Geranium Expansion Pack Inspiration

Fall is here, and it’s the perfect time to revisit the Geranium Expansion Pack!! One of the most-requested features of the “GXP” is the sleeves, which transforms the Geranium dress into something more appropriate for cool weather.

There are literally thousands of different dress possibilities once you mix and match all of the elements (you can see all of the elements by visiting my Geranium XP page) with the original dress options. One of my favorite things to do is to cruise around Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration; I often find dresses that I instantly think “I could make that one with Geranium XP!” and I thought it would be fun to round up those ideas and share them with you here to inspire you as you design your own dresses!

Under each image, I’ve listed the dress elements you’d need (from both the original pattern and the expansion pack) to create a similar look.

Made By Rae GXP

1  – extended bodice, fitted long sleeves
2 – neck bow, fitted 3/4-length sleeves
3 – extended bodice, collar
4 – extended bodice, fitted or gathered sleeve, zipper
5 – gathered long sleeve (with cuff instead of elastic)
6 – collar, with flutter sleeves from original Geranium dress
7 – extended bodice
8 – extended bodice, fitted sleeve cut to elbow length

Made By Rae GXP

9 – fitted sleeve cut to elbow length, zipper
10 – extended bodice, collar, fitted short sleeve
11 – fitted 3/4-length sleeve (plus bonus leather elbow patches!! blogged here: Delia Creates)
12 – fitted long sleeve, collar
13 – gathered short sleeve
14 – extended bodice, collar (see this one on Lindsay’s daughter here!)

Made By Rae GXP

15 – hem band, fitted 3/4-length sleeves (blogged here: Delia Creates)
16 – gathered long sleeves
17 – collar, hem band, extended bodice (posted here and blogged here: Inder Loves Folk Art)
18 – fitted short sleeves (posted here)
19 – neck bow (@sewbabysewnz posted here)
20 – fitted long sleeve (genius – Tam pintucked the hem to let out Matilda grows!)
21 – extended bodice, collar, fitted short sleeve
22 – extended bodice, fitted short sleeve

Is that enough ideas to keep you busy for a while? I hope so!!! All images in this post can be found on my Geranium Dress Inspiration board on Pinterest or the Geranium XP tag on Instagram.

I’m also excited to announce I’m hosting a GXP Fall Tour, starting today! I’ve invited a bunch of awesome makers to create their own Geranium variations using the expansion pack. You can see those dresses on Instagram under the #GXPfalltour tag.

Geranium XP fall tour

You can find the Geranium Dress and the Geranium Dress Expansion Pack patterns in my shop.

Posted in geraniumxp
1 Comment

Floral Beatrix Blouse

Floral Beatrix

I’m the final stop today for the Style Maker Fabrics Fall Style Tour!! Today I have not one but two tops to show you from Stylemaker fabric! I designed both tops (the second top is in this post) for dressier occasions, because the onset of fall means that the holidays are approaching, and it seems like I’m always in need of slightly fancier tops that I can wear with jeans or dress pants to immediately “level up” for an occasion. As a mother of three I rarely end up wearing fancy cocktail dresses; instead I prefer to wear something that looks nice but can still crawl on the floor or chase after that match box car that ended up behind the couch, amiright?

Floral Beatrix Blouse

Floral Beatrix Blouse

My Beatrix pattern proved to be the perfect template for this gorgeous floral rayon crepe; it’s been a while since the pattern was released, but it’s definitely still one of my go-to patterns. I love that Beatrix can be dressed up or down depending on the fabric you choose or how you style it, and how the buttons in back elevate the design. I can see wearing this one to a Christmas party, New Year’s Eve dinner, or a family get-together.

Pattern: Beatrix, view A with 3/4 length sleeves
Fabric: Rayon Crepe Romantic Floral in burgundy

The print version of Beatrix is available in the Stylemaker pattern shop (as well as in other shops), or in digital format from my shop (both print at home and copy shop formats are included in the digital pattern).

Jess cut out the pieces and did most of the sewing, and I love how she nailed the pattern placement for this print, especially in the back!!!

Floral Beatrix Blouse

Floral Beatrix Blouse

Floral Beatrix Blouse

One little trick to this top: when I was finishing it, I added buttons but not buttonholes. Instead I just sewed the buttons directly through both layers of the button placket, effectively creating a “faux” button placket. The pattern is designed to be a pullover (the buttons are not necessary to get it on or off), so the buttons are usually more decorative than functional anyway. This also eliminated any worry I had about cutting the buttonholes into the somewhat delicate rayon crepe. It also sped up that bit of sewing considerably. Had I decided to use the buttonholes, I’m still quite certain the combination of the rayon with the interfacing in the plackets would have been fine.

Floral Beatrix

As you can hopefully see, the fabric is absolutely gorgeous. The print is stunning, and I love that the pale peach in the flowers matches my glasses. I think it works dressed down with denim jeans, too.

I love how Michelle organizes her seasonal fabrics into collections; this post goes into the details and color inspiration behind the theme, “Classic Elements.” This floral print was part of the Code Red collection, so if you love this color you should check out the rest of the fabrics in that collection. You can also find links to all of the lovely creations in the Stylemaker Fall Tour by visiting this Stylemaker Fall blog tour post.

Thank you so much for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour, Michelle!

Disclosure: I was provided with the fabric for these tops by Stylemaker fabrics at no cost, but all words and opinions are my own. 

Posted in Beatrix
7 Comments

White Bell-sleeved Blouse

White Beatrix with Bell Sleeves

The bell sleeve is HOT this season! When I first saw these dramatic sleeves popping up everywhere, I’ll admit I wasn’t sure about the look at first, but after seeing this dress I decided I absolutely needed to design something with bell sleeves. My invitation to the Stylemaker Fall tour proved to be the perfect opportunity to try it out! I’m not the only one who loves the bell sleeves, either; Audrey posted this great bell-sleeve tutorial on the Hey June blog a few weeks ago, and here’s another one from Lara Liz.

I used the basic building blocks of my Beatrix pattern to create this look (Jess did most of the cutting and sewing again), but as you can see it’s quite a departure from my first Beatrix top for the tour. I think they’ll both be equally perfect for any semi-dressy occasion that heads my way this holiday season.

White Beatrix with Bell Sleeves

We omitted the buttons in the back from Beatrix (see this post for a tutorial), and lined the bodice because the fabric — a gorgeous twill weave rayon —  is a bit on the sheer side, as you would expect from any white rayon. This Monaluna warm white lawn is my go-to lining fabric lately. We extended the short sleeve by 1″, and added a gathered rectangle twice the width of the sleeve and 8″ tall to each one. The top was cut along the View B cutting line of the pattern, so it has a cropped look compared to the original pattern.

White Beatrix with Bell Sleeves

White Beatrix with Bell Sleeves

While I la la love and highly recommend this twill weave rayon — it’s incredibly comfortable, drapey, and has a soft, fluid quality that is really lovely — it probably wouldn’t be the easiest fabric to work with if you’re a beginner, so do bear that in mind. It moves around quite a bit when you’re working with it, which makes it fantastic to wear, but takes some careful handling when sewing. The darts were definitely tricky to get even (check out this Beatrixalong post for a few tips on getting them straight). Even after lining them up perfectly, I ended up dropping one of them a half inch due to what I can only describe as personal bodily asymmetry. AHEM. Our bodies are unique and lovely things, and for some of us, the two girls just land at different places. #straighttalk

White Beatrix with Bell Sleeves

One other thing I should mention: I did notice that despite copious amounts of pressing and steaming that these (naturally lit, indoor) photos showed every last little wrinkle; please don’t be deterred by this, though, because it’s not at all noticeable in person. Another fabric from the Stylemaker fall collection that is very similar that would be equally lovely (and is slightly less cream, more white) is the sueded modal shirting. Check out the lovely Gemma tank that Lara Liz made out of the white modal for her stop on the tour!

Beatrix with Bell Sleeves

I like that this top is dressy but very simple. I love the idea of whites in winter and can often be found wearing my white jeans when it’s cold. In fact, I’m not a no-white-after-labor-day kinda person at all. I think white is dramatic and bright and brings to mind snow and holidays and all that. But it can definitely be difficult to shop for white fabrics online, so I’m really happy to have discovered this one.

This post is the last stop on the Stylemaker Fall Tour. Head over to the Stylemaker blog to take a look at all of the lovely looks that everyone put together!

Thank you to Michelle at Stylemaker for inviting me to be a part of the tour and for providing me with the fabric for these posts!

Posted in Beatrix
1 Comment

How to make Beatrix without buttons

How to make Beatrix without buttons

At its essence, my Beatrix pattern is a very simple silhouette: fitted sleeves and a bodice with bust darts for shaping. The buttons in the back and hem and sleeve bands are really mere embellishment; they add stylistic elements to the pattern, but they don’t affect the overall shape.

How to make Beatrix without buttons

So (no surprise!) it’s very, very easy to make a Beatrix without the buttons in the back to create a simple pullover top! Maybe you’re intimidated by buttons, or a beginner sewist, or maybe you just want a quick project and don’t want to take the time to add those buttons. I also like to make Beatrix without buttons if I’m using a rayon or a slippery fabric that might make it tricky to add the buttonholes.

How to make Beatrix without buttons

How to make Beatrix without buttons

Here’s a quick how-to!

You will need:

  • Beatrix sewing pattern (you can buy it as a PDF in my shop, or ask your favorite local shop if they carry the print version!)
  • fabric (I used Sleeping Porch lawn by Heather Ross for this sample)
  • lightweight fusible interfacing (see this post for my favorite kind)

Cut out your pieces:

Use your Beatrix pattern to cut out a FRONT and two SLEEVES (choose either length) from your fabric.

Beatrix without buttons

Cut one (note!! ONLY ONE!) BACK piece by placing the fold along the line labeled “center back” instead of cutting two back pieces out. This will create a back piece that is all one piece, and eliminates the extra fabric you would normally use to create the button placket.

Beatrix without buttons

Cut one FRONT FACING and one BACK FACING out on the fold. Line up the edge of the back facing along the fold, instead of cutting two as indicated on the pattern piece.

beatrix without buttons

AH GAH THAT PHOTO IS GIVES ME HIVES BECAUSE I LEFT MY OLFA CUTTER OPEN. NEVER. EVER. DO. THIS!!!

From your interfacing, cut out a front facing and a back facing, also both on the fold. You now have four facing pieces: two fabric, and two interfacing.

Beatrix facings

Sew it together

Sew the darts, shoulders, and side seams as indicated in the pattern (you can also see these steps in Day 4 of the Beatrixalong). Staystitch the neckline and armholes.

Beatrix bodice

Apply the interfacing to the front and back facings, and sew them together at the shoulders.

f1838336

Now we’ll add the facings to the neckline. Pin them to the outside of the bodice with right sides together.

Beatrix without buttons tutorial

Sew all the way around the neckline with a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Beatrix without buttons

Clip the neckline.

Beatrix without buttons

Understitch the neckline: press the facing and neckline seam allowances away from the bodice and stitch through all three layers — facing + seam allowances — just inside the seam line, at about 1/8″ away from the edge. Because of the clipped seam allowances, I find it easiest to do this with the facing on top and the seam allowances below. It’s a bit hard to see what’s happening in the photo below, but the facing and seam allowances are on the right, and the main blouse is on the left in this photo. I’m stitching 1/8″ away from the seam; at the bottom of the photo you can see where my stitches are visible:

Beatrix without buttons

Here’s what it looks like after understitching, below. More pics of understitching can be found in my Day 6 Beatrixalong post.

Beatrix without buttons

Press the facings to the inside of the blouse and tack them down along the shoulder seams.

Beatrix without buttons

Then add the sleeves (I like to hem them before attaching them)!

Beatrix without buttons

and finish the hem as indicated in the pattern.

Beatrix without buttons

Voila! Quick and easy Beatrix without buttons!

How to make Beatrix without buttons

You can find all of the tutorials relating to Beatrix over on my Beatrix page, or visit my shop to purchase a copy of the Beatrix sewing pattern.

Posted in Beatrix
16 Comments

Bitmoji Jumpsuit

Rae here: This post is going to take a little bit of explaining, especially if you don’t know what Bitmoji is. The short explanation of Bitmoji is that it’s a keyboard for your phone (like emoji) where you build a cartoon version of yourself (you can customize hair, face, glasses, clothing, etc) so you can then send hilarious Bitmoji-generated images to others in texts and chats. I will also add that it is endlessly entertaining and addictive, and a huge time-suck, so consider yourself warned.

What does Bitmoji have to do with sewing? This is Jess’ story of how she was inspired to sew by her cartoon self’s wardrobe, and her Bitmoji came to life. Jess works as General Manager here at Made By Rae, and loves to sew things for herself. 

Jess' Bitmoji Jumpsuit

Here’s Jess:

I never considered sewing myself a jumpsuit until I put one on my Bitmoji and had an immediate puzzling sensation that I can only characterize as wardrobe envy. She exudes casual, yet put together! She can do all her ridiculous power moves, ride a unicorn, *and* diligently do her homework, all in her comfy and versatile jumpsuit! After discovering this outfit, my Bitmoji never looked back, and I enjoyed living vicariously through her. And that felt like enough.

Bitmoji mosaic

Then one day, I was perusing the knits at Stitch Sew Shop (my local-ish fabric purveyor), and couldn’t figure out why that olive green bamboo jersey in the knits section looked so familiar. I knew I hadn’t sewn with it before. But it kept whispering my name, intoning “Here’s your opportunity to go places you’ve never gone before!” And that’s when I remembered. my. bitmoji. I snatched up a few yards, rode my unicorn (ahem, the DC Metro) back home and pre-washed that stuff with great haste.

By the time my roomie Shonnie — who is well acquainted with my Bitmoji — got home from work that day, the yardage had already tumbled dry and was draped in a sultry cascade over the banister, awaiting, you know…

Shonnie: “Girl. What’re you gonna do with that olivey green fabric?”

Jess: “Jumpsuit.”

Shonnie: [Falls over laughing. Can’t speak for several minutes.]

I used the Sallie Maxi-Dress and Jumpsuit from Closet Case Patterns, which is pure delight. It’s beautifully laid out, well written, and has great instructional diagrams. The pattern has options to mix and match a tie-shoulder tank or a kimono tee on top; and pants or skirt on the bottom. The top is fully lined for both options, which makes for a tidy finish.

Let’s just say this pattern really made some dreams come true for me.

Bitmoji jessica in jumpsuit

Jess' Bitmoji Jumpsuit

Bitmoji jessica in jumpsuit

Jess' Bitmoji Jumpsuit

Bitmoji jessica in jumpsuit

Jess' Bitmoji Jumpsuit

Bitmoji jessica in jumpsuit

Jess Bitmoji Jumpsuit

I can also act like a flesh-and-blood human in my jumpsuit:

Jess jumpsuit

(via Instagram)

I came across Heather Lou’s pattern hack & tutorial to make a shorts version with the kimono tee top, so I think that’ll be my next move with this pattern. I’m always a season off, so I bet I’ll finish them just in time for Thanksgiving or something.

Rainbow

Ciao for now, everyone!
Thanks for letting me crash the blog, Rae.

xo, jess

Posted in Jess
14 Comments

Best garment interfacings. Evar.

Here’s a tip I end up sharing with other garment sewists all. the. time: I get my interfacings from Pam Erny at Fashion Sewing Supply. These are hands down my very favorite interfacings for garment sewing (and just in case you’re new to sewing, fusible interfacing gets used for everything from waistbands to facings to stabilizing curved seams and button plackets).

Best interfacings. Evar.

There are definitely more readily-available interfacing brands (like Pellon) at big-box craft stores, but I haven’t had the best luck with those when I use them for sewing clothes; the fusible interfacings — even the lightest ones — tend to bubble away from the garment for me after it gets washed.

Pam sells a bunch of different weights, white, black, fusible, non-fusible, shirt-making, she even has stretch interfacings for knits. YES. etc. I’d suggest ordering the sample pack if you want to get a sense for all of the different types (Pam also includes a full-page info sheet with the care and application instructions for each one with every order, so that’s helpful), but you really can’t go wrong with the Pro-Sheer Elegance Light.

Like every other awesome sewing thing I know about, this source comes via my friend Karen, who always has some newfangled tool or tip because she’s basically a walking sewing encyclopedia (Sidenote: Karen just moved to Seattle this summer, so we can’t work together in the studio anymore…waaaaaaah!!! PNW, I’m super jealous you have her now). Karen also claims you can fuse multiple layers on top of each other for a thicker interfacing, but I’ve never tried this out.

PS. This is NOT a sponsored post. Oh! Just realized that Pam did once send me a discount code, so I probably am a bit biased, so there, full disclosure. Seriously though, these are the best garment interfacings I’ve used, and even though you have to order them online I think you’ll like them too. Just wanted to share it with you!

PPS. This site is also where I buy my favorite elastic for kids’ clothes — they’re super soft and stretchy.

My first Squam

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

One of the things they tell you at Squam is that you’ll have a hard time explaining it afterward to other people. I’ve been thinking for over a week about how to communicate to you what a wonderful experience Squam was for me, and though I’m pretty sure I’ll come up short, I’m going to try.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop is a retreat for creatives (think ALL kinds of creatives: this fall’s workshop topics included printmaking, knitting, spoon carving, sewing, writing, and diorama-building). The setting is the Rockywold-Deephaven camps on Squam Lake in New Hampshire. The lake is huge, and rocky, and deep, and beautiful. Loons call at night while you’re falling asleep. One morning: beautiful fog. Another morning: a gorgeous blanket of mist. The camp itself is full of history and beauty; the old buildings date back to the 1800’s, and the iceboxes in each cabin are filled each day with ice that was harvested from the lake in winter and then stored in sawdust during the year in a beautiful old ice house, which we passed each day on the way to meals and classes. The camp offers a gorgeous and peaceful environment.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam begins with dinner on Wednesday and ends with breakfast on Sunday, and the schedule includes two full day workshops (I took photography with Tori Williams, and sewing the Matcha Top with Meg McElwee), meals, free time, yoga, evening presentations, and the Squam Art Fair on the last night. The fact that there is even a schedule seems to be more just an excuse to bring everyone together, as so much seems to happen outside of the schedule, but the workshops were wonderful and I learned a ton.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(photography with Tori Williams)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(Kate and Jenny sewing their Matcha Tops)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

I had never been to Squam before, and I really had no idea what to expect going into the weekend, but it’s safe to say that I knew I really needed, and wanted, a break. Elizabeth, Squam’s founder, sent out an email the week before we arrived with instructions to “clear your mind of all expectation of what the weekend might be for you,” and I tried my best to do that. Back in January, I had chosen “BREAK” as my word for 2017, and had invited myself to be open to all of the possible ways that this word might manifest itself to me throughout the year. Big break, more little breaks, break with the way I had been doing things, break open…there were a lot of ways I could think of that “break” could translate. The most obvious seemed to be to go on a retreat, so I signed up for Squam early in the year after doing a little research into creative retreats (there are others besides Squam, including The Craft Sessions, Camp Workroom Social, and Craftcation, all of which are still on my list, but Squam was the one that worked out this year).

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Post-Squam, I’m happy to report that I sincerely feel renewed. On the plane ride home (which in itself is like a spa vacation when you don’t have three kids with you), I wrote down so many things I wanted to remember. Two pages were just about the people I met and what they had taught me. The many conversations I had with the other creatives were so helpful to me. One conversation with an artist who is no longer making art sticks out to me. Another lesson: that being “present” — something I often feel like I’m not — is really just as simple as thinking about what you are doing while you are doing it. Whoa. I’m happy that I really did have the ability and the space to relax (the loose schedule with plenty of free time helps) and just be. Such a wonderful feeling. And I’m happy to have made so many new and wonderful friends.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(dinner on the dock with Meg and Carol)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

It was nice that most of the people at Squam didn’t “know who I was,” which I truly hope doesn’t sound half as self-centered as it feels to write. When I’m around people who are familiar with Made by Rae, I often end up having long conversations about myself or my business, and while those interactions are always lovely and encouraging, they can also be a bit intense. I love to talk, and I very much want to be helpful to others, but it can leave me feeling drained and overwhelmed rather than relaxed or inspired after I return home, not to mention then having to deal with my stupid inflated ego. Feeling largely unrecognized at Squam allowed me to have an experience that felt more authentic, if that makes any sense?

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

One thing I feel challenged to do after Squam is to write more. I don’t have much confidence in my writing ability, or really even love to write, and writing (especially on this blog) has been hard for me lately. Over the years, I’ve become more intimidated by the idea that so many people are reading (and possibly judging) my writing and work. That’s Fear talking, and I’m trying to look it square in the face and remember that writing can be an act of love. I know how many of you have felt a connection through my writing over the years, and just sharing the experience of being a creative person who is also a mama of three is helpful to many of you. And also, my mom wants to know what I’m up to (hi, Mom!). I’m inspired now not only to write more, but to love the writing process more.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

I can’t end this post without mentioning what a blessing it was to spend time with my dear friend Meg (of Sew Liberated, above). Meg had a slightly different, more intense experience than me, as she was teaching the Matcha Top workshops, which was one of the workshops that I took (so fun!!). Meg and I met five years ago at Quilt Market (a much different environment), and have connected on and off online over the years; she is a true kindred spirit. Meg was one of the very first indie pattern designers slash sewing bloggers, and in addition to designing beautiful patterns, her writing is amazing, and if you haven’t been following her for years like I have, please start. I’m often amazed that despite unschooling three kids of her own and running her own small business like I do, she finds time to write such beautiful things (this is a favorite post). When I asked her how she manages to do this, her answer was that it sometimes takes months, literally months, to write some of her posts. She also — and I love this, because it really takes guts to truly take a “break” — stepped away from her business and sewing for a number of years while she was dealing with her son Lachlan’s heart condition. I’m grateful to her for all of the wonderful conversations we had at Squam, and to Elizabeth for putting us in the same room so we could stay up late and talk and talk and talk into the night.

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

Squam Arts Workshop 2017
(photo, above, of me and Annri by Amy of Mindful Art Studio)

Squam Arts Workshop 2017

OK. After all this rambling, I hope I’ve managed to communicate something to you about this beautiful experience. Thanks for reading my thoughts here, lovely readers. I hope someday you will have a transformative experience of your own that relaxes and renews you, if you haven’t already.

You can find out more about Squam Art Workshops on their website, follow Squam at @squamlove, or check out the #ultimatesquam or #squamlove hashtags to see photos from Squam.

Posted in events
16 Comments

Green + Orange + Yellow

My current mood: YAY FALL! I don’t like to switch over to more muted, dark, or neutral colors in my own wardrobe as it cools off outside; though I love the look of the capsule wardrobe that’s all black, white, and neutrals, it’s just not me. Instead I lean on bright colors to keep things happy and bright. There’s something about this color combination that evokes autumn: picking apples, the changing leaves, and orange skies at sunset, yet still feels very cheerful.

fall color crush

All images can be found via my Style file, Color, or other Pinterest boards. Especially loving that beautiful green shirtdress from Emerson Fry, and that orange skirt + shirt, upper left.

On turning 40

This past weekend I turned 40 (if you didn’t catch the sweet and hilarious Happy Birthday post from Elli and Jess on Saturday, do) and in a little over a week this blog will turn 10. That means that for the entirety of my thirties, I have been writing more or less regularly on this blog. For a quarter of my life — longer than I was a teacher — I have been sharing things I have made in this space. For a whole decade, I have been connected to the online sewing community. I’ve gotten to watch it grow and change, just as I myself was growing and changing in real life: having children, moving, starting a business, renting a studio, and so on. As readers, you have shared this decade with me, which is — let’s be honest — a little strange, but also really amazing and cool! Nothin wrong with strange.

I love being forty, and I’m definitely not ashamed of my age or growing older. I always joke that maintaining an online presence as long as I have requires a certain amount of inherent narcissism anyway, so the idea that I would feel badly about being forty is ridiculous. Forty is great! I made it this far, WOW, high five, me! And now it seems that having made it, I should be able to share helpful and uplifting thoughts that reveal how truly old and wise I am, right? Ummm. If anything, I’m even more hesitant to unleash any nuggets of wisdom than ever. The experience of approaching forty seems to be characterized by an increasing (and somewhat disturbing) knowledge that I know just about nothing at all.

What I know now that I’m forty = a lot less than I thought I knew at 30 = a crap ton less than I thought I knew at 20.

Side note: I thought I remembered reading a wise quote about what you know at 40 versus 30 versus 20 etc, and when I looked it up, it turns out what I was remembering was a line by JLo from InStyle magazine last year:

“In your 20s you think you know everything. In your 30s you realize you know nothing. And in your 40s you realize you’re not perfect and that’s OK.” – Jennifer Lopez, InStyle Magazine, Feb 2016

Admitting that I read InStyle (occasionally) feels like a step backward. Or not? You decide. Even saying that can be taken the wrong way, like I don’t think JLo can possess wisdom (not true) or that InStyle is elevated reading material or a good use of my time (pretty sure no tho?). There, I added the that (occasionally) to make myself look better. Is it better? I don’t know. See, I really just don’t think I know anything anymore.

(by the way, I like this TedTalk: Why 30 is not the new 20 about why we shouldn’t write off our 20’s)

Now that I know I know just about nothing, I feel like I’m in a pretty good position to focus on the small handful of things that I do know, like: BE  KIND. Or how about SHUT UP AND LISTEN MORE? These things seem even more important now than ever. This has been a weird year to turn 40; disturbing and heartbreaking and disheartening, for many reasons. I’m not sticking my head in the sand. But I’m not going to act like I know everything, either. I have a lot to learn, but I do know something. And I have a lot of hope.

It’ll be fun to check back on this when I’m 50.

 

Posted in at home
14 Comments