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.
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.
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.
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.
my summer was full of guest posts, and i learned how to write better tutorials.
and during KCWC in the fall, Rae and I had a little sew-off. also super fun.
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:
- 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)
- make at least one more quilt (i made four, plus two quilted patchwork pillows – here’s my quilt category)
- really learn how to sew zippers into garments (check!)
- work to decrease my stash rather than continuing to add to the mound (FAIL but at least it’s better organized now)
- 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!