This week, 12 months ago, I started sewing in earnest and tracking my thoughts/progress on this blog! It's been such an amazing experience and outlet for me. I've really seen myself grow over the past year and I've met so many wonderful people along the way. You are all such an inspiration to me!!
So, I thought I would take a little stroll down memory lane and rediscover the fun, the inspiration and the tough moments along the way.
How I Got Started:
I had taken some sewing lessons (3 to be exact) from a sewing tutor I found on Craigslist in New York City. I had always been attracted by vintage clothing and when I started to look online for vintage styled pieces, I stumbled across a few sewing blogs. I was hooked--both on reading about other people's sewing projects but also by vintage patterns. So I enlisted the help of the sewing tutor and bought more patterns than a novice really needs and started out.
It was a bit daunting and very slow going in the beginning. I didn't end up finishing that 'first' dress until this year (and I took the sewing lessons in 2005). Starting a blog about sewing and my projects really helped me to integrate into the online sewing community (which is so supportive) and encouraged me to get over my fear and really start spending the time doing what I loved.
There were two bloggers that I think really got me hooked...Lauren from Wearing History and Casey from Casey's Elegant Musings. I loved that both wore and photographed themselves wearing their creations and did their hair up in vintage styles and really evoked the time period of whatever they were creating. That really captured my creative imagination and inspired me to no end. I think I have read every single post from both of these bloggers (multiple times!). It really unleashed my own creativity and thinking around creating vintage and period pieces of clothing.
Of course there are many, many others that inspire me now but those two ladies were two of the first (thank you Lauren and Casey!)
I don't know if this is the case with everyone, but when you first start out blogging, do you remember the others that started out around the same time as you? For me, my blogging cohort, has been a tremendous amount of support. There's something about being at the same stage as someone else--especially in those first few months. My blogging cohort consisted of: Enken from Whipstitch Sewing, Karin from Ancien Nouveau, Stephanie from the Naked Seamstress, Susannah from Cargo Cult Craft, Lisette from What Would Nancy Drew Wear?, Rachel at Boo Dogg and Me: A Sewing Journey, and Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons.
Inspiration and Support Along the Way:
First and foremost I wanted to give a special thank you to my partner, David--who has been so supportive of my hobby. He's the photographer behind nearly every photo and is so enthusiastic about my projects and outfits (the first words out of his mouth are always "WOW!" or "That's my favorite so far"....how encouraging is that? I love it!!) It's been so helpful to have someone who is so supportive.
I also wanted to take time to mention two other bloggers that have left a special mark on me. First is Trudy from Sewing with Trudy. Trudy was one of the very first bloggers to comment on one of my posts and welcome me to the sewing community. Trudy is such a generous soul and I find that when I go onto a new blog--she's already been there and is so encouraging and enthusiastic--it really is so supportive of new bloggers. Thanks Trudy!
Also, another big support was Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones. I'll never forget a time when I was a bit down and hadn't created anything in awhile and hadn't posted anything in over two weeks. I received this lovely email from Sarah saying she missed my blogging. That was the sweetest thing ever! It totally revived my creativity and got me back in the saddle! Thanks Sarah--your email was so timely and sweet!
Another big moment in my blogging life? Meeting up with Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons! Meeting up with another blogger is a bit nerve-wracking! But Tilly and I had such a blast...it was really so much fun!
I also want to thank all of you for coming with me on this journey and being so supportive! It really is a lovely community we all share, isn't it?
Project I am the most Proud Of:
Ok, onto the project I am most proud of...which is definitely the dress that spanned space and time (my very first dress--revisisted & refitted 5 years later)
Hmmm....the hardest moment from the last year. I must admit it was probably the end of May/beginning of June 2009. There was a lot of drama happening at my (now previous) job. It was towards the end of Me Made May and I realised I hadn't sewn enough garments to fully participate. I was feeling like everything was taking me forever to sew and that I was losing momentum (probably because I was so worn out from other stuff going on). It was sort of a moment when I thought "what am I doing? Can I keep this up?" That's when Sarah sent me an email and it was all I needed to snap out of the weird mood I was in and focus on what I really wanted to do---sew!
Ideas that Didn't Pan Out:
Remember my accessories calendar for 2010 (don't worry if you don't, because I have trouble remembering too). It was such a good idea but given the speed at which I started out sewing, was probably a little too unrealistic. Maybe I will revisit it in the future!
Project I Would Most Like to Redo:
I feel a little bit bad for the recipient of my very first sewn gift (my sister). While I think the coasters turned out great--I think I could do so much more now :-)
This is a bit of a toss-up because in my mind, easiest and quickest still are so closely related. But I think the easiest project had to be the 1930's lounging pajamas. It was the first time that I really worked with nice material (stretch satin) and what a difference it makes. Plus, this outfit didn't have any closures. I have to say the hardest part was the belt--but even that was straightforward. I must make this outfit again soon!
I think one of the quickest projects I have made is the Simplicity Repro pattern hot pink blouse:
Piece of Clothing I Wear the Most:
Without a doubt, this would have to be the 1941 Simplicity trousers (from the photo above).
I wore them just yesterday and must wear them at least weekly. They are very versatile and comfortable. I love them and plan on using the pattern to sew up another pair again!
Most Surprising Project:
Also a definite answer for this one is the 1940 skirt pattern:
I don't know why I don't get as excited for skirts as other items of clothing but this skirt pattern is amazing (especially with lightweight wool). I LOVE it!!!
Until recently, I found doing buttonholes really scary. My first shirt with several buttonholes was the scariest! Also, since I had been having problems with my buttonholer.....there was a lot of anxiety around doing these buttonholes:
Ideas and Dreams for the Future:
I have loads of ideas and dreams for the future. In terms of blogging, I would love to play around with the format of my blog a bit more--try out different styles. I am definitely blogging more than when I first started--post ideas are coming much quicker now! I love it!
In terms of sewing, I have tons-o-ideas! I am definitely sticking with the 1939-1940-1941 time period for the time being. I would like to get a bit quicker with sewing. It's not that I am slow, it's just that I have been in a mindset for so long that I need large chunks of time to set aside to sew. Now, I am realizing that I can do quite a lot in an hour here and an hour there.....so, I am trying to keep that up!
Most of all, I am excited to share this journey with you! Thanks for reading and sharing your own thoughts! Here's to another year of sewing!!!