So I've already blogged about the three garments I made for last week's KCW challenge, so sadly no new discoveries in this post, I'm afraid. However, I'd like to post a little summary on my thoughts and experiences from the challenge, and learn any lessons there are for me to take away.
My favourite bits:
- The challenge gives participants the permission to prioritise our creative endeavours. I think it's fair to assume that most of the participants of this challenge are parents. And therefore I'm going to assume that many of us usually find our hobbies get pushed to the bottom of the 'things to do' list. This challenge encourages (no, insists) that we make time for it every-single-freakin-day for a whole week. I'd argue that the mental health benefits of that are massive.
- Seeing what other participants have created is mind-blowing! If you sign up as a part of the community, you are able to view all the projects uploaded to the site, but even if you don't sign-up, you can enjoy a wealth of kid's sewing inspiration in the daily summary posts on their blog.
- I'm really pleased with the actually garments I made. They are not without their flaws (for more details, please read the individual posts for the lightning flash sweatshirt, leopard trousers and fawn pinafore dress), but generally they have come out more or less as I envisaged them and I'm proud of my achievements.
- I love making stuff using fabric from my stash and/or reusing unwanted garments, and all three of these projects included elements of both upcycling and stash busting. In fact, the only thing I needed to buy all week was a reel of pink thread for the lightning flaw appliqué.
My least favourite bits:
- Forgive the sob story, but this season's challenge came at an exceptionally busy time for me. I had a heap of sample sewing for the Village Haberdashery and Me-Made-May organisation to do, on top of normal childcare, teaching and other activities. Which made taking part way more stressful than it has been previously, although I know that taking part was a choice and no one made me sign up.
- Because of the above, I kind of had to cheat in order to take part. I actually planned, prepped and cut out my projects a couple of weeks before, and actually stitched the two knit garments the week before the 'official' KCW. I feel a bit rubbish about that. I like the idea of everyone taking part simultaneously and I feel I spoiled that element of the challenge this time.
- Linked to the above, I found trying to squeeze in photo sessions and blogging about the garments a bit of an added pressure as well. It's a double-edged sword though, because posting and sharing creations as, or close to when, the challenge is taking place feels more like full participation to me, although obviously that part isn't the 'real' challenge.
- Keep taking part! Even when the week coincides with an extra busy patch in my life, not taking part would have felt rubbish. I love the productivity, the excuse to really focus on an area of sewing that is currently bringing me so much joy AND being part of new-to-me section of the sewing community.
- Keep making stuff that involves stash busting and refashioning/upcycling existing garments. It's such a thrill to make useful stuff without any spends.
- Make more stuff with animals on it! Dolores really engages with pictures of animals more than anything else at the moment.
Lessons still to be learnt:
- I'm not sure how to approach the community sharing and blogging aspect. I know it's not the point of the challenge, just as it isn't the point of Me-Made-May. But to me it feels important, integral even. Maybe it'll be fine next time and it won't even be an issue if the challenge coincides with a quieter period of my on and offline life.