Sewing Slowly and Other Ponderings

Greetings, Friendlies!

I have nothing new to show you today, yet I’m still feeling an immense sense of accomplishment. Last Year Jenny would scoff at me for my twenty-minute-a-day sewing goal (she was a little hoity-toity, if you ask me. . . ); even Just a Few Months Ago Jenny was quite the fervid sewer, often spending hours and hours at a time trying to complete a dress for the next day or attempting to sew up a shirt to wear out that night. But those Jennys (Jennies?) were stressed out and tired and were too focussed on having something to wear that they never took the time to really finish things properly. In short, they had lost (perhaps never even found) the Joy of the Craft.

And referring to my past selves in the third person is officially freaking me out, so let’s stop.

Since I have spent this year (you know, the whole month we’ve had so far) taking my time and really striving to get things right (please don’t judge me entirely by my recent collar disaster), I have found that I actually enjoy sewing again. Sure, my productivity is down–but then again, is it really?

I went searching through my blog archives (some of my earlier posts areย terriblyย whiny–I don’t recommend you read them. Honestly.) to help me remember what I made last year. And then. . . I Made a Bar Graph.

Behold:

Productivity GraphAs you can see (hee, hee–I’m still so excited that I just made a graph! Go here and you can do one, too!), garment production is down from a few months ago, but accessory production is up. My wardrobe may not be expanding as fast as I’d like, but I’m still exercising my creative muscles. Also, I’m pleased to note that I’m not making as many clothes that I can’t wear or end up giving away. That’s happy progress! (And, yes, I realize that this doesn’t give the most accurate picture since, say, a blouse doesn’t take as long to produce as a dress and it doesn’t include muslins and such–but still . . .)

So, I guess my point is this: Always, always sew at your own pace. Don’t feel pressured by those amazing bloggers who somehow manage to whip out a new outfit every week. And, if speed-sewing, fast production techniques, and sly short-cuts are your cup of tea, well then, drink away! Don’t feel guilty because you’re not using “couture,” Khalje-approved methods.

I think this principle applies to blogging as well. Blogging isn’t a competition to see who can get the most followers or the most comments (of course, this is coming from a small-time blogger with only a handful of readers and commenters–so maybe take this with a grain of salt? ๐Ÿ™‚ ). I absolutely believe you should write and share what makes you happy, as often as it makes you happy.

When I set myself the goal of posting at least twice a week, I did so because I really enjoy writing. It’s something I want to get better at. And the only way to improve at something is to ย practice regularly, even when you don’t feel like doing it.

I say all this because I amย alwaysย comparing myself to others; it is absolutely the worst bad habit I have! I am officially Working on It.

I resolve to be pleased with my own pace; to be inspired by and never jealous of the progress and successes of others; and, above all, to never be anything but myself, however wacky that may be.

And I encourage everyone who chances to read this blog to do the same ๐Ÿ™‚

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20 thoughts on “Sewing Slowly and Other Ponderings

  1. I really appreciate your honesty and the words of truth you shared at the end of the post. Why die a cheap copy of someone else when we can be the best original all of our days?!!!! Thanks for sharing.

    • So true! The temptation to say/do/make in order to be like someone else is something I have to continually guard against.
      It’s good to know there are others out there who understand ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I’ve loved your 20min/day sewing goal the minute I read about it, I’m so glad that it’s allowing you to enjoy the craft more and it inspires me to do the same! I love reading what you have to write and share no matter how quickly the posts come.

    • Awww–you’re always so sweet ๐Ÿ™‚
      You know, I think my 20 min. per day goal has yielded the quickest results and most long-lasting effects of any of my other goals. It’s been teaching me discipline–an absolute necessity for someone as moody as I am!

  3. i think i needed this pep talk as much as jenny did ๐Ÿ˜‰
    thanks for sharing – it’s good advice that i keep learning over and over and over again…one day i hope it will sink in!

    • I’m glad I’m not alone!
      It’s so easy for me to get caught up in self-comparison, but it’s so destructive! It absolutely kills creativity! Plus, it’s exhausting.
      I bet it’s already sunk in more than you think ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Haha ๐Ÿ™‚ Making that graph was so fun (nerd alert!) that I keep trying to think of other reasons to make one.
      I’ve found that it’s a fine line between being inspired by someone and trying to become just like someone. I am inspired by other bloggers’ beautiful garments or entertaining writing styles and it makes me want to create beautiful garments and write something entertaining. But I’ve learned that as soon as I start feeling inadequate or stressed or unhappy, I’ve found the line and I need to back it up and get my head on straight!

  4. Ha, I didn’t know your name, till now, so didn’t even realize you were speaking in the third person. Yes, it freaked me out after that as well! Lol. And the graph. MOST AWESOMNESS! I have a real love for geometry and attempting to learn to make my own patterns, using it. And anything made into a graph, pie, chart, bar graph, spreadsheets. All good. Oooooooh, I get goosebumps! And great graph it is too, great job. Your accessory (consumption?) that seems wrong, was sky high last month! I’m going immediately to your link and making my own graph. I can’t even type fast enough so I can get there sooner ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I hope you enjoyed your graph-making experience ๐Ÿ™‚ I love me some visual data. . .
      I know–it does look like I went a little accessory crazy! But, really I only made 8 little pouches/bags. I think I should have set my max number a little higher to give some perspective.

  5. Dude. It’s HARD not to compare yourself to other people! I just try to remember that I tend to see my own mistakes and shortcomings much more than other people do. I think most people are their own worst critic, which kinda sucks. Kerry from Kestrel Finds and Makes had a great post a week or two ago about how it’s a good idea to stop every once in a while and take note of how much you’ve learned and mastered instead of always thinking about what you still need to learn. That’s great advice!

    • I agree–I need to find and read that post! I’m actually planning a project in March in that theme. So ready to start, but gotta stay focussed!
      It’s so hard for me to balance my desire to improve with being content with where I am. I imagine I’m not alone!

  6. This is a great post. I can defintely relate to what you’re saying. The main reason I delayed starting my blog was because I knew there was no way I could post as often as most. Made worse when a blogger (genuinely can’t remember who) berated herself for *only* posting 70-odd times in a year (if this was you, please don’t take this as offense! :)), when I was busy thinking one post per week would be a good goal! I immediately thought, oh, I can never do that, there’s no point in even trying! But I did, and it’s working out. My sewing will never be as prolific or well-executed as some, but actually as long as I’m happy, does that matter? Regardless of what the inside of a garment looks like, or the blood, sweat and tears that went into it, the admiration of my non-sewing colleagues and friends make me realise that actually from the outside, I appear pretty awesome myself! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Phew! Long comment there! Sorry!

    • Haha–don’t worry; it wasn’t me ๐Ÿ™‚
      But you do bring up a good point: sometimes when we criticize ourselves we inadvertently criticize others. Perhaps, with each project report, I should focus instead on what I learned and what I’d like to do better next time without going into great and laborious detail about the ickiness of my mistakes. . .
      And I think posting once a week is a great goal. I only post twice myself; some weeks there’s just not that much to say!

  7. This is a lovely post, totally agree. Also, I am a huge fan of bar graphs. This one is even colour-coded, which makes it amazing. Now I want to make a chart of all my sewing projects!

    • It is absurd how much fun I had making that graph! Of course, I used a kids’ website, so that helped.
      Making graphs, as it turns out, really put things into perspective!

  8. Wonderful post, Jenny. Thank you! I slowed down my sewing and virtually stopped blogging in the fall. It was my first autumn as a sewist, and I think it was such a bummer and a letdown after making so many happy summer frocks. But I let myself be okay with that, and just did what I felt like rather than force myself to keep up that original enthusiastic beginner pace. It’s nice to see that I’m not alone. Great topic. And by the way, I LOVE the “Hi There!” photo of you with the sun in the background. Totally makes me smile.

    • Good for you! It took me a little longer to come to that revelation, but now that I’m there I feel much more relaxed–like I can actually enjoy what I’m doing ๐Ÿ™‚

      And thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ I spent ages trying to figure out how to get that picture there. I finally found a blog that showed me how to do it, so now, of course, I feel like a computer genius!

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