Sewing Challenge – #sewlongwinter

I have decided to set myself a new sewing challenge. I will be making one new item a day and selling each item online for one month. #sewlongwinter When I started Woven by Society I didn’t really know the direction it would take – and to be honest I still don’t really know all the possibilities and that is OK. I know I did want to push my own boundaries and expand my comfort zone. I have done this (and hopefully inspired some others to do so too). Along the way I have had some really big positives come out of my journey with WBS. I am now selling clothes as well as bags and purses. I never intended to Read More

Make of the Week – two tone merino jacket

This is my test jacket and I couldn’t be happier. I always test new patterns and designs with my fabrics from my stash. I like to get the feel for the fit and the sewing techniques before I use quality fabric. However, I have had these two quality merino wool fabrics in my stash for a while now and have been wanting to use them together. So I got thinking about how I could utilise them in a way that is slightly different from my usual basic merino wool long sleeve (which I do love). This brought me to a new pattern – McCalls M7199 This jacket allows for contrasting fabrics and I really liked the versatility of it. The weight of Read More

December thoughts

The last month has been pretty amazing for me. The last Saturday in November we went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, they are American friends and although I don’t know much about the history and tradition of Thanksgiving in the US, I really do like the idea of being thankful and taking the time to reflect. The next Saturday was my birthday. I have always loved birthdays and think they are a time to feel extra special and should be truly celebrated. I was totally spoiled with a massage, my husband following me around the city to all my favourite haunts and a completely over the top, delicious 12 course degustation dinner. We’ve also attended a good Read More

What do you do?

The dreaded question – “What do you do?”, not “How are you?” or “Tell me about yourself?” For a long time I struggled answering this question. I found after years of working, my job started defining who I was, as that was an easy and safe answer – I am Robyn I’m a (insert job title) and I work at (insert company name). Last year I started to realise just how much it was defining me. When I wasn’t in work mode I was still losing myself because I was putting on other hats all the time – mum, wife, daughter, but not just Robyn. How did this happen? I was so caught up in the everyday cycle I started Read More

Wardrobe Size – how many clothes do we need?

This has always been a tough one for me – need vs. want. This week I took a good look in my own wardrobe. I estimate that I have a 70/30 mix of clothes – about 70% homemade and 30% bought. I am pretty happy with this mix – especially now I am actually wearing more of the clothes that I make! Earlier this year I decided I would not buy any new clothes this year (with the exception of underwear and bathers). To date, I have only broken that commitment twice – both times in Bali. Nine months in and I feel confident I’ll make it to the end of the year without any more purchases. So far it Read More

Support and inspiration

I have been absent lately… Once the WBS website launched, I crashed a bit. I had some host provider issues which caused some delays and I allowed these annoying issues to build into major roadblocks. I started to beat myself up with thoughts like – I should have known about this and this is my doing and I even let the dreaded question what am I doing? sneak into my head. Now that I have some perspective I realise how unfair this kind of thinking is. So, I put this down as another lesson learned and one I got to share with my 10-year-old daughter. She was being incredibly tough on herself yesterday, so I could talk with her about Read More

A Big Milestone

August 1st will be stuck in my head for quite a while! The Woven by Society website went live…what a year so far! It is so easy to forget sometimes how much we have done. When I think back to the start of the year, I was both excited and nervous about what lay ahead for me, but I really had no idea about the steep learning curve I would be on. By the start of February I had created a business plan, enrolled in a blogging course, joined an etsy online group and joined another group called RadMind, which was a small group of amazing women all following their dreams. This was all wonderful for the mindset and continued Read More

Another Russian tale from Robyn

Twenty years ago today I was on Kizhi Island – the furthest North I have ever been. I caught an overnight train from St.Petersburg to Petrozavodsk with three friends. Once in Petrozavodsk, we travelled by hydrofoil to Kizhi Island (which is on Lake Onega). We had heard that it was a nice place to visit but didn’t have much idea about what to expect, (my Russian experience in 1996 did not have great (read: any) access to the internet…). When we arrived on the island we discovered the most magnificent wooden structures – an area on Kizhi has two large churches and a bell tower built completely of wood. It is one of the best memories I have of my time in Read More

Another chapter

Another chapter… A couple of years ago I joined a book club. What I love about the club is that I have been exposed to a whole range of books I would never have previously read. It is easy to get stuck in repetitive patterns and comfort zones, (in book choices and life) and book club offered a new range of genres and stories to me. I am currently reading The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa and it has so many connections for me. It combines mathematics (I studied Applied Maths at University) and baseball, (one of my favourite sports) and is set in Japan (where I have lived). In fact, the author was born in Okayama, the Read More

We all have stories

We all have stories… Over the last 3 weeks I have had the privilege of attending two very different retreats. Although very different in purpose, a similarity was the openness and willingness people had in sharing their stories. A couple of months ago I didn’t think I had any really interesting stories to share – I have had a pretty good life, nothing major to report. What I have now come to realise is that all stories are pretty amazing in themselves. They make us who we are now. You probably know by now that sewing is a part of my story. I want to share another part of my story. As I briefly mentioned in a previous post, twenty Read More

Reflections so far

Back home and after a decent night’s sleep I have had the time to reflect on the year so far – 5 full months in and the start of Winter today. What a massive year for me so far. I have achieved so much more than I ever expected. I have met amazing and inspirational women, experienced things I could not have dreamed of, made connections, completed the Me Made May challenge, organised and run my first workshop and have just been accepted into a Community Leadership program for social inclusion.  My website is nearly ready to launch and the next workshop is ready to go. I am so excited about the people I get to work and share stories Read More