I bought a couple of Experimental Space sewing patterns a couple of months back. I chose to start on the Josie blouse first. It features a number of elements I haven’t made before, so I have been very busy these last few weeks procrastinating.

Hookstone Woods

I can find any number of things to do to avoid getting on with something, even if, like sewing, it’s something I really want to do. There is always laundry to do, socials to check, the dog to walk, pointless nonsense on the telly to watch… Anything but getting on with it! So while walking the dog I got to thinking about why I procrastinate so very much about creative activity.

I concluded that it’s fear. What? Fear? Of what? I will explain.

1. Fear of failure. The absolute biggest. Will it go wrong? What if the end result is ridiculous? What if, having spent this long procrastinating, I have to start all over again?

2. Fear of waste. This is real. Let’s not pretend that making stuff yourself is cheaper than buying ready made. It absolutely is not. Fabric is expensive and the Yorkshire woman in me can’t bear the thought that it will end up in the bin.

3. Fear of being selfish. Making stuff yourself takes time. Time I generally feel I don’t have (so I procrastinate – see how ludicrous that is?). I feel I ‘should’ be doing ‘more important’ things like housework, getting the shopping, brushing the dog, ooh look the windows need polishing….

So how did I actually overcome it today? I am ill. It is just a cold, but my husband is out DJ-ing today so I have a day to myself and I felt determined to seize the moment and tackle the Josie blouse. Hurrah!


So, I began. The first task (after cutting out the pieces, of course) is to start the cuffs. I have never made cuffs before and I decided to go slowly so I wouldn’t make mistakes. So the instructions require a seam of 1.6cm. Now, I am not the best at maths and to me 1.6cm is the line after the big 1.5cm line on the tape measure. So I carefully measured, pinned and began to sew line past the big line. The 1cm line. So fear of getting it wrong kicked in at the first post.

At this point I was still in my pyjamas so as I unpicked it I decided I would go and get washed and dressed and have a cup of tea before starting again.

When in doubt… Tea!

I got dressed in clothes I had made several years before to remind myself that I Can Do This, and so that I would feel Ready. I had my tea in the garden, where my mug advised me that not all those who wander are lost. I’d only gone as far as the kitchen when I got lost on the tape measure, I reflected. Back inside, let’s do this!

Let the sewing begin

I remeasured, pinned and with 5/8 inch measure reassuring me from the footplate, I sewed the cuffs. Yay!

Sewing the front to the back was safe and steady progress. Then – shoulder pleats. I read the instructions. Repeatedly. Nope. No idea. But, Experimental Space provides online sew along videos (we all learn differently, right?). Then it became clear. I knew what to do. I walked the dog.

A dog walk in the spring sunshine.

Now I was ready. I got my tape measure and tailor’s chalk and marked out the pleats. And I pinned them in what was one of the fiddliest sewing operations I have ever fiddled with. And I sewed them. And I pressed them. And it worked!

Shoulder pleats.

Having constructed a top, shoulder pleats and cuffs I decided this was a good break point. Now I have made a start, I think this unblocks the way for the next phase. I probably should be spending the time making dinner, really…

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