4.01.2019

The Seven Year Stitch: Leaving MSN

The Seven Year Stitch: Leaving MSN

Last December, I said a fond farewell to the Mood Sewing Network. That's seven years' worth of stitching you see above (and it took me roughly seven years to make that dang poorly laid out collage!).

MSN helped me to level up my sewing game. At the time I'd only been sewing three years, on dollar-a-yard kind of stuff, so getting to play with fabric that was out of my wallet's reach was an absolute gamechanger. Especially as a beginner! Though I'm not scared of the scissors, I wasn't playing with silk and brocade and velvet and what-have-you until that fabric allowance came along. And let's face it, it's easier to cut with wild abandon when the yardage costs you nothing but your time, if you have the time to spend.

And I spent some time, yo. Save for a weird little stint in which I tried to sew everyday separates, I was attempting Extra right out of the gate.

The Seven Year Stitch: Leaving MSN

The Seven Year Stitch: Leaving MSN




The Anna Sui dress up top, my first MSN post, is due for a better zipper insert now that I know more (said zip is faced with lace, why I do not know), and this blue chiffon gal was my last MSN post. And man did she take forever, and man do I ADORE HER. 

However, many of my Mood makes didn't survive the years. In fact...lemme white out what didn't make it...



HAHA WHAT?!! 

I'm not surprised or even regretful of all that white space--some things went to live in other people's closets, some things got repurposed for other garments, and some things were just flat out fails to learn from. And some survivors are in the midst of being refashioned! All good things in my book.

The joy of playing with (and sometimes murdering) fabric aside, what really kicked me in the butt was sharing a space with some truly amazing sewists. Sewing with that inaugural group lit a fire under me. I was determined to level up to my sewsisters. The crew has changed over the past seven years, still full of awesome--yet every time someone left, I thought, HOW?! It's free fabric!! But eventually, the trade-off of sourcing, planning, stitching, shooting, editing, writing and posting on someone else's site then reformatting to share here, for several yards of cloth, just wasn't working out for me personally. (And sometimes, you gotta close a door yourself to see what window opens ;)

And how 'bout y'all? I remember when MSN was announced, it was the first sewing blogger network--now that networks and collaborations are everywhere, how do you feel about them? Would you join one, if the fit was right?

eta: hey Chris, thanks for your comment-- here's a side by side of what was made/what was kept for ya!


34 comments:

  1. Awww, how fun to see the beginning - all wonderful sewers!!! I've only been sewing since 2013 but last year looked at a bunch of stuff from the beginning...and I still have this sad pair of joggers (pjs) in the collection. I really need to remove the cuffs and waistband and run those bad boys through a serger! LOL!

    When I participated in the Fabric Mart contest, I won 2nd place and blogged for them for awhile. Sort of gift-and-curse ish. Eventually, I just didn't think the tradeoff was worth it. I realized I hate having my sewing (semi) dictated and on a schedule.

    And now, with many of the new contributors, I have found people to follow that I didn't know before. A decent trade off :)

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    1. I'd like to respond intelligently, but all I can say is Wait, what?! I had no idea you started in 2013! That's unbelievable!

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  2. Wow, 7 years! Go ahead and add patience, stamina, and fortitude to your long list of heroic attributes. I can see the appeal of the free fabric and the good company but it's not for me. As soon as I get an inkling that there might be rules or guidelines, my spines go up and I'm out the door. (Guess how many jobs I don't have? πŸ˜†) That makes it all the more impressive that you take those rules and bend them to your own rebel purposes and come up with something unique and stunning every single time. I'm so glad you shared all the magic with us and I look forward to seeing what you do next.

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    1. HAHA...it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission! I like the idea of rebel purposes. I might make that my new mantra.

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  3. One of the best things about being part of the original group was getting to meet you and become friends. Best decision I ever made for that reason alone! Love you girl!

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    1. EXACTLY! I remember our first laughing lunch together ❤️ Love you!

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    2. A laughing lunch sounds like the best meal ever.

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  4. With all the work it took to produce a monthly garment -- from concept to completion -- plus professional-quality photography, I always thought Mood was getting the better end of the deal. Certainly worth more than a few yards of (admittedly very nice) fabric. Perhaps, for some, the exposure has been worth the effort, leading to other opportunities (or friendships, as Carolyn points out).

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    1. Yes, I have to agree. To be honest, I started to think of MSN as being "grandfathered in," and decided to continue until it wasn't fun. But I did gain so much from it, most importantly friendship as Carolyn said!

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  5. What an amazing display of talent and creativity. And while I wish those pictures were back to back so I could more easily see what didn't make the cut, I'm really happy that the large houndstooth plaid cape is still in the closet. I remember audibly gasping when that one was first posted. All of your creations are stunning, but for me, that one really stood out.

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    1. hmmmmm....I think I can do that for ya! Might be a little small, but I'll throw something in the end of the post. And the houndstooth is still around! But! She is a bit reconfigured ;)

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  6. Interesting Q (and thanks for showing us what didn't stand the test of time - in my collage that would be 80 per cent!). I don't think I would be interested in doing this - though when it first started up I was so envious to see the sewists with the gorgeous fabrics and the fun posts that came of it. Truth is, I value my freedom more than anything and I don't want to sew on someone else's schedule or to be dictated to in any way. Crafting is one of the few things, the trajectory of which I feel I can control (yeah, I do know control is a total illusion. I did a reno.) The Q is top of mind for me because I've been thinking of doing some sample knitting and I'm concerned that, even though it would mean I could knit and then be done with the garment (I have no need of more knits, but I won't stop knitting!!) and it also means I'd have access to the best yarn and notions - and the chance to learn and experiment with new patterns - I'll be on a yet another deadline.

    I think you've maxed your sewing adventure opportunity and sewn some amazing things with truly deluxe fabrics you might have thought twice about otherwise, given cost. (You do go fancy! :-)) Mind you, I think the biggest winner of MSN is Mood Fabrics. Props for some masterful marketing. Nonetheless, I don't buy from Mood because the shipping is ridiculous (at least it was last time I bought) and the exchange rate makes it cost prohibitive to purchase sight unseen and untouched.

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    1. You know, if you have no more room in your life for knits, i don't think that's a bad idea to do samples! Maybe you could give yourself a month of trying it out? Or you could consider it your way of showing the universe how to do a deadline, in some weird way of getting back at contractors (that they will never know about. I envision you shaking your fist at the air in solitary triumph over a mound of expensively knit sweaters, yelling something like THAT'S HOW YOU DO IT)

      I do think I got the most out of what I could do there. Good to know when it's time to Go!

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  7. Aww so many fantastic projects Marcy & great to look back at them. I had a wardrobe clear-out recently & I reckon my still-in-the-wardrobe collage might look similar. I can really see the improvement in my sewing as a result of making them though so (almost!) every project feels well worth the time & fabric regardless.

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    1. I agree, it's so nice to see the improvement, how can we regret that!

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  8. What a great post...and just a little reminder...all your posts are great.

    But, this post does make me think. I've turned down offers of collaboration with sewing related businesses. When I worked in a fabric store, I sewed with 'free' fabric and patterns. The only exchange...aside from a pitiful wage...was to allow the garment to hang in the store for three weeks. It was fun at first, but then I started to feel it was pressure, and I felt I had to play it safe because I'd have to pay for the fabric if I couldn't produce a garment...which felt much worse that just sewing what I wanted and screwing up without outside stressors, LOL.

    But you've helped me to realize that I really appreciate when others commit to a collaboration. I learn new things, meet new people, and get inspired. A lot.

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    1. You had to pay for the fabric if you mucked it up?!!! Uh UH! That would be a straight up dealbreaker for me.

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  9. I really enjoyed this post. I appreciate the hows and whys of ending your collaboration with Mood, they definitely got the better end of the deal! After over 50 years of sewing because it was the only way I could afford a decent wardrobe, it’s fun to just play and make what I want for fun and relaxation.

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    1. Thank you Peggy! I think I might've stuck around if a few things changed, but I honestly didn't have the time to get into what (*I* thought) could be improved on the blogger side! Too much sewing fun to be done!

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  10. Amazing work Marcy!!!πŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏ

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  11. I accept your change grudgingly because your posts were so fun and inspiring. Just keep us up to date on what you’re doing..ok?

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    1. HAHA!! I love it! Now that I don't have to post on an outside site, you'll see more around these parts (evidenced by today's post!) And I'm hopeful there will be more collaborations (that work for both sides) coming too!

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  12. Being an MSN sewist seems like a dream job for me. In theory. In reality, I'd be so paralized with fear of screwing up such amazing fabric and looking like a loser amid my fellow network members that I wouldn't get anything done and they'd have to kick me out. Best wishes to you in whatever you take on next!

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    1. Hahah! That fear gave me a kickstart early on ;) Thank you!

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  13. You still inspire us all - you go girl!

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  14. What’s next for you? You are a true inspiration. Thank you Marcy

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  15. You are so inspiring. You helped me really internalize that mistakes are design opportunities. I hope you will still be showing us your amazing creations. I also enjoyed seeing you in NCIS reruns recently! Best wishes for your future rebel enterprises.

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    1. Yes, every mistake is an opportunity! I will absolutely still parade my rebel enterprises (I lOVE that)...in fact i think you'll see MORE of me know, careful what you wish for;)

      Ooh that NCIS was fun! Glad you caught it!

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  16. Your talent,sense of colors and joy of sewing will b missed...keep on sewin!

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  17. Congrats!!! To many more years to come..

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i thankya truly for taking the time to comment, i love a good conversation-- and hope you know my thanks are always implied, if not always written!