Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My one year blogiversary!

This week, 12 months ago, I started sewing in earnest and tracking my thoughts/progress on this blog!  It's been such an amazing experience and outlet for me.  I've really seen myself grow over the past year and I've met so many wonderful people along the way.  You are all such an inspiration to me!!

So, I thought I would take a little stroll down memory lane and rediscover the fun, the inspiration and the tough moments along the way.

How I Got Started:
I had taken some sewing lessons (3 to be exact) from a sewing tutor I found on Craigslist in New York City.  I had always been attracted by vintage clothing and when I started to look online for vintage styled pieces, I stumbled across a few sewing blogs.  I was hooked--both on reading about other people's sewing projects but also by vintage patterns.  So I enlisted the help of the sewing tutor and bought more patterns than a novice really needs and started out.

It was a bit daunting and very slow going in the beginning.  I didn't end up finishing that 'first' dress until this year (and I took the sewing lessons in 2005).  Starting a blog about sewing and my projects really helped me to integrate into the online sewing community (which is so supportive) and encouraged me to get over my fear and really start spending the time doing what I loved.

There were two bloggers that I think really got me hooked...Lauren from Wearing History and Casey from Casey's Elegant Musings.  I loved that both wore and photographed themselves wearing their creations and did their hair up in vintage styles and really evoked the time period of whatever they were creating.  That really captured my creative imagination and inspired me to no end.  I think I have read every single post from both of these bloggers (multiple times!).  It really unleashed my own creativity and thinking around creating vintage and period pieces of clothing.

Of course there are many, many others that inspire me now but those two ladies were two of the first (thank you Lauren and Casey!)

Blogging Cohort:
I don't know if this is the case with everyone, but when you first start out blogging, do you remember the others that started out around the same time as you?  For me, my blogging cohort, has been a tremendous amount of support.  There's something about being at the same stage as someone else--especially in those first few months.  My blogging cohort consisted of: Enken from Whipstitch Sewing, Karin from Ancien Nouveau, Stephanie from the Naked Seamstress, Susannah from Cargo Cult Craft,  Lisette from What Would Nancy Drew Wear?, Rachel at Boo Dogg and Me: A Sewing Journey, and Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons.

Inspiration and Support Along the Way:
 First and foremost I wanted to give a special thank you to my partner, David--who has been so supportive of my hobby.  He's the photographer behind nearly every photo and is so enthusiastic about my projects and outfits (the first words out of his mouth are always "WOW!" or "That's my favorite so far" encouraging is that?  I love it!!)  It's been so helpful to have someone who is so supportive.

I also wanted to take time to mention two other bloggers that have left a special mark on me.  First is Trudy from Sewing with Trudy.  Trudy was one of the very first bloggers to comment on one of my posts and welcome me to the sewing community.  Trudy is such a generous soul and I find that when I go onto a new blog--she's already been there and is so encouraging and enthusiastic--it really is so supportive of new bloggers.  Thanks Trudy!

Also, another big support was Sarah from Rhinestones and Telephones.  I'll never forget a time when I was a bit down and hadn't created anything in awhile and hadn't posted anything in over two weeks.  I received this lovely email from Sarah saying she missed my blogging.  That was the sweetest thing ever!  It totally revived my creativity and got me back in the saddle!  Thanks Sarah--your email was so timely and sweet!

Another big moment in my blogging life?  Meeting up with Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons!  Meeting up with another blogger is a bit nerve-wracking!  But Tilly and I had such a was really so much fun!

I also want to thank all of you for coming with me on this journey and being so supportive!  It really is a lovely community we all share, isn't it?

Project I am the most Proud Of:
Ok, onto the project I am most proud of...which is definitely the dress that spanned space and time (my very first dress--revisisted & refitted 5 years later)

Hardest Moment:
Hmmm....the hardest moment from the last year.  I must admit it was probably the end of May/beginning of June 2009.  There was a lot of drama happening at my (now previous) job.  It was towards the end of Me Made May and I realised I hadn't sewn enough garments to fully participate.  I was feeling like everything was taking me forever to sew and that I was losing momentum (probably because I was so worn out from other stuff going on).  It was sort of a moment when I thought "what am I doing?  Can I keep this up?"  That's when Sarah sent me an email and it was all I needed to snap out of the weird mood I was in and focus on what I really wanted to do---sew!

Ideas that Didn't Pan Out:
Remember my accessories calendar for 2010 (don't worry if you don't, because I have trouble remembering too).  It was such a good idea but given the speed at which I started out sewing, was probably a little too unrealistic.  Maybe I will revisit it in the future!

Project I Would Most Like to Redo:
I feel a little bit bad for the recipient of my very first sewn gift (my sister). While I think the coasters turned out great--I think I could do so much more now :-)

Easiest Project:
This is a bit of a toss-up because in my mind, easiest and quickest still are so closely related.  But I think the easiest project had to be the 1930's lounging pajamas.  It was the first time that I really worked with nice material (stretch satin) and what a difference it makes.  Plus, this outfit didn't have any closures.  I have to say the hardest part was the belt--but even that was straightforward.  I must make this outfit again soon!

Quickest Project:
 I think one of the quickest projects I have made is the Simplicity Repro pattern hot pink blouse:
I don't know why but I really ripped through this pattern.  I was so anxious to get it sewn up that I did it really quickly.

Piece of Clothing I Wear the Most:
Without a doubt, this would have to be the 1941 Simplicity trousers (from the photo above).
I wore them just yesterday and must wear them at least weekly.  They are very versatile and comfortable.  I love them and plan on using the pattern to sew up another pair again!

Most Surprising Project:
Also a definite answer for this one is the 1940 skirt pattern:

I don't know why I don't get as excited for skirts as other items of clothing but this skirt pattern is amazing (especially with lightweight wool).  I LOVE it!!!

Scariest Moment: 
Until recently, I found doing buttonholes really scary.  My first shirt with several buttonholes was the scariest!  Also, since I had been having problems with my buttonholer.....there was a lot of anxiety around doing these buttonholes:
Luckily, the buttonholer cooperated--but I was definitely nervous!!

Ideas and Dreams for the Future:
I have loads of ideas and dreams for the future.  In terms of blogging, I would love to play around with the format of my blog a bit more--try out different styles.  I am definitely blogging more than when I first started--post ideas are coming much quicker now!  I love it!

In terms of sewing, I have tons-o-ideas!  I am definitely sticking with the 1939-1940-1941 time period for the time being.  I would like to get a bit quicker with sewing.  It's not that I am slow, it's just that I have been in a mindset for so long that I need large chunks of time to set aside to sew.  Now, I am realizing that I can do quite a lot in an hour here and an hour, I am trying to keep that up!

Most of all, I am excited to share this journey with you!  Thanks for reading and sharing your own thoughts!  Here's to another year of sewing!!!


  1. Congratulations and happy "Blogiversary!"
    You've come a long way, baby! It's been great watching you take these projects on, and I've loved seeing you improve, gain skills, and really get excited about sewing. You look great in the fashions of the 30s and 40s, and I've loved finding settings in our beautiful wee village, in which to showcase your handiwork.
    You are beautiful, creative, driven, and [rowr], and I'm the luckiest man in the world to be with you. Keep sewing!

  2. I only found your blog last month, what a lot i've missed out on! Please keep it up as I'm enjoying it so much :-)

  3. This was so much fun to read! Happy anniversary!

  4. Debi, this is such a great post! I love each of your projects, including your newest, which I haven't commented on yet.

    I think my favourite is your 30's lounging suit. I remember when you made it and I excitedly called in my husband to the computer, saying I MUST have one of those. The cut of the garment, the navy with hot pink... it is so stunning, and quite unlike anything I've ever seen in the blogosphere. I've never found a similar pattern, but seriously lust after it -- there is just something so gorgeous and luxurious about that garment.

    Can't wait to see what you make next, and thank you for such a great blog!

  5. Many happy returns of the day! Keep the inspiration coming. I really enjoy seeing the items you make and drawing inspiration from them as well!

  6. Happy blogging anniversary! Lauren and Casey are the ones who got me hooked, too.

  7. I'm really glad I found your blog, we have similar taste and your projects inspire me. I'm playing with the idea of making a few dickeys to go under my sun jacket. :)

    I so noticed the accessories series the other day when I was reading up on your old posts. Do think about bringing it back, there's so many weird/chic vintage accessories patterns out there, and you rock the early 40's so well.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your blogging and sewing history! Happy B-Day!

  9. Happy anniversary Debi -what a truly fab and successful year you've had. I just wanted to say a big thank you - your comments and support have encouraged me (a new blogger) in much the same way that Trudy encouraged you. Here's to another fabulous year.
    PS. Your partner's comment made me weep into my coffee (I'm a bit of a softy!) x

  10. I've only recently found your blog, and I'm really enjoying reading through it. Congratulations on your first anniversary - I'm sure there'll be many more.

  11. Congratulations on your anniversary, Debi. You are a source of constant inspiration and I enjoy every post you up, you're lucky to have such a partner of impressive, but you are worthy of it. I was moved by your post today.

  12. Congratulations on your blogiversary! I have only just found your blog but find it very inspiring. Looking forward to seeing what you do in the next year.

  13. What a lovely blog post. You've come so far.

  14. Happy Blog Birthday! I had NO idea you'd only started out a year ago! Well done and huge congratulations! You are making amazing things, and really am an inspiration for others (especially when day jobs are so time consuming) as we can check out your creations and live vicariously through you!

  15. Happy anniversary! What a tremendous year, you've been a source of inspiration for me since I found your blog, I think your creations are fabulous! Keep up the good work x

  16. Congratulations on meeting the one year mark. It sounds like you've really enjoyed the journey. I love the "dress that spanned space and time." Gorgeous!

  17. Ohhh, I love your blog and loved reading your post and like Rosy I was moved! Happy anniversary :)

  18. Congratulations! I only found your blog quite recently and I didn't realise you were relatively new to sewing. Your garments are really stunning and so beautifully photographed.

  19. Congrats, and I am really looking forward to the next year!

  20. Awww... happy blogiversary! You are an inspiration, and it's been great blogging along with you - and meeting you was such fun!

    My friend and I are cooing over David's comment - so sweet!! xx

  21. Firstly: happy blogiversary!!! How exciting that you've been blogging for a year--you've accomplished so much! :)

    You do not know how much it meant to me to hear that I was one of the people that inspired you--that totally makes my day (and I admit, humbled too!). You inspire me with your enthusiasm. ;) You are so talented with sewing--I cannot wait to see where you go in the next year with it! :D Keep it up!!!!

    ♥ Casey | blog

  22. Happy blogiversary!! In a year you've improved your sewing skills, made some gorgeous, wear-forever pieces and met a ton of other crafty sewing people. And inspired people along the way too, I'm sure!
    I hope you keep blogging and sewing, you have such enthusiasm and a great vintage style :)

  23. I am in awe of you - I had no idea you are relatively new to sewing. Happy blogiversary! I am so inspired by what you sew & the outfits you create- my fave has to be the blue tartan outfit showcased in cobbled streets- it is forever etched on my memory as being such a complete look.

  24. Happy blogiversary to you!!!

    What a wonderful post, Debi! You are a very, very talented seamstress. I look forward to your posts and I love seeing your designs.

    Thank you so very much for mentioning me. *blush* That has to be one of the kindest things someone has done for me. It's so nice being your blogging friend. :)

    My VERY favourite things you've sewn (and these are super hard to pick!) are your Simplicity trousers, your blue blouse with the hot pink buttons, and your new gray jersey dress. You have a wonderful sense of style and are an inspiration!

    Keep up the amazing work and I look forward to reading and seeing more!

    Sarah :)

  25. Congratulations! You always make such wonderful wearable garments and I look forward to many more of them. :)

  26. Congratulations Debi, what a wonderful and reflective post! For a newbie like myself, you are a constant source of inspiration! I love your blog, hope you keep it up for many years to come.

  27. Happy One Year! I really enjoy your blog and your attitude. Your work fits in so well with the environment you live in. Kind of a fantasy for those of us in the states. Keep it up!

  28. What fun reading your sewing story! And here's to many more years of happy sewing!

  29. I can't remember If I congrats you yet or not and I couldn't see a comment from me but if I have it dosen't matter.

    So corgrats and please keep blogging. Your blog is such a LOVELY read and a nice refresh to my day. Thank you.

  30. Congratulations on this and happy anniversary.

    What a good idea to take a little look back and reflect on what worked and what didn't.


  31. I loved reading this! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. Your blog and your creations are lovely and inspiring. Here's to another year!

  32. Well, a nice opportunity to nominate your blog for a One Lovely Blog Award. Congratulations!

  33. Happy (belated) one year Blogiversary! It's truly been a pleasure stopping by your blog each week to take a peek at your latest finished project.

    But when I think of you, I always think of you wearing your very first dress. It's lovely, and so are you!


  34. Happy anniversary!
    Your blog is just so lovely and this post is yet another wonderful addition.
    You've accomplished so much in 12 months... you've inspired me to get my act together again. I've definitely dropped off the twig lately... time to get back on and get that sewing machine revved up! Thank you!

  35. Wow - the things you make are stunning! Congratulations with such a nice blog - doing so well after just one year!!!


I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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