Wednesday, March 05, 2008
A Competitive Nature, Sewing Contests, and Motivation
A friend recently wrote an email and posed the question "Where does your motivation come from?"
I have a competitive personality. It's what helped make me successful as an outside sales rep. It's what drove me to become racing crew on a sailboat instead of kicking back cruising with rum drinks in hand (not that there's anything wrong with that) :)
It's what prompted me to take up racing x-country skiing and take 2nd in the North American VASA race (womens division) at the age of 39. It's part of what motivated me to become a soccer coach when, as a single mom I clearly did not have a lot of extra time.
And, It's what prompts me to interest in all the Contests on Pattern Review and the mondo of Amateur contests - the Timmel SWAP. I'm not in Summerset's league sewing contest-wise, but I do enjoy having the contest format to sort-of organize my sewing.
I love to sew. I love to pass along the knowledge and enthusiasm I have for sewing, which is why I love teaching it. And, I would sew anyway. The contests just give me that extra little oomph of a push.
The contests that cause me to push outside my comfort zone and expand my repertoire, those are the ones that interest me most.
The Ready-to-Wear challenge was one. And dang if I didn't just put off getting started on something for it long enough that I didn't get an entry made. I have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew (Ya think?) and time/wise I was so committed to the Timmel SWAP and the UFO challenge and getting clothes made for the Carib sailing vacay that the RTW contest just got back-burnered. Still. The garments that I ended up planning for it have hit my sewing queue for 2008.
The other contests coming up that are on my radar:
April - One Fabric Silk. Oh Yeah Baby! The requirement will be that the fabric be 100% silk, so no lace, but that shouldn't be a problem. Only problem will be deciding what to make.
May - the month of graduations, travel to get kids home from college - oh boy- is the month that I'd like to jam-pack with contest sewing. I'm so very excited about the MyPattern contest. It's really going to make me stretch and use skills I've only used sporadically recently. And I can see working that with the mini-wardrobe contest (which rules just got established - thank you's to Cindy-Lou, Pterion, the rest of the mod's and Deepika). I know exactly which grouping of stash fabrics I want to use for it/them.
May also hosts the Vintage sewing contest. I'm just not going to have Time to do all 3, although.... (it's that overachiever coming out again)
June - Stash! Wooohooo. I have stash that goes back to the 70's, and one piece of my mom's that I believe dates to the 60's. May be 50's, but more likely 60's. I'll have to ask - mom, that double woven pink wool crepe skirt length - 50's or 60's?? Most of the older pieces are ones not sewn because they're in the "too special" category. Isn't my goal in these next couple of years to USE those pieces? This will be the chance. I'm going to devote June and July to just only sewing with stash fabric.
By August I'm going to be ready to knit. And Sept and Oct will undoubtedly be devoted to weddings. my BIL Kevin is getting married in Sept and my son in October.
I would like to take a moment though, just a moment, to address what has become (as I see it) an increasingly distressing issue on Pattern Review. The pre-contest discussions. This is where the whole membership has the opportunity to weigh in on the rules prior to them being set. These discussions have become contentious, argumentative and fraught with tension. What a horrible thing for a volunteer moderator to have to navigate through. What a distressing thing this must be for Deepika, who started PR. I, for one, would be pleased to see PR just go to a format where the contests are set, Rules are stated, and if you like them, play along, if you don't, then don't play. I could live with that, and I'm sure pretty much everyone else could, AND it might alleviate some of the arguments emerging there on the message boards.
So, in addition to the overall, I'll try to bring to the table my motivation for every particular project I post about, but this is, in the overall sense, where I am right now.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
How do you decide what to make next?
if you decide to write a blog post about your inspiration, motivations, will you leave me a link in the comments? Thanks.