Have you ever stumbled across another maker's work and felt that bittersweet knife in your heart? Their work is so, SO gorgeous, it's a privilege just to be able to swoon over it... but it's also a punch to your own gut.

I might as well give up now.

Whether you're standing in the convention hallway in an outfit you're no longer excited about, or whether you're surfing the Net in your grubbiest pj's while eating cereal at 11pm, you have to face the fact that no matter what, you will never be that talented.

I disagree.

All that you need to give up... is your belief in the myth of talent.



I totally agree! I had a rant not long ago about this very thing. 95% of the wonderful things we see are skill gained by hard work. I'd much rather praise someone as skilled than talented.
I couldn't agree LESS! There most certainly IS such a thing as talent! I've worked all my life to develop my skills. I have honed my skills, developed my patience. I make drafts, I make mock-ups--sometimes many mockups. I do and I re-do until it's as right as I can get it,and so I've become very good

By contrast my granddaughter, age 19, far surpasses anything I've ever done, and she is just beginning. I am the proudest of proud grandmothers at her accomplishments . But as it regards to your blog entry-- where I have worked to learn my skills, hers hatch out of her fertile brain and onto the paper/fabric/canvas without the blood, toil, tears, and sweat that have characterized all my work. That's the difference between talent and skill. Your message is valid but it's naive to say that talent doesn't exist just because most of us have to work for it. There really is a gifted minority.

That doesn't mean we give up. We accept, we admire, and we keep on plodding. That's what we do.

I have to agree - I've been sewing since i was a small child and I've made some pretty good clothes costumes and toys in my time, it's been a long slog. I had a bit of talent at the start, which is porobbly what kept me goign at it to learn more because I had an easier time of it than someone starting from scratch without that natural talen.

One of my sewing students has heaps of talent for it. The only sewing he'd ever done was to try sewing back a button that had come off one of his shirts, when I was visiting and started making a cover for a chair that needed some attention. He asked to "have a go" at the sewing machine, and took to it straight away.

For a first project he altered a velvet blazer into a pseudo-Elizabethan doublet (he'd seen one I'd done previously) and then went on to make his wife an Elizabethan corest... and then the rest of the outfit. Yes I was "teaching" him a she went but that mostly amounted to showing him the basics.


Talent exists. My mother picks up a new craft and her third attempt is saleable. Like DannyJane, I do and redo and redo to get the same results.
I absolutely agree! I have had people tell me I'm talented, which I always found slightly embarrassing, to tell the truth. I have always had the vague feeling that it's just a mixture of unbridled enthusiasm and perseverance. Thanks for putting my feeling into words so beautifully! And now I'm off to cutting a new toile! :-)
Thank you for this video! I just finished my first pair of stays, which I started about a year ago. "Just show up" is what I need to hear and probably what we all need to tell ourselves from to time. After pining over costumes and projects way past my skill set, I finally jumped in after realizing I'd never grow unless I risked failing, wasting fabric, etc. Great advice! There are a lot things I wish I'd known earlier, but just taking those baby steps through the hard parts instead of letting sit unfinished can be more difficult than starting.
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