It’s that time of year – the end of one year and the beginning of another. All over media from social to international news channels, people are pausing and weighing up the year while looking forward to the next.
I always liked that about New Years.
I’ve been taking stock like anyone else. 2012 was a year of learning for me- of hard work and late nights and teeth-gnashing frustration while I figured out what to do with the skills I have- I started out 2012 as a drafter, a sewist, a blogger and a teacher. I lacked skills as a model, photographer, digitizer, and project manager but I’m much more confident in these areas as 2013 begins.
It took me a while to decide to make a paper pattern company- that was in May, if you can believe it. Now we all have Cake. I know how the process works now (more or less), which means I’m not learning new things every single day, which means we can play together more in 2013 than we ever did in 2012!
I’d say I had quite a few mis-steps along the way, mistakes, and complete failures. The trick to failure is to find a way to learn or to grow from it, to pick up and move on. I feel like I learned that over and over in 2012!
WordPress summed my year in blogging for me better than I could myself. They sent me a cool infograph of blogging statistics, so I thought I’d share with you a bit. 3 Hours Past has had nearly half a million views since I moved here from blogspot last year (in Oct 2011). My poor brain can’t process numbers that big- I really can’t grasp it but it’s certainly exciting! Thank you so much for sticking with me while I wandered around the blogging wilderness, trying to figure out what to do with myself.
These were the most popular posts at 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World in 2012. I don’t particularly understand why my old post on gaucho pants should still be so well-read, but the internet is a mysterious place sometimes. In case you missed them, the other top 5 posts were:
- Pictutorial- Knit Binding
- Research on Rayon: Pulp, Hemp, and Bamboo
- De-Grading Sizes: My Thoughts (This is pre-Cake musings on sizing, I drew heavily from these ideas while drafting Tiramisu.)
- Introducing Cake Patterns! (I was so. beyond. terrified. before I hit the “publish” button on this post. Really really. And of course I had no idea what the next 5 months would hold…!)
These sites were my top 5 referrers for 2012. Many thanks to AnneW at Craft Gossip, the lovely ladies at Sew Weekly, to Casey and to Mushy! And most of all, thank you everyone who cares enough about what I’m doing to put me in your reader, and to all of you who read these words I write and encourage the sewing. I could never, ever, ever have done what I have without you.
Since I mentioned Sew Weekly, I wanted to say that while I dropped out of the Weekly challenges mid-year (Cake is a demanding mistress) I learned *so* much from completing the challenges and working on Sew Weekly as a group blog that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. That’s not to mention all the lovely sewing people I met. Part of me feels terrible for quitting, but a bigger part of me knows I didn’t have much of a choice if I wanted to make Cake happen. Congratulations to everyone who completed the 52 week challenge, and to everyone who posted even once. It’s hard work, you’ve got to hustle, well done!
Personal Fave of 2012
I think of all the Finished Object and Hack posts I made this year, my favorite top and photos came from the Lacewing Top. We took these shots at the Brisbane Botanical Gardens on a lovely family afternoon out, and that’s what I think of when I see these photos.
These are two favorite garments I can’t wear ever again, as they were lost in the great Whites to Pink Disaster last May. Why do I keep returning to that little incident?
The Backstory on the Pinks, and Why I’m ok with it now
May 2012 was an extremely hard month for me. I had been working on a wardrobing book proposal with a big craft and sewing publishing company. I had patterns, samples, and much of the copy already written before I started querying publishers.
The first publisher I approached loved my concepts and kept drawing out more of my ideas and saying lovely encouraging things about our future together- though they weren’t quite on board with my pattern ideas. They were going through a transition phase as I was working with them- we got all the way to the final round of negotiations and they dropped my proposal. I was devastated, but didn’t want to talk about it here. Now I’m over it.
Then I spilled some liquid on my lovely laptop and nearly lost several years’ worth of notes and images. Luckily, my Father-in-Law was looking for someone to take his old laptop off his hands so he could upgrade in good conscience- and Stephen helped me recover all of my files.
I also had some rather upsetting family drama news from America in May.
Then, right around the same time, I lost that load of whites. I believe that’s why I was so beside myself about it- on top of everything else, I’d lost a sizeable chunk of my wardrobe.
I also couldn’t find a regular teaching space in Brisbane, I couldn’t make pdf patterns work the way I wanted them to- I felt blocked every time I turned around, except when I posted here to chat with you all about sewing.
And then there was Cake
Cake is for you- all of my applied knowledge and observations from twenty years of sewing and taking copious notes, wrapped up in a pretty pretty envelope and just waiting for you to pick her up and play.
I drafted Tiramisu in June, right after that series of unfortunate events- I needed to. The design wouldn’t leave my head and even when computers and families and washing machines conspired against me, I knew I could withdraw into my little world of lines and dots on paper and everything would work out. I draft and “grade” entirely by hand, I enjoy the physicality of it and don’t see myself learning to digitally draft any time soon.
Once I finished the drafts I knew I had something worth producing well- as a real paper pattern. Through those months of working out production issues and building Cake Patterns, every time I wanted to quit I came back to two things:
- You guys are the best
- The drafting/concept work is good
Through every rejection from the industry, every digitizer who acted like I was crazy, through printing woes and logistics issues, I kept going back to those two things.
I’m so so pleased you all like the way I’ve made Cake- from the sizing based on measurements to the way we set up the instructions, it felt like a gamble. My instincts told me you’d like it, but you never know for sure until the work is “out there.”
I’m also incredibly pleased with all the great reviews of Tiramisu that are out so far, and the variety of your Tiramisus to reflect your individual style and climate needs- wow. It’s such fun to watch this gallery grow. If you’d like me to add your Tiramisu review or photo or blog post, let me know and I’m on it. You’ve been so kind in your praise of the pattern, and I’m really proud of the work we’ve done together.
In 2013 I look forward to doing my very best work for you through Cake and sewingcake.com. Now that I mostly understand printing and logistics, I feel like we can finally get some sewing done!
Tomorrow: Outline of 2013- Petit Four, Cake Rolls, Cake Riffs, Lamington (pants, oh yes, pants!) and Hummingbird project teasers. Also a class preview (because I have a teaching home!) and some other tidbits…. It’s basically an introduction to the projects I’ve had simmering here quietly and a Table of Contents… Mom was asking me on Skype the other day what exactly I’m doing over the next few months, I thought I’d respond to her in blog post form…
And then: A few cool posts leading up to Tiramisu including the “4th Dimension of Tiramisu” and the Full Bust Alteration and how to apply it! Then we’ll dive into the 30 Minutes a Day Sewalong and make up an army of Tiramisus.
Happy New Year, everyone. Thank you again, over and over, for your support in 2012 as I got my feet under me. From my viewpoint, 2013 looks like an exciting year. I hope you have a happy and productive 2013! Upward and onward!