Thursday, November 4, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Katherine, Ivalyn, Julia, CarlaF, Shannon, Sarah, Sarah E, Mamafitz, Faye, Mary, Alison, Becky, Cindy, Summerset and Lisa Laree for talking back to my confession last week. I confessed that I’ve never entered a sewing competition, and asked about others’ thoughts and experiences about these contests.

So, do these commenters enter sewing competitions? Most people (7) reported that they have entered a few contests in the past. On either side of that, we had 4 “never” votes and 3 “regularly” votes.

And here’s a great one – we actually had 1 vote for “accidentally” ! Yes, Becky thought she was just posting some pictures to the BurdaStyle website, and discovered later that not only had she entered a competition, she had actually been one of the winners!

As for which contests are the most popular, there was a tie between the contests on PatternReview and contests at local fairs (state and county), with each getting 4 mentions. Pattern company sponsored competitions (Simplicity & McCalls) and 4-H competitions tied for second place, each getting 2 mentions. Other contests mentioned by one person each were: the Strasburg Children’s Costume Contest, the Julie Timmel SWAP and a BurdaStyle competition.

I also asked about the pros and cons of sewing contests. On the pro side, people mentioned that competitions can inspire, motivate, focus and even provide a little kick-start to your sewing. A couple of folks like having a deadline, in that it keeps them moving forward. And Lisa Laree really enjoys the camaraderie among “competitiors” that she finds on the PR boards.

On the con side, not everyone likes deadlines. Several folks said that they find competitions stressful, and the two major components to that stress appear to be (a) lack of time and (b) being judged and critiqued by others. Several folks reported that entering contests is inconsistent with their general approach to sewing for themselves and that competitions can take the joy out of their sewing.

What I thought was really cool was that several folks suggested a kind-of compromise perspective to sewing contests. Lisa Laree recommends only choosing to enter a competition if it is about doing something that you want to do anyways, and you just need a little nudge to push you into working on it. And Mamafitz and Summerset both recommended sewing for yourself, and making each piece the very best that it can be, and then, IF an appropriate contest comes along, entering your piece.

Thank you again to everyone who took the time and trouble to leave a comment! I enjoyed your stories and – whether it be a technical tip or an attitude adjustment – I always learn something from you! :)