Or… How I Went To Sewing Summit and Didn’t Buy Fabric
Or… How I Went To Sewing Summit and Only Sewed Two Seams
Or… How I Went To Sewing Summit and Only Took Crappy iPad Photos
Was Sewing Summit really only last week? It feels like an eternity ago. I’m finally coming out of my jet-lag fog and am ready to put down some of my thoughts about the experience.
I’ll start by answering the questions that I have been asked over and over.
How did Vinny do?
Did you enjoy Sewing Summit with a baby?
He was a real trooper, and YES, although it was different than it would have been without him.
Maintain Realistic Expectations
My reason for attending Sewing Summit was to meet people who “get me” and those who I knew online but wish I knew “in real life.” I wasn’t there to learn new sewing skills (although I learned some) or to listen to amazing lectures by amazing women (although I heard those). I was there for the “in between”- for chats in the hallway and over meals. I believe I succeeded in this.
I did my best to not be intimidated by all the unfamiliar faces, or to not get so wrapped up in my own insecurities that I missed out on meeting some really rad people. If your goal for Sewing Summit is to meet people, you can totally do that. Although you might need to head to bed earlier than some (the baby is going to keep you up all night), or skip out on late, late night Open Sew Sessions. You probably can’t go to the Salt Lake City Modern Quilt Guild Mixer at a bar, or bus around town for a day fabric shopping. These would be great “meet and greet” opportunities but they weren’t really feasible with a baby.
Form A Class Strategy
I love how excited the teachers where to share their knowledge! (Miriam Tribe pictured.)
I purposely chose mostly “lecture” classes because I didn’t think I could wrangle the grabby wiggly 7 month at a sewing machine. This choice mostly worked but it meant I had to keep Vinny quiet-ish and I sat in the back. He did pretty darn good, but after two days of this Vinny had had it. We skipped out on the last class (Photography with Melissa Esplin, one I really wanted to take! boo!) for a naptime before the final dinner.
Lauren Dahl rocked the bun and the baby at Sewing Summit.
But maybe with a younger baby, it would have been easier to take more project classes (where the baby might not need to be as quiet)? You would have to ask Diane and Lauren, the other babe-in-tow moms at SS.
Vinny working the room with Erin of Two More Seconds.
Sure, managing one baby instead of 5 seems like a cakewalk, but taking care of a baby in a strange place for an entire weekend is exhausting. If someone offers to hold your cute little mister, say YES! I wouldn’t have been able to participate in my only two “hands on” workshops in my schedule – Hand Printed Fabric with Miriam Tribe, and Draft a Skirt Block with Simple Simon and Co, if it weren’t for the help of my understanding classmates. I also had a lot of help at meals too.
(Natalie working her magic.)
To all the women that held and cuddled Vinny over the weekend, I say, Thank you! Thank you for the little break you gave me, and thank you for holding my baby while on your vacation from yours.
This seems obvious in hindsight, but choosing to not share the hotel room with roommates was an important decision to make. I didn’t want to have to worry about Vinny waking up friends, or how to nurse him in bed all night without flashing anyone. It feels extravagant to pay more for the room, but it was totally worth it.
(Let the Baby) Work the Crowd
One advantage of taking a baby along to Sewing Summit, is that he is an immediate icebreaker. (Especially if he is as adorable as Vincent, and I must say, he is pretty adorable.) Let his smiles and coos draw people in and then meet them! The trick is to bring the conversation beyond “This is Vincent. He is 7 months old. Yes, he is being really well-behaved in all the classes.” I did better with this some times than others, and I succeeded most when I made a conscious effort in the conversations.
I know most of the people I met will remember me as “Vinny’s mommy” and not “Jodi, the super glamorous and talented seamstress and blogger” (hehe. riiiiiiiiight.), but that is OK by me. I am a mom, and my motherhood is the biggest hat I wear right now, and a huge part of this sewing blog. So either that will attract or repel, and that is a good thing. (See, Olivia? I loved your class!)
So yeah. You have a baby and still want to come to Sewing Summit?
Do it. You won’t regret it.*
*Or don’t. That’s OK to.