Done is Better Than Perfect

Posted by Freya Gilbert
on January 16, 2022

Done is better than perfect.

I think of this phrase often.  It helps remind me that we can spend so long nitpicking over things when we could be focusing on our achievements and looking at how far we've come.

I first heard the phrase 'done is better than perfect' when talking to a friend about her therapy sessions.  It was offered to her as a point of view to give herself permission to make mistakes and stop the fear of failure from holding her back.  And I think we could all benefit from that.  We all need to allow ourselves the grace and space to learn, especially when it comes to creative hobbies.

So often I talk to customers at workshops or when picking new projects and hear the same worries.  It's not uncommon for sewists, new and old, to worry about their sewing not being perfect.  Whether its having to unpick seams or top stitching going a bit wobbly.  These fears are widely shared.  But what is it that we're worried about really? 

 

 

No one, no one at all, is going to point out these 'mistakes'.  To be honest, I doubt anyone else will even notice them.  We get so engrossed in the details of our sewing, looking at every stitch close up, that it's easy to forget to step back and see the bigger picture.  

There are two approaches to normalising our imperfect sewing.  One option is something I have often advised people before but I'm not one hundred percent sure it's the right idea.  That is, to never point out our mistakes on our sewing.  It's very tempting to point them out when people compliment our makes.  Now, I still stand by this in many ways - lets not diminish ourselves and our sewing.  Accept those compliments, you've made something you clever bean! 

But, on the other hand, when we share our imperfections with others (and I mean other sewists here) we help get rid of the illusion of perfection and encourage others to try something new or have the confidence to share their own makes too.  I think there is certainly a merit to sharing our projects, warts and all with others.

 

 

I was speaking with a friend recently, and I mentioned I was nervous about cutting out a special piece of fabric in case I made a mistake.  She was very surprised! I sew all the time, I sew for work, I advise others how to sew, yet I was scared of messing up! I said of course, we all make mistakes, even those of us with a lot of experience.

I want you to remember, that we're all learning and developing our skills.  It's not often, as adults, that we learn new things.  We're not used to not being good at things either.  It's important to be kind to ourselves when we're learning new skills.  We have to give ourselves space to do badly, to make a mess of a project and to learn from those mistakes.  It's through our mistakes that our skills will improve and we will feel more and more confident in our skills.  It can feel uncomfortable to begin with.  Don't worry about it.  You are doing great!

Done is better than perfect.

 

Freya x

 

Comments

On Lucy commented …

Thank you so much for this article, it’s exactly what I needed! It’s so true that the temptation is to highlight the mistakes we’ve made on something when showing it to others (I’m talking non-sewists) & the reality is they probably won’t even notice.
I’m still very much a sewing novice so the mistakes are many! But I’m learning & improving all the time.
My new mantra will definitely be ‘done is better than perfect’ & I will definitely stop holding back for fear of getting it wrong 😊

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published