It’s a New Year, and though we all know that New Year’s Resolutions are not always the things you stick to, there’s something about wanting to revisit what’s working and what you’d like to change when January 1st strikes. I’ve personally been wracking my brain for months trying to figure out how to make Elizabeth Made This a more useful place for everyone who visits here. Writing about my own projects have served me well for a long time, but how can I reach more people–no, how can I HELP people learn to sew? Wow, long intro there, and this is going to be a way different post, but here’s how I’m shifting my blog focus in 2019.
“If I should suddenly start to sing or stand on my head or anything, don’t think that I’ve lost my senses, it’s just that my happiness finally commences…”
Shifting my blog focus in 2019
A brief history
Before I tell you where I want to go, it’s useful to know where things began around here. I wrote my first blog post in 2007? Who knows? It was so long ago, but the point is that I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I love sewing. A lot. And writing about it gave me a way to work out what I was learning. But I’ve had no clear direction for forever. I’ve dabbled in a lot of different things, but I’ve never consistently written about anything. I’ve gone through times of total blog silence and frenzied productivity. But as I’ve seen my own knowledge about sewing and my skills grow, I’ve come to this slow realization that I don’t want to keep on writing about only MY projects forever. So now what? How do I even begin shifting my blog focus?
First comes teaching
Teaching is the first element when it comes to shifting my blog focus. I really loved my job as an elementary music teacher. I taught 1st-6th graders for 7 years before my oldest son was born. Teaching was so not natural to me. In both my undergraduate and graduate music education programs, I felt like a total phony. All of my peers seemed to have had private lesson studios since they were in high school. I nearly passed out the first time I stood on the podium to conduct a rehearsal. But I kept on. I had WONDERFUL mentors in both programs who kept encouraging me to keep trying. Direct quote from one of my teachers: “Elizabeth, if you can just break out of your shell, you’ll be a wonderful teacher.”
And I plugged on at this thing that was so foreign to me and I got better at it. To the point that I absolutely can’t see the world without looking through the eyes of a teacher. And when I see a student connect the dots, wow. Joy confetti everywhere in my head! You can ask my kids, but after my violin students go home for the night, it takes me a while to come down off of Teacher Mountain.
So yeah, teaching is going to become a big part of Elizabeth Made This. I want to be that coach who comes alongside you and encourages you to keep working through a problem. Keep an eye out for helpful sewing advice, pattern hacking tutorials like this ruffle sweatshirt, refashioning, DIY projects that you can make for yourself, and talk about creating a handmade wardrobe that makes sense for your everyday life.
Next comes writing
Writing is so at the heart of shifting my blog focus too! If I have a regret, it’s that I got into making videos on YouTube before I was really ready for it. It did remind me that I love love love teaching, but it also split my focus and turned it away from writing.
So while blogging as a method of communication is not for everyone, I can’t let go of it simply because writing is something that’s always been a part of my life. There’s probably a book deep down in me somewhere!
I won’t be saying no to video for forever, but any video work I do in the future is going to support all of the content that I’ll be creating here on Elizabeth Made This.
Creativity is the most important piece of the equation
It’s taken me a long time to come to the tagline of “Sew something creative”, but that really is my goal. I am a creative person with a capital C and truly want others to be able to see how that creativity comes about and how they can apply it to their own sewing.
DIY is so the core of everything I do. I’ve had loooong conversations with friends about pattern hacking, refashioning, and fabric dye and blockprinting and applique and all the ways I otherwise abuse fabric in an effort to make something unique. I want to show more of that process and demystify it for you. If I can’t convince you that Rit DyeMore will change your life, I will have failed!!!!
I can’t forget about story in shifting my blog focus. Sewing your own garments is not an activity that exists in a box. Those garments go somewhere–they live your life, they do what you do. I want to hear those stories from other people. I want to tell those stories in pictures and in writing. Those pictures are the ones I want to take–not just the ones that show the finished product.
A New Year, a real focus
So with that in mind, I’m plowing into 2019. I’m announcing The Day and Night Dress
Challenge tomorrow, and I’m shaking it up massively this year. I think it’ll be an interesting turn. Perhaps it’s been too long that I’ve tried to
be other people instead of just letting myself look at sewing the way that I
see it. If you’ve read this blog for a
long time, I want to thank you for sticking with me through a lot of terrible
pictures, stream of consciousness and general blog squirrels. And if this is your first time here, all I
can say is, let me prove this year that I can help you sew something creative!