Monday, March 2, 2015

Designers: Where are they now? Jessica from Me Sew Crazy

Hello friends! I am so excited to be here today as part of the Project Run & Play March challenge. PR&P hold such a special place in my heart - I feel like when I participated way back in Season 2, it was a true turning point for me. I remember excitedly watching Season 1 unfold, and it felt like the whole world of sewing bloggers was opening up to me. Looking at Shwin & Shwin, The Cottage Mama, Freshly Picked, Sewing in No Mans Land, CINO, No Big Dill, and KOJO, and of course Lil Blue Boo - and thinking - WOW, they are superstar sewing celebrities. I was in awe, and played along e-v-e-r-y week for the link party challenge. It was new, and it was exciting. And I desperately waited patiently each week to see who the winner would be for every challenge. Little known fact - when Project Run & Play first started, Liz & Elizabeth were not running it. *GASP*. Ok, maybe you did know that - but the lovely ladies of Simple Simon & Co. were participants in Season 2 WITH me. I was drafted to participate in PR&P Season 2, and the woman running it at the time was looking for more contestants. With my big ole mouth, I piped up and said. "hey, what about those Simple Simon ladies, at that iCandy Handmade chick?". I should have kept my big ole trap SHUT because Liz & Elizabeth swept the floor with me - taking Season 2 for the win. HA. But I am glad they did, because look at them!!! Not only have they managed to keep PR&P running for NINE Seasons, but they have created the incredible Project Sewn spin off - and who knows what else. They are amazing, and I love them so much! Some of my closest blogging friends are the women I competed in Season 2 with, like Alida Makes, whom I am blessed to be able to get together with in person every few months. That is the beautiful thing about the sewing and blogging world. It seems vast when you first enter it, but somehow through the magic of blogs and Social Media, you become rather close. And what seemed so daunting when you first start, becomes an incredibly small world.

Project Run & Play was the turning point for me.

So what I have been up to since then? First and foremost, growing my blog. When I started PR&P, I was relatively unknown. (I am being kind when I say the word relative). NOBODY knew me. I now lead a team of 8 incredible ladies, and we work together to put out fresh content each week. With the help of my team, we reached over 2 million page views last year alone - and are only growing from there. Why do I tell you this? Because I strongly believe the sewing blogging world is about COMMUNITY. It is about leaning on each other, making friends, and lifting each other up. Project Run & Play was my kickstart into all of that, and it can be yours too. These ladies right here, they are my backbone. The 2015 Sewing Rabbit Team.

    I have also started working with companies. Which I accredit in a large part to attending sewing and blog related conferences, and getting in front of these company connections face to face. I made the decision to go to Sewing Summit more than 2 years ago - and it opened the doors to a whole new world for me. Thanks to Sewing Summit, I met with the lovely people at Bernina. I now work with them as a 'Sewing Expert' on their We All Sew website, and am able to sew every day on their fabulous 350 PE -and- B 580.

Alt Design Summit 2013 photographed by Justin Hackworth

After my Sewing Summit success, I went to Alt Summit - and have since started working with the DIY Network, HGTV, and Disney's Babble. And most recently, I have become a part of the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores blogging team as well as Wayfair, and eHow.

French Braid Scarf for Jo-Ann fabric & Craft Stores

I absolutely LOVE working with companies, I find that they help me to think outside of the box. And spread the passion I have for sewing with a broader audience then my blog could ever reach. So if ever you have thought about it, considered it, or wondered whether or not you should / should not go. My answer will always be, a resounding YES.

I have also started a little on-line kids sewing pattern magazine called STYLO, with my good friend and past team member Celina Bailey. Maybe you have heard of it?


I absolutely adore STYLO. It is such a challenge putting the issue together each and every time, with so many wheels turning and trying to work with 40 different women in this incredible compilation. After each and every issue both Celina and I need to take a gigantic step back, and it is sometimes more than a month before we can even think about it again. It takes up massive amounts of energy, effort, organization, and dedication on my part. And that is not even going into the design elements that Celina pours into it. All of which are only possible because of the absolutely incredible women who come on board each issue and truly give us their ALL. The contributing editors blow me away, every. single. time. I have been asked before, how does one become a contributor for STYLO?!! It changes each issue depending on what we are looking for. But here is what I can tell you:
  1. Participate in the Link Ups on things like Project Run & Play or Kids Clothes Week Challenge. We are always on the look out there!! Hint hint.
  2. Reach out and ASK. I cannot say this will work, because we get loads of e-mails. But we do try our best to respond to them all. And sometimes the right e-mail will come at the right time - and Celina and I will just look at each other and say.....perfect.

    And there you have it! It has been a wild and crazy ride since I first appeared here on Project Run & Play. But I have loved every minute of it. I am truly looking forward to revealing the free pattern tomorrow that you will be working with, and seeing everything you come up with! I always love making new friends, seeing new blogs, and being amazed by the talent out there. Thank you so much for having me here today Liz & Elizabeth, I am honored. And thank YOU so much for reading this and playing along...and until tomorrow, happy sewing!

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  1. Oh boy oh boy oh boy! I couldn't be more excited or more terrified than to sew for Jess! Can't wait to see what she chooses as our inspiration.

  2. Wow what a woman. Not that i'm surprised. I got to know jess' blog shortly before she participated in pr&p. The first sewing blog that i got to know! Seeing her and the other talented women compete was what actually made me start sewing. I owe you a lot, jess!! Can't wait to see what amazing things you come up with next!

  3. I am so excited. I literally just got online. Found project run and play. Started my blog last week in order to participate with this next challenge. Is it weird that I'm more worried about the tutorial than the actual sewing?

    1. Sabrina, No stress....only great sewing!!!! Can't wait to see what you make!

  4. Thanks for sharing all that information. I often wonder how it all gets done. All the blogging and keeping up projects. I see now that it's a network of collaborating. Very inspirational post. Thanks again!