Continuing with the Top 5 of 2013 theme, my post today will focus on the bloggers that have inspired me most over the past year and my sewing goals for 2014.
Top 5 Inspirational Bloggers:
1) Steph from Cake Patterns – Cake Patterns Tiramisu changed my focus and my outlook on sewing my own wardrobe. The success I had making my first knit dress in a style that was flattering and comfortable made me realize, at a time that I was about to hang it up, that I could sew my own wardrobe and look fabulous! My first ever sewalong was with Steph and the Tiramisu and all of the knowledge she passed on gave me the skills and the confidence to soldier on and be a successful seamstress. You can read more about my love for Tira here.
2) Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow – what can I say, she is a knit maven always imparting pearls of wisdom and fun little shortcuts, she dared (#sewingdare) me to hack a pattern and use a nonsolid/stripe fabric (she is so observant she KNEW I was afraid of prints and encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and had faith in my skills that all I needed was a little push to put a pattern aside and start sewing some of my own ideas), and she always seems so upbeat and cheerful. She also is the driving force behind a lot of sewcialist projects, including starting the new sewcialist blog. I may have a slight crush on her (don’t tell!!) and her new kitty 🙂
3) Heather at Handmade by Heather B – she keeps me laughing with her froggie antics, her adorable Cat Boy pics, and her hilarious blog posts. But entertainment aside, she is the master of pattern alterations and loves to share how she did them. I have learned quite a bit from her progress shots, pattern pics, and many tutes she posts. She also has ALL THE PATTERNS, so if I am looking for something in particular I always ask her 🙂
4) Katie from Kadiddlehopper – if Heather doesn’t have the pattern Katie does and I am convinced she has ALL THE FABRIC! I think she has sewn with every fabric imaginable and knows all the tricks to sew with them (best needles, sewing techniques, patterns to use with it). She is also quite prolific in her sewing endeavors and everything she makes is fantastic. I have copied her more than once 🙂
5) Leila from the Three Dresses Project – Leila’s sewing was inspirational to me before I even knew her real name! She has such flair and panache and is filled with life and spirit. I had her in my “rockstar” category so imagine my glee when she became my online sewing friend. She hosts #fabricchat on Twitter, which allows us sewcialist to get together, bond, and share information and finished projects. She also likes to sew steampunk, corsets, and period costumes, which is something I really, really, REALLY want to do but have not mustered up the courage yet. But, every new project Leila posts I get a little more brave, and I know if I have any questions she will be there to help with that gorgeous smile of hers!
Since only 5 inspirational bloggers is hard to choose, I would also like to add a few honorable mentions:
1) Brooke from Custom Style – she sent me a wonderful organza press cloth and cutesy stickers to pretty up my machine, she helped me figure out how to make and how much fabric to purchase for my little girl’s Halloween costume, she wrote some really great posts about grading patterns that helped me immensely in grading up my first vintage pattern for the Fall for Cotton challenge, and she is always inspiring me to go ahead and do whatever it is I am hemming and hawing about. Thanks Brooke!
2) Rachel from House of Pinheiro – she put out a call for pattern testers a while back for her fantastic Brasilia Dress allowed me the opportunity to be a tester – my first pattern testing endeavor! Not only did I get the chance to test her amazing pattern, but I got to hone my pattern grading skills and make a garment outside of my comfort zone. End result: I got a knockout dress that fits fantastic!
3) Amity from Lolita Patterns – Amity provided me with my second pattern testing endeavor that also pushed me out of my style comfort zone with Gunmetal. I am not a ruffle girl, but I love this pattern! I have made a dress and a shirt and will be participating in the sewalong coming up. My hubby insists that Gunmetal is his favorite dress, so I guess I see more ruffles and maybe a more feminine style in my future. Without Amity I would have never known how much I like to make ruffles and how good they look on me 🙂
OK, OK, now for my Top 5 Sewing Goals for 2014:
1) MAKE PANTS – because, seriously, I don’t have any and have never made any and I think I need to get over my trepidation of pants fitting already.
2) MAKE SOMETHING STEAMPUNK – I don’t know what or how, but I will!
3) MAKE UNDERGARMENTS – I want to make some shapewear, undies, slips, and maybe try my hand at bra-making. Oh, and maybe a corset. Yes, that would be epic!
4) OK, this one is vague, but important – LEARN AS MANY NEW SEWING SKILLS AS I CAN – I want to keep challenging myself to learn new techniques and try out new ways to do things. Sewing is fun and I want to always challenge myself to grow and blossom as a seamstress.
5) CONTINUE UNSELFISH SEWING ITEMS FOR MY SISTER’S MISSION TRIPS TO HONDURAS AND MEXICO – This year, in conjunction with Skirting the Issue I made 14 skirts for the girls at the Greenfield Children’s Home in Honduras. They loved them and I loved that I was able to provide those girls with something they loved and made them feel as special as they are. The boys were left out, unfortunately, this past year due mostly to time constraints, but after seeing the Pajama Eaters I made for my kiddos and nephew for Christmas my sister asked if I could make PJ eaters for the kids for her next trip this summer. I’ve got about 200 days before they leave, so I agreed that PJ eaters will be the handmade item I make for them this year. I am stoked!!! I also had a few friends want me to make some for them, so it looks like I may be starting a little mini business as well 🙂