A 99th blog post - thoughts and reminiscing

By Victoria As-it-Seams - 09:32

It's my blog-aversary... Actually it's not really,this blog began two years ago, in April, But this is my 99th post, and that's enough of an excuse to pause and reflect.

I've been really pondering where all this sewing thing is going.
I have a fabric stash that has grown and grown (thanks in part to Paris Sew Social) but also because of my insatiable ideas. I look at piles of folded fabric and think - that's supposed to be my swishy summer maxi skirt, and there's would-be beach dress, and that's a pair of shorts for Missy, and there's a little skirt... and ... and...

And of course I have just a few spare hours a week and so the fabric remains folded on the shelf, and I have an awful sense of time running through my fingers.

It will be autumn soon - and then my little girl will be growing up, and next summer I imagine she won't want to wear a vintage-ish summer dress. I start to have slight sewing panic.

And then it all starts to seem ridiculous. She doesn't NEED that new dress. She has a rail full of dresses that still fit her that she barely wears. And I don't really need another dress either. So what is all this sewing, and blogging, and stressing really for?!?

And then I look back at the things I've made over the last two years. There are 99 blog posts here, and I guess 75 feature garments for Missy. 
75! That is crazy! She wears school uniform five days a week. It's no wonder that some of the things I've made seem to have been outgrown before they've ever been fully worn.  
Like this blouse...

This blouse was my first ever blog post, titled; 'It started with a 'Fat Quarter'
Yes in one idle moment I bought a fat quarter of fabric on eBay, before I even knew what a 'fat quarter' was. The original post is here. And here is little Missy, two years ago aged three, when I was still trying to take indoor photos. Missy's cheeky dimpled smile is unchanged though. The sleeves were way too long then, with the cuffs turned back, and I improvised with bias trim round the cuff seam.

Back then it was 'dress length', now it's definitely a blouse.
When I look at it closely, I can see how much my sewing has improved. I made my own piping for this, but didn't know I should use a zipper foot to make it.  And the pattern is an improvised hack, based on Straight Grain's bubble dress, with added button placket and box pleats.

I took these photos a few weeks ago, um months, when the buttercups were still out, and I hadn't yet cut Missy's hair. 

Since then I've been hit by blogging blues. For one reason and another, we've had a really rather difficult summer, and haven't managed to get away for a proper holiday. I'm finding it hard to manage all the tasks of family life, and work. And increasingly I find the face we present online hard to sustain. I look at other bloggers pix on their instagram feeds and facebook and their blogs, and see lovely holidays and children and it makes me feel a little overwhelmed. And I know that other people might look at my photos and feel the same. So I feel I need to add some words of honesty to balance out the 'online facade'.
 I live in a small house, and sew on the kitchen table. I don't have lots of spare cash for beautiful fabric, it's a little treat to myself. My children are gorgeous beyond compare, but they also stretch me to my limits, and I get tired and grumpy. 

But I am also learning to count my blessings, to see these magical dark eyes of my Missy, to perceive the reality around me, rather than the unreality of social media and perhaps to slow down a little and pick the buttercups....
Oh, and also to start to think about my 100th blogpost...

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  1. I love when the people behind the beautiful blogs and sewing I admire and long for give a little dose of reality! I know you all work very hard to showcase your sewing in the best way possible- as you should- but does sometimes lead to a bit of a false image and while most of the time I am inspired, I sometimes get a little down about my skills, or my stash, or my sewing space, or my daughter's picky style that is diverging from mine ;) Thanks for keeping it real and congrats on 99 posts-- I know it's hard work, but please know we are enjoying it and appreciate it! Sarah: crjandsbj(at)netzero(dot)com

    1. Thank you Sarah, everything you say I recognise so much. I value the friendship and support and fun of the blogging community, so will keep going, but just need to learn not to compare too much. And yes 'picky style', my Missy is definitely getting more assertive! I just need to sew more for me!

  2. What a great blogpost, Victoria!
    Looking forward for your 100th blogpost!

  3. I enjoyed reading this very much though I am sorry for the difficult summer. Like the previous poster, I appreciated the reality. Your daughter is truly beautiful and the photos are gorgeous. And I, too, am often struck by how many things I've sewn that have not been worn "to the fullest." It makes me look at my fabric stash with considerable guilt, but also inspires me to sew more deliberately.

    1. Yes, it's funny how my stash also has a 'guilt' factor. I'm also learning to be more thoughtful about my sewing. I think that means more sewing for me!

  4. What a wonderfully honest post. I enjoy reading your posts and seeing what you have been up to. I think it does all get overwhelming, and you're right in pointing out that the online world often does not represent the total picture. I'm sorry to hear that the summer has been difficult (our children know how to push our buttons, don't they!), so hopefully the autumn will be a time of inspiration for you! I am glad to know you will keep posting and sewing!

  5. I ask myself the same question when I opened my daughter's closet but then I realised I don't do it just for her but for us. I need that "exercice" too. It's my pleasure and with a small baby on my arms again I've come to understand that this (blogging included) is just a part of my life that I can pick up any time and sure isn't the most inportant part of it... Does that make sense? I hope so... A big kiss and I hope you can fight those sewing blues away soon. 😊

  6. gorgeous post Victoria! hang on there my friend, I see a lot of this "back to reality" in bloggers that started blogging around the same time. I am there too, not wanting to feel any pressure from the internet world, wanting to enjoy real life and my people who matter the most. I think we did talk about that when we were wondering the streets of Montmartre . Actually I think it is a mature way of seeing things, refocusing on the all most important: relationships. I am sorry the summer wasn't as good as you expected. I do think of you a lot and I hope for peace and joy. I love your sewing and I can't wait to see more, but we all know that we don't sew for a living and that we only have a few hours a week to ourselves. so we'd better enjoy these hours and not panick about making the coolest latest trendy pattern, or comparing to others. just enjoy!! your kids are so beautiful and so is your soul. Miss you.

  7. I also loved this post very much. It's like reading about my own life. I recognise every little thing in your post, sewing at (a tiny) kitchen table, wanting to buy all that beautiful fabric that i see on other blogs but just not having the money and not being able to have a "proper" holiday. It stings, I know, but then i look at my beautiful children and I feel truly blessed. My 12-year old son, who is already outgrown me but will always be my little boy and my 5-year old daughter with her bouncy blonde curls and big blue eyes who always wants to cuddle. Don't get me wrong, I love my life and the kitchen table is as good a place to sew as any but sometimes....
    So reading your post and how you deal with things really gives me a boost. Lot's of love from the Netherlands and keep on sewing!

  8. A lovely blog post, and kids indeed know how to push your buttons. I am a calm person, but somehow my kids are the only ones that can make me really angry.

  9. I certainly love to seeing those dark brown eyes. I think we all have experienced the feelings you are describing Victoria. Let's just enjoy sewing and sharing and encouraging each other :)


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