I have been in production mode for the past few weeks, getting ready for Renegade craft fair in Brooklyn next month. This week I am finishing up five linen dress shirts (more info on those soon). Production mode is quite different from design mode, in that I do each process involved in building a shirt five times in a row (make five collars, make ten sleeve plackets, etc.). Today I concentrated on some of the benefits of repetition, such as the process of perfecting skills. It's amazing to me that, with barely any conscious action, once I get to the fifth shirt, the results are not only better, but faster than the first shirt! Repetition, such a huge part of our everyday lives, can also be comforting and confidence-building. So, I was taking a meditative approach to the work all day.
Then, half-way through the day, my meditative reflection on repetition was interrupted by a reminder of the big picture of the work that I'm doing. I received a package from another independent designer, Fischer, containing a shirt I'd ordered! I savored the experience of opening the beautiful packaging and getting to know my new shirt! A personal note and surprise gift were included as well, which made it even more special. I know this piece of clothing will be in my life for a long time, and a regular part of my week. While immersed in the construction details of each cut piece of fabric, I had temporarily forgotten that the work I am doing is part of a larger movement of locally designed and made clothing, and remembering that allowed me to appreciate each part of the process even more.