Friday, June 6, 2014

Notes from an Overcommitted Hobbyist

Good morning, friends! As you may have noticed, things around this blog have been a bit official lately. For the last month, I've been either blogging about Project Sewn or participating in a blog tour of some sort. While this may not bother some people, I know that others start to get twitchy when previously normal blogs start joining up with promotional events.

I get it. It's like when Second City's Sassy Gay Friend started selling Mio, as a part of delivering a wake-up call to literary heroines. It devalued the whole series for me and I stopped watching, because water should not taste like grape candy and amusing literary criticism should not include purple syrup.   (Though, for real, the Giving Tree video is my favorite thing to happen on the internet. It should also be acknowledged that these videos exist in that morally weird space of comedic self-stereotyping, as discussed in this Salon article. The literary skewering, however, was brilliant) For sewing blogs, there is also a line for many people, when the same patterns pop up in every blog or the same promotion is heard about for weeks on end. While I love seeing a pattern on as many bodies as possible, before I shell out cash for it, it also can seem like a bombardment of pseudo-advertisement to some. That is a legit complaint.

With that in mind, I thought a little transparency was in order. If you've been uneasy with the direction of this blog in the last month, don't fret. The end is in sight. You see, a few months ago I started getting requests for the first time ever, to participate in pattern tests and blog tours. This made me extraordinarily excited, because such endeavors seemed like fun, interesting ways to be involved in our community. Plus, it was pretty cool to be asked! Unfortunately, once I said yes to Project Sewn, this meant I'd way, way, way overcommitted myself for the months of May and June. All of the unveiling dates for these projects and commitments ended up falling within a few weeks of each other. Currently, I have two more committed posts for the month of June, before the wide, clean slate of July is ushered in. I am quite excited about both of the pieces made for these posts, as they fall into a category of new-to-me sewing and stylistically unique patterns, but it would also be understandable for y'all to roll your eyes. Another blog tour, Mary? For real?

I'm right there with you. As it turns out, I hate having a full schedule of necessary projects. When it comes to sewing, I am a hobbyist in the truest sense of the word. I like to sew what I want, when I want. Similarly, I like to not sew for days on end. A few necessary projects in the lineup are fun, but I would go crazy if they were all I made. Even when I really love the pattern I'm working on, it feels more like work than my usual sewing adventures. There are instructions to follow by the letter and constructive feedback to consider. My normal sewing is more of a joyful, scattered sort of process that happens in a few hour-long bursts.

I know many sewists view sewing as their true passion, that one thing they would turn into a job, if those lucky lottery numbers ever came up. That is not my dream or the goal of this blog. It actually sounds like the quickest way to make me throw my machine off a very tall cliff. If Sam and I were independently wealthy, one of the first things I'd do is buy a kick ass, crazy expensive machine...which I'd then use just as often as my current cheapo. My dream careers involve becoming an Egyptologist or opening up a tea house/bookstore with my best friend, not sewing forever after.

For me, sewing will always be my favorite hobby. It's the thing I turn to, when work is overwhelming or my emotions are running high. I love the creative buzz that comes from it and the way time flies by without worry, as a garment is constructed. It's introduced me to the most interesting, supportive community on the internet and some true kindred spirits. So, while I will blissfully keep pattern testing (because--let's be honest--plus sizes need to be involved more in that realm) and participating in blog tours I believe in supporting, things are going to ease up around here. These past few months have elucidated what I love about both blogging and sewing, which looks more balanced than its current form.

On that note, I'm quite curious where your passion for sewing lies. Do you long to open up your own sewing studio or teach classes for a living? Or does sewing and blogging as a job sound like the worst thing ever to you? The spectrum for such a thing is fascinating, when dealing with a passionate population like ours. Incidentally, what would your dream career be, if you won the lottery? There have to be other Egyptology groupies, who've been overly influenced by one Amelia Peabody Emerson.

Note: There was no specific criticism that launched this post, in case you're worried. It's just a product of my own unease and pathological need to discuss and dissect the things that brew in my mind . 

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