“No-one is going to die.”


Today started out well enough, and in fact carried on going well until about three o’clock this afternoon. That’s when I discovered I had sewn a seam in the lining slightly off, and had to unpick it. A small problem with an easy enough solution – unless, like me, you fail to pay attention to what you are doing and unpick the WRONG seam in its entirety.

Re-sewing the seam proved tricky, as did unpicking and re-sewing the original seam that I was meant to fix in the first place. So tricky, in fact, I ended up on the verge of a meltdown. Seriously, I was in tears after struggling with that damn lining for forty-five minutes. Not all-out bawling, but quietly sniffling to myself and attempting to be subtle about wiping my eyes. Just as I was about to regress into full-blown toddler mode – seriously, I was this >< close to throwing the tail coat on the floor and stomping all over it – I stopped myself. I went out to the sofa and hung upside down off it for about five minutes, just to calm down.

It helped, kind of. I came back calmer and slightly more focused, but no less upset about the spectacular shredding and fraying that was the result of my frustration. I carried on with my sniveling for about another hour until I finally got done what I needed to do, and could move onto something else. As a result, I think the inside of my jacket looks like crap. Or at least it did until I pressed all the pleats into the right place; that improved things slightly.

It sounds silly now – “I unpicked a seam and couldn’t sew it up again and threw a tantrum” – but at the time it was disastrous. Why the hell did I unpick the wrong seam? Why did I have to mess about wasting an hour and a half on something that should’ve only taken ten minutes?! I don’t have time to make these sorts of mistakes!! Etc etc. Syl (the tailoring expert who’s been with us for a week) tried to reassure me, which was nice (although not very effective at the time). “Don’t let it get to you!” she insisted. “It’s only sewing. No-one is going to die.”

And indeed, no-one died. And indeed, I am still on track to finish by the end of Wednesday (buttons notwithstanding). And indeed, I am a perfectionist who needs to Chill The Fuck Out.

Lesson learned: hang upside-down before you start destroying your work.

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