Who made my wedding dress?

Hello everybody!

It’s not the first time I mentioned the book Overdressed: the shockingly high cost of fast fashion, by Elisabeth Cline, but it really was a turning point for me as my wardrobe choices are concern. I slowly but surely started making more ethical choices with the clothes I did buy, and also started to build a more thoughtful and functional wardrobe by refashioning clothes I didn’t wear anymore and also by sewing my own clothes. Then, when I saw that Fashion Revolution was organising an online course along with the University of Exeter to learn about Who Made My Clothes, it just seamed like the perfect next step on this way.

So the aim of the course is to become aware of the conditions that garment workers usually are, to learn how to investigate and ask brands about the origin of your clothes, and finally to do something about it. I have to say I am thoroughly enjoying this course and as heartbreaking as some of the research I’ve done is, it has also filled me with hope for a better and more sustainable future.

So, since my wedding anniversary happened during the course, I thought it’d be a great idea to research who made my wedding dress. I have to say that the sole idea of finding out nasty stories that could potentially be related to it did terrify but I still took the plunge and went for it.

My dress is from Pronovias, a well know brand all over the world. For the Tier One research,  I Goggled the brand’s name along with all the key words (sweatshop, child labour, strikes,…) as suggested on on of the course’s articles and I didn’t find anything, not even a mention, which I guess put my heart at ease if only a little bit. I couldn’t really find any “high fashion” or “luxury brands” garment workers sotries, which makes me think that their working conditions must be above de average, and hopefully a bit better than that.

My dress was made out of silk for the outside layer and polyester lining.The Tier Two research brought some nasty stories about silk worms farming and production, and I couldn’t help but hope that the silk of my dress hadn’t damaged anyone’s health along the way, although I’ve come to terms that it may well have done. Both materials probably come from China too, maybe even from the very same region, Zhejiang, where most the silk and polyester is made.

So with the bits and pieces that I’ve collected along the way, I’ve dreamt of the person that made my dress:

I haven’t learnt where and by who my dress was actually made, but what I have learnt to look with respect to every single bit of clothing that I see in a shop. Now I imagine stories about them and the people behind them. Next time I see a t-shirt with a coverstitch thread hanging out of the seam I’ll think of a last minute order coming in and that person seeing a massive increase in the garments per hour that she/he must fulfil. Yes, that PERSON, that person that is alive and breathing but with no much room for dreams and hopes. That person could be you or me, and in the same way I wouldn’t want that life for myself, I don’t want it for them either, and it’s on our hands to do our bit.

Apart from being more conscious about my purchases and also sewing my own clothes, I hosted a worldwide refashioning event along with an Instafriend. You can read all about it here. It’s been a great experince so we are already thinking about next year’s exchange!

I want to end with this beautiful interpretation of the pyramid of Maslow for makers, it’s always on the board above my desk as a reminder!
Thank you everyone that have made this course possible, it’s been an absolute joy to be part of it! Hope there are many more!

Thanks for reading!

Pilar

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Why I breastfeed and other advantages of breastfeeding

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Hello everyone!

Today’s post is very special to me because breastfeeding has been my life since baby Mateo arrived to this world 6 months ago. So as I way of celebration I want to explain why I chose to breastfeed and how my experience has been so far.

There is one thing I never expected when I had my baby 6 months ago: somehow, my breasts became kind of a public affair on which everyone seemed to have an opinion. If I had got a pound for each person that asked me something related to my breasts we would be covered for nappies for life. Questions such as: why do you breastfeed? How long are you going to breastfeed for? Does he have enough with your milk? Does he put on enough weight by just breasfeeding? Why don’t you give him formula? When are you going to stop breastfeeding? Why don’t you give him “normal” milk? (meaning formula) Do you express your milk? Why don’t you express your milk? Don’t you get tired of breastfeeding?… I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture, right?

I don’t really mind these kind of questions, but I never go into the real reasons of my choice to breastfeed my baby and I usually just give a short pleasing answer because at the end of the day that’s all people are after. But to celebrate 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding Mateo, I want explain why I really do it.

I breastfeed because…

… I feel that not only I nourish you with my milk but I also nourish you with my love.

… I love the complicity I feel between us when you are in my arms eating from my breast.

… your food is always ready, at the perfect temperature and it never runs out.

… I can sooth you instantly.

… I love how you look at me with your beautiful eyes and make me feel like I’m the most important person in the world.

… I’ve got one free hand to caress your soft skin and hair (or to tickle you on your chubby legs!)

… I love hearing your impatient laugh when you are about to eat.

… I know I’m giving you the best I can.

… I don’t want to be away from you, I want to be there for when you need me.

… I feel more in tune with my own nature, knowing that women thousands of years ago did the same, and that women from every race do the same, no matter where they’re from.

… I don’t count lines on a bottle, I trust you and I know you’ll eat what you need.

… it just feels right.

These reasons are enough for me to carrying breastfeeding as long as he and me want, but there are plenty of more proven scientific reasons that show further benefits of breastfeeding. These are just some:

… because breastfed babies have less risk of suffering digestive and breathing illnesses in the long term apart from being less likely to catch flus and other viruses.

… because it reduces the risk of developing breast and/or uterus cancer as well as diminishes the effects of osteoporosis.

… because it helps you regain your pre-pregnancy figure.

… because it’s better for the environment because formula is made of de-fattened cow’s milk.

… because it is free and better quality than any other milk. The average expenditure on formula per year is about €2,500.

… because it’s empowering for the new mum, preventing post-natal depression.

… because the milk nutrients change depending on your baby’s needs, one milk definitely does not fit all.

… because breast milk is “vaccinating” your baby from everyday viruses and therefore he’ll be ill less often.

… because it helps you to know your baby better.

… because it helps to develop a stronger sense of confidence in your baby as well as a better development of their brain.

There are plenty more reasons that could go on this list but I think these are enough for now.

I could say that breastfeeding has given me a new vision of my self and has made me discovered love at another level. Having said that, the start was not easy and I’m just glad I had the courage and the patience to stick to it and overcome whatever difficulties I found. I am just so happy I didn’t give up because now it’s my favourite time of the day (it’s just lucky that happens so often!).

As I said above, this is MY experience and MY reasons, and I do acknowledge that every mummy and baby tandem is different and different choices may work for them. At the end of the day, happy mummy equals happy baby, and that’s what really matters. I’d just thought I owed it to me and my baby to be finally answer all those questions honestly. I don’t expect my breasts to stop being a public affair any time soon, but maybe next time I will go into more detail and hopefully I’ll be able to help other mums to enjoy their breastfeeding time.

Hope you enjoyed the post and I’d love to hear about your reasons for breastfeeding (or not!).

Happy Tuesday!

Pilar & Mateo

 

 

About a New Year, friendship and some goals for 2016

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Happy times in Barcelona with my dearest friend Lidia 8 years ago, and still going

Hello everybody!

A few days late but… Happy New Year! Hope you’ve all entered the year well and merry 🙂

I don’t know what it is about the New Year, but everyone seems to be happier, maybe it is the clean-slate feeling that inundates each and every one of us around these dates. Making the most of this momentum of renewed energy, I want to publicly set my goals for this year. So, in 2016 I’d like to achieve the following:

  1. First and most importantly, keep taking care of my baby boy and make him as happy as I possibly can.
  2. Be better at keeping in touch with my friends in other cities/countries.
  3. Go handmade for as many things as I can (wardrobe, gifts, housewares…)
  4. Carry out a stash busting before I buy any more fabric (does this sound like a challenge to you too?)
  5. Learn pattern drafting
  6. Create my first sewing pattern (and launching it?)

In order to succeed in these (especially in the sewing related), I’ve joined efforts with one of my best friends, Lidia. She also has a creative project that she wants to take forward over this year, and since we live in different cities, we thought it would be a nice way to be in touch more frequently and also cheer each other up in our respective projects. She creates beautiful illustrations that encourage your little ones to learn and develop their imagination. You can check out her work here.  Just the prospect of doing this over 2016 excites me much more than if it was just me. It just feels like a great combo.

Have you ever joined efforts with your friends in order to achieve something? How did it go? I’d love to here your stories!

That’s all for today folks, but I’ll be back soon with a something something that this post has inspired me to do. Have a lovely afternoon and if you are in Spain… Happy Reyes!!

Thanks for reading!

Pilar

 

10 things no one told me about motherhood

10 thingsno one told me about motherhood
Hello everyone!
Today my baby boy is 4 months old and to celebrate, I thought it’d be nice to share with you some of the learnings I’ve gathered as a new mum over this time. Here we go!
  1.  Trust your baby, he knows exactly what he needs. You’ll probably find that most people have an opinion or advice ready to give you, but no one knows better than your own baby what he needs in each moment. Just make sure you learn to read his signs, that’s all you need to listen to.
  2. You will be the best mum for your baby, so don’t worry if your experience does not match with other people’s. Listen to you heart and instinct and do what feels right for you and your little bundle of love. The mummy and baby tandem is a very special one, and probably unique to each of us.
  3. Lower your expectations about what you will and won’t be able to do once the baby is here, otherwise you’ll end up frustrated with yourself. If there is anything that you absolutely want to do, make sure you do it before the D-Day. Having said that, there is one thing that you’ll absolutely need to do for your self’s sake: find the time to have a nice longish shower every day, your baby needs a happy, healthy (good-smelling) mamma.
  4. You will be pretty much back into your pre-pregnancy body in about 4 weeks. I was gladly surprised to see how quickly my belly went down and I could wear “normal” clothes again.  Also, breastfeeding speeds up this process since each time your baby feeds you produce the hormone in charge of reducing your uterus to its pre-pregnancy size, so it is definitely a win-win situation for both you and your baby.
  5. Breastfeeding is the least straight forward human instinct. I used to think that it couldn’t be that difficult since humans have been doing it for thousands of years…. well, I was wrong. It is more of a learnt process rather than an instinct. In the past, an especially before formula came into the picture, breastfeeding was the norm and most women were familiar with it through observing others. But now we don’t get the chance to see other mums and learn from them, which leaves us, new mums, completely lacking a rather important skill when the baby finally arrives.
  6. Don’t asume that any mum that has breastfed knows everything about it. If you ask a 1000 mums about their breastfeeding experience, you’ll get a 1000 different stories, and unluckily many of them rather traumatic. I feel sad that so many mums did not enjoy this part of their lives (probably due to lack of information and advice) but it doesn’t have to be like that for you. I stuck with it and it was the best decision I could have ever made. For me, it is the ultimate mummy-and-baby bonding time.
  7. You are allowed not to have visitors at the hospital. Actually, I did know this before I had Mateo and I am extremely thankful to the person who told me about it. Don’t get me wrong, I was dying to show my friends and family our little beautiful baby, but we just felt we needed time on our own, me, my husband and the baby, getting used to each other, resting together, looking at him for hours, learning to take care of him. Some people may not understand it, but the people that really care for you definitely will.
  8. Weight is not the only indicator of your baby’s health. There seems to be a kind of unwritten fact: your baby is only as good and healthy as his weight. Well, that is not the case. There are so many other indicators that your baby is healthy and happy apart from the scales. Trust your instincts, if your baby looks healthy, he probably is, even if he is on the lower half of the average weight charts.
  9. When your baby cries it will be like if someone tore your heart apart. The only reason for that is just pure mummy love, and you just can’t help it.
  10. As hard as it can be at first, don’t wish the days away. I’ll be honest, I found the first few weeks of motherhood quite hard, probably because I had the wrong expectations and breastfeeding was way harder and demanding than I could have ever imagined, but I tried to tell myself: “This will pass and won’t come back, so enjoy every moment of it”. Of course, this is easier to see hindsight but I always try to remember it when I’m feeling a bit tired.

Bonus:

11. You will love your baby a 1000 times more than you could ever imagine!

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Thanks for reading!

Pilar

10 steps to simplify your beauty shelf

simple beauty case

Good morning everyone!

Today I finally got around to sorting out something that was really bothering me; I finally tackled my beauty basket! It drove me a bit crazy every time I saw almost empty pots of stuff, other stuff that probably had already expired, and make up bits that I know for a fact that do not suit me. Soooo… today was the day!

This is how I did it an how YOU can do it:

1. Count how many beauty/hygiene products you own. Lay out all the items that currently live in your bathroom. Make sure you get the ones scattered around your handbags, bedroom, etc… and put like with like, i.e.: all the lipsticks together, hairbands,… I included everything: make-up, moisturisers, dental care, shower stuff, manicure/pedicure items, hairstyling products and hair accessories. If you came around to my flat, you would probably say we don’t own much, but somehow, I had managed to gather just over a hundred items in my bathroom shelf!! All nicely put away, which I guess made it more bearable, but still, way too much stuff for my liking.

2. Throw away anything that has expired. Yes, all products have a use-by date! It doesn’t show a specific date like in food, but has a little symbol like the one below that indicates how long it lasts once it’s been opened. Be specially ruthless with sunscreen and never use it from summer to summer, it’s been proved that can cause serious burns. I threw away 12 products.

Look out for this little symbol

Look out for this little symbol

3. Gather the empties you can recycle. If you are a fan of MAC make-up, gather all your empties/expired products and trade them for a brand new lipstick completely free. You’ll get one for every 6 pots you recycle. I’ll be getting one for my mum as a surprise! There are other brands that have a recycling scheme so check in advance in case you can get some freebies and reduce waste. Lush is another of my favourites; you get a fresh face mask for every 6 empty pots you take into the shop.

4. Throw away any products that don’t suit your beauty regime. Over time, you end up gathering products that do not suit you but you keep because you think you’ll use them at some point. For example, I found left over conditioner and soap from a friend that visited us time ago, make-up that came for free with magazines (and the tones were totally wrong for me), all kind of samplers that I’ll never use and have probably expired…. So far I’ve mentioned things that I got for free from different places, but you also need to look at the things you bought and you maybe shouldn’t have. In my case, I have quite a few eye shadows in all sorts of tones, who can resit them when they are so lovely presented on their little stands? Well, the truth is… I never ever use eye shadow, so I have got rid of it all (also had probably expired…). So just think about what you realistically use in your beauty regime. In my case were the eye shadows, but I know people that have loads of lipsticks that never use, or eye-liners, nail varnishes, mascaras… it is hard to throw away stuff that you invested money in, but just learn from your mistake and let them go. If you know someone that would love any of the products you are going to get rid of, then you can pass them on to them, but don’t do it just so it makes you feel less guilty, just do it because they will genuinely love them.

5. Gather all your unopened stuff in one place. Sometimes it is difficult to know what’s open and what’s not, so I always keep all the unopened stuff together so I know where to look when I need something. Having said that, I don’t like to store loads of stuff, so I tend to buy a replacement when I am out or almost out of something. This will save you loads of storage space in your bathroom and will be less cluttered.

6. Examine your hair accessories. You’ve probably gathered a fair amount of jaw clips, pins, snaps, bands, hair bubbles, brushes,… and I would bet anything that most of them are not in great shape anymore. Throw away items that are rusty (specially clips and pins), any overstretched hair bubbles, and any half broken items such as jaw clips. Also get rid of any combs that don’t suit your hair. For example, why would you keep a fine comb (that you got for free form a hotel) if you’ve got thick curly hair? Exactly.

7. Go through any other items/accessories. How many hand mirrors do you need? Just keep your fave and let the others go. How many make-up brushes do you own? Keep the best ones you’ve got and get rid of the others. The amount of brushes you need will depend on your beauty regime, if you just use powder blusher, then you’ll only need one. Why keeping those old nail files? Loose them all and keep the best or the newest you own, your nails will thank you!

8. Simplify your make-up bag. Fair enough, we may keep a few extra items that we don’t wear every day but that we love, but put them away somewhere else. I like to keep my make-up bag with just my everyday essentials so I have them always to hand and I can just grab them and go and fit them in my tiny bag. In my case, I do love red/pink lipsticks and I know they suit me but don’t wear them every day, so I keep them to hand but in a different pouch so I know where they are when I want to use them.

9. Make what you own feel extra special. Now that you have a lovely, decluttered, super pampering beauty shelf, why not putting your products in a beautiful case? It may sound silly, but there is a difference in keeping your beauty stuff in a plastic hotel pouch (that is old and dirty) that you got for free ages ago to keeping them in a lovely bag that a dear friend gave you for your birthday, or if you are crafty you can go ahead and create your perfect beauty case! I made mine about 3 years ago (it was like my 2nd make ever!) and it is still going strong. I love how soft and supple it is after using it day in day out, and since it is made of cotton I can wash it whenever it gets a bit murky.

10. Enjoy the result! The best thing about clearing your beauty box is that you now know that every single item you own is your best choice to make you feel at your best, so go ahead and enjoy it!!

Thanks for reading!!

Pilar

Looking back at our handmade wedding

Morning everyone!

Since this is our wedding anniversary week, I thought it would be a good idea to look back on the handmade details we had in our wedding.

Just to set the scene, we got married at the Haldon Belvedere, Devon, a triangular castle built in 1788, at the height of the Romantic Period of the Georgian age, and then had our reception in a charming country pub by the side of the river Ex. We did not have a wedding theme or a colour scheme, but somehow it all worked together very nicely. We had actually got a theme without intending so: a chilled, intimate, beautiful wedding with loads of handmade details.

The fact that me and my husband James are from different countries did have some impact on the preparations but nothing that we couldn’t get over with creativity!

Now the fun bit, the pictures!

Table planner:

Table planner collage

For this one, we wanted to avoid any written indications since each half of the wedding party came from different countries.

How we made it:

We bought an old picture from a charity shop and used its golden frame. We stapled loads of fabric strips to the back of the frame and then we pegged the sitting arrangement for each of the tables. We colour coded the lists with a small fabric triangle that could be then found on the allocated table.

The ceramic bunting on top of the frame we bought from a lovely craft shop in Exeter, Good Golly Miss Molly, which also helped us getting another of our wedding highlights (but you need to keep on reading to find out!).

Table decorations:

As I mentioned above, we had our reception in an old British country pub, and as you can imagine tables are not as big as in other venues, so we had to keep table decorations to an absolute minimum. After much thinking, we opted for dry rose petals to sprinkle on the tables, tiny tin buckets with a tea light and a the correspondent table planner code (made of an empty jam jar, a piece of fabric, a cute peg, a piece of string and a tea light). It turned out to be just perfect because it did not take up any room from the tables but, in my opinion, made it look smart and cared for.

Table Decorations Collage

Bunting:

Well, we didn’t discover the wheel here but, wherever there is a handmade wedding there has to be a fair share of bunting! In our case, it was made of a combination of paper and fabric triangles cut with pinking shears for an extra lovely effect. I have to say that this turned out to be the ultimate proof of my husband’s love for me; after misjudging the amount of time this was going to take me, he had to take over and ended up sewing about 200m worth of bunting in 8 hours straight. He’s never touched a sewing machine again but hey, I do not blame him! He was sewn out for life I think, but he still did an excellent job. Here’s the proof:

Bunting Collage

Wedding cake:

No, we did not make the cake ourselves, but it was made by a lovely lady named Jill Garner that now runs a very successful cake business in the Devon area, Mrs Gills Country Cakes. We met her through Cassie, the owner of an Exeter based craft shop called Good Golly Miss Molly, totally by chance; it was actually quite a funny story! We had been the whole morning looking around Exeter for a bakery that would make our wedding cake with not much luck when we saw a pretty awesome looking shop full of handmade items. In one of my husband’s lightbulb moments he said: “I’m sure the lady in this shop knows someone that bakes”. And there we went in to ask and he was right! Not only she knew one person but two wonderful bakers! She put us in touch with Jill and she quickly understood what we were after… a delicious looking and tasting Victoria sponge with homemade cream and berries jam. This was the amazing result…

Wedding CakePretty damn good looking, right? It tasted even better! And we were lucky enough to have a bit left for the journey home the following day, OMG it was good! I have not tried a better cake ever since (and trust me, I’ve tried some…) Next time we are in Devon we may have to ask her to make another one, this time just for us!!

I’m sure you’ve notice the supercute crocheted bees on top of the cake. Well, we didn’t make those either, but we got them from Cherry Time by Mojca, a Slovenian artist that we found on Etsy. They still sit proudly in our bedroom, they make me smile every time I walk in 🙂

Guest book:

For this one, we got a local artist, Candida Bradley, to create a one-of-a-kind guest book for our special day. It was then filled with lovely and brightly coloured messages from our dear friends and family.

Guest Book Collage

We also handmade the invites and the thank you cards, but I don’t seem to find the pictures now 🙁 So I’ll leave it for another post (also this is getting quite long…). I’d like to finish with one of my favourite pictures of the day, me and my friends in this wonderful (and remote) corner of the world! Thank you all for coming 🙂 And by the way, my bouquet did its job an the lovely couple on the picture (Maria in the green dress and Dani on the left corner) are getting married very soon! Congratulations!

Boda 3Bye bye for now and thanks for reading!

Pilar

Two years ago…

What a happy day that was :)

What a happy day that was 🙂

You guessed! Yes, two years ago I was getting married to the most wonderful man on Earth. I still can’t believe that he picked me amongst all the people, and I can’t be but grateful every day.

This is an extra special anniversary because it is the last one that will be just the two of us, although the little one is already kind of here because they’re growing in my belly!

So, thank you James for this wonderful two exciting years, for standing my morning grumpiness (before coffee), for taking me on wonderful holidays, for being so supportive with my crazy ideas, for letting me have the most wonderful pregnancy I could imagine, for just being you and for loving me.

Cheers to the many more years we have ahead of us!

Pilar

Why simplicity?

Seam Reap-Cambodia

Hello everyone!

As you may have noticed, there is a section on the top menu called “Simplicity”. Some of you have asked me about it and I thought it was about time to explain a little bit more about its (coming) content.

As you may have read in one of my previous posts, I’ve made a few major life-changing decisions in the last few months, one of them being relocating overseas (aka going back to my home country after maaaaaany years abroad), and the second one being having a baby on the way.

When I started thinking about the logistics of relocating to Spain, I realised that it was  golden opportunity to do a massive clear out of the stuff that I was not going to need in my new life or that I just didn’t love enough to take it through the whole process of moving, which is arduous and exhausting. So I decided to use my never-ending commutes to do research about ways of shedding the amount of stuff that one owns. I’ll be honest, it was hard at first, but after a couple of weeks I managed to gather a scary amount of stuff to either take down to the charity shop or just to get rid of. This turned out to be one of the most cathartic exercises I’ve ever done in my life.

But this was only the beginning of a new way to see life. Since I started to get rid of the things that didn’t fulfil a purpose in my life anymore, my head started to become clearer and clearer about other (more important) things. After cutting down on the objects I owned, I tried to apply this concept of simplicity to other areas of my life and clearly identifying the things I wanted to spend time doing and the ones that I didn’t, but I will leave this for another post.

As I mentioned above, the other major life-changing event that has made me really think about cutting down on not only material things but also on time-wasting activities, is the baby we have on the way. On the one hand, we live in a 1-bed flat, and even though it is a spacious one, babies can somehow take up much more room than two adults. This has “forced” us to be creative with our very valuable storage space and also to think about what we really need and don’t need for the new arrival. (Of course I will be sharing all the projects and space-saving tips on the blog!) In an attempt to take my simplifying techniques a bit further, I came across a book called The life-changing magic of tidying up, and I have to say, it has actually been life changing for me. I will be writing a full review on this book, but for the time being this is a list of things I have achieved since I read it:

… since I tidied my desk, I have finished:

– a maternity skirt

– an upholstered chair

– 2 bibs for my cousins’ babies

– my ruffles maternity dress

– a hooded towel for the baby

– a fitted maternity dress

– a maternity nightgown for the hospital (and self-drafted the pattern)

– a summer robe

… since I tidied my bedroom storage, I have:

– got rid of some clothing items that had escaped my initial clean out

– fitted more clothes in my allocated space

– a clearer view of the items I’ve got (and love)

– managed to put all the winter blankets away

– a clearer view of my fabric stash

… since I tidied my bathroom, I have:

– a clear view of the stock I have (soaps, shampoos, sunscreen, make-up bits,…)

– a decluttered sink surface

– a more relaxing, cleaner space

… and most importantly, I have relaunched my blog!! Yaaay!!

Well, this turned out to be quite a long post in the end so I am going to finish with just one more thought to get you motivated to embrace simplicity. Letting material things go can feel like a big task, but luckily it is something that can be learnt and systematised. And once you’ve let go, you will really think twice before bringing something new into your home!

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Pilar

A Fresh Start

START

Good morning everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, it has been a long time since I wrote anything for my blog. Today, I’d like to reflect on why, in my view, a very exciting personal project never really took off and why now may be the right time to give it another go. As you can imagine, there are many kinds of reasons involved, so I apologise in advance for any messiness presenting my thoughts.

Why PilarBear never really got started? (Well, I did post 4 entries, but I don’t consider that as getting started.)

  1. I was too ambitious. The first mistake when trying to start my blog was that I just wanted it to be perfect: perfect pictures, perfect colour palette, perfect branding, perfect projects… basically perfect everything. No need to say that, as a blogging amateur, everything was far from perfect. This led me to great frustration.
  2. I did not know what to blog about. This is a weird one because, how could I wanted to have a blog if I didn’t have anything to write about? Well, the answer is related to the previous point. Since I felt nothing that I made was good enough, I felt I did not have anything to share. As hard as this is to acknowledge, it was clearly a lack of confidence on myself and my skill set.
  3. I wasn’t in the right place: By this I don’t mean on a physical place, but in the right mindset. At the time, I was living in England and commuting into London everyday. Some people do suit this, but it definitely did not suit me. I was constantly chasing for a better job, for a better pay, for a better future, but it just never seemed to be good enough or arrive at the right time. I guess I was just immerse in a swirl of things that didn’t let me take a step back and look at life with perspective.

Why PilarBear is ready to go now?

  1. I’ve got my feet on the ground. I am not a superwoman that does everything perfectly and that is fine. Just by acknowledging this, I feel more willing to take my ideas into action even if the results are not as I’d ideally like them to be. And that’s fine too.  As a result, I happen to do more things and more often than not I am greatly surprised by the results; still not perfect, but definitely much better than waiting for perfection.
  2. My blog has now got a clear focus. I have now overcome my fear of ruining fabric. When I started sewing, I just could not bring myself to use up my nice fabric stash because I felt I needed to practice more and more and then some more before I could make something worthy with it.  But then I realised that the only way to get better was to actually tackle projects and learn from my mistakes (I’m clearly a genius!) and that’s what I am doing now. And that’s the focus of my blog, to keep a sewing journal where I can share my learning process, hoping that by sharing my experiences, both positive and negative, I will be able to help other sewers in their processes too. My conclusion: the only thing you need to fear is to do nothing!
  3. Right place, changing place. Don’t think I am all settled and all that stuff and that’s why I’ve decided to write. Far from it. Actually, I am about to face the biggest change of my life and I have no idea how things are going to be like once our little one is born at the end of the summer. Actually, thinking about it, to start a blog may not be the best of ideas as I’m pretty sure I’ll have less time once he/she is here. But anyway, this time is different. Being pregnant is a very demanding thing. No matter what you want to do, or when or what, your body comes first and you need to listen to it. And little by little a life is forming in your belly. So what I’ve done is to take this concept and apply it to other areas of my life, in this case, my blog. Now I am listening to what I want to share, and little by little I will be crafting up these series of sewing and other experiences.
  4. I don’t want to loose my friends! Since I am in full sewing mode at the minute, I feel like I am constantly sending them pics of my makes. So, since they are lovely people and don’t want to loose them, I want to share my makes with people that actually want to see them so I can give some time off to my friends. Hope you are one of them!

I’m not sure how many of you will have got this far but it’s ok, it is pretty long! I just needed to put into words and in some kind of order why I wanted to restart my blog now; it’s definitely been a very useful writing exercise.

Thanks for reading!