Hey there! My name is Megan and I'm the sewing, pattern making girl behind Dolly Henry. This is my blog, where I share my own creative adventures and hope to meet fellow fabric enthusiasts. I also design and sell sewing patterns through my online boutique, alongside a beautiful collection of clothing and dolls. Thank you for stopping by!


Keeping a Creative Journal

I realised some time ago that I have a habit of often feeling like I don't achieve a lot. I know it's a bit silly, but still a feeling is a feeling! The list of everything I had yet to do overshadowed the celebration of completing tasks and projects, and finally, I decided I needed to do something about it. 

From the end of August I've been keeping a creative journal and I am surprised at how much I DO achieve. Even if it is in snatches here and there throughout the day, each day I do in fact achieve something. That's important to me, I never sleep as well if I don't achieve something creative for the day.

My journal is solely for recording in short note-like sentences what I did, experienced or found. I write down everything I have done for the day to do with Dolly Henry. Whether I only worked for 15 minutes on a pattern, only posted one parcel or someone said something lovely on Instagram. It's a positive journal and it's working quite well. I am really surprised each day at how much I really have gotten done, instead of glancing wearily at a list and pile of unfinished projects I am yet to complete.

I accidentally missed about three days and it was surprising how difficult it was for me to recall with precision what I had achieved. I don't think I am experiencing memory loss, it's simply that my tasks are sprinkled throughout the day and coupled with stress and being a bit too busy, it's easy for the achievements to slip under the rug and the dust of what's to come to settle on top.

New things I have discovered: Daphne's Diary. A gorgeous magazine that a dear friend recommended. I've never truly clicked with most creative magazines so I don't buy many of them. This one is like a kindred spirit. It is so beautiful and it's not filled with craft projects, it's literally like looking through someone else's journal. There are beautiful paper cut outs and stickers included, and sprinkled on the pages are antidotes on far away places, history, little stories, and inspiring makers. It's food for the creative soul, and if you haven't read it, I do recommend grabbing a copy!

The Dolly Llama, available in the Dolly Henry store

Keeping a journal has also helped me establish a better work flow. Knowing I will record each detail at the end of the day brings new meaning to just cutting out a project and then moving onto something else. Working a little bit on one thing and then doing something else. So that collectively across the day, I am achieving a bit of everything without exhausting myself in big blocks. 

I do have a problem with making, that I learned while running my clothing business. I am so used to completing a project I started the day with, working without a break that it has been really, really hard for me to break that habit and feeling. Even two years later. It's difficult walking away and working on something else. Or allowing myself time to complete a project across a week instead of in a sweat shop style of working. I think this is why I do struggle a bit with quilts for example because as I was explaining to a friend recently, even the most badly made quilt in the world would be hard pressed to be finished in a day.

So much so, it's hard not to feel guilty when I make something just for myself. Not in a I think it's selfish way, but it's because I am so used to sewing being an income, I feel like the time I spend making something for me, could be spent creating for my store. I have worked hard to overcome this, having spent a few years never doing anything creative for myself or even family. 

I've managed to deal with the family aspect, it's easy to feel good about making gifts. It was the other week when I looked through my wardrobe, forehead crinkled and realised the hot weather would be here soon and my summer clothing collection was in dire straits. It's been one of those years where all my clothes seem to reach their use-by date and I've replaced the winter things. When I realised the extent of my cupboard was only a couple of old tee-shirts, something had to be done.

Having well and truly reached the point of not being able to stand the cheap quality of a Target t-shirt anymore (they don't even last a season in North Qld without needing replacing!) and not having the budget for more expensive items, I decided my needle really ought to be put to good use in the wardrobe department. This was a struggle (getting over the making for me mentality) at first, but I've just made my first dress for this summer (above) using some cottons from my stash. It'll be PERFECT for hot summer days. I used the bodice off a dress pattern that is simple in shape, and very much the same as all the silhouettes in my cupboard. Then I added a pleated skirt onto the bottom.

I love being able to choose the fabrics and make styles that really suit me, and all without the hassle of a day long shopping expedition that can often end with no clothes and a headache! I also figure if I save money by sewing a good portion of my wardrobe, then I can afford to spend more money on better quality clothing. I'm not growing anymore, I'm a grown up so it doesn't matter if a shirt is a lot of money - if it lasts ten+ years, it's cheaper in the long run than having to buy twenty $10 shirts a year!

Betty Hazel Doll, and Ballerina Blush Dress Available in Store

Other creative projects lately have included sewing for the Molly and Mama Pretty Handmades Book Showcase. You can see all the gorgeous makes and pre-order this amazing book here on Lauren's blog. And today I started dyeing some yarn, a la natural....I will update on these two subjects soon!

Do you keep a creative journal? I'd love to know!! Really!

Megan x

1 comment

  1. I keep a journal, but not a creative journal, I think it sounds like a really positive idea, journalling has helped me so much, I think going one step further would only benefit me! Thanks for the idea! Xx

    Kez |


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