Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Top Five: reflections & goals

I should have written this post last week. There's a momentum, isn't there, to looking backwards and then forwards at the year's end?  With new ideas and projects bursting into my head - the inevitable consequence of a sewing break and a restful holiday - it suddenly isn't easy to reflect much more on 2013.

Luckily, however, my reflections tie into my goals for the coming year, so I'm going to wrap up my Top 5 of 2013 with both. I know I said it in my last post, but I have found this such a great process - I am sewing self-aware! I have focus! - that I'll get going with another linky shout out to everyone who's taken part. So many great posts, people! Such fun!

1)  Finding my style, or lack of it

I realised when looking at my top five hits that towards the end of last year, I made a string of things that really suit me. I'm not talking so much about whether the clothes flatter, although I think they do - more just that they're really me. In fact, some of the ideas for my fails were like that too - they might not have turned out how I wanted, but they're clothes that reflect who I am and what I like to wear/look like.

I never have and still don't consider myself to have a particular style. I like to be a bit of a magpie, picking up whatever attracts, and my most uncomfortable style moments have always been when I was trying to wear a trend or an idea a bit too thoroughly. This year, with the slow advancement of my technique along with the habit of showing my clothes off on this here blog, I've found that I'm suddenly comfortable making clothes for me, in very the broadest sense.

In goal-for-2014 format: carry on!

2)  Hitting my blogging groove

Hand-in-hand with the above, as I've eased into my own personal style during the last 6 months, I've also found it easier to blog in a way that feels authentic. I honestly couldn't say what the difference is, I just enjoy the writing more, find it easier and feel better doing it, and am happier with the outcome.

If I have a blogging goal for 2014, it's to find a routine or schedule that helps me blog at a regular rhythm. Finding the time, getting the photos, managing to produce fully-formed ideas - nothing earth-shattering or unusual there! I just want to feel like I've got a manageable pattern to it all.

3)  The joys and perils of sewcialising

Just over a year ago I got on twitter.  I honestly had no idea how it would change my life. Really! Through it I have met a huge number of others who sew, most of them online but some in real life too, at our Brussels meet-up  in July. The sewcialists are a gloriously funny, creative, inspiring and generally lovely bunch to share sewing (and other) stories with - and I'm very very glad I took that deep breath and jumped in.

The downside? Twitter is a time-suck-vortex (or something). Factor in blogs, instagram and Pinterest too, and judiciously reading or ignoring becomes a whole time management issue in itself.  Also, new pattern releases are even more dangerous than before - it's like having all your coolest friends at once shout BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT. Learning to step away from my Paypal account, slowly...

Goal for 2014: more :-)  Seriously, making lots of online friends is actually the best thing about my sewing life to have happened in 2013. And in real life, there's an Antwerp meet-up next Saturday (18 Jan). If you're in the area, please join us - the more the merrier! Go here for details.

4)  Sewing for others

Basically, this post sums it up.

(I'll be honest - this is taking longer to write than planned, and there's a fabric sale I have to get to :-) Priorities, people, priorities!)

5)  E n j o y

I'm allowing myself to get vague here. Basically, 2013 was a really good year for me.  All the things I've mentioned above meant that it was great in terms of sewing, and thinking about sewing, and talking about sewing. but it was also just a really good year.  I actually don't think it's a coincidence that G and the kids and I had the most brilliant summer holiday, where we just sort of connected with who we all are as a little family, and then - speaking on my own behalf, but I think it applies to us all - came back and settled into enjoying being ourselves. That's when my sewing and blogging got that much more satisfactory.

summer holidays - siblings - birthday parties - so much fun

I think that creativity is one of the biggest blessings there is in life. Connecting with it, drawing it out, can bring us so much good - and I have so much I could say about that. So much about the post-natal depression I finally (hopefully), with the help of a sewing machine, knitting needles and, yes, some fantastically good care and attention over the last four years, seem to have escaped. So much about the good it does just to concentrate on fabric and wool, even when you think you don't have time. Especially then. I want to get off to that fabric sale, so I won't go on. But I know you know what I'm talking about :-)

So, of course, I could list a ton of things I want to do in 2014.  Places to go, people to see, patterns to sew. (That last list is already long and specific!)  In the end, though, what it all comes down to, is this:

Oh look - I got all reflective there after all, didn't I?  :-)


  1. huisje boompje boefjesJanuary 08, 2014 7:37 pm

    You go Jo! Looking forward to reading about your creations in 2014 :)

  2. I think the way you describe your style is how my style works as well! So glad to have figured it out!
    It's been nice to get to know you the last few days on twitter and I look forward to more in the upcoming year!

  3. Nice post Jo, you sound like you are truly happy with who you are and where you are in your life. It reminds me of a haiku I read when searching information for our holiday to Japan last year. It said: every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. And it translates to me as: if you can see yourself, who you are, as 'home', then you'll find the 'home-feeling' everywhere. Your post gave me the sense that you are in that place. I have gotten there too last year and it's such a great feeling!

    Here's to staying 'home' in 2014 :)

  4. I think Inge summed it up pretty well!! Here's to a great 2014 full of fun, family and fabric x

  5. the same wished right back at you!

  6. i love your list - very inspiring...I'm only now getting around to writing up something similar. I'm interested in the Belgian bloggers meet-up! Are you going (I might need someone to hold my hand the first time!). x

  7. Hi Laura - yes, I am going, that would be so great if you come too! I was thinking of emailing round to see if anyone else Brussels-based wants to take the train together, there's about 4-5 of us. Why don't you send me an email and I'll make sure to include you too? runiellon13 (at) gmail (dot) com



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