I admit to being a bit over the top about organization and following the directions and rules in some ways. I keep detailed notes, insist on spreadsheets before kickball games (another story for another day) and have been known to rearrange people's refrigerators because they just didn't do it right. I've mentioned before that I'm a costume designer for the Driftwood Players and my organizational self shows up there too. Last night I was busy taping a chalkboard size spreadsheet to the wall in the costume shop - the rows are actors and their roles, and the columns are each scene - so we can keep the munchkins, monkeys and poppies in Wizard of Oz straight. So it'd seem to follow that my lack of a laissez-faire attitude follows me when I am trying to construct, or rather sew, costumes for a show.
Alas, that is not the case. Somewhere between setting out the fabric and the pattern and taking scissors to it, I adopt an anything goes approach. Trim the pattern just a quarter-inch too short? Round the measurements down for the diameter of a skirt? Sure, why not! Of course, then I'm stuck in quite a pickle when I'm trying to line up pieces of the fabric or finish off seams. I accidentally made a mini-skirt for a show in 1940. My confidence that I can make it work suddenly turns into a feeling of dread. Then I add a few pieces of fabric back in, adjust a seam here and there and remember that the audience is 15 feet away from my actors and they won't notice. Or, if they do notice, there's something seriously wrong with the show.
A few years ago, my mom found a tape measure inscribed with the words "Measure Twice, Cut Once" decided it was just the thing I needed. And while I may not always heed that smart advice, I think it applies to more than just my sewing skills, or lack thereof. The idea of thinking things through, of double checking before making a final decision applies across many situations. Just a little food for thought...maybe instead of taking the shortcuts, or doing something "on the fly" try paying attention to the directions. But when all is said and done, I guess I just need to make sure I measure twice and cut once. Turns out my mom was right after all.