Before submitting our entries for round five, we were asked what we learned about ourselves and our sewing through this contest. This was my answer:
"This has been a summer of huge personal growth for me in many ways; I moved out of residence to live on my own, I worked my first full-time job, and I competed in this contest. Oddly enough, I've called sewing and knitting my "creative outlet" since picking it up again just over two years ago, I've never considered myself a very creative or artistic person. At school, I've always been strongest in math and science, and that's exactly what I'm studying at university - the most creative course I'll be taking next year is computer programming!
That being said, this contest has made me realize how creative I can actually be. I felt a little like the underdog in this contest, being the youngest with only a couple years of "serious" sewing under my belt, but it has really pushed me to branch out, try new techniques, change designs to suit my style, and make the highest quality garment I can. It's given me the incentive I needed to break out of my habit of making more knit tops and dresses! I never knew if anything would work out, but everything so far has, and because of that, I've become so much more confident in my sewing.
I've also realized how much I love hand sewing, which I've always seen as a finishing touch, usually to make the finishing of a garment less visible. My Marianne dress was my first project where my hand stitching was visible on purpose, and I loved it! I can't wait to experiment with other hand embellishments - next up is learning some hand embroidery!"
I'm so incredibly proud of everything I've made as part of this contest. I wear both my Sutton Blouse and my Marianne Dress quite a bit, and I sleep in my Carolyn Pajamas every night! My Caravan Tote is my go-to summer bag anytime I need something a little bigger than my purse, and perfect for cycling when I wear it as a backpack!
I was so happy with my Cascade Duffle Coat, and I think it'll be so great for fall in Montreal, but I really had no idea how this contest would end. Leah and Teresa are both such talented sewists, and they both made amazing coats. It's been such a pleasure to sew alongside everyone else in the contest as well: Lori, Barbara, Meredith, Michelle, Kristina, Tanya, and Cheryl. I loved seeing everyone's take on the same patterns, and I got many ideas for future projects from them!
This contest couldn't have come at a better time for me. I'm just about to move into my first apartment in Montreal, where I'll set up my own sewing space with my new machines. I'm also only a few days away from my second-year "blogiversary" - my first post on this blog was on August 29th, 2013! I remember following the first SOSM two years ago with such admiration for the contestants, just before starting my blog. I never imagined, then, that I would be a contestant in the next one, let alone the winner! I've learned so much in the couple of years since I picked up sewing again, and I've especially learned so much this summer.
Lastly, thank you so much to everyone reading, commenting, emailing, and following the contest. The comments on my blog are what inspire me to keep blogging, and everyone's support has meant so much to me throughout the competition!
Here's to many, many more years of sewing!