January is such a navel-gazing month, isn’t it? All that goal setting, planning, resolution-ing just makes us analyse our feelings, habits, relationships, you name it. Well, this January, three brave ladies (Athina, Lisa and Hattie) have decided to put their stories out there and challenged the rest of us in the sewing community to do the same. Together they created the #smyly2018 challenge, which stands for Sewing Makes You Love Yourself. I think the clue is in the name, but in a nutshell, they are asking the sewing community to share their sewing stories, especially around how it helped us with issues of body positivity, mental health difficulties and dealing with tough situations with the help of our beloved hobby. The challenge also includes making a project that makes you feel beautiful and happy.
My January sewing queue is just insane, I have a lot of commitments and also a lot of plans that got postponed because of my sewing room revamp in late November and my loooong holiday in December. So there was no way I could take on another project to be able to take part in this challenge the proper way.
However, having read so many touching, sad, intimate, raw and emotional stories since the beginning of the challenge, I really wanted to give a shout out to all the people who already laid it all bare and spread the word on behalf of the organisers, as well as making my own small contribution.
My dad told me that when I was a child, I used to walk up to ladies on the street and pet their fury coats. It was the 80s, so there were a lot of those going around, and I was 5, so it was cute, not creepy, but the point of the story is that pretty much all my life I have been attracted to soft, pettable materials.
And that is still the case, many many years later. I love soft fake fur, fleece, minky, that thing that fluffy dressing gowns are made of, you name it, I want to just lovingly stroke it.
So of course that the last time I visited Abakhan with my friend Simona, who is a lucky devil for living 10 mins walk to the Bolton shop, I just could not stop myself from getting this piece of stripy micro-furry stuff (no idea what it’s called), like a faux fur, but with short, soft, lovely hairs. I have no idea if it mimics any real animal, but as soon as I laid my hands on it, I could not care less. It was less than a meter and I had no idea what it could be made into, but I just could not let go of it. So I brought it home with me.
But, what to make with it?
One of my 2017 highlights was launching the #FabricShoppingonTour Project, whose aim is to create a repository of locally-validated fabric shops in as many cities around the world as there are sewists.
How am I going to achieve this goal?
The approach is two-fold. I am cataloguing existing guides written by fellow sewists and already published (no commercial directories allowed, only genuine sewing people), with the link to the original blog and the year it was published. This is a great way to discover new sewing bloggers and maybe meet new sewist in your city and gain an IRL friend in the process.
However, what I am most excited about is creating purpose-made local guides for places where I could not find any blog posts about. Sure, loads of people have written about Paris, London or New York, but how about Oslo, or Split in Croatia, or Buenos Aires? My first ports of call were my friends from around the world across the sewing community, who very kindly obliged with the first few instalments, but I will continue to contact sewists around the world that I know live in exciting places. And of course, I am always accepting volunteers.
So, what’s new in the Directory since the beginning of December?
Hello, hello, darlings! Freshly returned from the virtually internet-less Cuba, where I enjoyed the most wonderful 3 weeks of relaxation, you will pardon the delay in presenting you with the customary year review + goals and resolutions New Year post.
In fact, please pardon the lack of customary reviews and goals (though I will put down a few reflections, just for records’ sake).
On the plus side, I have just about celebrated my 3-year bloggoversary, on the 31st Dec, but I was too deep in the clutches of jet lag to be coherent enough to write about it. However, as it is customary, I have a little giveaway for you, courtesy of Simplicity patterns.