Getting my sh*t together

One weekend.
Six garments mended and altered.

It is a large accomplishment over minor tasks that have languished on my to-do list and my sewing table since winter.

Sassy face & newly fitting pants.

I recently listened to the audiobook of “Get Your Sh*t Together” by Sarah Knight. As self-help books go, it’s a fast and fun read. From overflowing inboxes, to dating, and career planning, the author unpacks many ways we psych ourselves out of doing things (or just get overwhelmed into a cycle of procrastination that leads to feeling more overwhelmed down the road). She also provides a number of “just do it” suggestions.

After we both read the book, my husband commented on my habit of not finishing any of the projects I had started. I thought about it and acknowledged that I was shying away from finishing things because I was afraid I’d take the wrong approach…that I’d fail.

Around this same time my husband decided he wanted to build an arbor in our backyard, watched a couple youtube videos, and then built an arbor in a couple weekends. His ability to just do a project and finish it blew me away. I am a talented and clever sewcialist, but damn it usually takes me a couple weekends to even decide WHAT I want to sew. Nevermind actually finishing a thing. (Measure 10 times, think about cutting three times, then actually cut once…well once for the muslin and again for the actual fashion fabric.)

Challenge accepted.
Although, it still took me another 2 months to do any sewing. 😂

There isn’t a specific passage from “Get Your Sh*t Together” that explicitly helped me finish these sewing tasks. Sarah Knight does advocate for “making time for your hobbies” and “being selfish” with your time. I think she might have also addressed over-preparation as a stalling tactic. All together, I finished the book understanding that I can be a high achiever and high performer at work, and still be letting small things slip through (at home and at work) without a safety net of good habits. Her “get your sh*t together” declaration isn’t one of shame or reprimanding, it is meant to be a rallying cry.

So this weekend, I walked into my sewing room and finished a bunch of the tiny tasks so that I could free up my creative “to-do” list for bigger, splashier projects. When I started to stall out overthinking whether I should add a dart or change the backseam of RTW pants, I just went with the easy dart option first to see if it worked (it did!). My mantra was “wearable is better than perfect.”

(It is also worth noting that I started paying attention to how often I reached for my phone for that social media addiction dopamine hit. Every time I started reaching was a chance to ask myself why I was reaching, and give myself a chance to take a break away from the sewing machine or to refocus on the challenge at hand.)

Final Scorecard:

  • Jersey skirt (altered waistband and side seams)
  • Drawstring pants (altered waistband and removed fullness at hips)
  • Jersey cami (mended hole)
  • Akita blouse (mended tear at armscye)
  • Linen pants (reinforced mended knee patch)
  • Knitted cardigan (repaired/darned a 2-inch hole)

And for the final icing on the cake:

I pushed myself to clean up the sewing table when I was done. We are ready for the next project!

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2 thoughts on “Getting my sh*t together

  1. I’ve been following Chanel Reynold’s GYST website for a few years (frankly, getting a current will and our financial house in order is my prime directive) and am a fan of anything in the GYST universe that gets us to do what we want to get done. I am waving my cheerleader pompoms for you.

  2. Hooray, way to go! I’m a big fan of Unf*ck Your Habitat, which seems like a spiritual sister to this process. Also major arbor envy over here, it’s beautiful!

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