2012 in review

at the end of 2011, i felt like i was at the top of a water slide, looking down, feeling the water rush past me, but hesitant to let go.  i had just turned 30, i had just been invited to participate in season 3 of Project Run & Play, and i honestly didn’t feel ready.  my blog was still in its infancy and not generating much traffic yet, i wasn’t used to drafting my own patterns, and i would need to sew all during the Christmas season to be ready for the early January start date.  i had no idea whether what i made would even turn out, whether i’d have the time to participate while working 4 days a week, how i’d get photos during the dark and rainy winter months, whether anyone would even vote for a blogger they’d never heard of.  i almost said no.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 8.49.00 PM

but i said yes.  i let go.  i flung myself into the challenges, trying as hard as i could.  i was as creative as my skills let me be, i pushed myself, i tried to bring new ideas to the competition.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 8.49.43 PM

i tied Kate for fourth place in a double elimination.  i was proud for making it as far as i did, but pretty disappointed not to make it to the finale.  being voted on/judged by the public was really hard on me, and it seemed people didn’t “get” my designs like i’d hoped they would.  however, the support i received from you guys during my recap post carried me through, and from it all i gained new confidence.  i’d never sew (or blog) the same way again.  i think about the presentation and photography of each post more carefully now, and i have no fear of creating my own pattern if i need to.  i’m not afraid to take more risks, and i don’t hesitate to support others that i see putting themselves out there and trying new things, too.  because of that quick growth and shift in perspective, project run & play was the best thing i’ve ever done.

it also led to some super fun opportunities.

jess noticed how i remixed her junebug dress as my sweet tartan dress in week 1, and she asked me to co-host a series with her.  vintage may was born (click icon to see my vintage may posts).

Vintage May 2 (1)

i then acted as a “tim gunn” for jessica as she won season 4 of PR&P, an awesome thrill to see a friend succeed where i hadn’t.  i wished we had a movie challenge like they got.  after her season was over, we brainstormed a way to create our own movie challenge that we could sew together for fun and to keep pushing ourselves (and each other) design-wise.  film petit was born.

film petit by skirt as top

film petit: the life aquatic with steve zissou

film petit: amelie
film petit: fantastic mr. fox
film petit: psycho

film petit: moonrise kingdom

my summer was full of guest posts, and i learned how to write better tutorials.

fruit stripe skirt tutorial

and during KCWC in the fall, Rae and I had a little sew-off.  also super fun.

Screen Shot 2013-01-03 at 9.26.14 PM

toward the end of 2012, my blog seems to have grown enough to attract the attention of people wanting to pay me to do what i love.  i now have two awesome sponsors (Britex Fabrics and Blank Slate Patterns) and i’m so grateful to them both!  it’s a dream i didn’t even know i had, to be paid to be creative and MAKE things.  and it’s coming a little bit true.

i achieved many of my 2012 goals:

  1. sew more clothes for me (i sewed a tank, bow collar shirt, two washi dresses, and a couple skirts!  here’s my sewing for women category)
  2. make at least one more quilt (i made four, plus two quilted patchwork pillows – here’s my quilt category)
  3. really learn how to sew zippers into garments (check!)
  4. work to decrease my stash rather than continuing to add to the mound (FAIL but at least it’s better organized now)
  5. maybe throw in a project for my husband?  (nope, didn’t happen)

really what i did in 2012 was let go of a lot of fears.  i’m still intimidated by men’s clothes (JUST TOO DARN BIG) and i don’t feel like i could design a women’s dress yet, but i do think i can sew from a women’s pattern and make adjustments as needed.  i now sew with much more confidence, both that i have built the skills to make what i set out to make, and also in my own creative vision and voice.  i realized i really do have ideas and they’re different from other people’s ideas and i can try as hard as i want and good things will come.


there were tradeoffs.  i love sewing and the creative/community aspect of blogging SO much, and it’s something i look forward to doing and wish i had more time to do.  my mental “want to make” list is very long.  my sewing/blogging time initially was carved out because i stopped watching trash TV in the evening, but i still often sew late into the night after the kids are in bed.  i felt like a zombie many times during the year – sewing or blogging past midnight (even past 2am on multiple occasions where a guest post was due or a PR&P project needed to be photographed) and getting up for work at 6:30 the next morning (i work at an office job 4 days a week).  i have a raging coffee addiction.  i’ve always been an athletic person but sewing fills the same “calm me down” need that working out does and i’d rather sew than go for a run, so i feel pretty out of shape these days.  my husband and i have talks about life balance.  i do feel out of balance sometimes.  i’m trying to say no more often so my schedule can be flexible.


my big huge goal in 2013 is to release a sewing pattern.  there are a lot of skills i need to learn first, but i very much want to make it happen.  and now i’ve written it down.  so it needs to happen.

and there ya go.  my 2012 recap.  thank you SO much for reading, for trusting me, for being so supportive.  it’s an amazing feeling to be taking risks and to be encouraged to take them, to be inspired by and to be inspiring others.  you’ve helped me realize i actually might be sort of a creative person.  sewing bloggers have carved out a pretty cool little section of the internet for ourselves, and i couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of this community.

cheers to 2013!

35 thoughts on “2012 in review

  1. anna says:

    love this post Kristin! You are such a creative person! and extremely talented, so glad that you’ve come to realize it. I’m amazed at all you can do in a year!! I cannot wait for your first pattern. 🙂

  2. pattern crush says:

    I started following at the beginning of 2012, and I had no idea your blog was an “infant.” In fact, you’re my favorite sewing blogger! Very inspiring to see that your hard work paid off and now you’re recognized for your talent!

    Do you have a full time job or is this what you do full time?

    Go forward and push yourself to make a pattern if that’s what you want – it will be a huge success!

    Have a great 2013. Maybe by the end of the year I will be successful enough to offer to sponsor you! (But not likely). Lol.

    • kristin says:

      Omigosh thank you so much!!!

      I work 32 hours a week at an office job outside the home. This is my “hobby” but one I can’t imagine living without, at this point. It’s also my dream job if that makes sense?

  3. Celina says:

    Wow! You’ve accomplished sooo much in a year. When I grow up, I want to be just like you ;)… hopefully I can grow and focus on my sewing blog a little more this year! I just love your fabric and pattern choices, the simple cuts and all that creativity. You are a great inspiration. Can’t wait to see what you come up with 2013, it will no doubt be amazing! Happy New Year!!! and thanks for all the support you’ve given me this year 😉

  4. Stef says:

    I love this recap!! You did so much this year!! So happy that pr&p introduced you to me – love knowing you and seeing every awesome thing you do! I’m excited to see that pattern!!!

  5. Dagny says:

    That tartan remix dress is still one of my favorite PR&P pieces. Your childrens clothing designs are very inspiring. Maybe one day I’ll try drafting my own clothes for my little girl and boy. Keep it up.

  6. carolyn says:

    I am in awe of all that you’ve achieved in 2012! To go from a newish blog to running your own series, having sponsors, and being invited to participate in fantastic projects is simply amazing! But now I know how you do it…apparently you never sleep 🙂
    congrats on all that you’ve achieved this year! You kicked butt!

  7. Sanae says:

    Wonderful post, Kristin! Like Dr. Seuss says, Oh The Places You’ll Go! So inspiring and always so creative – looking forward to your sewing pattern in ’13 🙂

  8. Jo says:

    Your comments about late night sewing when the kids are asleep are so familiar to me… Think I’m going to try to not be so tired (and cranky!) in 2013. But it’s so tempting to just keep sewing when you love it so much, hey 🙂 Happy new year!

  9. Jill says:

    Such a great recap! You are inspiring. I frequently consider giving up the blogging gig altogether, but then I read a post by you or another fresh blogger, and it makes me want to go create something. Keep it up! You’re amazing!

  10. Max says:

    You are such an awesome & inspiring girl! The moment we saw you in PR&P {I think I must have seen your stuff before then but I can’t remember} I was so excited! And I am so so so in love with your Film Petit series.

    You’re such a wonderful person Kristin!

  11. nestedinstitches says:

    you go, girl! you have had quite the year, it’s fun to hear the full re-cap, wow wow wow! and a skirt as top pattern is bound to be a-ma-zing. as far as life balance goes… totally important, but at the same time, you should make your dreams happen and do what you love to do. I’d say it’s more about organization than balance to avoid the 2 am-ers, but I have a feeling you’ve already got that covered. 😉 anyways, you’re awesome, I love your creations and style. and I’m so thankful for all of your encouragement and support. happy 2013, lady!

  12. Darci says:

    I can’t believe how much you did this year, it’s amazing. I, too, found you on PRP. You immediately caught my eye and when I discovered you are in PDX, you were an instant fav. I regularly sew until 1-2am and know that zombie feeling well ;). here’s to a great 2013!

  13. gail says:

    happy new year! okay, i knew you had an amazing year, but seeing it laid out like this is even more impressive. i seriously love your dedication to the sport of sewing, it’s awe-inspiring! and i absolutely love what you make – i have since back in the flickr days when i obsessed over your photostream :). so glad we’re friends!

  14. lucinda says:

    What a fun post to read! I had no idea your blog was relatively new – you come across as such an accomplished and talented sewist! Well, probably b/c you are!:) Thanks for sharing the journey of this past year – what an amazing one for you! The sewing world has been blessed by your blogging/sewing gifts:)

  15. Laura says:

    What an amazing year, I don’t know how you do everything you do, even with so little sleep. You are so talented and you are also so supportive of so many other sewing bloggers. Can’t wait to see what you do in 2013!

  16. Jane says:

    Kristin, what an amazing year for you!! I do so love all of your projects. That sweet little tartan dress is how I “found” you and I am so glad that I did (and that I made that dress!), it is such a sweet little dress! You are so inspiring and have such a great eye. Congratulations to you and all of your successes. Good luck on this year’s goals. Oh, and I, too, well before kiddos…used to be quite the runner…and now, I feel like the times that I could be using to go for a run, are being filled with sewing, which is both fine with me and not because I am way out of shape!…the balance struggle is tough…I’m thinking I’ll just have to sign up for a race to get me motivated to run instead of sew 😉 Happy 2013, cheers!

  17. Delia says:

    YOU are going places my friend. Your style is thoughtful, timeless, and just beautiful. I love seeing all that you’ve created in the past year and am totally impressed and inspired! I can’t believe you were in Prap just a year ago. I am so glad we are friends and that Prap sort of had something to do with it. 🙂

  18. LightningMcStitch says:

    Wonderful blog and I’ll endeavour to stay tuned for 2013. You’ve almost inspired me to start a blog, but I’ve weighed up the pros and cons and the only reasons I want to blog are:
    1: vain attempt to get invited to join Film Petit
    2: I’ve got a funny anonymous joke name for my husband thought up and really want to use it..

    …. I decided to go for a run instead!
    Happy, healthy and creative 2013 to you!

  19. Caila says:

    I can’t wait for your first pattern, friend! I’d love to be one of your testers. 🙂 And what a great year in review post–you’ve done so much this year and even better things are to come! Three cheers for a fabulous 2013!

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