Trumpet the Successes and Hide the Failures

I love making old clothing new.  I love making ugly clothing pretty.  What I hate is when that doesn’t happen.

I got a bunch of gift cards for my birthday for Plato’s Closet (check out my Dress to Skirt Refashion to see a successful Plato’s refashion).  Among my purchases there was an oversize button down tunic top that  was so soft and comfy I had to buy it.

I’m not really into oversize clothing.  If I had lived in the 80’s I would’ve practically drowned in those ginormous sweaters.  I knew I wouldn’t wear this tunic top unless I did something to it.

This is where Pinterest came in.  I found a super awesome tutorial to try on this shirt.  (Maybe some of you will have better luck.)  I knew I would be improvising some, since the tutorial called for a men’s shirt and mine was a women’s.  I was really excited, though, and got to work quickly.

It didn’t really perturb me that I had to make twice the amount of ruffles (which meant twice the amount of hemming — blargh!), because that was a matter of having smaller sleeves than a man’s shirt would.  It didn’t matter that I had to remember how to put in an invisible zipper so I could get the shirt over my head — I’ve done zippers before and it was a good review.  It didn’t even matter that the sleeve holes were thigh-sized.  (Okay, they weren’t that big.)

What did irk me was that I did everything right — on a rack the shirt looked lovely — but when I put it on I hated it.  I mean, for Pete’s sake, I tailored it expressly to fit me.  But it was horrendous, beastly, and dreadful.  Sewing projects that I don’t like usually fall to my sister, and they usually look good on her.  But it didn’t even fit her.

Another thing that makes me mad is the fact that I spent hours on this shirt, and money.  I spent about four days working on it, and with supplies I had to buy the shirt cost about $13 — kind of expensive for a refashion.  It wouldn’t be bad if the shirt had worked. . .but it did not.

I wasn’t even going to blog about this shirt.  Half the fun of doing refashions is blogging about them.  The point is to be proud of your work.  The failed refashions can just hide in a corner of the closet forever, and everyone will think you succeed at everything.  But then I realized, that’s kind of like lying.  It’s like losing a contest and not putting it on your transcript even though you entered.  It’s understandable — I mean, who wants to go around shouting, “I failed!”?  Obviously, the human race kind of frowns upon that.  But the point here is that you tried.  What if you had failed at something no one else had ever tried before?  One of my favorite quotes is by Thomas Edison, who once said in response to a comment about his failure to produce a lightbulb, “I have not failed.  I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”  

Obviously, he eventually succeeded.  But he did not view his failures as failures.  He viewed them as successes because that was one more step in the right direction.  So that’s why I’m posting about my “failed” refashion.  It doesn’t work every time.  I did get a few good things out of it — I practiced sewing a zipper, for one thing.  I mostly had fun, for another.  And now I know one way not to make a ruffled shirt.  :)

As for the time and the money, they are what they are.  I don’t own time.  I can only use it.  Past time is what it is — past.  Goodbye.  I’m not going to think about you anymore.  And money isn’t mine in the first place — I get what God gives me to use.  So even though I really don’t like the shirt, and I’m still kind of put out about it, I shan’t obsess.  It is what it is.

And now you know I’m not perfect.  I’m sure you totally knew that anyway.  :)


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