I decided to re-make the Pinch-a-Penny Change Purse for my upcoming book signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers this Wednesday because I want to do a project giveaway. I know I created this project, and then made it for the book. But I’ll be honest, I haven’t really thought about it since. So when I went to make it the other night, I had to actually get out a copy of Sew Retro and read my own directions! And let me tell you what, there were some nervous moments as I flipped the pages. What if my directions were terrible? What if they no longer made sense? What if my brain wasn’t working the day I wrote them, and the 10,000 times after that I proofed them?
Thankfully, my directions made sense! My illustrations were clear! But it got me wondering if this is something that other craft book authors worry about? It’s pretty darn scary to put projects out there and then have people actually put their trust in you and make them. I’ve been writing for magazines for about ten years now, and I no longer get nervous about the articles I write, whether it’s about garden design or some complicated health topic. I just trust that I know how to research and interview and quote and boil it all down. But remembering to specify 5/8”-inch seams, and remembering to tell people to open the zipper before they sew up the sides so they’ll be able to turn the pillow—that’s another matter altogether! I would feel terrible if I led someone down the wrong path!
Case in point: when my sister, Laura, and I were driving to Chicago last weekend, I was getting so frustrated by the lack of good signage around the tollbooths. There are like 10 lanes and you’re trying to figure out which one to be in if you don’t have a freakin’ Ipass, but don’t want to exit. You’re trying to follow the signs, but the lanes keep shifting and you can’t tell which is the exit only lane and which is the cash lane, or if the exit only lane doesn’t even really mean exit. I kept saying to Laura: “There should to be signs every 20 feet or so that say: ‘Don’t worry, you’re still in the correct lane,’ and ‘Okay, now it looks like these lanes shift up ahead but really they don’t; stay where you are,’ or ‘Okay, now it’s time to make your final decision, do you have an Ipass or not?’” I like reassurance that I’m following the right path! I guess I like that when I sew, too. That’s what I was going for when I wrote the Sew Retro directions—reassurance that yes, you are supposed to put that seam right there. Yes, right there, even though it feels weird for a second.
So here’s to reassurance and following the right path . . .