In Favorite Posts/ Honestly/ Sewing

Don’t try, just do.

As we move through 2016 I’ve been trying to change my outlook and my attitude towards a braver, more positive me. I catch myself being a “realist” to the point where I often talk myself out of things that I’ve logistically evaluated and convinced myself just won’t work. But then a small stubborn voice at the back of my mind says “Oh come on, just try it.” And that small voice is usually followed by a vision of Master Yoda (because I’m a nerd) reciting his classic “Do. Or do not. There is no try” speech and you know what? Yoda is right.


To “try” something usually implies that you have two options, and one of those options is always to not like the thing you’re “just trying” or not doing the thing to completion. I want to try to be No, scratch that, I’m going to be more optimistic and simply start DOING things. I’m going to do. I’m going to find a way, no matter what, and see it done. Even with the smallest of things.


Even when I’m too tired to sew, I’m going to do it.

Even when I’m too busy to blog, I’m going to do it.

Even when my tripod is broken and the lighting in the winter is terrible and there’s no way it’s worth setting everything up to try and take photos of a measly pair of pajama joggers, I’m gonna do it.


Even when my skin hurts and no amount of moisturizer can mask the dryness of Ichthyosis, I’m still going to take photos of myself. Even when I’m not really feeling that brave, I’m going to do it.


I’m doing it, I’m doing it, I’m doing it.


The funny thing that happened when I changed my mindset from “I’ll just try it” to “I’ll do it. End of story” is now even the small things feel like a triumph. I really like how these photos and these pajama pants turned out. A lot. I didn’t give myself the option to weigh the pros and cons or consider the odds might be against me. I didn’t give myself the option to feel anything besides success. Whatever my definition of success means today, I’ve reached it. I did it.


Even though I messed up on the sizing of the waistband, leading me to insert two grommets and a drawstring after the pants were already completed, and even though the grommets are upside-down, they work and you can’t tell (unless you look very closely) that the ugly side of the metal faces outwards. And! Even though I messed up the size of the leg cuffs and had to invent some pleats at the bottom of the pants to get everything to fit, I did it. And it works. So really I didn’t mess up a thing.

Tim Gunn knows what’s up when he says Make It Work. Tim Gunn knows about doing and not trying.

I bet he and Yoda would have some words of wisdom to exchange.


I know a sewing project that isn’t coming together like you hoped, or some indoor lighting that isn’t on your side, seems like a pretty trivial thing to get all philosophical about, but changing your mindset and your outlook takes small steps. Sometimes that small step means setting up a broken tripod in the corner of your kitchen, standing over a bunch of plates of wet cat food and playing with your camera settings until you decide dark, moody lighting is actually a cool thing right now (works well for Local Milk) so you’re going with it and you’re doing it.


So anyways, aside from sewing and blogging more frequently and more genuinely, I’m also working on less trying and more doing. And more doing means more bravery, even if it seems like a very minuscule amount.

I want you to be brave, too. Don’t try, just do.


(p.s. Sewing pattern is Simplicity 2061, fabric is an Art Gallery knit)

  • Cathy McAuliffe

    I know this is an old post but I came to it by way of your Top 5 Reflections of 2016. Love the photos and love the sentiment of the post!

    As someone who has skin problems – itchiness, peeling, cracking, I found a product works really well. Cera Ve Renewing SA Cream. I use the facial wash & moisturizer too. It works better for me than even the Rx products I’ve tried. They’re reasonably priced and can be found at the drug store. Anyway, if you haven’t tried it, it may be worth a shot.

  • margaret

    Thank you for this post – exactly the words I needed to hear for this year. And by the way, I LOVE those pants, they are gorgeous!

  • Hilde

    Thank you for this post, I love what you did!
    It is a wake up call for me, it makes me realise I should just DO it!
    I’m a perfectionist, over thinking everything, waiting for the perfect timing or picture or whatever. But that just doesn’t happen, so I don’t do.
    I want to start blogging about my sewing and knitting, and now I’m just going to do it. Thanks to you !

    • You’re exactly right, waiting for the “perfect” moment might mean you wait forever! Do now, improve later 🙂

  • Alice

    And all you did is AWESOME! I tend to stop myself when i set my goals to reach perfection, all i end up doing is aborting a project, just because it will be not perfect. But this post is a great reminder that doing is great no matter what kind of result or what kind of process you’ve been up to to achieve it. Thank you! And the pictures look great, because you were in a good mood and whatever picture of the animal you love is PERFECT!

    • Thank you, Alice! I’ve been trying to change my own definition of “perfect” since perfection doesn’t really exist in anything in nature, and especially not in anything that’s made by hands. That’s kind of the beauty of it! Do the best you can at the time and let that be your definition of “perfect” for each day 🙂

  • Elena Knits

    I’m glad you DID it. Some days are more difficult than others, but I know you are strong, and btw, you made a nice pair of pajama pants!

  • A Opishinski

    <3 x a million.

  • Wow your pictures are gorgeous, and I love your joggers too! I look forward to seeing all your doing this year! 😉

  • Ronja Zigler

    *grins* It also never hurts to distract your audience from a “messy” background or “unperfect” pictures with an adorable dog face like that! I love that she’s in this set of photos! The pants also look SUPER comfy and I adore a wide woven drawstring like that. It is so nice looking.

    • Thanks, Ronja! She is rather distractingly cute, isn’t she? 🙂

  • Thanks for that beautiful reminder! So often all we see on blogs is perfection, and
    it’s nice to be reminded that we’re all human! We all make mistakes, we all have wadders, we all do things to just make it work! This post was a nice dose of reality. Btw, love the pjs! The grommets and ribbon really add to it!

    • You’re welcome, and thanks for that beautiful comment, Kelley 🙂

  • Gosh I feel this! Its great to see you are doing it. Lovely PJ bottoms of which we would have never known about the cuffs. Your photos are always lovely a skill I am yet to get to gripd with at all.

    • Thank you so much! Well you know how you can learn to take better photos? More DOING 😉 <3

  • girlsbones

    Thanks for sharing your wise words and loely pictures. 🙂

    • You’re very welcome. Thank you for leaving a comment to let me know it was appreciated <3

  • Amanda Banks

    Well said and right on time for my thoughts at the moment. Gorgeous cardy and pants and best friend …

  • Jennifer Hill

    Yes, a good philosophy, ‘doing’ and being content with and proud of your best, rather than ‘trying’ and being too self critical, or not even doing at all because it wouldn’t be perfect. I’d kinda come to the same conclusion myself, regarding starting a blog, which I’ve been thinking about for a couple of years now. Though I think its also important to remember to be kind to yourself. Sometimes ‘doing’ means taking a break, maybe, if that’s what you need. I love these photos, btw! Very atmospheric. And after all we’re in a northern hemisphere winter so imo fine if photos reflect that! Please never worry about photographing yourself when your skin is sore. I do so sympathise; it must be a real bummer, but that’s how it is, and you always look beautiful. Love the pants! (And btw I’m going to knit myself a cardigan like yours!) Jen

    • Your opening statement here is so on point. You should definitely start a blog and share your own philosophies. Clearly you have some wonderful points to make as well 🙂 …and you should also start a blog because I want to see your cardigan when you finish it!

      (I’ve got some practicing to do if I’m ever going to knit my own cardigans!)

      • Barbara

        Nothing different about a sweater than a scarf. A few K2Tog or Make 1 and the skill to operate a tape measure :-). Just DO IT!!

  • Sarah C.

    Love this! One thing that I have come to realize is that needing everything to be perfect can be a hindrance for me. Much better to do something well and enjoy it than to wait for the perfect circumstances. Tim Gunn’s voice runs in my head, too — make it work! Love that you are focusing on “doing”!

    And these jammy pants are SO CUTE. And with Lucille? Come on, this post is fabulous!!

    • You’re so right! Maybe just doing your best can mean “perfect”, ya know? Make your own standards and soon you’ll have no hindrances, and you’ll be doing things well AND enjoying it all at once 🙂


  • Good for you – a very good philosophy! My problem is that I get carried away and promise myself that I’ll do more sewing, more knitting, more blogging, more cooking, more reading, more exercising etc etc before I realise that I haven’t yet worked out how to add an extra day into the week

    • It’s all about compromise and trying not to do ALL THE THINGS all at once. Sewing one day, knitting another day, blogging another day… It’s hard to find time. You have to make it. Make and Do 😉 🙂

  • Hélène

    There is so much love and trust in Lucille’s eyes – she certainly does not know about hesitation. Great post. Let’s be brave!

    • That is very true about Lucille. I often see her as a role model for me in lots of ways! 🙂

  • Dark and moody works for you too! Gorgeous gorgeous photos! I was nodding emphatically all the way through reading this, you’re spot on. Yoda is always right. Do, or don’t. Doing is always going to work, even if the thing you’re doing doesn’t, because you don’t learn if you don’t do. Just what I needed to hear today, thank you!

    • Thank you SO much! It’s nice to know I’m not alone with these thoughts. I love what you said about “Doing is always going to work, even if the thing you’re doing doesn’t, because you don’t learn if you don’t do.” You’re so right about learning by doing. There’s always success in that!

  • Thank you! I need that wisdom in my life right now…

    • You’re welcome. I’m so happy to hear you can relate <3

  • lovely photos and jealous of that gorgeous knit and pajama joggers (exactly what I would like to wear on a grey day (today) in ireland and decide to stay by the fire).

    • Thank you! They were a really easy sewing project to get through, even with my few small hang-ups.

      p.s. A grey day in Ireland sounds awfully magical, especially near a fire 🙂

  • English Girl at Home

    I LOVE these photos so I’m glad you did set up the broken tripod & go for it:)

  • Maja Ćorić

    Hello dear.
    Yoda would say:
    “In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.” 🙂

    I hope you manage it all – and KEEP DOING IT 🙂


  • Dona Sue

    You are quite right. When it comes down to it, you made something and you’re wearing it. End of story! Ps your pajamas and dog are adorable!!

  • Victoria Anderson

    Great work! Quite inspiring.

  • jannapyj

    I see you got to use several of your wizardly skills this week! Sewing magic, photography magic, attitude magic…check, check, check!

    • Aww thanks, JJ! Attitude magic is definitely the most important. It’s the wizardly skill I’m really trying to wield more often 🙂 No, not trying, DOING!

  • Cindy A

    The grommets are totally not noticeable. Plus you can’t go wrong when you have Lucille watching your back!

    • Thanks! You’re totally right, Lucille makes everything better 🙂

  • Christine Griffin

    It’s not easy.
    We can still try!
    Also, I’m saving up to buy a spoonflower set of fabric from you. I love the feathers and stars print. I can’t decide how to best use it. I love purple and dresses!

    • Thanks so much, Christine! I would LOVE to see a purple dress made in my Night Messenger print. That would be so beautiful 🙂

  • Abigail Howatt

    Thank you.

  • Pam Esparza

    So pretty! I can’t wait to sew pants like your’s! 🙂

    • Thank you, Pam! You certainly won’t regret making pants like these! So comfy 🙂

  • Amazing post! Such an inspiration. Thank you!

    • You’re welcome, Sara. And thank YOU for leaving a comment to let me know it was appreciated. It feels good to know there are others who are feeling the same way as I am 🙂

  • Chantel McSkimming

    You are a HERO! Thank you for being such a good example and beautiful role model (and model!) 🙂

    • You’re the sweetest, Chantel. Thank you so much <3

  • Anniebeadoe

    You are so right. My mom always said “Attitude is everything.” I sometimes feel I can either laugh or cry and I like laughing more. Doesn’t always work but more often than not I laugh. P.S. Lucille has the face of a furry angel. Just love her.

    • I was raised the same way – Attitude and laughter (or even a simple smile) will carry you through everything.

      She pretty much IS a furry angel. She owns my soul …which wasn’t hard with the little eyes and face she shines at me on the daily 🙂

  • Dude, Yoda’s always right 😉

    • So true!! 🙂

      • I have to admit, I was surprised by this post. I’ve always seen you as someone who just goes for it. I’m going to assume, many people are like me and feel inspired to blog, produce and create the way you do, or even a fraction of it. Having said that, it’s quite a relief that you’re human.