#SewingTop5: The Editors’ Non-Sewing HIGHLIGHTS!

Sewing Top 5 of 2019

There is more to life than sewing – or so people say! Today we are sharing a personal highlight from our year. It could be a sewing meet-up, vacation, family, friends or personal achievement. We can’t wait to read about your own Top 5 Non-Sewing Highlights either on blogs, in the comments, or on Instagram with the tag #SewingTop5!


How could I not start with being featured in a WordPress ad about the Sewcialists? We were picked as part of a series on changemakers – people and groups who are using their WordPress blogs to improve their corner of the world. I am so proud of the discussions that we have here on Sewcialists about how sewing connects to age, size, ethnicity, ability, health, gender and so much more. We also work hard to host challenges and theme months that anyone can join in, regardless of skill, budget, and location. Plus this video includes my cats, mom, sister, and lots of clothes friends that I’ve made through sewing! I hope you enjoy watching, and thanks for being a part of Sewcialists.


A picture of a black and tan kelpie with enormous ears.  He is standing on a couch with a pink toy in his mouth.

Hmmm. Gillian picked a great one! Mine would have to be getting our new dog, Bingo. He joined us right at the start of this year, after our old dog Mollie died mid-2018. We spent a while being sad about Mollie, then finally felt ready to go and see who the RSPCA had with them. We found the lovely Bingo (aka Bing-Bong, aka Bingo Starr) straightaway and he has added so much to this year for the whole family. There is nothing like a dog and life without one is just not as good!


2019 was a crazy year! Most of my life is DIY as I’m a tinkerer by nature. I like to see how things work. I’m that kid that took apart the toaster, figuratively speaking… I got into my mom’s “international cookbook” at age 10 and taught myself how to make challah and loukoumades. I haven’t changed. 2019 marked the first year where I made my family’s bread weekly for the entire year. I made it part of my regular routine, like feeding the cats and doing laundry. I’m proud now that I can say 99% of the bread my family eats is homemade. It isn’t anything complicated or earth shattering; it’s only a more whole grain adaption to the King Arthur Flour Sourdough Sandwich Bread. It’s more about setting a sustainable goal for the betterment of my family and sticking to it. At the end of the week, I take whatever slices are left if any and put them in the freezer until I have enough for homemade croutons. Next year, I’m hoping to add in regular hot sauce fermentation. I really loved my experimentation with the Brad’s It’s Alive! series hot sauce and would like to continue that, as well as pick back up my chevre making. It’s been over a decade since I learned at a local farm started by two Intel engineers, and I’m itching to make chevre again.


A shrine at a beautiful Buddhist temple near where I live – this was taken after a peaceful day with my parents and children in Hong Kong

I have had so many wonderful highlights this year, my eldest daughter learning her first Knock Knock joke, my youngest just now taking her first steps, coming on board the Sewcialists team and going on some amazing, sunny holidays with my family. But so much of my ability to see the joy in all these things and not be working out all the ways it could go wrong, or how I somehow ruined it all by my mere presence, is in the fact that this was the year I decided to acknowledge, and seek professional help for, the anxiety I had been living with for quite some time. I am feeling stronger and braver than I did last year, a little more self aware and whole lot more forgiving.


This year was a huge year of change for me and my family. There are three things that stuck out and really filled up my joy cup. The first being the birth of sweet baby Silas. This was probably the biggest most exciting event for me. I literally spent months preparing for his birth. If you like birth stories I posted about my VBAC here.

The second big thing for me was being a part of the Sewcialists editor team. I’d been toying with the idea of starting my own blog for months so getting to be a part of this team and seeing how much work goes into running this was incredibly helpful. The jury is still out on whether or not I’ll ever start my own blog. I also love how it has connected me to other creators that I otherwise wouldn’t have found. Big shout out to Becky for asking me to share my voice.

My third and final win of the year is building a house! As I’m writing this we’re a week away from closing. I’m feeling incredibly grateful and beyond fortunate.

Behind the scenes, it’s been quite the year for the Sewcialists Editors, with health crises, family births and deaths, international political turmoil, busy day jobs and more. Thanks for giving us all something joyful to concentrate on when we need it! What have been your top 5 non-sewing highlights this year?