It seems like there are more and more sewing / sewing related challenges out there these days. Becky illustrated this perfectly with her list of 2019 sewing challenges!
I get excited about challenges and have a habit of joining them because I find them initially motivating. It’s the same reason I do a lot of pattern testing – a deadline I have committed to meet for someone else drives me to focus and make the most of sewing time.
BUT THEN…I lose it after a while. A whole month of photos doesn’t work well for me with small kids, a busy job and frankly, variable emotional energy. Ridiculously, even though I am not really letting someone else down (who would even notice or care?), I end up feeling guilty and a bit stupid for signing up in the first place.
I also get really annoyed when people get very picky about meeting all the conditions for what is, frankly, not a high stakes thing. In one group this year, people were deciding that others shouldn’t be allowed to take part anymore because they bought charity t-shirts. I mean, seriously….
So am trying to avoid signing up unless I really think I will enjoy the whole challenge, or I can realistically adjust it to my life. What do you think? Do you like challenges or avoid them?
Chloe is a Sewcialists Editor, who lives and sews in Australia. She blogs at deadlycraft.blogspot.com and can be found on Instagram here.
It’s your challenge. Make what you want out of it. That being said, I follow the rules strictly because that’s the fun of the challenge. I pick my challenges carefully as something I would enjoy and aren’t too burdensome. 30 days of photos…nope.
Yeah I don’t think I will sign up for 30 days of anything ever again! Which ones do you do? I have to confess, I started a make nine list yesterday…😎
Challenges just make me find sewing an obligation instead of an escape. I understand some people like the motivation and deadlines but for me it is a killjoy. I do enjoy watching everyone else participate though!
That sums it up nicely “make sewing an obligation rather than an escape”! I do find it odd that I love the obligation of a pattern test yet not of a challenge!
You’ve got me thinking re challenges as a spectator sport. I think they probably work best when they are shorter and simple – things like sew frosting?
I find I like the inspirational structure of a challenge (eg “hack a pattern”) but the time constraints rarely work for me…. Because I’m usually working on my own projects, it can take weeks before I can start something new…. And then I have to decide what to make for the challenge, meanwhile everyone else is finished their items already! 😅
I know what you mean! I have serious time constraints too – other people have made several versions by the time I have printed out the pattern!
The challenges mostly don’t work for me. I don’t like anything that makes my sewing feel like an obligation, especially as my sewing time and energy is completely unpredictable. I want to enjoy my sewing time. But I do sometimes wish I could join in. So this year I gave BPSewvember I go. I didn’t complete every day but enjoyed dipping in and out 😊
I really enjoy sewing challenges, but I think the secret is not to take them too seriously. I enjoy the community aspect and often meet new sewist friends through challenges and I also find them useful in practical ways: I’ve tried (and loved) styles I wouldn’t have otherwise, I’ve learnt new skills and I’ve seen all kinds of inspirational makes from other people. Occasionally, I get the sense people forget that they’re voluntary and supposed to be fun. I suspect that if you’re a “completionist” type sewist it might be less fun for you, but I just miss out months I don’t fancy on annual challenges and don’t sweat it if I miss a few days on photohops. As with everything in life, each to their own, I guess, and I pick challenges that I think will suit my sewing style.
I’m with bellecitadel, taking sewing challenges too seriously is exhausting! But having said that I have met many sewing friends on IG because of the challenges, possibly because we all started on Instagram around the same time 😉 My first challenge in 2016 I did in its entirety for a month but that was the one and only one. These days if I have a photo anyway that happens to fit the theme then I’ll post it, but I’m ok with not formally signing up for anything. PS – call me a hypocrite for co-hosting my own #makeyourstash sewing challenge, though I’d like to think of it more as a hashtag with no obligation to make anything in particular!
I like the idea of the challenges if for nothing else than expanding my inspiration whether I participate or not. If it is something I think I will truly enjoy, then I will do it. I am learning what and how I like to sew and want to keep it a happy experience and at the same time grow my skillset.
I like challenges that give you something you wanted to do anyway and are more open with time limits, like “you have all year to do it!” 😂 . I challenge myself quite often to try a new style or a new technique so that’s fun! I certainly don’t worry if I don’t take a photo a day. I always miss a days of posting photos… and no one has called me names yet or beaten me with a stick! 😂😂😂
I enter contests if the project is something I’ve already got on my list or it involves a skill I want to develop. The daily posting things on Instagram rarely work for me because I get bored, or I start feeling like I’m sharing an inordinate amount of information about my personal life. I’m one of the people who starts out and then abandons around the 7th of the month.
When I do enter a contest, I’m 100% in on the rules. This may sound harsh, but for contests with prizes, I reckon you have to play by the rules. Just abide by whatever you agreed to at the start. And if you can’t finish the official challenge there is nothing to stop you from sewing along 🙂
I find that challenges usually just aren’t the right fit for me. Even though I enjoy sewing, it’s not a stress-free hobby for me, and having deadlines in a hobby on top of deadlines in school isn’t going to end well. I appreciate open-ended collections more, like hashtags on Instagram, like #sewcialists or #sewqueer or different communities or themes on blogs. They still give that same feeling of belonging and participation that everyone likes, but they don’t put any pressure on me or other participants to finish x or abstain from y.
For me, personally, I enjoy wearing what I make more than I enjoy actually making it, and I would probably enjoy a challenge that had to do with styling makes more. Me-Made-May is kind of like this, but again, the stress of commitment during final exams… anyway. Challenges aren’t my cup of tea but I do enjoy seeing what people make for them.
Yes! Love the idea of a competition around wearing your makes rather than making – like Me Made May for sure, but I feel like there could be some more *fun* to be had with a competition of this nature.
I did Sewvember in 2017 and found it completely overwhelming. No shade on anyone who enjoys it, but it just made me feel so pressured. I’ve entered in Indie Pattern Month at The Monthly Stitch in 2016 and 2017 but didn’t this year due to work commitments and also not feeling the motivation. Personally I’ve realised they’re not for me, because they just make something that feels like relaxation and down time seem like a sport. I really enjoyed following the #sewfrosting hashtag this year and I did tag 2 makes with that, but was not seriously competing. That competition was super fun because people really pushed the boat out. And I always enjoy the #refashioners too – but from the sidelines.