So, a while back there was a bit of a kerfuffle in blogland about sponsored and otherwise compensated posts, projects, patterns, etc., and the need for transparency about such things. And I didn’t have a thing to say on the subject, because let’s face it, I’m barely managing to blog projects these days, never mind actually think about ethics and transparency and things like that and then write about it. Except that actually I do. Because, though I haven’t mentioned it on here, I’ve been working part time at my local Fabricland for almost three years now, and aside from the lovely people I work with, one of the major things that keeps me there is the chief perk—the staff projects.
You see, rather like the Mood Sewing Network, but with much less prestige and a much smaller viewing audience, every month I have the opportunity to pick out a project, within a budget, based on the fabrics and patterns available at my store. I make it up, it hangs for a month, inspiring customers and giving me (hopefully) plenty of opportunities to yack about how much I loved the fabric or pattern or technique, and then I trot it home and it’s mine, all mine.
I haven’t really wanted to blog about working there, because a) who wants to write about work, and b) I don’t want to feel like I’m either a corporate shill if I only say nice stuff, or an unprofessional employee if I say nasty stuff. But I have increasingly felt the need to come clean about which of my projects that I blog here are staff projects, because while the projects themselves are very self directed, it definitely does affect my choice of both fabric and patterns. While I would probably still be getting most of my fabric from Fabricland (local selections are fairly limited and heavily quilt-centric otherwise) projects give me the chance to use brand-new fabrics, rather than haunting the sale racks, and also to play with things I would not be able to afford. (Though the project budget is pretty limited, too.) And frankly with working there and at my day job, my sewing time is very limited, and a lot of it does end up being projects.
Initially I just didn’t blog shop projects—I’m not being paid for the blogging, after all, the projects have hung on display as per requirements, my obligation is met. But first and foremost this blog is my sewing journal, and I like to record the alterations I make, the changes, the struggles I have. Especially for years later when I can’t even remember what I did. And a lot of my own creativity goes into these things—I want to share that. Some of my very favourite things I make these days are projects
I don’t have time to go back over three years of posts and point out the culprits (though a large number of them are decorating this post), but I want to put it out there, for the sake of honesty, and being able to tell the whole story in the future. If you want to know about a specific project, please ask.
The second best thing about projects (after free patterns and fabric), is the deadline! They have to be completed within a fairly tight time-limit, so shit gets done. A luscious fabric doesn`t get purchased and then lurk in stash for heartbreaking months or years.
The flip side, of course, is that a lot of the stash doesn`t get touched.
Because of the tight deadline, it can be hard to pick complicated projects—it`s much easier to go with something you can whip up quickly.
But sometimes there`s just no resisting. When the right fabric and pattern come together, you’re off.
So that’s it. Mea culpa. I hope you aren’t mad (but if you are, well, I get it.) Going forward, I will be mentioning which projects are shop projects, which is a big relief because sometimes a big part of the story of why I picked a particular project is to do with that, and I do’t want to edit those stories out. Sometimes, they`re even pretty funny.