Do you join in with sewing challenges? There’s so much choice around at the moment, I sometimes feel like that the sewing community is like one big Freshers’ Fair. There’s all these shiny, attractive groups vying for your attention that you end up joining 12 but never actually make it to any meetings. I had a similar experience with #sewphotohop on Instagram in September (it’s a photo-a-day theme challenge) thinking it sounded like a lark. I posted one photo, then went camping for the weekend and never posted again.
TBH I felt a bit guilty about it at first. I felt like I’d committed myself to something and couldn’t follow through. But then I reasoned that I was probably taking on too much. I was doing my own personal challenge, Sew My Stash September, and that was as much as I felt capable of at the time. Don’t get me wrong – all this choice means you can really find your sewing tribe, which is awesome – but my #sewphotohop fail got me thinking about how much I participate and what’s realistic.
I’ve taken part in a number of sewing challenges this year, and the ones that have been most successful have been because I’ve got something out of them. I’ve learned something about my sewing/clothing preferences (Me Made May), I’ve been challenged to sew something out of my comfort zone (Cosy Cardi Challenge), or the challenge has fit in with my current plans (The Monthly Stitch and Sew Together for Summer). They were a lot of fun, too! It’s great to see how other people interpret a challenge, and pick up tips and tricks for something you might also be making.
I should ask myself whether I’m going to get anything back from a challenge, or if I’m just doing it for the sake of joining in. I was thinking of doing the Little Red Dress Project and the Big Christmas Jumper Sewalong in the run up to the festive season, but I realised I don’t actually need either of these. I don’t wear Christmas jumpers and I have no need for another dress at the moment. There’s no point in stressing myself out about a deadline if I’m not getting anything back from it.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule (cos I love a get-out clause). I’m currently doing #BPSewvember on Instagram (run by Bimble and Pimble), which is another photo-a-day challenge. I’m not getting anything material out of it – I’m not learning a new skill, or sewing a specific garment – but I am having a lot of fun thinking about things I can post that fit the daily theme. I’m haven’t posted every day, and that’s ok. I won’t lost sleep over it.
But in general, I’m going to be a bit more selective about the challenges I join in with from now on. It’s fun to join in, but it’s worth so much more if I’m getting something back.
How about you? Which ones do you like? Are there some you absolutely must take part in? Would you run your own?