A lot of the domestic things I do are forgiving. If I forget the cardamom, the beef curry will still be fine. If I don’t get around to pruning the roses for a week or two, they’ll survive. I tend to prefer crochet over knitting, because crochet hides the mistakes a little better, and I don’t feel compelled to rip back several rows when I notice a tiny error. ‘Good enough,’ is my mantra, and is part of how I get as much done as I do. Some of my friends are more perfectionist with their work, and though I admire their precision, generally, I don’t feel the need for it myself.
Sewing, though — sewing is a lesson to me in patience. I’m not a very skilled sewist, to begin with. I’ve taken one basic class, eight hours spread over four weeks at the park district, $60. I already knew some of the basics, from friends who had showed me how to thread a machine, how to hem curtains, or even follow a pattern to make a Halloween costume. But the class solidified those long-neglected skills.
Mostly, the class reminded me about precision. I’d gotten a little sloppy in my curtain-hemming — it’s not as if anyone but me would care if I had a raggedy hem. But if you want something you sew to look good when you’re done, it helps immensely if you actually pin it out first, if you pull out the iron and set the creases in. Even if you’re doing something as simple as running a hem — as a short girl of 5’0″, every skirt and dress I own seems to need hemming to look its best, even if I find it in the petite section — slowing down and doing it right will reward you.
And I’m honestly still not sure I’m doing it actually *right* — there’s a lot more to dressmaking than I’ve learned about so far. I’m not even sure I put in those pins correctly. But a little patience and care gives me a result I’m happy to wear, which is really what it’s about.
(And hey — my local dry cleaner charges something like $18 to hem a dress. These two dresses took me 40 minutes total, and that includes hemming the lining on the purple dress. Good deal! That park district class paid for itself very quickly.)    

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