Friday, July 19, 2013

Bits and Pieces...

A word of warning -this will be a bit of a mishmash of a post, I'm afraid! There are a few things I wanted to jot down so as not to forget, but nothing really felt lengthy enough to warrant its own entry. So I'll bundle everything in together and you can pick out the bits that interest you. :)

The most exciting thing - by far! - is that I've been asked by a dear friend to sew her wedding dress and four bridesmaids' dresses. It's such a thrill - think of the loveliest, sweetest, want-to-hug-her-every-time-you-see-her friend that you have...that's this girl to me. I've known her since she was ten, and the 15 year age difference between us has been steadily decreasing ever since. (figuratively, that is...) Her family is the "godfamily" to our oldest son (technically, her parents are the godparents, but she and her sister immediately dubbed themselves "godsisters" and it stuck), so it's a real honour to be able to be part of such a special and significant time.  We had a lovely day buying fabric - all of hers, half of the bridesmaids - this week, so some fairly intensive sewing will be starting very soon! I've promised her I won't be revealing any details or photos until after the Big Reveal on the day, but there may well be some panicked cries for advice between now and  2nd November! Watch this space....

Not nearly so exciting: in the last week I've had a go at stashbusting my yarn drawer. I now have a Dovetail Cowl made up from the leftover skein of my Beatnik jumper. I haven't blocked or photographed it yet, but it's been a nice project for evenings in front of the fire. Sometimes it's good to have a (relatively) instant gratification make, isn't it? To be honest, I haven't really been up to doing much more. It's been a really hectic last month, with husband away on two separate trips for work, me being unwell (which I NEVER am usually), and my work being crazy-busy and extremely challenging. I think it's all caught up with me a bit! It's frustrating, because I have all these ideas for makes and projects buzzing around in my head, but just haven't had the time or energy to get stuck into them. Still, I think I've needed to go easy on myself, and I've learned that (for me at least) creativity tends to be cyclical, with peaks and troughs of inspiration, motivation and energy. Hence the easy, sitting-by-the-fire-projects in the meantime!

If I haven't regained my energy yet, I have regained my mojo - the planning and inspiration side of it, anyhow! And I've realised a few key things about myself that seem to speed up the process of moving from the sewing "blahs" back to being excited about it:

1.   Being organised and tidy. Dull, I know, but it makes such a difference! My sewing space was a mess, and every time I went in there it was squelching my enthusiasm to sew. I don't mind a mess while I'm sewing - just as well, too! - but I need order in between projects so I'm not spending sewing time hunting through stuff and chaos to try and find what I need.

2.  If it's not working, I need to put it aside.  Your advice was what made me realise this! Instead of wrestling through a project that's only giving me grief, it's almost always better to put it aside and go on with something else. There's definitely something to be said for coming back with fresh eyes / perspective.

3.   Tackling something I've been meaning to get around to.  Finishing that modified Coffee Date Dress (see last post) was a real boost. I really hate having things hanging over me, and as a "list-maker",  I find it really satisfying - and motivating - to tick off the boxes.

4.  I don't have to make everything that inspires me.   I love reading sewing blogs. I love Pinterest.  I love the excitement of seeing something amazing in a magazine or shop window and knowing, "I can make that!" But, there are only so many hours in a day! And only so many dollars in my bank account.  I need to be more thoughtful and considered about what I actually set myself to make. It's ok to simply appreciate something for it's own sake! Adrienne put me on to a great post about this; well worth a look. :)

6.  I reordered my queue of projects.  I admit, I was a little over-ambitious in what I hoped to get done in the first six months of the year. But it just occurred to me that perhaps part of my reluctance to get up and sew might be caused by the fact that it's hard to get motivated to sew a summer dress when you're scraping ice off the car windscreen of a morning! It sounds really obvious when I think about it now, but it genuinely hadn't occurred to me...SO, now I'm just waiting for a decent opportunity to sit down and sew up my red coat. Just have to get over my bound buttonholes intimidation...The Little Tailoress has an excellent tutorial which I intend to follow to the letter.

None of the above are real ephiphanies, I guess. But I think it's helpful to know how you work best. Sewing time is precious, after all, and if there's something basic that's getting in the way, then I want to know so I can fix it.

How about you? What hinders your sewing mojo? Better yet, what kickstarts it into action? I'd love to know your thoughts - there's probably lots I haven't picked up on yet!

Have a wonderful week :)

Danielle oxo


  1. This post is perfect timing for me. I really enjoyed piecing a patchwork topper together, but now that I am quilting the patchwork to the wadding & backing I am HATING it. I just sit at my machine and stare at it, hating it and not wanting to do it. But then I don't want to start any other big projects because I feel guilty that I still haven't finished that darned quilt. SO I shall make a plan. Just do 15 minutes of it per day and slowly slowly it will get done. That way I can do other things without the guilty feeling.
    Thanks Danielle, for making me think about the WHY.

    1. I'm so glad it was helpful :) It sounds like you've hit on a great solution - there's nothing worse than a big, guilt-inducing project you're not feeling...Here's hoping it'll be done before you know it!

  2. I have trouble putting things aside, even when I know I should. For some reason I'm afraid if I don't complete it, I never will. But sometimes breaks are good. Glad you liked that post from the small's ok to just admire a new craft idea and then move on, right? I look forward to seeing your dresses revealed in November!

    1. It's definitely ok! It's a great blog - thanks for putting me onto it :)