2013 Top 5 Misses

Grainline Studio | 2013 Top 5 Misses

Now it’s everyone’s favorite…the top 5 misses of 2013! Rather than doing specific projects that didn’t turn out I’ll be doing like Sonja and talking about 5 areas where I totally failed this year in sewing. After writing them out, they actually all seem to be super related to each other, so maybe that will make it easier to work on for 2014. I hope so!

Unphotographed Garments
I mentioned this problem in a previous post, but this year I completely sucked at photographing the garments I made. This year I completed over 60 sewn or knitted objects but somehow managed to blog around 20 or so of them. Major goal for next year…blog all of the things – because I actually wear (or use) them all!

Irregular Blogging
Related to the above topic, I had a hard time maintaining any sort of blog schedule this year. I moved twice, basically started my life over, and plus, I didn’t photograph anything. All of this together = a really lame blog. I’ve already started planning and photographing things for next year so that I hopefully don’t have this problem again.

Not Making Enough Things
Okay so this one might sound strange but I feel like I only made half the amount of garments and patterns I wanted to this year. This was a pretty crazy life changing year for me so I’m not going to get too hard on myself here, but I do feel disappointed that fabrics I had planned for garments I wanted to make are still sitting under my work table in bins. Sigh… classic case of eyes being bigger than the stomach (or whatever analogy works for sewing) I suppose.

Not Making More Patterns Just for Me
A major way that I come up with new garments to release as patterns is just by messing around making myself garments with no intention of selling the pattern. This year though, I found I didn’t have as much time as I’d like to spend on just making patterns to make patterns. I got overly stressed out about releasing the patterns I did release, was super worried all the time that I wasn’t releasing enough patterns (cause there are SO many I want to get out there) and because of that I felt like I shouldn’t waste time on these types of fun projects. I really missed doing things like my seasonal wardrobe challenges that I’d done in the past, even though I usually only got about halfway through each one.

Not Having More Fun Blogging
The 4 previous fails really contributed to this final fail. This year I really I stressed out that I wasn’t posting about what people wanted to read. Not blogging enough tutorials, not responding quickly enough to comments, blogging garments that I haven’t released patterns for, or blogging things unrelated to sewing / too many personal posts. I just need to remember that this whole thing is supposed to be fun, and if I’m not having fun, most likely other people aren’t either. I’m going to just breathe, chill out, and maybe post a personal post or a cat photo here and there in 2014 because that’s what makes me happy!

36 replies on β€œ2013 Top 5 Missesβ€œ

  • Amanda

    Jen, it’s been an absolute pleasure checking out your makes as they pop up in my feed this year. Life has a way of getting crazy and you’ve done a bang up job getting everything sorted with all of the things on your plate. 2014 is going to be all kinds of rad and I can’t wait to follow along on your blog. Stay awesome xx

  • Jo

    What Amanda said!

    I’m looking forward to the cat pictures – and I promise not to shout “pattern please” every time you post anything ever

  • Rach

    I think the last fail is the most important point because you don’t need to stress out! You’ve got a fabulous blog which I love reading so you should enjoy the process.

  • Jenny

    Your last point is definitely one I can relate to. I started my blog not only to document & share my sewing projects, but also to learn to share more about me, which has never been something I was particularly good at. Sometimes I feel like what I have to say may not be of interest to others, especially when it veers away from sewing and I start to doubt what I post. But the truth is that my favourite blogs to read are those where I learn about the person writing them rather than the straight pattern review stylie-types. Of course I look to blogs for inspiration and information, but I think the beauty of this community is that we go beyond that, and we have used our blogs as a platform for making lots of relationships that we would otherwise not have had. So I guess what I wanted to say was to post sewing/ personal/ whatever… we’re here for it all πŸ™‚

  • macinic

    what they said πŸ˜‰ I just love reading from everyone, I love glimpses into getting to know people a little better as well as all the awesome patterns and makes and tutorials. So, do whatever you feel & make you happy πŸ˜‰ (types she who writes her blog posts in her head but fails to actually blog anything!)

  • Kirsty

    Oh Jen your blog is always a pleasure to read! So post whatever you want! Selfishly I do hope you work out the photographing because I always love your makes πŸ™‚

  • Helen

    I love your blog, and as the other commenters say above, post what you want to – it’s your blog after all! If people aren’t interested in cats, they’ll just miss that post out and then read the next one! I do look forward to seeing what else you make, however, so look forward to that part for next year! Happy New Year when it comes!

  • Nicole

    Wow, whatever you’re doing you’re doing well. I started reading your blog this year and from my side I see you living in a cool place, doing what you love, releasing awesome patterns and having lots of people wanting to learn from you. That’s a pretty cool place to be πŸ™‚

  • Gwenan

    Hi Jen, just wanted to say it doesn’t matter how often you post, I’m always happy when I see a post from you pop up in my news feed. I love everything you make, whether it’s a pattern for us or not. And I have to say THANK YOU again for the archer pattern and sewalong. There’s no way I would have dared to make a shirt without it (at least not for a couple more years), and making my first shirt was definitely a highlight of my year. I wear it now when I want to remind myself that I can do anything if I’m prepared to try…

  • Leah

    I know misses are personal and reflection is really important for the next step, but the part about not posting what people want to read, from an outsider/reader perspective I disagree! I only found your blog this year, and honestly, it’s one of the few I enjoy getting an update from. I like your perspective on sewing (if that makes any sense) and I guess your style sense as a result. Plus across the internet pipelines, you seem pretty down-to-earth as a person. Anyway, I’m never one to criticise sporadic posting being guilty of it myself, but definitely agree that you should be having fun with it first & foremost. Sometimes I wonder if the professionalisation of blogs generally (not a bad thing in itself I hasten to add) and added pressure that results has led to an added pressure across the whole blog world. Worries about not posting enough, or not writing the right kind of stuff or what have you… I don’t know. Sometimes I think there is a mood that blogs have drifted away from the core of why a lot of people started in the first place – connection and sharing what interests you. At least, that’s what I’m trying to remember for 2014! Anyway, just thought I’d pop in to say I look forward to what you write next year, but absolutely no pressure either.

  • gingermakes

    Oh, man, the eyes bigger than the stomach thing is pretty much the story of my life… in all areas, ha! There are so many things that I want to make and do and blog, but there just isn’t enough time! I’ve tried three years in a row to make something special to wear for Christmas– it just ain’t in the cards!

    Blogging and photographing garments really takes a lot of time– you shouldn’t feel bad that you can’t keep up with it! You’re running a business, working at someone else’s, and like you mentioned, you moved twice! Not to mention the many other responsibilities you have– there’s not much room for free time there! Don’t feel guilty about not blogging and I won’t either! πŸ˜‰

    Happy 2014! Bring on the Roamy pics!

  • Rochelle New

    Sixty sewn/knit things?! That’s incredible!! I made around 20 and I’m not really in love with any of them sadly. I definitely need to make some changes for 2014. As far as blogging, you should stop caring about what “the people” want because YOU invent your own blog readers with the content you share. It wasn’t until I sat down with a creative consultant that I realized this. You blog about whatever you want and the people who love it will find it and become loyal readers. Your readers want whatever you feel like sharing because we follow you for YOU! Just food for thought πŸ˜‰ xo

  • Jana

    What they all said! I love reading your blog not just for your aesthetic (which seems to be pretty close to my own), updates on your patterns and tutorials, but also because it’s fun to get to know you a bit through the personal posts and photos you share with us.
    I’m a little sad about the unphotographed garments because I’m sure they’re all awesome and I always love to see what you make (no matter whether there’s a pattern for us)β€”but I definitely think you should chill out and stop being so hard on yourself. (Unfortunately, I totally know that that’s easier said than done. I tend to be terribly hard on myself as well.)

    Short version: We love your blog, we love you, and just have fun blogging whatever you want to! Note that I’m saying this even though I’m not a cat person. (:
    (Oh, and just don’t forget that your fans are eagerly awaiting the release of your Morris Blazer! Hahahaha!)

  • pastryelfSamantha

    We’re all looking for an authentic experience. A piece of reality, sanity, connection that we aren’t finding in the general blogosphere. You’re a real person and we get that from your posts. That makes them that much more sweet and worth waiting for. Don’t censor yourself, those who don’t like your voice will go elsewhere. The rest of us will still be here, making your patterns and reading about experiences….

  • Kellyssewing

    I have truly enjoyed the patterns I have purchased from you. I do not feel that you have to entertain me with your blog, just because you sell patterns. I enjoy when you post, and when you don’t, I can respect that. Enjoy the new year!!

  • Kelly

    Jen, I love your blog! I actually really like its organic nature – you say something in every post and I’ve never once gotten the feeling that you’re just posting to keep up with a self-imposed schedule or anything. You come across as very authentic and it makes your voice special. I do love bloggers’ personal home and cat posts as much as sewing posts, though, so I may not be the most critical reader πŸ™‚

    I hear you about having too many ideas and goals for what you can realistically do while staying happy. I’m a total beginner when it comes to blogging (and lately it feels like sewing too!), but even I have a backlog of unphotographed and photographed garments that should be posted. And let’s not even talk about the pattern/fabric stash and all the ideas that go along with it…

  • Ms. McCall

    1. Me-Made May, or similar would clear away that backlog right quick

    2. I think in other areas of the blogosphere the so-called experts seem to think that it’s important to blog regularly, but I couldn’t agree less. Most of us read via blog-readers, when you have something to say, it pops up and I’m happy to see it

    3. I think your style pretty unique in the world of pattern making – and I think it’s closest what I think my style is in my head, and for that reason, I can’t wait to see what come up with for yourself. I can understand why it’s easy to feel like you don’t want to make things for yourself, because if you blog about it, then you’ll get tons of enquiries about the pattern. Well, look back at no.1 – there are 40 unblogged items up there. Clearly you don’t have to blog about every single item you make! Having said that, I love your style, and I’d love to see patterns and garments working their way though your creative process.

    4. I’ve thought about this one a lot. I’ve come to realise that’s it’s a little bit inevitable that you would start to care what your readers want to hear, not because of some failing on your part, but because you are having a conversation! How can any human have a conversation without in some way thinking about the other half of that conversation! And the fact that readers are customers and potential customers could only contribute. I just hope that see that we’re already having the conversation because we like what you do, what you have to say, and we’ll come back for more no matter how many cat pictures there are (and I am a dog person).

    Wishing you the best for the new year!

  • amaryllislog

    Like many others, I love your blog and your individual style. Don’t switch it up, I love the mix between sewing and life you share. I think we all plan to do so much and at the end of year we are a little disappointed that not everything is accomplished. It gives us a starting point for next year. Do what you can, you are a great inspiration to all of us, and I agree, have fun and be happy.

  • Gail

    Echoing what everyone else says – your blog is such a pleasure to read. I love your tutorials and I also love when you post projects you haven’t (yet) released patterns for or patterns that aren’t even your own, because we get to see what you sew just for yourself. You have such a great aesthetic and clean style, it’s really a treat when one of your blog posts shows up on my reader.

  • lsaspacey

    Hey, stop being hard on yourself. As one who also changed thier life dramatically I understand. I wanted to write about moving out of my apartment of 9 years, losing my job, moving back home, but all that happened without being documented and that is all right. I’m just happy to see that there is a post from you whenever you get the time. I also can go to your instagram account whenenver I need cute kitty pics, but it would be fantastic to have them all together in one place, post+kitty pics. Re patterns: I just finished only my 12th project for 2013 so I wouldn’t have been able to do anything else so a pattern release sometime in 2014 is just fine with me! Happy 2014!

  • Sewing Princess (@sewingprincess1)

    Jen, I think you summarized very well how many of us feel. i am really impressed you made 60 garments. I only made 26 and I thought I had been sewing all the time! I do appreciate your honesty though…so often it feels like blogging is a bit unreal…I think we should set ourselves more realistic expectations to avoid getting stressed about not meeting our goals. e.g. there are so many patterns I would like to sew but then realize I just don’t have enough time for it all…Looking forward to your new blogging year!

  • lisa g

    one of the things i love most about your blog is that it’s always worth reading! even if your posting wasn’t as consistent as you would like, you always share something useful or interesting. blogging and photographing takes time, so cut yourself some slack–like you said, it’s been an upheaval of a year for you! i do hope you get to sharing more of your projects, i always enjoy seeing what you’ve made. though, if you do, sorry in advance for being all “ohmygosh are you releasing that as a pattern? i need it nooooowwwww!!!” that’s just cuz i love your work. πŸ™‚

  • Kathleen

    Quality over quantity is never a miss in my mind. Discovering your blog, and specifically, the Archer button up pattern and sew along, inspired me to get back to sewing shirts and I’m loving it. I’ll bet I’m way outside your target demographic being “mom age”, but I love your style and find it both fresh and timeless.

  • Sally

    Lawdy, with what you had to work through this year… You were amazing to get ANYTHING on the blog. If you had a week to live- would you spend it trying to better your blog? You make Jen happy and we will be happy too.

  • Shell @ Sew n Sow

    I’ve only just found you again, after losing many bloggers last year then having some time away from reading blogs…sounds like you’ve come to some helpful conclusions looking back on your year. Please yourself, keep fun in your life (including sewing life) and the right people will find you at the right time x

  • Stephanie

    I’m a new reader and I’ve really enjoyed your posts and seeing what you design and make. I’ve had a really busy year with work and haven’t had anywhere near enough time for sewing, but from March things will calm down and I’m looking forward to trying out some of your patterns! Keep up the good work, and cat pictures are always welcome!

  • Chie - Vivat Veritas

    I absolutely feel the same way about all the five points you made! I’ve been blogging for the past five years, and blogging started to feel like an obligation or routine that I need to follow rather than just have fun sharing with what I made!

  • lindsey

    you are absolutely inspirational in all that you post! i love reading your blog and to be honest the irregular schedule makes it easier to keep up to date (and always leaves me wanting more!). all this and i don’t even sew (yet – 2014 is the year!!)

  • Lorna

    Ach, don’t be so hard on yourself, woman – you’re lovely, your patterns are fantastic,and your blog is great! Honestly, as Lindsey says above, you really are an inspiration. I know what you mean about more fun though. It’s so easy to become bogged down with things we must do at the expense of the things that make us happy. But we need to do both. It’s super-hard to find that balance, but I’m going to try this year. More fun, bring it on!!!


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