Monday, December 30, 2013

Top Five of 2013 (Part 2)

Reflections and Inspirations

Hand carved wooden tailor at his treadle sewing machine
(from Malawi)

1. Time
There just seems to be never enough time. So I think the answer is to just relax and use what time I do have to the best advantage.  Even if just a few minutes a day, but very focussed.

Last year Kayotic Sewing hosted a 20 minutes a day Sew Along on Artisan Square. This was a great help, even when you are tired and don't feel like it, 20 minutes is not long and it is surprising what you can accomplish in a short period of focused sewing.

2. Being Realistic
About my sewing ability, my time (as above!) and more importantly what will be worth sewing for my body type. A case is point was a 1970's jumpsuit I planned to sew for a Disco party early this year. I found a pattern (picture above), bought the shiny blue fabric (think Abba) and proceeded to cut and sew the image on the right. I am 5.1" tall. When I tried this on, I looked like a fat clown with billowing baggy pants. I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture.

If I had looked objectively at the drawing I would have seen that this was not a style for my body type. Plus the line drawings are not realistic.

3. Why I sew
I sew because I can. I sew because I like to. Easy as that. It is also nice that I can wear things that no-one else will be wearing and it has made me more aware of the actual high cost of mass produced low cost clothing. But, sometimes I find myself getting stressed out (mainly due to point 1 above!) and need to remind myself this is fun. It is not a competition, this is not a race.

4. Perfection
Sometimes I can't move forward with a sewing project because it is not perfect. Many of my UFOs are just that because I can't get something perfect. I think I need to learn that in many cases (not all!) good enough is OK and just move along!

5. Comparing myself to other sewists.
While blogs are a great source of inspiration (see point 2 below), they can also be a great source of unnecessary competition if you let it. There are people out there who hold down full time jobs, have children and whip up new outfits all the time, and if you are feeling a little down on yourself for lack of sewing, can make you feel inadequate! Again, I need to remember that it is not a competition. It is FUN!


Limoncello, Ottawa St, Hamilton
November 2013
1. Sew meet -ups
Without a doubt meeting local sewists in person this year has been amazing inspiration. Very few of my real life friends sew, so to meet other like minded people is great. In the Toronto area I have been to three meet-ups this year. As well as the exchange of ideas, tips and hints, we have also swapped patterns and fabric. Great fun!

2. Sewing blogs
This goes without saying that sewing blogs are a great inspiration. There are those blogs where people are now pursuing their life long goals and selling their sewing patterns, sewing books or courses, but I also like the little blogs where I can identify with people like myself and gain inspiration. Those people who manage to past a couple of times a month but detail what and how they made something.

This is actually a fondant decoration that was  on top of my Birthday cake

3. "Did you really sew that yourself?"
I'm not going to lie, but I am inspired by people asking me whether I made something. But better is them not asking and then finding out later that I made it (then I like to think it looks professional enough that they assumed it was store bought!

4. It's in my genes!
I was taught to sew mainly by my maternal grandmother and helped along by my mum. My grandmother used to take my sister and I out and choose several pieces of fabric every year and she made dresses for us.

I reflected on this earlier this year as part of the Sew Grateful Sewing Week.

Part of my fabric stash. What doesn't get used I should look at donating
5. Those that want to sew but can't
I joined Kiva a while ago and because of my interest in sewing I choose to loan money to those setting up sewing businesses. It makes me realise how little it take to help someone change their life. Closer to home I want to try and donate or recycle by unused fabric and patterns/ notions to those who can't afford their own.

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