What I can do, however, is all the more introspective or forward-thinking questions. It can serve as a boost for me, especially as a beginning sewer (is sewist the term? It feels strange to say, but I imagine that'll change) and blogger. Plus, I'm a sucker for lists. So, here we go, slammed into one massive (and text-heavy) post!
Top 5 Reflections/Things I've Learned:
- The sewing machine is not an object to be feared, but if you need to get yourself a cutesy, completely non-intimidating beginner's model to convince yourself of that that is a-okay. I've always had an interest in making my own garments (it started with a desire to take up cosplay), but I was terrified of my nana's and my mother's sewing machines and self-aware enough to know that handsewing was not my thing. It was even worse when I tried to use my friend's gray storm cloud of an industrial-strength one last year while working on cosplays (it didn't help that the buttonhole feature of it totally destroyed my blouse- and that was with her trying to do them for me!). It wasn't until I bought myself my cutesy little mint green Janome Hello Kitty machine that I actually felt comfortable with a sewing machine, and that has made ALL the difference.
I love you, little buddy. Guest starting my BJD, Thomasina, who will eventually show up on this blog as I venture into RIDICULOUSLY SMALL SEWING.
- Letting myself embrace the fact that I had no idea what I was doing made it possible for me to actually learn. I know that probably sounds hella weird, but it's true! I have this problem in all areas of my life: I'm so afraid of coming across as uninformed or stupid that I lie to myself and to others that I know a lot more than I do. That's a ridiculous way to be! Going into a hobby where I really had to study and embrace the fact that I knew nothing (Jon Snow) is helping me attain the confidence to, well, not know things and to respond to that lack of knowledge not with embarrassment but with excitement.
- Wearing things I've made is really satisfying! I wore my Stress-Sewing t-shirt dress to both a luncheon honoring an alum of my college and to my voice jury and I felt completely comfortable in it. I thought I'd be self-conscious, but since it's considering impolite to flip someone's skirt to see how they finished their seams or inspect a worn garment to see if the thread matches just so, I knew only I knew about the flaws of what I was wearing.
- If wearing things I've made is satisfying, giving things I've made to others is even more satisfying. Best sewing-related thing of the year was definitely making my sister the Winnie the Cooper. The Newcastle Cardigan for my boyfriend would've edged that out if I'd made it a bit neater, as he adored it (and so did his parents, something I did not expect- his Army dad actually complimented me on the workmanship of it and his British mom couldn't stop complimenting the fabric choices). Can't wait to steal that back from him tomorrow to fix it up a bit.
- It may be a silly reflection, but as this is my first year (well, half a year or so) sewing it's an important one: I really, genuinely do love sewing!
Top 5 Inspirations:
- My cosplay group at college and my cosplay friends online. If it hadn't been for the group's tutelage last year and the motivation to make costumes to go along with my friends when I met them at conventions, I never would've built up the determination to get into sewing.
- Tilly and the Buttons. It was reading her "Learn to Sew" posts that really made me feel like this was something I could do, as I actually understood things, both from what I'd learned with the cosplay group and just from how she was writing it. Looking forward to her book!
- Independent pattern companies. Seeing the incredible stuff made by companies like Colette, Deer & Doe, and Victory Patterns has shown me that I can have the wardrobe of my dreams. My fashion style is a weird mesh of feminine, flowing and effortless with futuristic, bold and androgynous, and that's kind of a hard thing to pull off using storebought clothing; by utilizing patterns from these amazing companies and using cohesive color palettes, I can make my ideal style a reality.
- A slew of different sewing blogs. Reading about others' projects made it seem so fun and so creative that I wanted a part of it! Besides the already mentioned, I really love Ginger Makes and Cation Designs. That said I'm still looking for more blogs to follow- again, I'm pretty new to this slice of the internet!
- Animated fashion designs. This is a little dorky, but man, being able to sew means if I so chose I could have an entire wardrobe based on the Disney Princesses or on my favorite video games (I could dress like I live in a Harvest Moon game!!). I'm going to go mad with power.
Top Five Goals:
- Sew more, plain and simple! By the end of the year I want a wardrobe of items I've made myself that I can wear for a variety of occasions and environments.
- Be more mindful of my technique. It's well enough to sort of be sloppy in certain things while I'm building up the confidence to do them in the first place, but if I want to improve and to have a solid foundation for my future sewing I have to start doing things right now. (Although I think I'll always be that person who'll fudge things if I can get away with it...)
- Focus on things I'll wear, rather than patterns that make me go "ooh how cute!" I don't have the budget to buy patterns that'll just linger there looking pretty.
- Have a cohesive feel to what I make. Similar to the above, I can't let myself get swept up in a pretty fabric if it won't go with anything else I own or have made!
- Get more involved in the sewing community! I don't really know anyone else who makes their own clothes (my cosplay friends sew for cosplay and that's typically it), but I'd love to make some friends who won't tune out when I start talking about fabric choices or how I want to learn a new technique- and if they can help me learn, so much the better!