I sew to relax, to explore my creativity, to de-stress from my full-time, high stress, high risk job. I do it because I enjoy it. I don’t sell what I make. My daughter wears it, my nieces and nephews find it wrapped up for birthdays and Christmases.
I blog because I love to express myself. It gives me an avenue when the sewing machine is just too loud, or I don’t have the right thread on hand. It reminds me of when I wrote when I was younger, before I discovered sewing. And it gives me an excuse to revisit those skills I began to learn in my high school dark room by giving me a fabulous excuse to attempt to get photos of my adorable almost 3 year old as she runs around yelling ‘no pictures mommy!’
Finally, I sew and blog together because I found a wonderful community of women out there who help me grow and learn through positive support. Who made me feel welcome, despite being ‘new’ and ‘just learning’. And I was blessed to find friends through that community that were formally trained seamstresses who helped me learn amazing techniques and practices I wouldn’t have otherwise had the time to learn. Under their tutelage and praise, I grew, and enjoyed every minute of it.
I don’t make money from my sewing, or my blogging. I have no affiliate links. I don’t sell what I make. I don’t care if I get traffic to my blog – I do it to share because I am proud of a new skill, or something that I feel is utterly adorable on the little love of my life.
I pattern test because I love helping others. I love watching a pattern (that I don’t have the skills to create myself) come alive and turn into something the designer aspires for it. I blog hop because I love playing with patterns and getting to know other bloggers and designers. I link back to their pages and patterns because they deserve credit for what they do. But I make no money, I garner no notoriety.
But everything good has a dark side. It’s heartbreaking, but unavoidable. And maybe I shouldn’t let it get me down. Maybe I should just shrug it off. And I would love to. But you know what, I can’t this time. And this is MY blog. Mine. And I don’t particularly care if someone doesn’t like it, doesn’t like what I say, what I review, what I make.
Did you know that yesterday was Anti-Bullying Day? I did. I did because in my line of work, bullying has a major impact, is a major contributor. Where I earn my pay cheque – I need to deal with the real ramifications of it every day. When I come home to sew, I don’t want to anymore. I’m not interested.
So – to those with more experience, more training, more education in sewing than me. Use your knowledge, wisdom, experience for good. Lift up the new sewist, encourage, stay positive, and provide feedback to empower. Don’t pretend to play nice when you really know you are being snarky, unkind. I will never understand why these people do this – hide under the guise of being ‘helpful’ or ‘informative’ when really, they are just bullying.
Because you know what? MY formal education, MY work experience, that area where I AM credited? Yup – that’s right. It’s in bullying. And I can tell you right now, no matter how much you minimize and excuse your behaviour, that’s what it is – bullying. And as my mother used to say “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it”.
I’m so sad that there are those in the community I’ve come to love that are so willing to bring others down. And I’m furious that my ‘safe place’ isn’t really all that safe.
At the same time, thank you. Thank you to those who see bullying every day, in FB groups, in schools, in the community, and they stand up. Stand up to stamp it out. To protect our safe places, and create environments of caring and support. Thank you for all those times you put your neck out to do that. And the little notes you leave, the words of wisdom and encouragement that remind us that all is not lost to the nay-sayers and negativity – those have so much more positive impact that you can imagine.
I have no idea where my sewing and blogging will take me. I have no idea if the nay-sayers will scare everyone away and leave otherwise great ideas and initiatives in shambles. But you know what, they can damn well stuff it as far as I’m concerned.