Wendell unwound a long string of thread and cut it off from the spool. He lifted his needle, licked the thread, and closing one eye, began the careful process of sliding it into the tiny hole. After two tries, it was in, and Wendell pulled it further through.
He took his pieces of fabric, already cut to the right sizes. They had been sitting there for three weeks now, and Wendell hadn’t gotten around to doing this. Or hadn’t made the time to do it. Worry about the outcome, that it would be stupid or boring or nonsense, prevented him from actually putting thread to needle and needle to cloth. What if it looked awful? What if it made a terrible hat? Or not a hat at all? Was he a fraud, a non-sewer? Wendell fretted, even now as he held two pieces of fabric together and pushed the needle in.
Stitch after stitch, piece after piece, he worked away, simultaneously delighted by the soothing sewing, and worried that everything he was doing was worthless, foolish. Unartistic.
Still, he sewed.
It was the greatest challenge at the end, ignoring that voice. The one that would make him stop. That said he could just buy a hat in the store. That told him he wouldn’t make anything worthwhile.
But he managed. And with a final stab, he tied off the stitch, cut the thread, and lifted his new hat. His fit snugly on his head. He looked at himself in the mirror.
Wendell frowned. He could see the mistakes he had made. Cut poorly here, a bad stitch there. He could have sold the hat for a tidy profit, these defects unnoticeable to anyone else. Instead, Wendell took the hat off and set it down. Another try to tomorrow, he thought. Maybe I’ll get it right.