2019: A Year in Review

31 Dec

Can’t believe this year is nearly over! As with my yearly tradition of wrapping up the year, here is my 2019 in review!

2019: Me!

So… a lot happened this year! I think the biggest event was that I bought my first house!

2019: My House

2019: Bought a house!

It’s a 1958 ranch, in a small neighborhood in West Nashville. I closed in March, so the yard was sort of ugly and dead! It has been fun to see what grows throughout the year, although I’m a little salty that we missed out on fall foliage this year (due to an extra hot fall with no rain, then too much rain!), because I would have loved to see what that maple ended up doing! Oh well, next year!

Anyway, owning a house is really fun! It’s expensive, yes, but I can do whatever I want to the house and I love that! It’s also really great to live somewhere nice – and not a landlorded rental. The previous owner had lived here since 1969, so there was a lot of care put into this home and it shows! I’m really happy with my purchase, and have enjoyed spending time here and making it my own. It’s very small, it’s definitely not fancy, but it’s MINE and I bought it all by myself! I love it! I’ve been wanting to buy a home for years and it feels really good to finally cross that goal off my list!

The previous owner’s children committed the mortal sin of painting every room grey (why? why?) before putting it on the market, so I have been slowly repainting the rooms to better match the personality of the house!

2019: Studio
Studio (I know! I owe y’all a tour of this room! Don’t remind me lol)

Bathroom Update!
Bathroom (blog post here)

2019: Living Room
Living room

2019: Dining Room
Dining room

Also the kitchen! (not pictured – but it’s white with {unpainted} knotty pine cabinets. SWOON)

I know a lot of people have been asking me to post room re-do’s on this blog, and honestly… I can’t guarantee that will ever happen (I like to keep this space strictly sewing-related). I do post them on my Instagram so you can always follow that! Next year, I want to focus more on the outdoor space!

2019: Teaching at Blackbird Fabrics

In addition to the house stuff, I also did a lot of teaching this year! Overall, I taught 20 workshops from all over the place including New York, California, Florida, Oregon, Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Canada. All in all, I flew over 40k miles and earned Gold Medallion status with Delta lmao.

Here in Nashville, I taught lots of classes at Craft South, introducing many, many new beginners to the wonderful world of sewing! I also logged a bunch of hours of alterations and fittings with various clients, all of who were absolutely wonderful to work with and spend time around. And not just clients – I really love and appreciate everyone I work with. Stylists, photographers, assistants, reps, everyone is just awesome! Coming from an industry where I worked with some absolute asshats, it’s really nice to be able to work with people who I actually enjoy being around (and, as a freelancer – technically – I can refuse to work with anyone who I don’t like! Ha!). I also think the work is really fun, so that’s an added bonus!

Some other fun things in 2019:

2019: QuiltCon

– I attended (well, worked!) my first QuiltCon event, at the Craft South booth.

– I celebrated 10 years of being cigarette-free!

– I visited The Computer History Museum (Mountain View, CA), The Living Computer Museum (Seattle, WA), and The MADE Museum (Oakland, CA). I love old computers and video games, so people able to fit these excursions into my travels was such a treat! All are really amazing museums, but I think the Living Computer Museum might be my favorite since you can play all the machines! There’s a whole mess of images and videos from all of them in my Story Highlights on Instagram if you want to peek!

2019: 34th Birthday

– I turned 34 and celebrated with a HAMBURGER CAKE at Darrell Thomas Textiles!

2019: Leash Training Amelia

– I harness-trained Amelia! Well. “Training” is kind of a loose term here, I basically put the harness on her and she adapted to it immediately (she loves any excuse to go outside and I guess she figured out pretty quickly that this was how that would happen!). We really enjoyed going out this summer and exploring the yard. Also, walking a cat on a leash is pretty funny.

– I taught an enormous class at Camp Workroom Social – 16 students in total! Definitely could not have done it without my bomb-ass assistants Kelli & Gabriela!

2019: New sewing machine

– After years of pining for an industrial sewing machine, and realizing my tiny home studio would never fit one – I bought a Janome HD9! This machine is sooo fast and SO fun to sew on (and fits nicely in my studio!). If you’ve been interested in an industrial machine but don’t have the money/space for one, I do recommend this machine as a great alternative! I won’t be writing a review for this machine (I’ll be honest… writing machine reviews sucks, it’s boring as hell, and I don’t get paid to do it. So. I’m not doing it anymore lol), but your local Janome dealer can help you out!

2019: Perm

– Speaking of things I’ve pined over for years, I also got a perm! Ha! This is a body-wave perm (meaning it is looser than the traditional spiral curl), which gives my hair lots of texture and body, and allows it to hold a style without very much effort. It still requires styling when I wash it, but the style stays. This photo was taken recently; the perm is about 6 months old and I haven’t needed to touch it up yet. I love it!

– I bought the most expensive piece of fabric I’ve ever purchased (it’s Gucci, and no, I’m not telling you how much I spent on it)

– I worked on my first music video! This was especially exciting to me since most of my work is in country music, which tbh just isn’t as fun as rock music.

– This one hasn’t come into effect quite yet – but I’m leaving my job at Craft South as the Education Coordinator. I have worked this job since 2016 and while I have enjoyed my time there and the wonderful people I worked with, I felt like it was ultimately starting to hold me back and thus it is time to move on. As of January 1, 2020, I will no longer be employed by the company and will be fully freelance. Yay!

2019: Jeans butt

Personal sewing-wise, this has been slooooow year for me. Partially because I’ve been gone so much, and working just as much – partially because my needs have shifted dramatically (I know I talked about this last year but I’m really not into the maximism thing of ~owning shit in every color~ or trying something just for the sake of making something that everyone else is making) – and partially for unrelated reasons. I’ve definitely been sewing less, while trying to stay mindful about the things I am making. And I’ve been blogging even less, which is absolutely no secret. Like most former bloggers, most of my content has shifted over to my Instagram (just compare my 2019 blogged makes vs my Instagram 2019 tag). I’ll admit it is just easier to snap a quick photo with my phone, write a blurb, and post away – rather than drag out the camera equipment, deal with editing, writing an entire post (where I always feel compelled to make it at lengthy as possible), and then replying to comments – all of which require sitting at a computer. Which, I should add, computer time is something I’m constantly trying to reduce. However, I don’t want to kill my blog so I’ve come to terms with less frequent posting. It’s ok. I do want to thank y’all who continue to follow my blog – and continue to post feedback in the comments. I read every single one of them and I really appreciate the continued support!

With that being said, here are some of my favorite makes of 2019! Sorry, most are on Instagram 😛

2019: Dawn Jeans

The Dawn Jeans (blog post here). This was the jeans pattern I’ve been waiting for – I love the high, high rise and the rigid, vaguely uncomfortable but so flattering to my booty nonstretch denim. I have worn this particular pair all year and even have them on as a type this! Yay for Dawn Jeans!

2019: Black shorts

Black Dawn shorts. I made these over the summer in a nice black denim and they truly go with everything! I was very sad to put them away this winter, and early anticipate reuniting with them next summer. ha!

2019: Crop Top

Dolce & Gabbana Crop Top. This was made using the StyleArc Ariana dress pattern as a cropped shirt, using leftover Dolce & Gabbana cotton lawn from my birthday dress. I really enjoyed putting this together, I think it’s cute AF, and get a load of that unintentional pattern matching at center front!

2019: Leopard Bra

Leopard print lace bra. I used the Berkeley Bra pattern from Orange Lingerie, and leopard lace from Tailor Made Shop. I made a lot of bras this year but this one is definitely my favorite!

I also updated a couple of old makes to make them more favorable:

2019: Patched denim jacket

Minor, but I added a cool tiger patch (which I bought in the Garment District in NYC) to my beloved denim jacket.

Sequin Cat Applique

I also cropped this old hoodie dress and added a cool sequin cat patch (from the same place in the GD as the tiger patch – I actually bought them at the same time lol) to make the cat hoodie of my dreams! I’m so glad I updated because this gets way more wear than the dress ever did. It makes me so happy!

*

On a more serious note, 2019 has been a very hard year for me. A big part of the reason why I stopped sewing and blogging as much was due to struggling with depression for most of the year. I have never experienced depression before, and honestly I wasn’t sure how to even deal with it. It consumed a large part of my year and I’m only just now starting to crawl out of the hole I was in. I started seeing a therapist amongst many, many other things (including daily journaling, changing my diet, and a daily yoga practice), all which helped a lot. The real breakthrough for me was using psychedelics – including psilocybin and ayahuasca – which allowed me to break out of the awful depression loop that I was stuck in, and start actually addressing what was wrong instead of trying to hide from it or self medicate in ways that were destructive. I still have a loooong ways to go and a lot of emotions to unpack and address, but I finally feel like I’m living my life again instead of constantly fighting it.

In a lot of ways, this entire decade has been incredibly painful for me and it was a relief to say goodbye to it after my final ayahasuca journey on 12/14.

Anyway, I share this not to start up a big discussion here about psychedelics and mental health – I am, of course, always open to a chat if you are curious! (if you have something negative to say, please keep it to yourself and read a book instead, thanks) There has been a lot of scientific research on the effects of psychedelics on mental health, including depression, addiction, and even PTSD. My research is primarily limited to what I have read, and my own experiences. I did want to share what has been going on the back end – not everything is always fun and rainbows, even if it looks like that way from a carefully curated Instagram lens. If you are struggling, you are not alone! The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to GET HELP, whatever form that may be. There is no “level” you need to reach before it’s ok to ask for help, no one is going to call you out for not being “depressed enough.” I wish I’d wasted less of my year and done something sooner. You are worth the fight. Don’t give up on yourself.

2019: Amelia in the car

It’s interesting to think of how much has changed for me in the last 10 years. This time in 2009, I was living in a shitty (but very beautiful and old) apartment in midtown Nashville, working a soul-crushing job with people I didn’t get along with. I was in a lot of debt and always stressed about money. I was sewing back then, too (I have always been sewing) and even blogging (here’s a particularly cringe-worthy one from December 2009. Sorry in advance about the broken photos), but certainly not at the level that I am now. One thing that hasn’t changed – I still have good ol’ Amelia. The little asshole is now 12 years old!

Anyway, here’s to 2020!

105 Responses to “2019: A Year in Review”

  1. Sally King at 12:21 pm #

    Keep up the good fight! Onward and upward👍

  2. Lisa Lentz at 12:30 pm #

    I’m always happy & ready to read your blog. It makes me feel better about not being top of my sewing , weaving , living journey. Depression is a mean, sad place to be and cheers to you for learning to handle/deal with it! You have a lot of interesting opportunities ahead in 2020- not eh least is home-owning( always a challenging proposition). Here’s to a fabulous 2020 !🥂

    • LLADYBIRD at 4:07 pm #

      Thank you so much! With any journey (especially an artistic one), I think any effort at all counts! You should never feel bad about where you are in any particular time or place 🙂

  3. Studentsewist at 1:07 pm #

    Good for you for seeking out help when you needed it! I’m in med school and at no point has a single patient who sought help for mental health anything said: “I wish I had waited longer”. And thank you for being open about it-as a long time reader, I really appreciate that.

    Congratulations on your incredible year, and on buying a home. And since my ambition in life is to be a lung doc (breathing is cool, amirite?), HUGE congrats on being cigarette free for 10 years. That takes an utter fuckton of determination and willpower and I’m so awed by everyone who does so.

    Whatever you choose to do with social media, I will put a plug in for keeping the blog at least running-your tutorials are some of my favorites and I learned how to put in a fly front zipper from you. Not flattery, just truth!

    Here’s hoping 2020 is the start of an incredible decade 🙂

    • LLADYBIRD at 4:09 pm #

      Thank you so much!! Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and it never seemed like a huge deal until I actually did it (and I’m in awe of anyone else who can manage. It is… hard! Worth it, but not easy at all. Well, at least not for me lol). Happy 2020 and YES breathing is cool! 🙂

  4. Kathleen at 1:12 pm #

    Ditto to Lisa’s comments! Thank you, Lauren for inspiring me this year! I love to read your blog (Not a big fan of Instagram given how they market people’s privacy). I will look forward to seeing all you make in 2020, and I hope to make my first pair of Dawn jeans!

    • LLADYBIRD at 4:09 pm #

      Yeah, I hear ya on the IG issues. The good news is, you can still see posts without having an account – so you don’t have to share any info if you don’t want to 🙂 Anyway, thank you!!

  5. Deborah at 1:22 pm #

    Thanks for your lovely summary of the year and honesty. My son, who is your age and single after a longish relationship that went nowhere, also struggles with depression. Have heard of the use of psychedelics as a way to deal and am curious to learn more before I suggest it to him. Will check out your Instagram posts as well. Blessings on the coming year.

    • LLADYBIRD at 4:13 pm #

      I would definitely recommend looking into it with some googling – there’s a lot of great info on the internet. I also found the documentary “DMT: The Spirit Molecule” (I think it’s on YouTube now) to be really helpful with understanding more about ayahuasca. I don’t have as much experience with psilocybin, but there is a LOT of well-backed research and I know plenty of people personally who use microdosing to manage depression and addiction. The book “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan has also been recommended to me several times, but I confess I haven’t read it yet (too much on my list for now!). Feel free to email me or comment back if you have any specific questions!

      • Deborah at 5:11 pm #

        Yes, thanks. Saw a PBS documentary on the human mind that illustrated persons who had used these compounds with good results. Pollan was also quoted in the documentary. Will read the book.

      • katie at 2:55 pm #

        The Michael Pollan book is amazing – I came down here to say I’d recently read it so was really happy to hear you have had a positive experience from the things he also describes and advocates for.

  6. Becky at 1:27 pm #

    I’m glad you are still blogging, but lots of people are giving them up, so I would understand if you did. You don’t have to reply to people! I’m sure that is a time suck. I am old enough to be your grandmother, and I have been living with depression most of my life. It is something you can learn to live with, and adopting routines that help control it at your age is very wise. I have tried them all to find what works best for me. I believe mine is genetic. My mother committed suicide after years of depression. My personal experience is that diet, exercise, and behavioral therapy help quite a lot. I also use a light in the winter time. I have dabbled with psilocybin, but not ayahuasca. I am a nurse and have read all the research, and you are correct, they help a lot of people with depression. The thing that has probably helped me most is coming to the realization that if I just hang in there, things change, they always change, and depression lifts eventually for most of us. It also returns, but the next time it comes, you recognize it and know what you need to do. I send all my very best wishes to you for a great journey in 2020. Be true to yourself.

    • LLADYBIRD at 4:14 pm #

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, I really appreciate you taking the time to write it ❤ Wishing you a wonderful 2020 as well!

  7. Elizabeth de Sosa at 1:37 pm #

    Thank you, Lladybird for your kind generousity by sharing your truth. I always enjoy reading your inspirational (on many levels-your creativity, and personal story and anecdotes about Amelia) blog and thank you for continuing to keep it up-at whatever pace is best for you.
    Happiest wishes for a great 2020!

  8. sewbuttonsblog at 1:40 pm #

    First, congratulations on 10 years smoke free and on being totally free-lance. Both great accomplishments. As for the depression, you do what works for you. It is such a deep, dark hole that I won’t judge how others deal. Just be sure to take care of yourself and stay alert to any changes. I’ve dealt, successfully, with it for most of my life, and can truly say that I’ve had, and still have, a great life despite it. Best wishes for your health.

  9. Anonymous at 1:46 pm #

    Love this post! You’re a wild animal, LT! Give 2020 something to talk about. Hoping to join one of your future classes in Vancouver soon.

  10. Lynnie Siefferman at 2:06 pm #

    I’ve been following you for several years, and enjoyed watching your life evolve. Thanks for sharing yourself with us!!

  11. Barkcloth at 2:09 pm #

    Lladybird, I hope you realize what 40.000 airmiles in one year means for the climate change? Your ‘gold medal’ from Delta is not something to be proud of, in my opinion.

    • LLADYBIRD at 4:16 pm #

      How kind of you to leave this comment. I’m sure you don’t do a single thing that contributes to climate change.

  12. Marie Fink at 2:15 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. As always, I admire your talent and drive. Happy 2020. Rock on!

  13. morningsprite at 2:23 pm #

    I have this giant gold and black sequin bee patch and now I feel inspired to put it on something…❤️❤️❤️

  14. Jaclyn Jacquard at 2:26 pm #

    Hey there 👋🏼
    Thanks for the year in review. It’s been a very busy year for you 😁
    Also thank you for you’re honesty. Talking about the wonderful and not so wonderful things in your life is so brave and so appreciated. You may think your sharing is no big deal but your comments and those of others in this thread are huge to those struggling to get through the day.
    Love your blog even if you just do it once in a while and I’ll be fine if you decide not to do it again.
    Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 🎉🥂

  15. Mabel at 2:58 pm #

    Happy New Year to you🎊👏👏🤗. Wish you all the best in the world and success!!. Hope someday you’ll teach in Illinois!

  16. Danica at 3:06 pm #

    Wishing you the best. I’ve been following for years and just adore your posts. Opening up about your struggle with depression is very brave.

  17. Simpson at 4:10 pm #

    I don’t usually post on blogs despite reading them a lot but this post made me think I should express my appreciation for the work you put in. Thank you for taking the time to blog – I really appreciate the in-depth, process level info. Best wishes for the new year!

  18. Anonymous at 5:08 pm #

    Weir, I have several comments! So glad you purchased your house. I firmly believe it is one of the best ways you can invest your money. You say it is expensive, but if you hold onto it long enough you will see it appreciate in value,sometimes amazingly! I am so glad you quit smoking. You have extended your life a number of years! I am 85 years old and in a different generation than you, but I love your blog. Don’t ever completely stop. When I see LLADYBIRD on my IPad I say, Oh Yay! You are on your way to being a great nationally known sewing instructor! I do not do Instagram, but now I guess I will, so that I do not miss anything about you! I am wishing you only good things in this next Decade! Very Happy New Year to you! Betty Kline

    • Anonymous at 5:10 pm #

      I meant Well at start above !!

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:52 pm #

      Thank you so much! Such a lovely comment! ❤

  19. Lucy Lowry at 5:13 pm #

    Yea for identifying and taking control….I’ve been on this journey and am thankful for all of us in this together….and are brave enough to share…thank you!

  20. Amanda at 5:14 pm #

    I’m so glad to hear that things are improving for you. You accomplished a lot this year, I can’t wait to see what next year holds! Good job on course correcting your journey ✨

  21. Rhea at 5:16 pm #

    Massive love to you. I adore your blog (and your insta!) and it is something that has really inspired me to get back into sewing in a more serious way. Thank you for sharing and always remember there is absolutely no shame in looking after your whole self! Xx

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:53 pm #

      Thank you so much!! And yes, I absolutely agree – sometimes I have to remind myself, though. Taking care of your whole self is definitely very important!

  22. gkathryn55 at 5:22 pm #

    Congrats on the fun, splashy highlights of the year, like the house and sewing machine but also a huge congrats on taking steps towards taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Hopefully the next year and next decade bring more of both! I look forward to seeing them in the blog or IG.

  23. Inclement at 7:09 pm #

    Is it fair to say this is more evidence depression and sadness aren’t the same? Not that I know (since I don’t know you), but you seem excited about your life, and things are going well, and yet you still have depression. So it’s not as simple as “having things to be depressed about” – everyone does have things, of course, but that’s just not what it is. Does that make sense?

    Anyway. BIG HUGE (VIRTUAL) HUG. And a tiny one to dear Amelia (don’t worry, Amelia, there’s no actual stranger danger in virtual hugs *g*)

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:56 pm #

      Oh, I completely understand what you mean and absolutely agree with you. I think depression can be so tricky specifically for that reason. There was so much good in my life these past few years, and yet, I still struggled. It honestly made me feel worse to know I was wallowing in the bad, and not focusing on the good. But the mind works in weird ways and we can’t always control the direction it goes in. Thankfully I have new tools to help me navigate this area of my life, but it’s been hard. And I know now from both past and present experience that someone seeming “happy” doesn’t always mean that everything is all sunshine and roses.

      And thank you! Amelia will give you a tired side eye but she’s learning not to hiss so much haha

  24. Heather Myers at 7:47 pm #

    Happy New Year, Lauren! Thanks for the post, and sharing and inspiration. I’m a big fan! Looking good with the perm, too.😀 I’m trying to do more, and look less, so will be skipping Instagram at least for now.

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:57 pm #

      Thank you so much! Totally understand about IG – I think if I didn’t use it for business, I wouldn’t use it, either! (I don’t have any other form of social media) It can be such a time suck if you’re not care with it, at least, that is the case for me!

  25. carlalissa at 7:57 pm #

    Happy 2020 and I am sure this new decade will bring more happiness, prosperity, health and more sewing. Cheers

  26. thegabrielratchet at 10:08 pm #

    Douglas Chicken (who appreciates being able to fly on airplanes, as he his unable to flap his fuzzy little wings fast enough) and i are looking forward to seeing you again in the coming year for ginger-redux. congratulations on all the things, despite the headwinds. be brave, be well, be present… beloved.

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:57 pm #

      Douglas Chicken!! Oh, I am excited to see both of y’all again! ❤

  27. Melody Srygley at 2:34 am #

    Out with the old and in with the new. I’m feelin’ it with this last decade!
    Congratulations on all of your accomplishments (the fun part of adulting), and facing the not-so-good head on.
    I get infinitely more usable information from blogs (yours 😍) than Instagram. (Fit, sizing, wildly useful tips.) So please, I beg you…
    Happy 2020’s!

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:58 pm #

      I will do my best! Thank you so much for your support! ❤

  28. Catherine at 9:17 am #

    Thanks for all you do Lauren! I’m always psyched to see a post from you, even if they only happen once in a while. Love your style, your tutorials and humor. Your critiques of new Vogue releases have had me incontinent with laughing! Thanks also for the thoughts about depression, which I’ve been pushing down and struggling with for years. Passed on to my kids too, poor bastards. (your age) Diet, exercise, and sunlight help, and I will look into psychedelics. I didn’t think they would be available unless you “know a guy” or go to South America, but maybe…On to the 2020’s!

    • LLADYBIRD at 1:00 pm #

      There’s a lot of information now to be found on the internet! I understand psychedelics are not for everyone, but they have been helpful for me and the research is very fascinating. You’d be surprised who has access to that stuff. And if you choose to go the ayahuasca route, I’ve found ayaadvisor.com (like tripadvisor but for ayahuasca, ha) to be helpful for choosing a place to take the medicine.

  29. Gertrude Welsh at 9:32 am #

    Happy New Year. I always live your posts. Here is to another great decade.

    • Gertrude Welsh at 9:36 am #

      Of course that was supposed to say “love”

    • LLADYBIRD at 1:00 pm #

      Thank you! ❤

  30. PsychicSewerKathleen at 9:33 am #

    I too am another unabashed Lauren fan and this post really touched me deeply. I am so deeply impressed with how positively, aggressively and independently! you tackled this soul crushing depression you’ve been suffering under for so long 😦 Congratulations on so many fronts! New house, new independence as a fully fledged free-lancer launch for the new year, a brightening in your spirit. Such an inspiration! I wish you a much better upcoming decade for sure and a Happy New Year of course 🙂 PS I’m old enough to be your granny too so OMG 34! You’ve accomplished so much in such a short time 🙂

  31. Wendy at 9:39 am #

    I’ve been following your blog for years and have enjoy seeing your career evolve. I love that you are supporting yourself through sewing! Thank you for your honesty!!

  32. Connie Turner at 10:17 am #

    I think you are very talented n all kinds of ways. Your home is beautiful. I just love the colors and patterns you put together in your rooms. It is good to hear from you again and I am glad to hear that you are winning your battle with depression. Anyway you can fight and win that battle is ok with me.

  33. Erin at 11:51 am #

    I’ve been reading your blog since probably 2011, 2012 when I first started trying to sew more. You were one of my fist inspirations to sew my own clothes- which I haven’t done nearly as much as I’d like. I’m glad you still post some and I enjoy following on Instagram. I don’t think I’ve commented on the blog in years, but felt compelled to, to say thank you for talking about your struggle with depression. It’s something that I struggle with, some days are better than others, and often feel like I’m alone even when I know others suffer. Mental health is definitely an huge aspect of healthcare that we, as a nation, often ignore. So thank you, for speaking out.

    • LLADYBIRD at 1:03 pm #

      Thank you so much! I honestly almost didn’t include that last part…. and then waffled with the psychedelic info (I know stuff like that can be a very touchy subject for people and I try to keep this blog mostly for sewing stuff!). But based on all these comments I have gotten, I’m glad I did. It has been helpful for me to see that everyone has their struggles and their demons, it makes me feel less alone. And I agree that mental health is often ignored in this nation, which is a HUGE problem.

  34. Kellie at 12:22 pm #

    How ironic that I turned to sewing again after many years as a way to distract my self from sudden bad attacks of anxiety and depression. I found you when you were selling your stuff on Etsy and have stuck around ever since. Liked what you said about not waiting till you’re “anxious or depressed enough”. So true. Still have times when I can’t seem to outrun it, but at least I now know if it does catch up, it’s shitty and uncomfortable, but I always come out a teeny bit stronger than I was before.

    Other than that, your shit makes me smile and laugh and I thank you for that. And gurl, you’re rockin that perm!

  35. Shannyn at 2:22 pm #

    I appreciate your blog and your Instagram, you have such a beautiful aesthetic sense and engaging way of talking about things. I am sorry it has been such a difficult year. It is moving to hear about your process with it all.

    My husband makes ambient electronic music and often asks me to name songs for him, which is how one came to be called “Amelia” after your cat. 🙂

    Happy new year!

    • LLADYBIRD at 1:04 pm #

      OMG I love that! I’m sure Amelia appreciates it too (although she’d never let you know lol). Now I want to hear her song!

  36. smithbrennam at 3:28 pm #

    I’ll never forget the one time a billion years ago I was reading one of your posts and I went to respond and some asshole told you to stop swearing. You responded by basically telling them to suck it. You’ve had my heart ever since. Thank you for all of the work you put into this blog. Seriously. We have the same measurements so it’s been nice to look to you as my fitting guide guru. Thank you for everything. Happy New Year!

    • LLADYBIRD at 1:04 pm #

      lmao I love it! Won’t let anyone tell me what to do on my own blog 😛

  37. emcclure2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Man I love seeing your cute house! I also can’t believe I’ve been reading your blog so long…this decade has apparently flown by. I just want to say that while this year was a doooooozy getting to hang out with you 2x was totally a highlight! Also…depression, man. I only recently even realized that I was depressed and likely have been for much of the year. Somehow I just didn’t even let myself acknowledge it but it suddenly hit me like a ton of bricks. Therapy is the best and thank god for my awesome person. I have just started trying some things to address it (like trying to get out of the house every day…) but definitely more to come. I’ve heard of the psychedelics dosing for depression…that’s awesome that it worked for you! Hope 2020 is all round better for us all! -Elisabeth

    • LLADYBIRD at 1:06 pm #

      I know, it’s so weird to think its been an entire decade! Time really flies the older you get. I love that I got to see you twice this year! Let’s try for a third time in 2020 😀

  38. diaryofasewingfanatic at 12:22 pm #

    I’m glad that you were able to find a therapist and get help and that things are getting better. I’m also thrilled that you shared it with us. To many times, we treat mental health wellness like it should be hidden but I think the more we share everything that affects us as humans the better it is for us all.

    I understand about sewing what works for your lifestyle now and congratulations that your teaching career can support you. That’s huge! Hope 2020 is all you want it to be and more!

    • LLADYBIRD at 1:06 pm #

      Thank you so much, Carolyn! I am excited to see you this month – we have so much to talk about!!

  39. Elisha at 2:48 pm #

    2009: kbai

    Yesssss

  40. Lusty at 4:23 pm #

    Yours was one of the first sewing blogs I found when I started sewing (again) in 2014, and I’ve been a fangirl ever since. I love your personality and your adventures, and I also appreciate you opening up about the depression. It’s something I’ve been fighting to greater and lesser degrees for 25+ years, and it does help to know you’re not alone. So glad you’re finding ways to help yourself work through it!

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:40 pm #

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad we got to connect in person in 2019 🙂

  41. DatPixieGirl at 6:32 pm #

    Happy New Year, and I hope it’s a good one for you! I do enjoy your long and detailed blog posts, no matter how infrequent they might be, and I totally understand wanting to cut down on computer time; I suck at documenting my makes online because I cannot stand taking photos, so IG is a straight-up no-go for me, but I do like looking at other people’s feeds to see what they’re making, particularly when I’m considering a new pattern and want to see who has already made it and how it fits.

    I had been on Paxil for over a decade, gradually increasing the dose and knowing that eventually each antidepressant will become ineffective at the highest safe dose, so I would need to change to something else. Well, this year was that year, and it took me several months of not noticing my absence of give-a-shit factor, lack of mental and physical energy, and decreased motivation/interest in things I normally enjoy before I realized what was happening. I felt stupid that it took me so long, but I am glad that I did catch it, and I’m grateful that my family and best friend are familiar with depression and will usually let me know when I’m “backsliding.” I think the issue this time was that a lot of good things happened in 2019 (new dream job, found my dream house, everything seemed to fall into place), so neither I nor those close to me were thinking or considering that I could be experiencing depression symptoms, although we certainly know better. I’m now on a combination of Welbutrin and Zoloft, which is working well, and I have a great local doctor who takes me seriously when I talk about my symptoms and trusts me to assess my mental states in response to medication changes and report back. Good mental health care providers, whether they’re psych or general physicians, are priceless.

    It’s cool that psychedelics worked to knock you out of the depression loop; I usually use video games, particularly life-simulation types (Animal Crossing was my first antidepressant back in high school =). I’d never heard of anyone using psychedelics for that purpose, but it does make sense. It’s all about finding something that can disrupt the thought-looping and/or break through the brain-fog so that you can even begin to think about “why do I always feel like shiiiit?” and consider potential treatments.

    Cheers on finding such an adorable, well-cared-for older house; mine is a 1950s A-frame that has been doubled in size with extensions and now looks like a proper little farmhouse, but it was foreclosed and stood empty for 2 years, so it needed a LOT of work before I could even move in. And I have the opposite problem with paint – my den is orange and yellow, which are colors I definitely would not have picked. I plan to redo everything in duck-egg blue, cream, and sage green, but my sewing room will be turquoise. Because I can. Yay for homeownership!

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:44 pm #

      I actually considered taking antidepressants – I certainly don’t have anything against them (and as my therapist tells me – “no one is giving you a medal for doing things the extra hard way”), but I did worry about the need to increase the dose over time. I’m so glad to hear that you have a doctor who takes you seriously! It’s so stupid that I even have to say that, but, you know… US Healthcare, amirite?

      I think your orange and yellow A-frame sounds AMAZING, but hey, different strokes! 🙂 And I love the color combo you have planned! Ooh it’s gonna look so good. Home ownership is the best!

  42. Wanderstitch at 3:43 am #

    Hey! Long time reader (and also lurker) here 🙌🏻 I’ve read your blog pretty much since I started sewing – it’s always been one of my faves! I totally get that blogging is a commitment – I’ve wondered for a while now how sustainable my weekly posts are 🤷🏻‍♀️ I’ll continue to read your blog however frequent the posts are, and I hope 2020 brings good things for you and Amelia! 💜

  43. Katie at 9:39 am #

    Just so you know I found you when I was grieving the loss of a child and tottering on the edge of a black and fathomless despair. You were inspiring and funny, and your work here convinced me to pick up sewing again, which has without a doubt allowed me to channel all that obsessive energy into something good. Three years later and I am sewing all my own bras & underwear, tackling knits and picking up skills one at a time. I am glad you are finding a way out of your own troubles–God bless!

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:46 pm #

      Oh, I love this comment! I’m glad that my weird little internet space was able to inspire you and allow you to find some solace during such a shitty time ❤

  44. stitchinginspace at 3:18 pm #

    Beautiful post, thank you for sharing. Your blog is the first sewing blog I ever found and I can honestly say it changed my life. I lost my dad shortly after graduating high school, and the depression has come and gone most of my adult life. Grief gets easier with time (or maybe just more familiar? I don’t know.) – but my daily sewing practice has been a huge part of finding a sense of happiness in my life again. I just wish it didn’t take me a decade to find it. Anyway – the answer & the path is different for all of us. Thank you for being so open about your journey. Sending a lot of love your way!

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:48 pm #

      I think you’re right about grief getting easier and more familiar over time. It still comes in huge waves – but it’s less frequent, and easier to manage (mainly because I know it will pass, and I just have to ride the wave out). The one silver lining to my grief is connecting with other people who share the same pain. It’s a shitty club that I never wanted to be part of, but in a lot of ways it is also comforting to know there are other people who understand what you are going through. Much love right back to you! ❤

  45. Lisa G :-) at 4:13 pm #

    Llady, this is a fantastic review. Thank you for being honest about your struggles and encouraging others to get help when they need it!! Congratulations on your house and yay for Amelia!!! I am excited to see what you bring to the blog and Insta in 2020 … and maybe this will be the year I can make it to one of your workshops!!

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:48 pm #

      Thank you so much! I hope you are able to make it out to a workshop, they are so much fun!!

  46. New Capel Street: Fabric Division at 12:37 pm #

    Well done on getting the help you need for your depression. Spotting that there’s a problem and getting help is so hard sometimes, and it takes WORK. You’re doing great. Depression runs in my family, and I’ve had a few very severe bouts of it over my life. (For reference, I’m 33). Therapy helps hugely, and I find that having an active life, eating well and making sure to socialise is so important. Sewing and knitting are two of the things I use to look after myself. Having an absorbing project where I can really slow down and focus on getting it perfect, and then getting to wear comfortable clothes that make my body feel nice, really help my headspace.

    Keep doing what works, and look forward to seeing more of your work in 2020.

    • LLADYBIRD at 12:50 pm #

      Thank you so much! ugh, socializing – that’s the hard part for me (people are always surprised to hear that, but reaching out to people makes me weirdly anxious and I have to really psych myself up to make the call/text). That is something I definitely want to work more on this year. As much as I love being alone, it is good to get out there and be with people from time to time.

  47. Heather GROGG at 9:58 am #

    Thank you for sharing in a real and inspiring way; both your sewing journey, and your personal journey. I appreciate it very much!

  48. heather at 11:41 am #

    congratulations on your own home!! have a sweet new year! 🙂

  49. Aleksandra at 8:07 am #

    Loved reading this and catching up with your 2019. I’m sorry to hear it was a difficult one, but so glad you were able to find help and solutions that work for you. And huge congrats on the house and the perm! Both look great. 😉

    I’ve been following you since 2010 or so when I started getting into sewing as an adult. I’m glad you’ve kept at least some blog presence — I wish I had done the same! Ye olde glory days of sewing blogs are something I remember with deep fondness, and I appreciate all of my old faves who are still keeping up with their blogs at least a bit! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. ❤

  50. Merry at 8:45 pm #

    Hey Ms.L,
    I’m so glad to hear that you’re feeling better and found the help you need. It’s not uncommon for some time to go by before you realize that this isn’t going away on it’s own. It’s hard to see past the clouds.
    I know we don’t ever really know someone from their online persona but, bits of the real you shine through. From the first read of your blog I was amazed at how truly brave you are. ( Also creative and talented but that’s obvious just in pictures. ) It takes strength and guts to carve your own path in life and be independent.
    I’ve also been through many of life’s more difficult moments ( In the 2 1/2 years before my 23 birthday I lost my Dad, both my grandfather’s and my only uncle ).
    I know the sun will come out! 🙂
    I also know the next time life takes a turn you’ll be better able to weather the storm.🌂 😉
    If you have time time I’d love to hear how you chose your therapy. Even after 30yrs it never hurts to get a tune-up. Never too old to learn new things.
    Thanks again for blogging/ sharing = inspiration and knowledge.
    Go get ’em girl!

  51. Alison at 12:11 am #

    I am frequently about a month behind on blog posts, so forgive my lateness, but I do so like that you still blog and wanted to say so!

  52. Lis at 11:00 pm #

    Oh wow, I am only reading this now. My blog reading habits have changed quite a bit and it actually works in really well with you blogging less frequently 😉

    I am sorry to hear that you got kicked in the teeth by depression. She’s an ugly old beast and she’s so tough, too. I’ve struggled on and off with varying intensity levels for the last 15 years and the one thing that I believe would have made a difference is realising there is a problem and getting help. I am glad to hear that that is exactly what you did and it sounds like you kick ass at it, too. Keep up the good work!

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