Sunday, April 18, 2010


Yeah, it's been awhile. Turns out work catches up with life sometimes. Had a LARGE burp order to fill for a friend with lots of pregnant friends, and then the coolest diaper bag ever.

This was my first time using this pattern--although i had read about it a million times, and seen many examples on one of my online sewing forums/groups. So i finally bought the pattern earlier this year, and found this absolutely awesome material downtown. It was a time consuming pattern--LOTS of pieces, many of them that had to be interfaced with iron-on Decor-Bond interfacing. It took me an hour just to cut it out! i should have taken a picture of all the pieces with their little labels pinned to them! (There was actually only one pattern piece--the rest were just squares or rectangles cut by dimension with my rotary cutter) I also had to make one change because i didn't have any cord for the side pockets, so i improvised and used elastic instead. .
For anyone attempting to use this pattern, a few pieces of advice: read each instruction carefully, use the heavy duty denim needle the pattern suggests, and take your time. There are only a few places where the pattern gets "tricky", but if you just look at it, it makes sense.

Now, I will admit-one of the reasons i post to my sewing forums is to get some oohs and ahs. I'm a praise whore--no question. But in a bored world, it's nice to have something you make, with your own hands, be praised and admired. i really enjoy creating, and i also enjoy the praise that follows. glutton. guilty.

I will also admit to a little trouble with taking criticism. Even in my writing classes it was the hardest thing to grin and say--"i never thought of that, thank you." egotistical? If you must. None of us want to think of ourselves in that kind of light--but i just BRISTLE upon receiving criticism. If it comes from a source i respect, and has a modicum of truth to it, i generally come around, but the time from when i first hear it to acceptance it an ulcer-inducing episode.

(irony? I was often a sought after critic of other's written work. But i always assumed people were feeling what i felt, and i hated doing it. --unless the other writer was a jerk, then it was kinda fun. Guess i should have been an editor.)

So, most of the these online forums are manna for the prostitutes of praise. No one wants to be the dick and post what they are really thinking (or what sometimes comes out of my mouth): "wow, that looks like ass". Because these women will turn on you in a heartbeat. and honestly, most of the projects i see in one or two of my groups is professional quality. GORGEOUS. envy inducing--inspiring me to sew straighter seams, match prettier fabrics and pretty much perfect my own skills. So not only do you get some praise, you get to see some beautiful work.

So, imagine my shock when i post this gorgeous bag--a bag i have no desire to give away--and the response is sparse and a few actually negative. And not negative in the way of--hmm, those patterns don't quite work together or your seams are all messed up sista. no. They have to comment that the fabric seems "inappropriate" for a diaper bag. In fact they go out of my way to tell me what a great job i did in constructing it, but then dis the material.


Most of us go out of our way to say something positive about the...ahem...beginner projects that could benefit from a solid seam ripping and reconstruction, and keep our criticisms to ourselves--when we are prolly doing the seamstress a disservice by not telling her to practice sewing in a straight line. And these beeotchnits bag the material--and not even in a truly critical way?


so, i've obviously been thinking about criticism and politeness. My mother raised me correctly--if you don't have anything nice to say, mutter it under your breath when they're out of earshot. (jk mom--i know to keep my mouth shut when i don't have anything nice to say--i just figured that one would make you laugh) And since many of these women pride themselves on being "brought up right" and have made more than one statement about "how rude people are today", i just can't help but wonder about the motives of this criticism.

To simplify, i call it a red state/blue state thing (but of course it isn't that simplistic) Many of the items posted by others on some of my forums are gorgeous, but old fashioned and conservative. You know--dress for their daughters because they HAVE to wear a dress to school due to the dress code? They don't like skulls because it represents something that makes them uncomfortable--and they don't like THESE skulls because of that and....(shhhh) *whispers* brown people. Lets just say that those who live in areas where Dia De Los Muertos is a visible part of October only had great things to say.

So yeah, I've been thinkin about this for a few days. I'd love to say I just ignored it and moved on--but people who say that never do--it still niggles into your everyday life and colors what you think. I plan to put it aside after this post, but it will definitely color how often i post in those sewing groups...

Lessons learned this week:

  • iron-on interfacing is convenient and tedious all at once
  • heavy-duty needles really do work
  • some people were NOT raised right, no matter their protestations
  • Yolie is gonna look like the hippest mom at playgroup with this awesome bag.

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