I have spent hours obsessing over a hem that is not exactly straight or waistband sides that do not match. I have ripped finished garments to shreds because of some flaw only I could see. I have spent so much energy concerned about what others would think if they noticed that my handmade garments are not perfect. Slowly, I was killing my love of sewing because of a self-imposed standard of perfection.
Of all my sewing fears, buttonholes have caused me the most anxiety. They are permament—once you cut into them, they are FOREVER. If they look good, great, but what if they do not? All the work, all the effort, all the perfect seams and collar and hem, everything turns to nothing because of one mistake. That perfect blouse ends up in the scrap bin because it does not button up perfectly, the buttons are not perfectly aligned. Because if something is not perfect, it might as well not be.
Until I sewed the muslin version of the Mimi blouse, I had never sewn buttonholes. Zippers have worked just fine—if something goes wrong, I can always unpick the zipper and sew it again…and again… and again. But this blouse, it needs buttons. And buttons need buttonholes. It took me as long to construct the blouse as it took me to sew the buttonholes—and it was only a muslin! But I got it done. And It looked GOOD. Not perfect, but good enough that I felt empowered to cut into a beautiful piece of fabric to make the Lovecats Blouse.
I still fear buttonholes and all their unpredictability, but I feel I have turned an important corner in sewing. I am learning to control my need for perfection. In the end, it is just fabric; if something goes terribly wrong, there is always more fabric to be bought, patterns to be made, garments to be sewn. It feels SO good to be able to let go a bit and accept that sometimes, it is the imperfection that makes something unique. I love my Lovecats Blouse and am so proud of its buttonholes.