I was invited by Melissa of Melly Sews to participate in a Blog Around the World Hop. It’s basically an ongoing link to all kinds of fun and different bloggers, from all over the world. The idea is that you read about who invited me, I tell a bit about my creative process, and then I pass you along to the people I invited, who will share about themselves and the people they invited next week. You get to meet new bloggers, or learn more about old favorites. Kind of fun.
First, about Melissa:
Melissa Mora blogs at Melly Sews, where she gets to combine her love of sewing, teaching and writing in one creative place. She sews in the intersection of ruffles and race cars, that sweet spot between her own girly-girl impulses and design for her two rough and tumble boys. Readers love her tutorials that make "hard" sewing skills easy and do-able. Melissa spent 12 years in the classroom as an award-winning high school theatre teacher before leaving to become a full time blogger and the designer/owner of Blank Slate Patterns, focusing on PDF sewing patterns for modern boys, girls and women. Her customers love that her patterns strive to be a "blank slate" for their own creativity. She has over 30 years of sewing experience (she started young!) and loves to teach others the joys of sewing. A native Texan, Melissa lives in Austin with her husband and two boys.
Now, let me biograph Melissa from my experience knowing her. Melissa is incredibly talented and intelligent. Remember those Bo Knows ads from way back when? They need to do new ones with Melissa Knows, because I swear the girl knows about and can do anything, from sewing to horseback riding to theater to computer stuff. Melissa Knows. And Melissa shares. She is always so giving with her knowledge and experience. She is a natural teacher. Go check her out at Melly Sews.
I wanted to share with you today one of the ah-ha moments in my personal sewing journey.
It was a little over three years ago. I had been sewing seriously, using this blog to document my attempts to teach myself to sew, for about two years. I was routinely frustrated with all my simple, stupid mistakes in my sewing. I didn’t want to try new things, because I couldn’t even master the techniques I had been practicing for the past couple of years. I was embarrassed to blog what I had sewn, because then people would see my mistakes. They would know I wasn’t perfect, that I didn’t know what I was doing and that I had no business being here, in the online sewing world. I couldn’t even go back and look at old posts because I was so embarrassed, and every comment that would come in, I was sure it would be someone pointing out all I’d done wrong. Insecure, yes.
And then one day I bought a white polo from Old Navy for my oldest. I ordered it online. He needed a new one for church and, at that point, I wasn’t confident enough to be sewing my kids anything other than play clothes. It came, my kid wore it and I noticed that the collar didn’t lay right. So I checked it out closely, and this is what I saw.
Puckers and pulling at the neckline. I had paid for this shirt. A store had sold this shirt. And it wasn’t perfect. It may seem dumb, but I stared at those puckers and I felt liberated. This sort of thing would have me swearing and declaring the project an embarrassing reminder of my failures, if I had sewn it. But I had just paid money for this flawed shirt. If I didn’t sew, I probably would never have even noticed its imperfection. Maybe, but not likely.
Because of those puckers on that shirt, I started to realize that mistakes were part of creating something, part of the construction, part of the process. And it’s okay. They happen. Sometimes a lot. It doesn’t mean I am lacking as a person, it just means I messed up and I can try to avoid that particular mistake in the future. I can forgive myself for my mistakes.
It was after this moment, that I started to try new things in my kid-sewing, like jeans. And that led to sewing more for myself. And all of that trying new things, led to me knowing how to do more things, and getting better at old things. And just not being afraid to just go for it. I still make tons of mistakes. Tons. I can’t think of one thing I’ve ever sewn that doesn’t have something about it I can point out to you that I wish I’d done differently. But I don’t beat myself up over it any more as much as I used to. I actually think, so many times during my sewing, about this collar on this shirt. Mistakes happen. I don’t have to be afraid to make them. If anything, the mistakes are proof that I tried. And they serve as a benchmark for future improvement. So let’s go make some mistakes!
Make sure to read about Melissa’s creative process HERE. And next week, you can read some personal thoughts from these two amazing women on their blogs:
Karly from Paisley Roots is mum to 5 silly monsters and brownie lover for life. She loves to sew and with her family’s "Lanky" gene’s it’s very much needed! Karly sews amazing things, gorgeous things. She has such a cool, yet practical style, I always love seeing what she comes up with. Karly has a pattern shop, with two fantastic dress patterns, that reflect her unique, modern take on kidswear. She also has a blog where she shows off her creations for herself and her children, like THIS absolutely darling outfit she made her daughter. I want that top for myself! Karly is also sweet and funny, and has great legs. She’s just all around wonderful. Read Karly HERE on her blog and shop her HERE at her shop.
Ari from Max California is just about the most amazing, coolest, sincere person I have never actually met in real life. I first saw her blog back when Vincent, her son was a baby. I browsed around for a bit and quickly came to the conclusion that this person was far more hip, exciting, and just plain awesome than I would ever be. And then one day she commented on my blog and I was pretty much completely star struck. From there I stalked her until we became online friends. It took me and embarrassingly long time to figure out she wasn’t actually from California, nor was she named Max. She lives in Australia with her husband and two absolutely gorgeous children. Ari’s style is funky and fresh, with just a touch of Geek Chic that just puts her over the top of all things Rad. Her kids’ stuff is edgy and cool, and like nothing anyone else is sewing, but also totally wearable and fun. It’s amazing. And the stuff she sews for herself? So good. First of all, she’s insanely talented. Second, she’s a babe. Proof: THIS DRESS, and so, so much more. Pretty much everything she touches turns into awesome, as you can see from every single thing on her blog HERE