I wasn’t enjoying the sewing and even though I have only two or three garments to go I have simply lost the desire to finish this year.
I seem to have had an ambiguous relationship with SWAP 2016 from the start when I found it hard to commit and get started. I didn’t get excited by the brief this year so I tried to make up my own rules. I decided I would work on my construction techniques, and chose advanced patterns and difficult fabrics (silk chiffon, slippery silk, sandwashed silk, sequins, leather, plus lots of embellishment), but I never quite got the finish I sought.
Karen Kbenco commented yesterday:
It seems to me that having a beautiful fabric in the collection, and working with extensively in the imagination, often means that when the fabric becomes a garment, there is no possible way that it can meet my expectations. However, sometimes these garments that initially are a little disappointing, not matching my inner vision, later become favourite pieces in my wardrobe.
I like most of the items, but perhaps not together (too dressy). Individually they will all become key parts of my summer wardrobe, but I just don’t want to do matchy-matchy. I will, over time, put on the various garments and show you how I am wearing them, but I have run out of puff.
I know I still have plenty of time to change the plan and introduce two or three new ideas. Last year I did make big changes (but a little earlier than this point). In an ideal world, where I didn’t have a job, family and other commitments, I might have thought about a new plan. Maybe a jersey jacket in pink, or some lilac jeans. I don’t know. But I do know I haven’t got the time or the bandwidth to rethink the whole plan now.
Of course there is an opportunity to submit two previously made or RTW items. But I wouldn’t be happy with that. And besides what I actually want to make is my complicated Schiaparelli blouse, a Chanel type jacket and the Karen dress (a kind gift from Kim) and some Vogue summer dresses. And none of these items easily slips into my SWAP.
I don’t feel disappointed. I actually feel relieved. I don’t want my SWAP plans to dictate to me at the moment. I have some difficult things to deal with in my life and I don’t really want to challenge myself in terms of sewing. So I am going to let it go now, with pleasure about what I have achieved, and appreciation of all those who are carrying on.
This gives me the space to take a little break. To sew without a deadline. And to sort out my house which is getting a bit messy and crowded. I will enjoy putting away my SWAP fabrics and patterns, and spring cleaning the house. If I can let go of worry about my unfinished SWAP – I know I will feel better. I want to say a big, grateful, thank you to the very kind people who have cheered on all my efforts and salute those who are focused on reaching the finishing line. For me there is always next year….
Kate I understand and salute you for making a decision that suits you. Take care of what matters! It has still been fun following your journey and I always love to see what creative brilliance will come next from you.
I am not sure that I CAN complete SWAP this year, though I will try. It’s not important; it’s meant to be fun anyhow.
I have loved following along, thanks for sharing so much. I understand the relief you must feel at arriving at this decision- I once was trying to knit every sock in knit.sock.love by Cookie A, all on deadlines (I think it is 19 pairs!). At one point I cut my hand rather badly, and I stood there crying because I wasn’t going to meet the sock deadline, as I bled all over the ground! Then I knew it was time to give up that project!
I have been sewing, but no photos worthy of publication. I feel a little guilty following along on everyone’s blog, and leaving mine silent. I have sewn I think 8 items, and no blog posts…
You’ve made some lovely things, but when it stops being relevant or fun, why continue? SWAPs involve a lot of disciplined sewing, which is great if you feel that you need the impetus of a group and a set of matching items. I get the feeling that you are highly self motivated anyway, and pretty organised without needing a plan.
Congratulations on doing what’s right for you. Sometimes we stick with things that aren’t right because, hey, “I’m not a quitter, ya know?” I personally could not handle the pressure of a SWAP (based on the blog posts I read of people participating). I’ve enjoyed reading your SWAP posts and seeing the clothes. Lovely colours. Have fun sewing without a plan now 🙂
Oh that’s a shame, so near to the end, but you know what works for you. If it ain’t fun , drop it HARD, I quite agree. Love that Biki pencil skirt, and look forward to seeing it again, perhaps with the Schiaparelli blouse, who knows? I was looking at some amazing Schiaparelli embroidered items yesterday, while looking for inspiration for my wondrous antique shop find, and I’d love to make something thus inspired that would work for me…
Enjoy the things you’ve made, on with the journey!
It’s been a bit like watching the TGBSB reading your SWAP posts I sensed your dissatisfaction with some of your sewing, as if the need to complete compromised your standards. You are very self aware and you know what you need in order to feel good about what you’re doing, when it stops being a pleasure and becomes a chore, it’s time to take stock.
You’re having a mental spring clean too and will feel all the better for that.
Thank you. You are very perceptive and it is so cheering this morning to read the sweet messages based on empathy and understanding.
Sewing is meant to bring you joy and it is good that you have taken steps not to compromise that by being rigid about old plans. I wish you joy all around. And I love that Biki skirt, so much style!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts at this point; lightbulb moment for me, Ithink I have been having the same type of process going on unrecognized about some of the projects and life concerns I’m balancing. Now I have to apply your example to my situation – maybe time to put away, spring clean, have a clean slate….attractive thoughts.
Sewing for yourself should be fun and relaxing. Yes, most of us enjoy the challenge of tricky fabrics or a complicated technique, but when it becomes stressful step back and take a break! Sew the things you want to. Your blouse, Chanel jacket and Karen dress sound like wonderful projects and you should enjoy the process of creating them. Sometimes other things in life become more important and you should be free to focus on your family and yourself.
It is meant to be fun after all. Stop if you want to – carry on if you want to, too much pressure from what ever direction is not good. Sounds like you need a bit of a break!
I applaud your ability to back out as you realised the challenge was not right for you at this time, in this form. I empathise as I’ve drawn back from a number of wedding related sewing tasks with great relief. Sewing should be satisfying to you and not done purely for a contest/challenge as I know you know. I look forward to seeing the things you actually want to make – and to seeing the SWAP items in a more Kate fashion. You have made some beautiful garments. My thoughts are with you as you negotiate the challenges you face.
I totally get it and commend you for recognizing that the fun has popped out of the balloon. I love the idea of SWAP but the commitment part, for me, is rather stymying. Take that break, re energize and I know you will wow us with the next creation.
Well, isn’t the SWAP ultimately about creating clothes and you love and will wear? (Not that I have ever tried it–I don’t have the dedication.) You have made beautiful things and tried new techniques–that’s certainly a win in my book!
It has all been said and I agree with everything. It is a hobby, not a job. Sewing should fit in your life not take it over, and it has been a drag this year, I could tell. Now you can get on with other things and come back to sewing when you have time and inclination, and without the pressure of deadlines. I love the skirt.
Ditto everything said by posters. It’s important that you keep sewing enjoyable. I’ve done lots of sewing jobs (recently made 67 tunics for a woman’s chorus) and always fear that making repetitive garments will ruin my love of sewing. So far, when I complete these jobs, I am energized to sew creative items for myself. And In the midst of cranking out jobs I dream of all the fabulous fabrics I can buy when finished. Anyway that’s the mind game I play.
You are still a winner, we have all seen the fantastic garments which have already been made towards this SWAP which are an asset to treasure.
Step back and do something you really want to do for a while, and well done on what you have achieved.
Good for you. These challenges are for motivation not grief, but once signed up it can be hard to know when to call it quits. As someone whose stubborn determination is often as negative as it is positive I greatly admire your decision!
I am pleased for you having the courage to be so honest. If you are no longer enjoying it then the reason has gone . I have watched your journey with admiration and you have made some delicious garments so you are leaving with a plus. Personally I get the most pleasure from going at my own slow pace and producing a few garments that I really love.
Thanks so much for sharing your process. It takes great courage to walk down one road and then, mid-journey, decide on another path. I played with the idea of doing a SWAP, but then realized that the concept is great, but the time-line unrealistic for me. I’ll enjoy seeing the garments you’ve made when your ready.
Completely understand. I couldn’t really get my SWAP going from the start this year so you’ve achieved quite a lot and have produced some lovely items. Nothing lost and I look forward to seeing each finished garment soon.
Well done on what you have sewn for it so far, enjoy spring cleaning your sewing area and plans and sew what you have passion and energy for. Good for you for being decisive when it didn’t work for you.
Do what makes you happy, Kate. Enjoy your spring cleaning and get a breath of fresh air. All the best!
I think you have hit the nail on the head with these very rigid internet sewing challenges – for those of us with other demands in life, especially when these exceed the usual norm ( I have a batch of that right now too!), then sewing must be for enjoyment and pleasure only. Good on you for making your very sound decision. You mention you have a lot on your plate, so no wonder you feel relieved to have removed a sewing plan that was not working for you right now.
The best sewing plan is the one you haven’t published. That way you can change your mind! Love the lighter coloured skirt and blouse. It is a very elegant look.
Sewing is supposed to bring us joy and not anxiety and angst about meeting imposed deadlines. You need to do what is right for you. You’ve been a fantastic SWAP cheerleader and promoter to many others, and it’s been fun to see your thought process and what you’ve achieved. But, when deadlines and imposed ‘rules’ don’t work with your ‘life’, then it’s a wise person who has the courage to know when to change course….. and puts a new course into effect.
I have just come across your blog and am loving it. I am curious to know which Simplicity pattern this blouse is?
Hi Erin, Thank you! The post is here. The pattern is Simplicty 1278.
Hi, I’m behind with my blog reading schedule so sorry for delayed response. It’s refreshing to take stock and let things go. I think your Rainshore project is more than enough to explore your creativity with/ exhaust you even before factoring in family/work etc. Have a great weekend x
Thank you Joanne. I get behind with reading blogs too – I love to see what everyone is doing, and there is a lot to learn from other, but as you know there are so many claims on our time!