Literally. I'm so excited to finally have this finished and ready to post. This is the book that I wrote (quite a while ago now) while I was on maternity leave with little Jacob. It's a book for new mums and it's full of little sewing projects and ideas on how to get the most out of your first year with your new baby. I did approach some editors to see if they would be interested in publishing it but they mostly told me that they wouldn't publish craft books unless the author already had a big online following. Which I don't. So that was that. I was all too ready to believe that my book wasn't good enough (my interpretation of their kind rejections) so feeling slightly embarrassed about having tried at all, I put it on the shelf and mostly forgot about it for a while.
Then, last May during a trip back to the UK to visit my family, my little sister discovered that she was pregnant with her first baby. It was so wonderful to be there with her at that exciting time and to share her joy. One of the first things that she said to me was 'You'll have to email me a copy of your book. I'd love to start sewing once I'm on maternity leave and have a little more time.' I was simultaneously filled with pleasure that she wanted to read what I'd written and with dread in case she thought it was no good. I've never been a 'good writer' (unlike my sister) and nearly always feel embarrassed and awkward about letting people read what i've written (I feel rather as if they were reading my diary) . You may well be wondering what on earth I'm doing writing a blog if that's the case - it's a good question, one I ask myself a lot, but more on that later...
I can't say no to one of the people I love most in the world, particularly not when she was showing such faith in my ability, but all the same I can't pretend that i'm not afraid of failing to live up to her expectations. I decided that the best thing to do was to turn my half finished word document and rough sketches into a proper book. Something that I could (try to) feel proud of and something that my sister could treasure, so that she could see the time and effort and love that I'd put into something just for her.
So here it is. This was the result. It certainly was a labour of love, but do you know what? Despite the many mistakes I really am proud of it. I feel like I have really accomplished something. I still feel anxious and self conscious about sharing it but those insecurities are tempered by a feeling of achievement, and the knowledge that it will give her a lot of pleasure. And if it gives my sister pleasure then maybe it would give other people pleasure too. So, once I've had a chance to upload all the pattern pieces into .pdf files that you can download, I'll make it available as a free e-book. It's not perfect but i'm coming to terms with that.