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
Me, Kim (Sew.Make.Do), Lauren and Anne (Craft Gossip: Sewing)
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.
Charity (TwinsSquared) and Keena (KennaQuilts), my new BFFs
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.
Marissa and Anne making fabric stamps.
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.
I remember you as “Jodi, the super glamorous and talented seamstress and blogger, who is really tall!!” Who has a beautiful baby named Vinny who loves to cuddle and fall asleep in my arms.
So glad to have met you, in person, after following your blog. It was so great to meet so many ladies that have the same interest, understand sewing talk and also juggling it with our family life.
Claire Jain says
LOL! It was so nice to meet you. I can’t believe I didn’t know about your blog before Sewing Summit this year, but it is such a treat to meet someone and then become a follower of their blog. Yay! I love that you categorized Vinny as an icebreaker 😀 So true, he’s a little charmer and definitely worked his magic on all of us as well. I love that you sewed his baby carrier wrap as well. Did you follow a pattern or wield your talented seamstress ways to create one to your liking? I’d also love your thoughts about fabric choices, because Vinny’s looked so beautiful!
Angela Bowman says
Jodi, it was great to meet you – wish we coulda talked more! Time just whirled right by that weekend.
Gteat post! I totally agree – different but not undoable. It was exhausting but worth it! My guy is still at the nursing-cures-everything stage, do it was pretty easy to keep him quiet. The hands-on classes were tricky though.
This is an amazing post, Jodi! So glad you took the challenge and brought Vinny along for the ride. It was great to meet you in person!
Girl, you made Sewing Summit with a baby look like a breeze!! Didn’t hurt that Vinny had a way with the ladies. 🙂 I was SO excited to get to hang out with you and Vinny!
It was so fun meeting you in person – hope we get to hang out in person again in the future!
It looks and sounds as though you and vinny had a great time!!! =) he is adorable as always!!!!
Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy says
Thanks for the recap. So glad you had a successful trip! (Also, I just fangirled a little when I read you took a class with Simple Simon and Co. Love them!)
Go Jo! And I love the asterix. Glad you had a great week. 🙂