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Debbie's Birthday Dress - and a Thank You

WOW.  So much wow.

Thank you all so much for your kind words in response to my last post.  I was floored by how many of you have felt the same way at one point or another.  Your comments have uplifted me so much, and I feel rejuvenated by getting all of that off my chest.  Thank you guys.

One thing I need to clarify though - Minnetonka was not responsible for that Pinterest mess.  It was a Pinterest user.  As I said, Minnetonka replied to my complaints right away, and they were almost as appalled by the situation as I was.  A company of their reputation has no need to stoop to this type of behavior.  So please, no need to boycott - they're not to blame.  Rock your Minnetonka's proudly. :)

So - let's blog about adorable handmades again, shall we?!?!

Debbie's Birthday Dress + vintage plaid + polka dots = DAWWW!

So I actually made this dress months ago, but - you know... Life.  I have been dying to share it!  It's the glorious Debbie's Birthday Dress by the uber talented SewPony.  It's a perfect, vintage inspired a-line dress with darling options.  I think this was my first ever peter pan collar?!  Why??!  Nothing cuter.

Lol - I'm going to be a little watermark-crazy for the indefinite future, ok?  Ok. :)

This was also my first go at plaid matching!  I've had this beautiful heavy cotton plaid for so long.  I'm not even 100% sure where it came from, but I think it was a thrift shop.  The colors are just awesome, and it's a softsoftsoft cotton, so I was hoarding it in wait of the perfect pattern. This dress was it, for sure. The plaid matching wasn't too difficult, but I may or may not have 9 incorrectly cut half-bodices lying in a heap somewhere. 

I do.

I didn't get any pics of the back on Em, so here is the back.  So sleek:

I hand sewed a hook and eye closure, making the back opening almost invisible!

I HAD to take a picture of this - Emmy's tights from Target have like the exact same confetti thing going on as the aqua colored parts of the plaid.  I can't even.  I took a lunatic-style victory lap around my house when I paired these up.

Have you guys made this dress, too?  So sweet right?  I recommend this pattern super highly - it was a quick sew, and the instructions are great!  And the result is such a classic dress for a lil' lady!

Pattern: Debbie's Birthday Dress by SewPony Vintage, size 3
Fabric: Vintage cotton plaid, navy polka dot cotton from JoAnn
Tights: Target clearance
Shoes: Carter's via eBay

Thank you guys again for your support and for your comments.  I'm so excited to move forward.

Have a fab rest of your weekend!  Hot wings and Patriots happening over here!

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The State of the State

I'm not going to start this by apologizing for not blogging in forever, as I have in the last 1,000 posts I've written.  We all take breaks and have lulls, so no need to discuss right?  Right!

I had a pretty difficult 2013.  Rather than typing out the laundry list of NOPE that occurred last year, I want to try and take a more positive approach. I have some things I need to say, and I hope y'all will bear with me.

The success of LouBeeClothing took me by surprise.  It is the greatest accomplishment of my life thus far, and it brings me heaps of pride.  But SWEET JESUS what the hell just happened.  I wasn't prepared - mentally - for that success.  And please, don't think I'm first-world-problem whining about having a successful small (very small) business.  It's not that.  I am humbled by it every day. I simply was not armed to cope.

Cope with what, you may ask?  Well.  I have this problem.  It's that I don't allow myself success past a certain point.  I like to prove I can do things - big things, but once I begin to receive positive feedback or any accolades - forget it.  Game over.  I win in that I can do it; I lose in not surrendering to the fear to find out 'what's next'.  I am actually in counseling for this currently.  I've had this mental barricade for as far back as I can remember. I have never seen a thing through to it's rightful end.  Not once. I AM getting, and WILL get to the bottom of it though, and break the cycle.  I don't want this for myself, nor do I want this to be the template my daughter uses when reaching for her dreams.  This is not self care, it's self sabotage.  I feel like I'm 12 months pregnant with my next set of patterns.

So last spring and summer, and then fall... and early winter.  They all passed.  Painfully slow. I thought about my patterns every single day, sketched, filled notebooks with calculations and grade rules, sewed mock-ups. But when it came time to do the work necessary to experience that joy of releasing a pattern again?  NOPE.  No. No, no, no.

All of that psychological tug-of-war led to a pretty rapid descent into depression.  I am prone, genetics-wise, and have had numerous bouts of depression over the course of my adult life, but this was a doozie. The pressure, the stress, the anxiety... they just gobbled me whole.  I didn't want to sew, blog, check Facebook, scroll Instagram.  It all just reminded me, painfully, that I wasn't dealing, wasn't doing well, wasn't coping.  

Then came the nail in the coffin.  This image:

Went viral.

Awesome, right?!  I was so excited. I had BOATS of traffic from people pinning and repinning this image, it was great - my work, and this pattern getting the credit they deserved. Until one day, as I was scrolling my own Pinterest feed - I came across this same image - MY image of MY daughter, wearing THAT garment I'd made - with my watermark removed, and with the link changed; directed now to a Minnentonka product page.  Traffic to my original post died overnight.

This image was repinned over 10,000 times with the false link, and with my watermark removed.

EDITED TO ADD: My image was cropped and re-attributed by a Pinterest user, not by Minnetonka.  They claimed no involvement, and they were pretty horrified about the whole thing, honestly. This user had MANY falsely attributed images, and I have no idea what their motivation could be other than money.  Who's paying them?  No idea.  

Emmy IS wearing Minnetonka's in this image.  I bought them on Etsy, vintage, for thirteen dollars, for this photo you see above - for styling.  She wears them all the time, but I got them specifically to style this garment that I sewed. In my original post, there is no mention of her shoes - their brand or otherwise.

I will tell you, my friends - I. Lost. My. Mind.

That's my kid.  That's my work.  That's my image. THAT'S MY KID.

Minnetonka responded to my complaints almost immediately to help remedy the situation.  They offered to and did Pin every image from my original post to their Pinterest pages.  It was a nice gesture, but I never got an answer to whether or not they profited from my property, or my child. I have yet to hear back from Pinterest.

This happened in the fall.  I still see this image on Pinterest in my own feed - not attributed to me - whenever the moments arise that I can stomach a peek onto Pinterest.  It's not often that I can.  I was and am disgusted with their lack of action - especially because in this instance the links were changed to a retail company.  If my link was changed to someone else's blog - that's one thing; it's shitty, but it's likely manageable.  This is not that.  Try explaining to your husband that an image you took of your three year old daughter is being exploited for profit on the internet.  See how that goes.

Needless to say - my depression got a lot worse after that. I was legit immobile. If I had sewing responsibilities that weren't already sewn - forget it.  If I had ANY responsibilities that weren't already taken care of - NOPE.  I wanted to quit life - blogging and sewing seemed so, so ridiculous.  My blog turned into a skeleton of guest posts.  Please, though - don't get me wrong - sewing other peoples patterns, and having my Bimaa tour were WELCOME respites.  I have never, ever wanted to leave this space - even though at times I just can't do it.  This here is mine; hot mess or not.


Lately, I've realized that I can come back to this place and not have that (self-imposed?) pressure.  There is support here, and a sisterhood unlike any other place.  I have been craving sewing lately, and community, and that makes me so hopeful that I'm coming out of this.  I WANT to come out of this.  With pride and confidence, and as a more centered and self-assured woman.  That is the work - it's not the patterns, the blogging, the sewing - it's the self care.  Everything else will fall into place - so cliche, but shit. So true.

On New Years Eve day, after just 2 months at my new job, I was offered a promotion.  I am now a buyer for It's the best job I've ever had.  If you were to say that 2014 is starting off much better than 2013, you would be CORRECT.  Cheers, friends.  Thank you for listening. : )

There's so much more.  I am really happy I got this much out, though.  I love you guys.

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