Friday, February 26, 2016

Something old, something new

In this case the something old is me. But then old is a matter of perspective and though I'm old to my kids(I'm sure), and I most definitely feel old at times, I'm not old in the strictest sense of the word.

But for this case, it works.

There's a lot to be said for children. They are like sponges and absorb everything. I'm quite jealous of their learning potential.

I struggle when it comes to learning new things. I understand a little more of what my mother has meant over the years about things being harder for her to understand. For me, I hate not being good at something. I can't stand not at least knowing what I'm doing or what I'm talking about.

It's like being the new kid in school. The new person at work. I'm the bottom of the ladder and I know it.

So really, most of my struggle with learning something new has to do with pride.

I get frustrated with myself for not understanding; for not doing better. I hate making mistakes.

At the same time, when I finally grasp something it's like a party. Woohoo! I got it!!!

I sometimes think that if I didn't bother to learn a skill or a hobby, or whatever, by this point, that it's too late for me. I'll never be good at something new. I've missed the golden window of opportunity when my youth sucked up all the knowledge around me. And if I can't be good at something, than perhaps it's better I don't even try. Rather no skill than poor skill?

So what's this post about? It's about sewing . . . LOL. Yes, all that build-up for sewing.

Last spring I took one of those whimsical notions that sometimes float around my head and said, "I'm going to try this."

Every now and again, I will find myself skimming through picture of amazing costumes that people have created. I always think, "I wish I could do that."

I finally took the plunge and decided to learn a new skill. So last spring I bought a sewing machine and some starter items. I've loved the process of learning how to sew way more than I thought I would. I mean, I LOVE sewing. I think it's connected to the reason I enjoy writing; I love to create things.

Now, I may never get to the point where I'm as good as the amazing people whose work I've admired. In fact, I probably won't. I may not get even close. It may take me years to get anywhere near that skill level. BUT I've put aside my issues with not being "great" at something to learn something new.

And I'm enjoying it. I've made a lot of mistakes; I'll make a lot more. I learn something new all the time and feel accomplished when something clicks. I've made some fun things that are probably impressive just to me LOL.

Do you struggle with learning something new? What things have you always wanted to try or learn? And I'd love to hear about any hobbies you have and what you enjoy about them.

I've made a lot of baby items because they're useful and easy to make.

I finally took the plunge and started making clothing. The first two attempts produced results that would've been cute, if they were wearable. I chalked them up to learning experiences.

I've had some rough patches and I can see all the places I went wrong in each piece, but I'm finally making things I'm not ashamed of.

I even got a chance to make my own pattern and try that out.


  1. Being good at something is always relative. There are always people better than you and always people worse than you. So how good you are depends entirely on your mindset and who you compare yourself to :)

    I genuinely think you are amazing at sewing. I love Cheyennes dresses. But that is becoming from someone who feels accomplished at sewing a button on.

    I love learning new stuff. To be honest I'm sceptical about kids being able to learn stuff more easily than grownups. Part of its just the fact that they have far more time to learn and don't habe to go to work and do chores and rubbish.

    I've tried all sorts over the years. I did additional professional exams a few years ago and learnt a lot about tax. That sharpened my brain up again.

    I've learnt violin and piano in the past. Most recently I had a years worth of violin lessons again as an adult. Really enjoyed it but got toI busy to keep going with it.

    Obviously I've learnt loads with the writing over the last couple of years. You know I've worked at the grammar side of things as well as the how to write a novel stuff.

    Craft wise - I've tried cross stitch and am the proud owner of a large unfinished cross stitch with two goldfinches on a branch. Maybe one day :)

    Then I tried making cross stitch cards. That was great and I loved it but very time consuming. It would have been nice to sell them but I didn't really get anywhere for the effort I had to put in. I still have a box of them somewhere. I've got a website of them somewhere. I'll find the link.

    My latest craft craze is friendship bracelets. I used to make them as a teen. There is a little girl at church into bracelet crafts - loom bands etc - and I showed her how to make one. Then I thought I could make some for the children's Xmas shoebox charity I'm involved with. So at the moment I'm often making one while I watch TV.

    1. Yes, no matter how good you are there's always someone better. I guess I struggle with wanting to be up there with the best. It might be a good trait to have if it pushed me to succeed, but instead it usually means I'd rather not try than to do poorly.

      I've never been able to play any instruments. I did want to learn to play the accordion at one point. My grandfather owned one and I have it now. It's an unusual instrument and it'd be hard to find a teacher.

      I'd love to get better at grammar someday. I like that I can bounce stuff off you that I don't understand.

      Haha, yep, that's about how my cross-stitching goes. I have one finished piece that I need a frame for. And then I have two unfinished pieces. One is a family tree with no names, the other is a gigantic project that I didn't grasp the scope of. I started it when I was pregnant with Cheyenne, it's still not done.

      I've found that no one appreciates cross-stitch as much as the creator. It's hard to look at something like that and picture all the time that went into creating it.

      I love your little cards! They'd make fun ornaments too! Something personalized and unique.


    Here we go :)

  3. Wow, you made all of that? Amazing. My sewing skills is limited to sowing on new buttons on pants and shirts. And sowing holes in socks. I did make a pattern once but it was for my teddy bear when I was younger.

    1. Thank you. :) Until last spring, I was a button sewer only too! A useful skill for anyone. Buttons never seem to stay where they're supposed to.

      I found that working with square items where I needed measurements, not patterns, was the easiest thing to get my feet wet.

  4. Wow! You are an amazing seamstress already--I love the dresses, they're gorgeous. The pillowcases are so fun, and you've actually made fitted sheets?! And your own dress patterns? So awesome!

    It's been years since I've done any sewing, but my sister and I once made dresses for Halloween using a pattern for Eowyn's battle dress. We also made cloaks. Then I took my cloak to college, and my friends wanted cloaks, so I made more cloaks. Someday I'd like to make more clothing, maybe more dresses or even shorts (I can never find shorts I like. I want them long, with deep pockets for holding seashells and sea glass and snacks.)

    1. Thanks, Heather! I did a ton of pillowcases to give as Christmas presents and the best part was finding all sorts of fabric for them.

      I thought fitted sheets would be really difficult. Turns out they're quite easy, especially if you're making them for a crib as fabric is typically the perfect width to make them. From what I've read, twin sheets and larger require sewing two pieces of fabric together to come up with the needed dimensions.

      The qipao(the red and black) was the one I made a pattern for, but I did cheat and buy a worn out one from goodwill and pull it apart to sketch the pieces and jot down notes for how it went together.

      Your cloaks sound awesome! I'd love to make some one day. My sister really wants one, but we haven't found the right fabric yet.

      I hate finding shorts too. I never can find ones long enough with deep enough pockets. It'd be a good idea to make some. I'd never thought about it.

  5. I'm a full-time freelance writer and I have to write about some pretty technical concepts. I know exactly what you're talking about. I was assigned to write about induction furnaces once and it was beyond me. I finally grasped it enough to write about it, but I never gained full knowledge of it. That said, I still can't sew or knit!

    1. I find that with more years I'm less able to grasp concepts. My husband will try and explain IT stuff to me and I'm sure I have this "deer in headlights" look most of the time. And then when I finally get something, I'm like WOOHOO! I feel like celebrating over my minor victory.