I recently received a telephone call from a sewing friend. From Germany, no less, just to ask how I'm doing. She was under the impression that I'd hidden myself away. Hidden? Who me? No... Well, she wasn't totally wrong. Since the book was released, I kind of feel like part of me has to be hidden away. The silly, sarcastic, opinionated me, which, face it, is 95% of me. I figured I should only swim to the surface when I'm the happy and fluffy and Betty Crocker me (if I were the "United States of Tara," only when "Alice" shows up). My atelier is nothing but half-started half-attempts, because I sort of feel like every garment that exits that place now should have the ability to part the clouds and make the angels sing. I haven't been walking on clouds since having a bestseller, believe it or not: I've been more weighed down in a sense of responsibility. I'll spend an hour online searching for a fabric that I know has been sold out for over two years for a reader. Things like that. So, yeah, I've laid a bit low.
But know what? Betty Crocker is a made up person. An invention, an amalgam of everything homey and housewifey and cheery and nothing else. Betty Crocker doesn't exist! And neither do I. Well, not the Betty Crocker version, anyway. Some gals pull off the Betty Crocker thing so awesome and I am in awe. But me? If I only swim to the surface as Betty Crocker, I'll suffocate.
Plus, I took the admittedly very, very, very few and far between negative criticism a little too close to heart. It's not a rational thing, of course. But, hey, I'm not a rock, so when I read "I had high hopes for this book, but right after I bought it, I got a fifty-dollar parking ticket! Fifty dollars seems like a lot of money for a book. Plus, my kid got a D on his spelling test! I've never had this problem before. He's seen the word "abysmal" on flash cards since he was in the womb! How could he have misspelled "abysmal"? When I was sewing the first project, I found my prized Affenpinscher, Prince Jedi Pop Tart Pierre, whom I've shown for over 5 years, rummaging through my lingerie! Prince Jedi is now a cross-dresser! Then, when I opened up the patterns, evil gnomes popped out and ate my eyebrows! I have a fifty-dollar parking ticket, no chance at Stanford Medical School for Junior, a transvestite dog, a house full of evil gnomes and no eyebrows, all because of you, Nancy Langdon! This book ruined my life! I hate you, Nancy Langdon!"...I take that stuff to heart (what? You didn't read a critique like that? That's how it read to me).
The book cannot be all things to all people all the time. That's just common sense. But we can improve the things we can improve. We're listening. We read every comment and criticism we can find and we take them into consideration. Sewing Clothes Kids Love sold out of the first printing run after about one month after release. Ohmygod right? I'm totally freaking and totally talking like a Valley Girl, because ohmygod, right? First run sold out? Like, ohmygod, right? Totally? And the book has been number one for a few weeks and is still in the top ten for "Sewing," "Needlework" and, (get this) "Fashion" ("Fashion" that just makes me laugh) on Amazon. Ohmygod. Totally awesome. (Thank YOU, everyone *sniff*)
So, the book will be printed up again. And this time, the pattern sheets will be printed on paper that is somewhat more stabile, more suitable for tracing. Now, the thing about this paper is that it is somewhat smaller. Somewhat stabiler, but somewhat smaller. Different paper, different printers, 'kay? So, to fit the sewing patterns on this paper, we will need to fiddle with the pattern sheet layouts. And we will need to overlap some of the pieces. That's the compromise. That means that tracing will not be an option, but the only option for many of the designs. Now, for all of you that I know, this is not be as bad as a flock of evil gnomes, because you trace your patterns, anyway. But I grew up learning it the other way, the cut-the-pattern-pieces-out-directly way, so I hope those people won't be too upset.
What do you think? Think the new, smaller, you-must-trace-this paper is a good thing?
And to the many, many, many more of you that have taken the time and publicly said a nice thing or two about the book, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you, most recently to CraftCritique.com for their comprehensive review.
And thank you, Ms. B., for the telephone call. I'm ready to come out and play again.
My delusions keep me sane. Sorry 'bout the evil eyebrow-eating gnomes. They happen.