How to overcome self doubt

Sometimes it’s challenging to believe in yourself. How do you “put yourself out there” when you’re terrified? How do you make yourself believe that what you’re doing is “good enough”, when all you can see in your latest project are the parts that you didn’t do so well? We are all our own worst critics… and actually, that fact is the key to freeing your creativity from self-doubt.     Website referenced in this video: Modern Corsetry Renaissance at the Underpinnings...

Why the failed projects that you hate are your best friends

You know the projects I mean. The ones that are embarrassing. The ones that make you wince because you wasted so much time and money. The ones that were doomed from the start. Do you realise that they were actually the best thing that could have happened to you?...

Do you have cutting anxiety?

Do you put off a project because of what reader Rosemary calls “cutting anxiety”? What do you do when you’re excited about the project, but you just can’t bring yourself to cut that fabric? What is cutting anxiety really about, and how can you fix it? Let’s look at both the deeper issue and a simple hack to help take the edge off the fear when you’re looking at that gorgeous expanse of perfect...

When did you last make something for yourself?

There comes a point in the life of every seamstress when you find yourself continually making things for other people – friends, family, clients – and somehow, projects for yourself fall by the wayside. You may even tell yourself that sewing for yourself is selfish, or just not worthwhile. How do you tackle that brain weasel and make it back down long enough to get the joy out of your sewing that you got into it for? Here are a couple of...

How to return to a “decent output” after illness

Sometimes life happens… and sometimes life completely knocks you sideways. If you’ve been sick, or had an operation or major setback, what happens when you need to get back to normal… but you also need to make sure you’re healing...

How to be your own best friend on meltdown days

Confession: you’re not the only one who has bad days. It’s a creative Thing, they say. An “artistic temperament” has your mood cycling up and down – one minute you’re inspired and creative and you’re going to change the world, and the next minute you’re despairing and can’t seem to tie your own shoelaces. Now, an aside: if you’re having serious mental health difficulties, of COURSE you must seek professional assistance and get the help you need, and I encourage you to do so. Please, please take care of yourself. But what about the rest of us? Of course you can lean on your friends when times are truly hard, but you might not want to rely on them to rescue you every single time you wobble. What if you’re just frustrated by the standard size emotional rollercoaster, and you want to get off it in a self-sufficient way without bothering others with your artistic flail-a-thon every other day? Here’s what I do to manage most of the hard days – and it’s ridiculously simple....

How to find peace in needle and thread (yes, really)

I know, I know, I must be out of my mind. You’ve got to finish the thing in time for the event, or the order in time for the deadline, and and and… I want to add another tool to your arsenal – another unlikely way to stop sewing being an exercise in frustration, and make it an escape to peace. It’s so simple, and yet I know so many people who don’t do this… try it and see if makes a difference for you,...

How to stop sewing being a chore

So many people I know see their sewing as a necessary evil. It’s the frustratingly high price they pay to get the new dress, or the new corset, or the new outfit. But I don’t see it that way. This week I’ve finished a project that I’ve been working on, little by little, for three months. Three whole months, and it’s just a chemise! But it’s so much more than a chemise… PS. Follow me on Instagram to see a daily baby step on my latest sewing...

How to measure your ACTUAL level of expertise

Let’s take a frank look at our actual level of expertise. How do you measure whether you’re skilled enough to take on that new project? (And if it’s just unnecessary anxiety that’s getting to you, how do you work around that?) And, if we’re in business, how do we convince others of our expertise – and how do we know when we’re good enough to go pro? It’s a meaty one this week, but it’s a meaty subject…  ...

How to stop your perfectionism (and when to use it for good)

The conversation in your head is unrelenting, and it’s driving you nuts. Overthinking it. Overcomplicating it. Overanalyzing it. Is it good enough? Compared to what? Will they like it? How do you even learn to LIKE the end result of all your hard work? Let’s straighten this out: Where’s the line between having standards and fighting the perfectionism that cripples us? And how do you stop that voice that keeps telling you that nothing you do is good...