Top 5 Reflections on a Year of Sewing

Top 5 of 2012

A year ago, the thought of sewing clothes from a pattern was completely intimidating. I finally decided to dive right in at the end of January, and made a Sorbetto… folowed quickly by a couple of Peonies, and then the Colette sewalong… and in 4 months I had enough clothes to join in Me-Made May! In fact, it’s pretty much been a me-made year ever since – It’s a rare day when I’m not wearing something handmade!

It’s been a whirl-wind year of sewing – Here are my thoughts looking back!

1. Looking back, I’m really grateful for all the support from my friends and family, and most particularly my husband. He’s always believed in me, and valued the time I spend sewing. (Bless him, he’ll roll over in the morning with eyes barely open and complement whatever me-mades I’m wearing!) He’s a nerd himself, so he understands the all-consuming focus and joy of exploring a topic you love. For him it’s comics, music and games, and for me it’s sewing and blogging! In fact, his Christmas present to me was a “blogging kit” – More on that in a day or two!

2. I can do this. I was so nervous when I first began sewing clothes – I’d sewn since I was young, and I’m pretty confident wth a machine, but clothes just seemed way more difficult thank pilows or bags! The most amazing revelation this year was that sewing clothes is just like knitting – the end result might look complex but each little step is simple! At some point I’ve moved from a beginner to an intermediate sewer, confident that I’ll be able to sort out a pattern as I go. It’s a great feeling!

3. I like simple projects. I LOVE the process of sewing: The whir of the macine, the zen of fitting the next peice. I *don’t* love fussing with instructions or trying things again and again until they are perfect. As a result, I’ve made almost every pattern I own more than once! I get more joy out of my 10th Renfrew whipped up in an hour than I do from plodding away at a more complex dress that haunts me for a week on the dress form. (Yeah, for me a week is a UFO!) Sometimes I’ve felt guitly this year that I’m not more a technical perfectionist… and wondered how my closet will ever fit my wardrobe if I continue to crank out new stuff! It’s been a stressful year though, and I’m so grateful for the stress relief that sewing offers. For now, simple sewing is the key to happiness!

4. Confidence and style. After a lifetime of wanting to “fit in”, sewing has been a revelation. I love my clothes now, and I never waste any time wondering if they are fashionable. I feel like I’m developing a personal style for the first time, and now my clothes make me happy every day. I’ve always been a little bit dumpy – short and round, and I can’t say I ever felt very pretty… but looking at hundreds of pictures of myself and learning to sew for my figure have both laid those old fears (mostly) to rest. (Hey, no one’s perfect!) And of course, this goes back to #1 – Thanks to my husband for thinking I’m beautiful and brilliant! 

5. Last, but not least: YOU. Bloggers, you have made my year better in a way that I never could have predicted. Our sewing blog world is such a tight and supportive community that I forget it is a tiny slice of the internet and pretty much unknown to the average person. I wouldn’t miss you guys for the world though – in fact, I could kick myself for not starting to blog earlier when I was feeling isolated and alone in Japan! Silly me. Thank you. Thank you for every comment, for every encouragement, and for posting such wonderful writing that brightens every day. You rock. 

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The next topic in the Top 5 list is Inspiring Blogs and Bloggers. For me, this is the big one – the topic that is about recognising other people instead of simply navel-gazing! (In fact, when I first was thinking about this Top 5 project, I toyed with the idea of making up a new blog award as a way to “pay it forward”!) It seems almost impossible to narrow down all the wonderful blogs you write to only 5 that inspire – so I, for one, am going to go over 5 on this list! 

I hope you’ve all had a wonderful Christmas! Happy sewing, and happy blogging!


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