Sewing and lifestyle blog of a wannabe "full-time vixen"

Now why is it I have a blog again?

Hello again to the world wide web! But honestly mostly to friends and families reading this post from a link I posted on Facebook. I’ll try not to ramble but it’s going to be difficult since I have a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head. I just need to word vomit this into the void, even if no one reads it. I will make a separate post with an update on how I have become a professional seamstress and costumer in the film industry.

To keep everyone who is actually going to read this from becoming too bored, I will pepper this post with images of sewing or knitting projects I have yet to blog about.

TL;DR of it all in list format:
– headaches from trying to regain access to my blog after not posting for 4 years
– anxieties about having paid an additional one year access to a theme from a defunct company? (I’ll need to migrate everything at some point next spring/summer and just not worry about it now, focus on the positives of writing new posts again)
– new anxieties about the design and layout of my blog in a post-smartphone explosion world, definitely some coding I need to tweak
– musings on how much I don’t really care to become a part of the “influencer” world
– missing the home sewing community and being a part of it
– trying to “edit” my life to be the way I want it to be
– stop being a workaholic and slide out of the mentality I had in my 20s (scared of turning down opportunities, obsession with building my career)
– learn to say “NO!”
– I haven’t sewed anything for myself in 4 years so I need to rediscover the joy of sewing for myself (I also need to knit a sweater for myself…I finally knit a hat for myself last winter but still need to block it :P)
– start sewing, knitting, and creating for myself again

I knit a Rue Shawl from Quince & Co with linen yarn last summer for my boyfriend’s mother.

I’ve been wanting to dive back into this blog for a long time. I kept putting it off and now after 4 years since my last post, I’m here, poking my nose back into my WordPress dashboard. I had to figure out how to gain access to my admin dashboard again by going through my web hosting cpanel and all this techy jargon. Dealing with updating my theme to the latest version but now anxious that I’ve sunk my money into another year of a company that seems to no longer really exist. I have been using Headway Themes since I migrated from Blogger to hosting my own site. Seems the company is pretty defunct…But my blog still looks and works the way it should so I’ll leave it for now. I need to find an alternative by next year though. That’s going to be REAL fun, migrating everything to a new theme or some other alternative. I’m SOOOO looking forward to it. (slather on thick layers of sarcasm please)

The entire blogging and social media world has changed too. People generally browse things on their smartphones and I know the mobile version of my blog isn’t the most optimal. I’ll have to see what I can do to change that. These are all challenges I know I can deal with. My goal is to have a simple and accessible looking blog. Nothing fancy but also reflective of my personality (I don’t want a sterile minimalist blog which is all the rage right now!). I’d like to commission some artwork as a new banner one day. I used to teach myself HTML code when I was a teenager so these are all realistic goals for myself!

I took Tambour Beading classes with a traveling couture tailoress from the UK in Feb 2018…I still need to finish this piece. D’oh!

Now to bring it all back to me…DO I EVEN CARE? Since I’m a perfectionist, a part of me always wants to do everything properly. Whether that’s washing the dishes, getting straight A’s in school, or running a humble blog that hardly anyone reads. I have no intention of becoming a world famous “influencer” (god this term makes me gag a little). I realized long ago that I haven’t an entrepreneurial bone in my body. I find it overly tedious and boring to have to run a business and especially have no interest in marketing myself. I have no issues with being employed by someone for wages I can count on. I’ve never wanted to be rich or famous. I enjoy being paid to do a job based purely on technical skill and to have employers who are willing to recognize that skill and pay a fair wage for it.

I do recognize that there is a lot on the line when people go off and start their own business or brand. It is a really difficult undertaking and one which requires a certain type of discipline and aggression for the endeavour which I just do not have. I’m also a workaholic so I know starting my own brand or business would absolutely consume me in a bad way. I also NEED to work with a small team of people. I am an introvert who hates working alone and I love having reliable colleagues to work together as a team towards a defined goal.

So why do I still have this blog up? Why do I return?

I miss having a platform with which to connect with people about sewing! I remember how encouraging and positive the home sewing community is overall and I miss it. I also miss having a platform to share things with real-life friends and family who are ever curious about the creative things I do. I do have a very empty Instagram page but I also prefer writing longer posts than is allowed on Instagram. I’m planning on integrating the two in a way that works for me.

Knit a hat for my boyfriend last March!

My Cantonese tutor, who I’ve been taking classes with since February this year, had a great thing to say to me one day when I was seeking some guidance on an issue, and to paraphrase: “I wish someone had told me how important it was to learn to edit your life the way you want it to be.”

It’s something I’ve been thinking about since she mentioned it to me. You see, I’ve spent a lot of time in my early 20s building up personal capital: saving up thousands of dollars on my own to go back to school, going to costume school, then emerging from school and trying to get established in the costuming world. I’ve always been a workaholic. I put off going on vacations while I saved up money for school and often worked every day, sometimes at multiple jobs.

When I went to costume school full-time, I was fully committed to it. I was working 15 hours a week as well and aiming for straight A+ marks. I had no social life. I burned out every semester (luckily there were only 4 in this two year program!) but I learned a lot and pushed my skills to the limit.

I made this ruff entirely by hand (wig was a rental) for a community theatre play I costume designed in Jan/Feb 2018

I graduated from costume school in 2016 and was anxious about finding work in my field. In 2017 I got my first real gig on a paid television show, which led to another, then to gaining full membership in the film union. I’ve never had difficulty finding employment since! I keep making more connections in the film industry, networking with more and more people, and my skills are constantly in demand as Vancouver’s film industry is booming. It’s a comfortable position to be in.

So now I’m 29 and I can work whenever I feel like. I also started teaching at a private fashion school part-time since May 2018 which definitely fell right into my workaholic tendencies again. I love teaching and mentoring people so I’ve learned so many more new things about myself as a teacher. It’s definitely a goal of mine to slide into teaching in my middle-age. However, I’ve had to teach 2 to 8 additional hours a week on top of working 40-55 hour weeks and it’s exhausting working so much even if I love teaching.

I made this scarf for my boyfriend as well and finished in Dec 2017…after starting it Dec 2016 but ran out of time as a Christmas gift!

I do actually need to force myself to slow down, recover, and have time to reflect on myself and my creative needs. I wanted to say spiritual as well but I’m not a spiritual person at all. I just need authenticity and I feel as if I haven’t been truly authentic with myself.

In a roundaboout way, I’m trying to say that when one is younger, one tends to focus on accumulating education, training, skills, knowledge, professional contacts, resources, and any advantage possible so one doesn’t get “left behind” in their career. This is what happened to me in my 20s. I have to learn to say “NO”. So many people want me to work for them and now that I don’t need to worry about money or filling out my resume with work experience, I need to focus on myself again.

I helped costume design for a community theatre production of Ibsen’s Ghosts in Fall 2016. I had to re-dye this dress in my bathtub to take it from an ugly peach to this dusty lavender.

Lately, I’ve been finding myself with a bit more breathing room but no real motivation to sew projects for myself. My relationship with sewing has changed since I became a professional seamstress and I need to rediscover the joy of sewing for myself again. I haven’t sewn anything for myself in 4 years. It’s pretty sad but just how things are when you work 10-12 hour days in the film industry!

So! It’s time to deal with my bad habits of being a workaholic and rediscover how my relationship to sewing keeps evolving. I have some ideas on how to explore all these things and I’m excited to share them with everyone! Above all, I think blogging is a great way to feel like one is held accountable to their goals, ideas, thoughts, and intentions.

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