Friday, February 1, 2013

The Paradox of Choice

Whenever I finish a project, I always feel a letdown and a little overwhelmed. What to do next? So many choices! Admittedly this is a first world problem. I see them on Pinterest, on blogs, on fabric websites. It's enough to freeze up anyone. Of course I want to make the Perfect Choice. How freeing to realize that there is no perfect choice! The plethora of options used to give me stress and causes paralysis analysis, and I used to end up making nothing because I could make anything. This phenomenon has been amply discussed in social sciences circles. Too many choices make almost everyone unhappy. What to do? What do I make next? I decided to give myself fewer choices.
I made a list of twelve themes for my sewing/artwork. I printed the list on my printer, cut them into strips and drew them, then wrote them down: this is my year, all planned out for me. I don't have to wonder what to do next: I have no choice.

Some Silk for February
January: Sew a scrap quilt - done! (photo forthcoming when the light is better)
February: Make something out of silk
March: Use a  border print
April: Sew a Hawaiian shirt (Mr. Hunting Creek is very happy about this!)
May: Make something formal
June: Make pajamas July: Make T shirts
August: Make a Baby quilt (friends are expecting)
September: Finish something (plenty of unfinished projects to choose from)
October: Use a Vintage pattern
November:Use a new pattern

December: Make a Holiday decoration

Since February is Make Something Out of Silk Month, I did not want to be frozen with choice. I told myself that it doesn't matter what I make, just make something, preferably several somethings, all out of silk. The only rules are SILK and I have to finish.( Mr. Hunting Creek is aware of this and already drawing up a list of milestones and goalposts, heaven help me.) I read in Stumbling on Happiness that artists are happier with their work and they do better work when they do more of it, so I am adopting this policy at Studio Hunting Creek. Happy Work, Better Work, and More of it.
I have picked a couple patterns to start my Great Silk experiment: Vogue 1334 , Butterick 5816...and I'll just go on from there.

What are you making out of Silk this February? You're welcome to join my year of fewer choices. According to science, this will contribute to our Happiness. Who can resist that?


Anonymous said...

I previously a system similar to this to motivate me doing certain household chores, picking a card at random with a disliked task that I then had to perform. The carrot for me was that a few cards had a goodie; (read for half an hour, have a coffee and cake, etc) I had long forgotten it until your post which I think is a splendid idea to adopt in my sewing, thank you.

Venus de Hilo said...

Fun way to plan your projects. Tempted to jump in, but I've got enough "next up" WIPs and UFOs lined up to keep me going until mid-summer at least.

Laura, I like your idea to apply this to housework a lot! Maybe for each "dreaded chore" accomplished I'll also draw a small reward card...

Little Hunting Creek said...

Excellent method for those chores you hate doing like windows :)

badmomgoodmom said...

I'll join you for 3 months. My fave odd-jobber in LA had a barrel of rolls of silks for $2.99/yd. Would you believe 30+ yards came home with me?

At this price, I used some to line a cotton poplin dress. Decadent but it feels so good.

Next up (after obligation sewing for Iris' school play), a silk blouse for me-me-me!

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Silk for February is a great idea! I keep a sewing wish-list of projects (patterns and fabric already in stash) so on the rare occasions when I can't decide what to do next, I can just pick something off the list. I chafe under restrictions, so I'm not required to sew from the list.

badmomgoodmom said...

I've posted my silk-lined dress and my silk haul from January. Please come visit me in LA so I don't have to buy up all the silks on my own.

badmomgoodmom said...

My Feb project spilled over into March. Oops.

What did you make out of silk?