Not just any shirt mind you, but a nice oxford – a long sleeved shirt with cuffs, a collar and buttons all the way down. Now, this assumes you’ve never made one before, but, I think that sewing is a great life lesson type of skill for perfectionists. And asking for help is not allowed on this project.
Why is that? Because sewing that kind of shirt will require perfectionism, and because at the end of the day, a novice sewer, even a perfectionist, will find that this task will be extraordinarily difficult and extremely thought-consuming.
Sewing is difficult, and requires perfectionism, but it also requires an ability to accept the completed shirt the way it is. There may be as many as 100 steps to sewing this shirt, and it’s unlikely that you will get every step just the way you want it. First, you need to find the pattern you want to use, then you want to find the right fabric. It doesn’t really matter what fabric you’ll choose, because it will always be the wrong one (i.e., frustrating , and with it’s own unique plus’s and minuses)! Buttons and button holes alone would be enough on this shirt to frustrate a person prone to perfectionism – not to mention creating shoulders.
And above all, it’s unlikely that you will get this shirt to behave to your standards.
After you make your shirt, and I understand this may take some time, the next step to this process is to wear it – no fewer than four times. Most perfectionists will not be able to wear their completed product out more than once, if that. Why is that? Because the shirt will be flawed. It may not be flawed in a way that anyone else can see, but the person who made the shirt will know what the flaws are and where they are. And wearing a flawed shirt will drive them bananas, even if no one else sees the flaws that they see.
Why would I want to drive someone bananas? I don’t. What I do believe however, is this seemingly simple act of sewing this shirt is a teaching task. As the person wears it more than once, it will show the maker of it that flaws are ok and normal – and what you may see as flaws, others will see as a great undertaking and give you validation – for something you see as flawed . “You sewed that shirt yourself? It’s amazing!” “Not really” “No, I mean it – I couldn’t do that!”
And how many times in our lives do we get complimented on imperfection? Perfectionists – sew a shirt. Your loved ones will thank you for it!
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