Did a family of miniature squirrels move into my machine??"

2. Denial - "It's not THAT bad, I'm sure no one will notice besides me..." which often leads to "If I just keep going or sew over it again, I'm sure it will fix everything"

3. Anger - "STUPID MACHINE WHY DO YOU HATE ME!! Are you possessed??" and also self-directed anger - "GAH! Why did I sew even MORE??  Now it's going to be impossible to rip out the sewing!"

4. Bargaining - "Maybe if I offer a discount the customer won't care...or maybe I can get away with sticking something on top of it..."

5. Time out - The "I can't even look at this project right now, it's making me depressed.  I need ice cream/coffee/strong drink/other distraction before I start attacking it with scissors." stage

6. Acceptance - Realizing that you can't put it off any longer and need to pull out the seam ripper or scrap it - "Well Jack, time to rip out all this triple stitched heavy duty thread and hope all the squirrels moved out of my machine.  After that, I need a drink."

In dealing with your sewing grief, it's a good idea to look for support in your sewing community, usually someone has done something even worse...  and also get an ergonomic seam ripper.  After ripping out the stitching on half of a quilt where I didn't realize the backing had shifted really bad I really came to appreciate Jack, my seam ripper.

And maybe, if you are lucky, there is a seventh stage of crafting grief... Being able to laugh at what you did.  Like the time I sewed a Zelda vest for my daughter and tried to turn it right side out for 10 solid minutes before I realized I had somehow sewn it into a Mobius strip and there would always be one section inside out as soon as I pulled it through my turning hole...

Does this accurately describe your grieving process?  Did I miss any steps?  I'd love to hear your 'what the heck happened??' stories to make me feel better.  ;)


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