A Fresh Start...

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

I have spent the last couple of days, flicking through everyone's Top 5 Hits and Misses, and have enjoyed reading everyone's personal thoughts on their sewing journey. It's nice to get an insight into people's feelings towards what they feel they did and didn't achieve this year.

However, I felt that I couldn't contribute a post of my own, because I hadn't made enough garments to even warrant a top 5.

So what really struck a chord with me today was Rochelle's 'anti-roundup'. It struck the chord in me that isn't always positive, and the part of me that compares my work to the work of others. 

What I forget often, is to look at my achievements this year through reality-tinted glasses.

I have really only been sewing for just over a year. I started the year not being able to read a pattern. I didn't know what a notch was. I didn't know what a grainline was. I didn't know how to think in 8th's of an inch.Yes, I didn't make hundreds of garments. I didn't even make tens. I think in total I made a grand total of 15 garments. Adding in 6 gifts brings it up to 21 items. 

It's nothing to write home about when held up against some bloggers, but it's actually more than I thought when I started this post. 

The stupid thing is, I do know that it took me time to get going, and to gain confidence in my ability. One of my biggest fears in life has always been failing, and what would be worse than to fail at your life-long dream? 
I didn't want to make mistakes, I didn't want to buy fabric and end up ruining it. So I read a lot of books to try and understand what I was doing before I did it. It helped, but I wish I wasn't too scared to just try. It really was your support that pushed me forward.

Looking back at the past year, I can see the learning curve that I have been on. I am amazed at how much I have learned in that time, and how much I now understand about sewing, and fitting and the construction of garments. I'm also amazed at how much more there is to learn, and I'm excited for it. 

I am happy to say that I wear what I have made. That is the most important thing. I think if I looked back at a small collection of garments that I didn't wear, or were unwearable, I would be more than a little upset.

That being said, I do feel that I'm still finding my feet in terms of my style. Looking back, this year was about learning about the construction of different garments and expanding my skill set. Like Rochelle, next year I would like to distill down my sewing to patterns that truly reflect my style and the way that I want to dress on a daily basis. And of course, not having a new pattern for every garment would increase productivity!
Not that I want to be churning out garments, but it would be nice not to spend my free time constantly tracing when I could be sewing something that I will love to wear, and will make me feel like me. 

So here's to 2014.
Here's to more positivity.
Here's to sewing for who you are, and who you want to be.
Here's to learning.
Here's to trying.

E x


  1. Keep at it! I am also my own harshest critic. You make great things and I love seeing them - so let the positivity flow in 2014!

  2. I've always thoughts it's better to have a small, perfectly curated wardrobe full of things you love & wear rather than an overflowing wardrobe dull of things you don't wear. Sometime it's hard to remember that when looking at the sheer number of clothes some style and sewing bloggers have.

  3. Emmie, 21 items is loads you crazy woman! It can be so hard to find time to sew I think even 1 item a month is good going! I totally understand about wishing you'd got more of those ideas made though! It's been lovely getting to know you in 2013 and looking forward to more Spoolettes fun in 2014!

  4. Hi Emmie - you are so talented - keep sewing your good quality loveliness! I wish I could have made 21 items last year! There's always so much to learn and I've been sewing for 30 years. My favourite items have been the Anna dress and Mathilde blouse you made and I keep revisiting those posts to help with my sewing :) Love your blog - and look forward to seeing what you get up to in 2014 x

  5. Thank you so much Lara, that's very sweet of you to say!

  6. you too hun! I need to come visit you soon! I did think it was less when i started writing, I know its not bad, I just don't feel like I have many handmade clothes, but am looking forward to changing that!

  7. I know, people were saying they had made so many things, I was shocked! Unfortunately my wardrobe is in fact full of stuff I don't wear and have had for years now, I really need to clear out!

  8. Will do, thank you !

  9. Fabulous post, Emmie. Somehow I hadn't realised this was your first year sewing, you're a natural! Happy New Year and I hope 2014 is everything you want it to be.

  10. Happy new year! Good reflection on 2013. I don't think it's helpful for any of us to compare ourselves to others as we're all so different, so a personal reflection on growth and learnings is much better. I think we are at similar stages in our sewing 'journey' as I feel like this year has mostly been about improving my skills rather than making useful, wearable garments. I hope to make many more wearable everyday garments this year too.

  11. Think 15 is a lot to be proud of! I did the same, and was surprised it even came to that much, and I've been sewing for a couple of years. I think you've done really well in a short space of time - and are even part of the Minerva network (how I found your blog!). I think all of that is super impressive. Keep up the good work!

  12. A Stitching Odyssey1 January 2014 at 20:47

    You have so much to be proud of Emmie, so focus on that and don't bother comparing yourself to others. I know we all do it sometimes, but it's totally pointless and useless. I love your objectives for 2014 and I can't wait to follow along on your exciting journey!

  13. Thanks Marie! I love following yours! x

  14. Thank you Helen :) x


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