Irrelevant ramblings and some goals for 2014

I’ve enjoyed seeing other people’s sewing wins and fails of last year and goals for this year but I’ve resisted doing the same because this blog is only six months old so it doesn’t seem relevant. Instead I’m offering a bit of an expanded self introduction that I haven’t given until now.

I pre-warn you though – this isn’t very interesting, it’s long and it’s probably only useful for me but I offer it anyway! You have been warned! Read at your own peril! On the other hand, if you’re having trouble sleeping then this may well be for you!

My Sewing Backstory

I decided to buy a sewing machine ten years ago when we moved to southern Germany. I’d just finished a Masters course and was looking for something light and fluffy and creative to occupy the void that finishing that had left. I had the luxury of some time on my hands and I was ready to take on a new hobby.

Also coming from England, I didn’t have the right clothes for the hot summer weather that we get here in Germany and I begrudged paying for a new shop bought wardrobe, so I decided to try and make my own instead.

I could have taken sewing classes locally but didn’t bother because my German was terrible at that stage so classes seemed like a waste of time and money. The sales woman in the shop that sold me my sewing machine showed me how to put in an invisible zip using my new machine and that was the extent of my formal sewing education.

At the beginning I muddled my way through foreign language patterns with the help of dictionaries (paper ones, remember those!) – mainly German (Burda), Dutch (Onion), Spanish (Patrones) and Japanese sewing books –  because none of the resources that I had available around me were in English.  But somehow I managed to make stuff and I liked my new hobby.

Our dog Yoda!
Our dog Yoda!

I’d always enjoyed photography but it was nice to have sewing as another creative outlet. I tried my hand at knitting too, had some hilarious results with that but didn’t really take to it like I did with sewing.

Then I got a pet and started having babies and for the most part, shelved sewing for a while. It’s only in recent years that I’ve really picked it up again.

My daughters!
My daughters!

It’s so wonderful that home sewing has had such a resurgence in my absence and so exciting that there are so many new opportunities and possibilities to learn new skills and sewing techniques online and an international sewing community to share it all with.

I swear, I feel like that East German woman in the German film ‘Goodbye Lenin’, who wakes up from a 25 year long coma to discover that communism has ended and Eastern Germany has been liberated. There is just so much new stuff to find out about, so much I’ve missed and so much to catch up on!

2014 and New Beginnings

2014 is a big year for our family! Next month my younger daughter starts Kindergarten and in the autumn my older daughter starts school. This will free up a few hours in the morning for me which I’m really looking forward to and I hope it’s onwards and upwards for us all!

I started this blog six months ago as a prelude to this. For a fresh start, to discover new opportunities and to reconnect with the world and rediscover my identity outside of my Hausfrau existence.

What’s in a Name? – YoSaMi

The name of this blog, ‘YoSaMi’ is an acronym of the first two letters of my dog’s and my daughters’ names in the order they came into our lives. I like how the letters go together and form a completely new word – entirely coincidental btw – the way our family has evolved to what it is now. I feel like this new word, ‘YoSaMi’ forms the basis of who I am now. The sum of the most valuable things I’ve contributed to the world so far – apart from my red silk Anna dress that is, of course! It represents the basis for a new beginning.

2014 Goals

1) My first and main goal for this year is to sleep more! Seriously, no kidding. I think if I accomplish this then many other goals will also fall into place.

I’ve got into a really bad habit of trying to compensate for the lack of daytime selfish hours I have by forfeiting sleep.   I’ve been staying up far too late at night and doing all the things I wish I could’ve got done in the day, when I should be catching up on my beauty sleep instead. Obviously long-term this strategy hasn’t really achieved anything worthwhile, I’m just really worn out!

2) Improve! I could be here until 2015 if I list all of the ways that I need to improve but I’ll keep it as brief as I can.

Sewing skills – I hope to take advantage as much as possible of the online learning opportunities to improve these. So far I’m really enjoying joining in with Sew-A-Longs as an easy and accessible way to do this.

Blogging skills – It’s crazy, I’ve had this blog for half a year now and I still don’t know how to upload stuff into that right hand column. And what exactly is a widget? I’m going to trawl through the WordPress tutorials and figure this stuff out this year.

3) Expand the list of blogs that I follow – I’m utterly astounded and humbled at the wealth of talent out there and I plan on discovering more of it this year.

4) Stash-busting – I’m joining blogger Lelie of Bouquet of Buttons for her fabric stash-busting challenge 2014 of three fabrics out, one new fabric in. Anyone else want to join us for this? There is a button for this to upload to your site, but see above blogging skills point – I don’t know how to do this yet!

5) Audit my pattern stash and assess my core wardrobe patterns and concentrate on making those and those only.

6) Get involved in some sewing meet ups. I kept missing my local ones last year so I hope I find out the deets for this year and can make this happen.

I could go on and on, but luckily for you, it’s my new bedtime, so I’m signing off!

I’ve got two makes to share so I’ll be resuming pattern reviews as soon as.

Have you forfeited anything to make your sewing or blogging happen? I’d love to hear how you keep all the balls in the air. Let me know in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Irrelevant ramblings and some goals for 2014

  1. hello. I enjoyed reading a little about your life and journey with sewing. I have only recently discovered your blog. Six months in and it looks great. I am also a self-taught courtesy of google, sewer. I took up sewing after moving to the UK and having my first daughter. 11 years and four children and a dog later I finally have my youngest starting school next week. I am hoping to finally reduce my fabric stash which has multiplied ridiculously! I look forward to seeing how you go turning your fabric into stylish clothes. Nice to meet you, Simone

    1. Hi Simone, thanks so much for your kind comments and for stopping by my blog – it’s so nice to have you here! I wish your youngest a good school start and hope we both get a chance to get stuck into our fabric-stash busting! If you have a blog or start one, let me know so I can see how you’re getting on too! Lots of luck!

  2. I think staying up late is a habit that develops when kids are young! I know I find myself doing it because I refuse to sleep until I’ve had some quiet time after everyone has gone to bed:)

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