My Top 5 Reflections for 2014

Top 5 2014 #sewingtop5

1. No guilt.

For my first few years of sewing I often felt like I “should” be sewing something more technical, more varied, more something! This year I’ve ditched the guilt and accepted that what I love is knits, and patterns repeated a million times. Thanks for sticking with me through it all!

2. I officially have a stash.

I always felt like my stash was small compared to other peoples, mostly because I sew through the knits so fast, and don’t count the wovens that sit ignored in my cupboard. But I have to admit to myself that the stash shelf is awfully full, and certain types of fabric (i.e. sweater knits and sweatshirt knits for Jamie) have lived on the floor for months. Yay! I have a stash! It’s very comforting. I want more. MOAR!!!!

3.  I have a pattern for that. 

I now have a TNT pattern for all the basics I like to wear – maybe 20 in total? Whenever I see a RTW piece that I’d like to copy, I’ve got some sort of pattern that can be adapted for it. I still buy the odd pattern for something new and shiny (Ginger Jeans! Jenna Cardigan!) but for the most part, I’m set.

(Speaking of patterns, I think I’ve used only PDFs this whole year, except for a few Jalies. All hail the cheap and user-friendly PDF!)

4. Instagram has trumped Twitter.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, trying to decide how I feel about it. These days my Twitter feed moves slowly, and have more IG links than original tweets! I catch myself wondering how to take an IG pic so I can mention whatever I’m doing, instead of tweeting about it without a picture as I would have a year ago. I do love IG a lot, and I admit I check it in the morning before Twitter. It’s a quicker way to feel connected, for me, and it also leads to more discussion these days than a tweet. I”m a little sad to see the Twitter convo die down though – remember all the fun #fabricchats and #polejokes? I miss the action, Twitter community!

5. It’s the community that matters. I went from about 800 followers to 200 when I changed my blog from Tumblr to WordPress this summer… and it’s been really remarkable that the number of comments I get hasn’t changed at all! Some nastiness bubbled up over the summer and fall in online forums, and it made me feel queasy to think that element is part of our sewing community… but over time, all I see is the good stuff. I’m really grateful that you bother to read my little blog, and that so many of you comment regularly. There is a lot of kindness going around the sewing community – I love going over to someone else’s blog and seeing you commenting there too. Then there is the behind-the-scenes awesomeness too, in emails, DMs, cards and video chats. (And in case you aren’t taking part in that stuff and it sounds like I’m showing off… Just do it! Email someone! Ask if they want to video chat! There’s no cool kids club, which is what makes this community great!) I’m also incredible grateful to all the people who have taken over the Sewcialist blog for me this year. Thank you all for being awesome in so many ways!

Has your go-to social media shifted over the year? What is your favourite way to connect with other sewcialists?


43 thoughts on “My Top 5 Reflections for 2014

  1. I had to comment about commenting. I have been reading your blog for over a year and you really inspire me to make clothes that I will wear (knits). However I rarely comment (maybe never here), I’m not really sure why, but it is something I want to change. I want to weasel my way into the community🙂 anyways I guess I am saying that there are many loyal readers out there that never comment, but appreciate what you do. I’ll try to make more of an effort for it in the future.

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    1. What you said is also true about me. I follow A LOT OF blogs and while I’d love to leave a comment on each and every one of them it’s simply impossible. Blog writers – know that you have much more audience than you think you do, ha!😀

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      1. Thanks Aleksandra! I’m totally the same… I follow about 500 blogs on my blog reader and I only comment regularly on a small portion of them! That’s ok though, I think – we all become friends with people that resonate the most with us!
        Hope your 2015 is starting off well!

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    2. Thank you, Sarah! That is a lovely compliment. I truly wasn’t grubbing for more comments, but I’m happy you took the time! It really is through comments and social media that I get to know people online, so although it’s time consuming (and frankly, sometimes, more than I can handle when I’m stressed) commenting is a fun way to “weasel your way in”, as you say!😉
      Hope you had a good New Years!

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  2. 1. Yes! Sewing as it should be – guilt-free. =)

    2. Yay! Gotta have a stash!

    3. You are the queen of the TNT! So cool!

    4. Migration from Twitter to IG. I have noticed this trend too! I think it has to do with time and being able to keep up a little better. Back in 2013 when so many of us were either new to Twitter or just finding each other, it seemed more people had time to sit in front of their computers and just chat live. Then 2014 just seemed busier – I know it was for me! I always considered IG to be a good summary of the day I missed on Twitter (during work hours) and now it seems like the more active place. Pictures get the most response all over the internet and uploading a photo to Twitter is more difficult and buggy (that’s one of the main reasons I got on IG once I had a smartphone). IG is like micro-blogging. And let’s face it, when it comes to sewing, everyone wants to SEE what everyone else is doing. Now I use Twitter more for sharing links and talking directly to people or being available to answer other people who tag me in a conversation.

    5. Yes yes and YES! The sewing community and all the sewcialists are the best! =)

    (On a different subject, I hope your Christmas card doesn’t go sight-seeing like the Valentine’s card did! I mailed it a few days before Christmas so it should arrive soon.)

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    1. Hey I’m making a lazy comment here but I agree totally with everything you and Brooke are saying here. And IG seems to be the best way to get your sewing fix on social media at the moment 😆.

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    2. You are right, the picture funtion on Twitter is crap – IG definitely wins there! Plus it’s nice to be able to❤ a comment without full-on favoriting everything on Twitter like a creep.😛 Sometimes I wonder if I'd like my Twitter feed more if I followed less people, like I do on IG… but then, if my Twitter feed is already slowmoving, why would I follow less people? That's my dilemma.

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  3. Dude, you *should* eat veggies and you *should* pay your bills on time. When it comes to hobbies, you gotta cut yourself some slack! I’m glad you’re more comfortable with yourself and are freeing yourself to make what you want to make!

    I’m so glad to have “met” you through this community. You’re such a ray of sunshine in the sewing blogosphere and I’m glad you’re part of it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, and right back at you! Your sewing projects always inspire me to be bold, without making me feel like I have to goo the full Oona, so to speak!😉

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  4. Commenting on comments… I’m returning to sewing after decades of not; it was just too similar to my work career and I felt I had to get up and move at the end of the day. But your blog and a couple others have inspired me to dust off the ol’e sewing machine and revisit this hobby I enjoyed previously. Thank you for writing!!!

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    1. I”m glad to hear you are getting back into sewing! I find it so cathartic – relaxing and challenging all at the same time!
      Hope you have a great 2015! Here’s to lots of great sewing!

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  5. 1. Yes!!! Although, it’s better now that I have a baby🙂 Makes you care less about all other things, besides give me a knit and a serger and I’m totally happy!
    2. Is it possible to both have too much stash and not enough? I have too many ‘wrong’ wovens from my beginner days and not enough knits or at least not the ones I want to sew. I need more sweatshirt/quilted knits!
    3. There is no such thing as too many patterns but I agree on the PDF thing! I love PDF’s!
    4. Yes!! I keep thinking how to link a picture to what I want to say! I love watching pictures and I do not have enough time to keep on track with twitter!
    5. I love the community, but the negative vibe that sometimes pops up gets me down. Especially You-know-which website! I couldn’t imagine life without my sewing peeps and you are def on the A-list!

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    1. YES! I totally have the “wrong” stash. Bags of quilting cottons I won’t give away because maybe I’ll use them for gifts someday… and never quite enough of the same kind of knits to make everything I want!😉
      I’m really glad that quilted knits, terrys, and double knits are seeming more popular these day in stores. Maybe they were always there, but I certainly didn’t notice them. (Oh, and BTW, you for sure need to try making some Ginger jeans! )

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post – there really is no cool kids club! Everyone’s been on me to use IG. I’ve had an account forever but never use it due to incompatible iPhone software. Now I don’t have that excuse anymore🙂 I was the earliest adopter of Twitter and I still read it often. But my active use of it goes up and down. This year, my use of social media dropped lower than it’s been since I got on board, 7yrs ago. I’ve had to find some boundaries between my regular life and my online one – and my health issues have drawn that line in the sand.

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  7. Yes to sewing with no guilt! I have the same dilemma, wanting to learn sewing with silks, tailoring and all that, but then realising that I wouldn’t wear those things. And to make something just for the process is just not something I’m willing to make time for now.

    I have noticed the same SM switch. There is just much more interaction in IG, Twitter still feels kind of like talking to yourself aloud and then hoping that someone talks back🙂

    Happy new year to you, and hope see you around!

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    1. Hahaha – what a good description of Twitter! Conversely, sometimes IG feels like posting a pic and waiting for the compliments to roll in! Both have their uses, to be sure!
      Happy New Years to you too! I hope you have a great year!

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  8. Your first one is my favorite: no guilt. It’s so easy to let yourself feel guilty about a million things simultaneously, but there’s no reason for it! I know it’s easier said than done to shed those guilty feelings, but I hope we can all get there.

    Also, to echo other commenters, you’re definitely a very cheerful part of the online sewing community. We’re glad you’re here! 🙂

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    1. It’s funny how much guilt we put on ourselves about sewing, isn’t it? I wonder if it’s a feature of blogging that we judge ourselves by others? Or maybe if it wasn’t for blogging we’d be feel like we should do tidying or cooking or something instead!😉 Who knows. Here’s to a 2015 with no guilt!

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  9. I enjoyed reading this post! I’m bad when it comes to commenting, despite reading a lot, but I’m working on it🙂 I recently got an IG account and I love it, I’m a visual person and I think I talk better with pictures than just words. I feel too I should be working with difficult fabrics and tailoring but at the end of the day I choose to work with patterns I will wear and they’re closer to my style. Happy new year and I look forward to reading more of your posts in 2015.

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    1. Sounds like you and I are very similar in our sewing! Definitely “cake” more than “frosting”. I hope you enjoy IG, and have a great 2015!!!

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  10. I have to comment about Instagram, because I’m one of the people who doesn’t have a smartphone and therefore *can’t* use Instagram. I hope y’all never stop posting those links to Twitter, my friend. (I have to say, most of my non-sewing Twitter feed is links anyway.)

    Re: stash. I’ve been trying not to build up a stash, because I really don’t have that much room, but somehow I have acquired 3 overflowing plastic bins (+ 1 for wool and 1 for interfacing and laces). And I want moar stash!

    Also: yay for guilt-free sewing. I think some of that guilt comes from the blogging aspect and “feeling a responsibility to our readers,” so we think we should be constantly doing something new. If that makes you happy, that’s awesome, but if it’s a kind of Sewing With A Grudge, then fuggetaboudit. Sew for you, not us.

    As for the blog, I think 2015 should be the year of guilt-free blogging. For most of us, blogging is also a hobby, and my thinking has always been “My blog, my rules.” You made it for the umpteenth time? Blog it. I, for one, want to see it (and I like the blog format because it allows me as a reader to go back and see previous makes easily). You want to date a post back to May, even though it’s currently December, because that’s when you started writing the post and all your cute commentary is spring-based? …

    Okay, that last one might only be me. But still… if you’re ever worried that “no one wants to see this…” well, just call me no one.🙂

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    1. I always enjoy your catch-up blog posts! Because sewing something shouldn’t be any more or less impressive if you just made it than if you sewed it 4 months ago!😉

      I hope you enjoy the (sob) last few days of winter vacation!!! Sew sew sew!

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  11. Hehe, So many good ones! I just started using twitter and also don’t have a smartphone so I can’t use IG. Blogs are still my favorite way to interact with everyone.
    I concur with the just email thing to connect. I’ve emailed tons of bloggers for Stashbusting interviews and the whole Stashbusting Sewalong wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t been brave and emailed Cation Designs 2 years ago. Everyone is courteous if not downright nice. I love this community!
    TNT patterns are THE BEST! I’m so encouraged to see you using them. I too have favorites, I use over and over again. I just finished making a woven tshirt/top TNT pattern that everyone is going to get sick of this summer!🙂 I already have four or five versions planned as soon as I get my fabric out of the shipping container!

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    1. Oooh, the elusive person without a smartphone! Good on you. Once you’ve had one it’s awfully hard to go back. I got my first iphone in 2007, and 7 years later I’m on my third…
      I want to see this woven top TNT, it all of it’s 5 versions!!!🙂

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  12. I also started using Instragram a lot this year, and I think I’ve blogged less because of it. IG is just fast, easy and fun. I never got into twitter, I made an account, but that’s about it.

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    1. IG is pretty great, and I find I take more in-progress sewing pictures because of it, which is nice. Twitter is nice for being able to be in contact with hundreds of people, which would be overwhelming on IG…but it’s certainly not essential now that we have so many ways to hang out online!

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  13. A tnt pattern for just about anything you want to wear, that sounds wonderful & what I’m slowly working towards. On twitter/ig I’m so glad ig exists! I was late to the twitter thing & by the time I got there all my feed was, was links to ig or blog posts. I couldnt see the point. I love the visuals of ig & the connections.

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    1. Yeah, if I joined Twitter now for the first time, I’m not sure I’d see the point! It is great for discussions and debates though… but IG wins at day-to-day life!

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  14. I’ve noticed the IG migration, too. It’s a lot easier to catch up on during the day than Twitter, I’ve noticed. I’m feeling kind of torn about it–on the one hand, I love seeing the in-progress pics and stuff that doesn’t really make it onto blogs anymore, and being able to share mine. On the other hand, I’m at the point where I’m seriously considering whether I should make my IG account more private after the baby arrives, which would pretty quickly cut me off from interacting with sewcialists that aren’t already following my feed. (Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a question!)

    TNT knit patterns really are the best! Yay for easy, fun, guilt-free sewing!

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    1. For what it’s worth, my IG feed is private, and I’m pretty picky about who I let follow me, because I want to make sure that no non-sewing people follow me (aka. people who know me as a teacher, not a sewist!) I don’t really know how people find me to request to follow me, but they do! I wouldn’t worry about looking connectivity when you make your feed private – it’ll be ok! And I can understand not wanting your wee baby pics just floating around the web…

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  15. This is going to make me sound less-techy than I want you to know that I am (does that make sense?), but I just don’t really get Twitter. I’ve given it a shot a few times, but I’m just no good at the tweeting. LOL. I do however adore instagram. I am super addicted to it. More so than any other social media. My stepsons are all about the snapchat, but I haven’t tried that yet either.
    Love these top five posts. I am starting to feel a bit better so I’ll be catching up soon. Happy New Year!

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    1. Hehehe – I think “getting” Twitter is all about when you joined. Before IG, it was the place to be! Lots of hilarious conversation, really active… now people are on less often and it takes longer to get a response, so it’s less fun. It is good for discussion though – on IG I rarely see people respond to each other more than, say, twice, but on twitter there are much longer back-and-forth conversations, when people jumping in the ask or share.
      Snapchat scares me – but thats only because I fear dumb kids sharing pics of things they shouldn’t! (Which happens anyway, of course…)
      Glad you are feeling better – your Christmas sewing was amazing!

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  16. 1) Life’s too short for guilt. Yay you!

    2) Oh, I miss that exciting feeling! I used to feel good about finding a good deal on a basic, versatile fabric I knew I’d use… but after four years or so accumulation, the portion of my scant storage space devoted to fabric is becoming problematic, as is (and this is worse) my ability to find what I want when I need it. A deal isn’t a deal if you can’t find the stuff when you want to use it.😦

    3) Good for you! Oddly, I feel less oppressed by my pattern hoard than my fabric one… but I am trying very hard to remind myself that yes, I do have a pattern for that…😉

    4) I do like Instagram better than twitter. Partly because my Twitter feed got quickly overwhelmed with people I follow who post about Important and Serious Issues Of Our Time that I should and do care about… but popping on to Twitter was becoming more of a downer than a quick fun passtime, so I stopped looking. My Instagram feed has no pretensions of social or political import—it’s strictly fun.

    5) Community is the best thing about the online sewing world, and I think it’s much more important than raw follower numbers—the people who are engaged and care, who we interact with, are the ones we’re writing for. (And ourselves, of course.) I was a lot less interactive this year (the past couple, really) as my “free time” evaporated and I did more and more of my diminished reading on my phone or iPad… and that does make me sad. Instagram is great for posting in-progress bits and for quick browsing, but I do miss the more in-depth interaction of blog-reading and commenting. I feel like I got to know people a lot better than way, and vice versa.

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    1. Oh dear, you follow people who say important worldy things on twitter? You should unfollow them! That’s no fun at all. I technically have a Twitter account for sewing and one for family/other, but let’s face it – I haven’t logged into the non-sewing account in a year! IG is a winner though – I wonder what we’ll all be using by this time next year??

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  17. Yes on the no guilt part, which I had in my reflections as well (sort of). There’s so much going around with sewalongs, challenges, new patterns that it’s hard to focus on what I want to do rather than being swept along. Sewing is our hobby, it should carry only joy!

    I’m torn regarding other social media. I’m on Twitter but it has slowed down recently it seems. I’m not drawn to IG right now and I really don’t need any more time hogs so for now I’ll pass on that. I know where to find other people if I change my mind.

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    1. The sewing world did get very busy this year, didn’t it? I used to love suggesting or hosting challenges (like sewing dares, the Sewcialist monthly themes, the Sewcial Bee, etc) but at some point I started feeling guilty for cluttering up the blogging world when there was already an overwheming amount of stuff to join!

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  18. Yes, to sewing with no guilt! It’s great to push yourself when you want to (hey, you’re making jeans, right?) but if sewing knits is what you like and what you actually wear everyday, why feel pressured to do otherwise. I’m definitely an IG junkie, but feel totally out of my element on twitter. For some reason, twitter makes me feel like I’m butting in on other people’s conversations… so I basically never comment there. Great list!

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    1. Don’t feel that way on twitter! That’s the joy of it. Any conversation is free to be entered – and if it’s not, they are DM’ing each other secretly!😉 IG is really suer friendly though, and I’d be hard pressed to choose a favourite between the two!

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  19. Thank you for number 1. It made me realise that I spend ridiculous amounts of time on a pattern I make once, then onto the next with the aim of expanding my expertise. I am pulling together a list of the styles I like to wear, and 2015 is now the year of conquering a small number of patterns that match my style list. So thank you. I feel liberated and invigorated. X

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