Lisa Woolfork 0:01
Hello friends and welcome to the Stitch Please podcast. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork. I am greeting you in the midst of some unusual circumstances. My house has lost electricity. I am pretty sure this will actually be an episode somehow. My hope is that it will be published on January 5, but we shall see. This is one of those what one might call a fly by night operation. I'm not sure where that expression came from. But you might hear some beeping in the background. That's some battery backup power for my phone. I'm not using that power to record. I have 40% left on this laptop, and no internet connection. So we shall see how this episode actually reaches your ears. We are in a bonus episode.
Hello! Welcome to the bonus. We're going to talk to you today about sewing plans for 2022, and I've asked some people to share some messages about what their sewing plans for 2022 are. In particular Queenora Renee from Queenora Renee Fabrics has a special segment that she's kindly recorded for me to talk about her doing the Make Nine Challenge the Make Nine N-I-N-E. The Make Nine Challenge is a sewing challenge that asks people to choose nine garments to make during a particular calendar year. The purpose of the Make Nine Challenge is to help people extend their sewing creativity, to give you the opportunity to practice a technique that maybe you're not so great at or to try something entirely new. Other folks find the Make Nine a bit too stressful and restrictive. I heard a few notes from people I was asking about what sewing challenges they might do or what their plans were for 2022 in terms of sewing, and you know, some found the Make Nine a bit too daunting or too limiting. But I don't think Queenora thinks that. So I'm very, very interested in what she has to say. And I look forward to sharing her perspective with you shortly. For now, however, I just wanted to share very briefly about the Black Women Stitch website. www.blackwomenstitch.org is our website. It is up. It is available, and it has some wonderful fun things for you. In addition to all the podcast episodes, hopefully one day even this one, the website also has a directory with Black women owned sewing related businesses. And my favorite feature is the SpeakPipe. This allows you to send a voicemail message directly to me, and I can send you a message back. So do check that out. Go to blackwomenstitch.org. Find the "Talk to Us", which is at the top of the screen on the web page, on the homepage, and go all the way to your right. You'll see it says "Talk to Us". And when you click on that it will take you to SpeakPipe. We would love to hear from you. We'd love to hear any suggestions you might have or anything you wanted to just to say or to share with us. And we will soon be doing some fun little contests involving the SpeakPipe where you can answer questions, leave messages, and by doing so you'll be entered into a drawing for prizes. Ain't that gonna be fun?! Yes, I agree. So without further ado, I'm going to turn it over to some of the folks who kindly left messages about their sewing challenges, and then we'll go to Queenora to hear about what she has planned for 2022. Thank you so much for listening, and happy 2022 to you.
I'm planning on doing a Make Nine for 2022, but I haven't even posted my Christmas gifts on my Instagram. I'm going to take the month of January to figure out what my Make Nine will be. Got some ideas, but I'm gonna let it simmer. Plus I live in Minnesota. so any winter sewing, I got plenty of time to finish winter sewing- start in January, end in April.
Hi Lisa. It's Marissa. I just wanted to hop on and share with you some of my sewing goals for 2022. I do not do a Make Nine. It stresses me out to think about having all of the things I'm going to want to do for the year planned out in the first month of the year. I like to play on the go a little bit more, so I don't do that. This year my goal is to be more intentional with my makes. Last year I did a lot of things that I actually don't wear very often or at all. So I want to make sure that I'm being intentional with things that are going to fill holes in my wardrobe, that will be practical for me in my day to day life. I'm going to start with some blouses and some pants, because I just accepted a long-term subbing position for the last half of the school year. So I'm going to be needing some clothes to wear for that. And I always feel much better and more comfortable with clothes that I've made myself. So that's gonna be my goal for the beginning of the year. Then after that, we're just gonna have some fun. Love listening to the podcast, and just wanted to hop on and share. Alright, bye.
This year I plan on making several things. But the first thing I'm going to make is a black velvet cloak with arm slits that's lined with different Ankara fabrics on the inside. It's also going to have a hood. So I'm very excited about that.
Happy New Year. It is 2022. And I'm claiming right now that this year is going to be a great year. I don't care if the world is closed, if the world is partially open, if it's open, what an asterisk, we are going to make 2022 a good year. Period. So today we're talking about our sewing plans for 2022, and I'm kind of still at the beginning stages of exactly what I want to do. But in doing my 2021 year-in-review, I've kind of come up with some foundational things that I want to implement in 2022. So in doing my 2021 year-in-review, I noticed that a lot of my makes were project or deadline-based things, right. So I own a fabric business, a custom fabric shop. I also am on the strike team or the test team for other fabric businesses. And I'm also a member of a pattern testing team for pattern companies. So in any given month, I can have myself sewing for any of these things. The issue that I saw was that I was trying to sew for all of them all the time. And it really overwhelmed a lot of my sewing time to where I didn't sew some of the things that I just genuinely wanted to sew for the sake of sewing.
So just in case, for anyone that may not know, when you're part of a strike team, for fabric business, you're provided fabric, either for free or at a lesser cost, and in exchange, you know, I tell them about the fabric and also promote the fabric through Facebook groups, Facebook posts, Instagram, blog posts, YouTube, that sort of thing. So it's an extra, you know, it's a...I don't want to say an exchange program, but to me it's a big responsibility. I wouldn't call it an exchange program, but it's a responsibility where the fabric business is counting on me to assist them, essentially. You know, when I send fabric out to my testers, I'm relying on them to one, give me honest feedback on the fabric, and then two, assist me in promotion and marketing of the fabric, you know, because they can reach avenues and people that I may not be able to reach, right. So it's a important task for me, and I take it very seriously when I'm on the strike teams and pattern testing teams because they are essentially entrusting you with their product in hopes that you will assist them in promotion and marketing. And I think my desire to want to assist other small businesses as I would like to be supported, kind of overtook my desire to sew just for the sake of sewing. I hope that makes sense.
There was one month where I had two pattern tests and like three fabric strikes and all of my posts for Facebook and Instagram were related to those things. Right? And I can only imagine the time. You know we all have many hats that we wear. We all have many things that we try to get accomplished in a day, in a week, in a month. So our time for sewing can be limited for many of us, and especially for me. My time to be able to sew is limited. And I can only imagine either staying up late, sleepless night, you know, excetera that I did to try and get this done, these, you know, projects done that I committed myself to, and if, during that process, did I really enjoy the sewing process? And in some cases, I probably did. I'm not gonna say all of them are like that. That's definitely not the case. But the thing that I want to take from that experience is I want to sew for the genuine sake of sewing for me. I don't want to sew something that has a project, that's you know, for a specific project. I don't want to sew for a specific deadline. I mean, I'm still gonna do those things. Don't get me wrong. I'm still gonna sew and have those strikes, but the thing that I decided to do was to go into those groups and see what are their requirements? What is the minimum requirement that they ask of me? So for one fabric group, you know, they were like, "Hey, can you do two sews a quarter?" Y'all know, in one quarter for that? I think for that one- I can't remember if it was for this particular fabric group or another one- I had did like eight in a quarter. [laughs] Well, maybe not eight. I think it was like, it was definitely more than two. Right? So I was like, "Man! Queenora you doing the most. You are doing the most." Now while I may not do the bare minimum that they asked- I may do, you know, a little bit more, you know, get a little extra credit- but I need to scale back. I need to scale back a little bit. So that way I meet the expectations they have of me, but at the same time, I put my time and my own sewing ambitions and goals on the table. So that's one of the changes I plan to make with 2022. Scale back on those things, so that way I can try and get one of the things. Just can I get one or two of the things on my never ending sewing list. Y'all know how, and I know, I'm not the only one. I know y'all got screenshots, or you have a list of all the things that you've seen that you've been wanting to sew. Like you saw someone make a McCall's pattern. You went out and got the pattern at the, you know, at the pattern sale, you're like, "Oooh, I'm gonna make this. I'm gonna make this." and it never got made. [laughs] That's me, or, you know, somebody is having Fabric Mart had a sale on wool. Um, this was in 2017 if I'm not mistaken. It could have been 2018. Either way, they had this sale on wool. Back when I was still living in Missouri, I bought the wool because I was like, "Oooh, I'm in Missouri. It's cold here. I'm gonna make me a bomb ass coat." I just want y'all to know, I have not touched any of that wool. I ain't touched not a one. And I bought, like, um, if you hear noises, it's because I'm looking at my closet where I can see this wool. And I bought five different colors. [laughs] At least I can see five different colors from right here of wool that I bought, because I just knew I was gonna make myself a wool coat while I was living in Missouri because I was in the place to need one. It never happened. And now I'm here in Texas, and I don't need no wool coat. [laughs] So I say that to say we all have that list. It is probably a never ending list. But we all have that list or those screenshots, the pictures, the inspiration, the magazine, you know, articles that we've read of projects that we want to do. And my goal for 2022 is to try and actually do some of those instead of using my time or a majority of my time, a majority of my time, on projects for other people. Now of course a great thing that would be excellent that I can do is if I can merge the two that will be awesome. But you know, baby steps. One thing at a time. Focus on getting some of these things off my list. The other thing I want to do for my sewing plans for this year to assist me in getting things off of this never-ending list and into reality is doing a Make Nine. So let me tell you about my love/hate for Make Nines.
And it's more of a love, but my hate comes from I have not actually completed a Make Nine at all. The first year I did a Make Nine, I think I completed like three or four things off of it. The next year, I didn't do none. Like not a one. [laughs] And it's so bad because I remember that year when I made the Make Nine, I bought all the patterns. You know, I bought fabric and I was like, "Yeah, I can do it." I told myself, I'll probably do like, one every month, so that way I know that, you know, I could get it done. Work on it a little bit at a time to get it done. Y'all I didn't make no one damn thing on that Make Nine. It just didn't happen. And it's okay. It's okay. But I think what I want to do this year with my Make Nine is one, not limit myself to specific patterns. So before when I did my Make Nine, I would say, "I want to make pattern blah blah blah," you know. "I want to make pattern this is that." I think what I'm going to do this year is I will have some that will be pattern specific because there's this one McCall's pattern that I want to make so bad because the sleeves are everything. I think it is maybe McCall's 8145. I could be so wrong. Nope, it's 8146. So I will have some pattern specific blocks on my Make Nine. But I think one thing I want to change up within- I think I saw some people doing this maybe last year or the year before- is changing some of the blocks to be technique based, right. So one thing that I've learned, or that I've upgraded my skills on over last year is bra making. I've made one bra and it was off to the races. And one thing that I recently did was a gothic arch bra. So instead of, you know, if we were using that as an example, for my Make Nine, instead of saying, "I want to make the Black Beauty bra or the Harriet bra," I would say "I want to make a modified bra. I want to half a bra." You know what I mean? So that way it gives me enough guidance to where okay, I'm making a bra, but it leaves it open to interpretation to whatever I may want it to be. Maybe I want to be a strappy bra. Maybe I want to make that bra into a long line. Maybe I do another Gothic arch bra. And the same thing can happen you know with any other garment. If I'm doing a skirt, I mean a dress, let's say a dress, for instance, and I want to make a formal dress. A formal dress can be anything under the sun: sequins, applique, velvet. So instead of saying "I want to make Simplicity XYZ dress" because you like because you have some formal event in mind. If you leave it open enough to where you can leave yourself with some possibilities, you can accomplish that. Or something as simple as I want to make jeans. Making jeans has been on my list for a while. It's been on the list for a while. I've even taken Nikki Sewingmystyle. She has a jean class. I took the class, but I was in the middle of a move, so I didn't get a chance to really put my 100% into it. But this year I'm going to make myself some jeans. That is going to be one of the techniques that's on there. And leaving that open, even that, leaving that open to instead being a pattern specific thing allows me to say "Okay, who else is coming out with a jean pattern," right? Do I want to start with a stretch denim pattern? Do I want to start with a non-stretch denim pattern? It leaves it to interpretation so that way if I decide to make some changes or if something new comes out- for all I know somebody can be designing a pant pattern, a jean pants pattern for I think my shape is an apple, a pear, for pear shaped person where I may not have to do as many adjustments- and I might be like, "You know what? I want to use that pattern instead." So that way, I can still work within my Make Nine. So I think I am going to go with the Make Nine. Put it more as techniques, versus 100% pattern suggestions. And then the other thing with my Make Nine that I don't know, 100% that I'm going to do, is I may have it be like a six month Make Nine.
I recently read this book, The 12 Week Year. So it's a book that wants you to adjust your mindset to where every quarter is a year, essentially. And it plays on your mental to where you know, if you say "Oh, I have a whole year to do something," you're like "ah, you know, I got time I got time I got time." But if you tell yourself that your year in I'm doing quotations your "year" is January to March, you kind of have a little bit more umph, you know a little bit more fire under your ass to get stuff done. So I think I want to do something like that with my Make Nine. In looking at some people's Make Nines from last year, reading some blog posts, a lot of them are like, "oh, you know, I made most of these in the second half of the year because I realized, you know, 2021 was almost over." I don't want to rush my sewing, I want my sewing to get back to being my zen, my happy place, my happy bubble, my quiet time. And I don't want me trying to rush to finish this Make Nine to interrupt the second half of my year. So I'm thinking if I make a Make Nine for the beginning half and a Make Nine for the ending half. So I don't think I'm as ambitious or have enough time to do a Make Nine for every quarter. But I think I could do two different Make Nine for 2022, one for the beginning half and one for the second half. What this will also allow me to do is kind of focus it on my needs for that time frame. Right? The one you know, if I do-if I Make Nine for January to June, I think I can get some stuff done. Be like look, "Let me go ahead and get my summer sewing, some bathing suits...," you know, things that I may want to really focus and hone in on for those first six months. And then the next six months, I can be like "Alright, let's do some winter- maybe I can finally make a coat. You know, make some long johns, [laughs] I don't know." But I think it'll give me an opportunity to really focus on the things that I want to accomplish. If I'm able to pull off a Make Nine, one for the first half of the year, and one for the second half of the year. And then maybe if that goes well for this year, maybe 2023 I can look at a quarterly Make Nine maybe possibly. I'm not making any guarantees. So that is pretty much an overview of my sewing plans for 2022. That's a lot of 20s. 2022. I hope that, you know, something that I said assists you or gives you inspiration or motivation for your sewing gear this year. I am really excited to see what I, you know, make throughout the year so that way when I do my end of review at 2022 I don't have that same feeling of "Oh man, I didn't really make anything for me!" I hope I'm not gonna have that same feeling when I do my end of review of 2022. But if you follow me on the socials, I will be posting my Make Nine at some point this month. [laughs] Not gonna make any promises. But yeah, can't wait to see what everyone creates.
Lisa Woolfork 24:46
You've been listening to a bonus episode of the Stitch Please podcast as we start 2022. I am grateful to everybody who was able to leave messages on the SpeakPipe. Please do check out blackwomenstitch.org to look at our really beautiful website, and then to check out the SpeakPipe. And you can leave us a message. You can request a guest. You can nominate yourself. You can also ask us questions like mailbag style. I'd be happy to get messages and hear what you have to say. Special thanks to Queenora Renee, for her wonderful expose or discussion, her wonderful discussion of her sewing plans for 2022 and her reflection looking back at 2021 to see what she might want to do differently. I certainly appreciated some of the comments that she made about preserving one's sewing time, and I know that's something I need to consider or should consider or would like to consider moving forward into my own 2022. Best wishes. Happy stitches. Come back next time, and we will help you get your stitch together.