Or, how can we set and achieve realistic goals?
In 2011 I decided to get into sewing, with the express and singular goal of sewing my girlfriend a life-sized plushie of Slowpoke, her favorite Pokemon. Nothing gave me this idea except my weird, strange little brain, that when she said Slowpoke was her favorite Pokemon I thought “I’ll make you one!”
I started practicing sewing, literally just the basic stitches, on scraps of old underwear I wasn’t wearing anymore. Then I eventually got that pink and cream fleece, and I started teaching myself how to draft my own patterns, with the help of many many online tutorials by the likes of much more accomplished people (Abby Glassenberg, I owe you my life).
My girlfriend didn’t just put up with my piles of unfinished projects, she encouraged me through all of it. I knew she was ‘The One’ because she believed in me no matter how often my hobbies shifted. I felt supported. We moved in together. We got married. We adopted a cat.
And, as it turns out, sewing is just a great basic life skill for me. Even as I stopped making plushies as frequently (after finding out most people are not willing to pay for the amount of labor that goes into a project), I could mend my clothes in a snap so I wasted less money on new shirts, I was much more dexterous with my fingers, I built up better pain tolerance, and – most thrillingly – I discovered that 3D art is just… my favorite thing ever. As I got better at sewing, I got more into 3D modeling, because 3D models helped me visualize sewing patterns. All of my disconnected hobbies constructed me, a fully-realized person.
I did not ever make that Slowpoke. I still don’t know if I could; the ears were always the thing that stumped me the most. Now I don’t even know if I should; she is no longer into Pokemon.
But that Slowpoke taught me a lot. And, as sort of a sappy thanks to my wife and all of the people who supported me (even unknowingly, like Abby Glassenberg), I am going to walk you through the internal process of me designing my latest sewing project: a toy for my cat. It’s about as much of a tutorial as my disordered brain will let me make!