Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fumble and Recover

This is a hard post to type- seriously, I poked myself with a seam ripper and I have a band aid on my right pointer finger and it is making it hard to physically type.

I've spent a ridiculous amount of time in the last few weeks working on several crafty DIY projects that I thought would be amazing!! And if you've noticed, I haven't blogged yet about any of them- well, except for this ridiculously easy project.

Why haven't you seen the rest of them-- they've been failures.

I wasn't joking when I stated in my opening post that I was DIY challenged, and I think after this weekend I have taken it to a whole new level.

My goal this weekend was to sew up a wedding purse for myself, make-up bags for my bridesmaids, and a ring bearer pillow.

And what do I have to show for it: one purse that now has a small blood stain on it (from poking my finger), another non-wedding day worthy purse, a bunch of half finished, bits of fabric, and one decent ring-bearer pillow that took way too long.

You may think that my project list was ambitious, but I thought I was totally prepared: I had a pattern for the purse I was making myself; I have successfully made make-up bags in the past; and a ring bearer pillow is seriously home-ec 101, so I thought I was pretty safe.

Here's where I went wrong:

1. On the purse I made myself, I skipped a step. Only now am I realizing that my fatal flaw was to not follow the directions verbatim. While, I finished the project, if I had followed the directions, I would have taken the project from everyday worthy to wedding worthy.

2. While I was prepping to make my bridesmaids make-up bags, I thought that instead I should make them little clutches (a la Miss.. shoot I can't even remember who's post I was trying to copy). This was fatal flaw #2- nothing in DIY land is simple, nor should you ever think that it is easy to stray from what you know.

3. I second guessed myself. I made a fairly cute ring bearer pillow, but then I thought I could make a cuter one with some of the left over silk fabric from my chair sashes. I spent two more hours on this project before I realized that the ring bearer pillow I made is actually cute enough.

4. I jumped right in without doing proper research. This may be the most important rule of all DIY projects- research, research, research- if you can't find it on the web or weddingbee ask someone to help you.

Dare you ask why I am writing this post with a list of mistakes that any kindergartner knows to avoid!?! Well, I figured if I was stupid enough to think that DIY-ing is easy, there has to be another bride out there thinking the same thing. In my every day life- outside of being a bride-to-be- I take on one, maybe two crafty challenges a year. And while I half ass most of them, I usually don't care because I am the one who has to deal with the sloppiness of my work. But in wedding land DIY- everyone will see my mistakes and fumbles. Most importantly, for the first time I actually care about the final product.

So, after I fold my clean laundry and clean our apartment (both tasks on my to do list that got pushed aside this weekend), I hope to pick up the DIY ball again and try again. This time with a lot more patience.

I will hopefully also remember something else fairly important, some DIY projects are failures no matter how many times you attempt them.

I leave you with a picture of my DIY ringbearer pillow. This project cost me nothing out of my wedding budget as I already owned all the materials. Let me know if you want a paly-by-play on how I crafted this, but I pretty much kept to the rule book on this one:

So, I ask the hive- Is anyone else totally frustrated with DIY projects that have gone wrong?

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