• Blog
  • Let's meet up in 2019! And other end-of-year musings

Let's meet up in 2019! And other end-of-year musings

5 years, 5 months ago

Because nobody likes a deadline on New Year’s Eve, freesewing traditionally wraps up its year on December 10th. Which means that now is the time to reflect on the past, and look forward to what lies ahead.

How do you feel about meeting up?

I’ll jump right in: In 2019 I would like to organize a get-together of freesewing supporters and contributors to discuss the future of the project, exchange ideas and experiences. The invitation is open to everyone, so feel free to share this post with others.

I can’t give you any details yet. Not because I’m lazy (which I am, but that’s a different story) but because I want to hear from you what you’d like to do/hear/talk about.

So if this sounds like something you’d like to attend, please share your thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. I’ve created a GitHub issue for the matter so that’s a good place to leave your input. But social media is a good place too.

Input on what, you ask? Well, here’s some questions that need answers:

  • When are we going to do this? Next week? August? The last blood moon before the reckoning?
  • Where are we going to do this? Your mom’s basement? The parish hall of Oostrozebeke? London? Paris? Montreal? Mar-a-Lago?
  • Is this going to be a 2-hour thing, a Thursday afternoon, or a full weekend?
  • What are we going to talk about. What are we going to do? What would you like to see or hear?

Once again, nothing is set in stone, and I’m looking forward to hearing from you guys how we could make this memorable.

So don’t be shy, just share.

freesewing 2.0

We have done a lot of work since freesewing.org was launched (only) 16 months ago. We’ve added new patterns, built a new website, and we’ve translated freesewing.org into 4 additional languages in order to remove knowledge of English as a barrier to using the site.

But we actually did much more this year. For the last 6 months or so, I’ve been working like crazy on freesewing 2.0.. It’s a complete rewrite of pretty much every aspect of the project. My reasons for doing so are simple: With the project growing as it does, the fact that I only have two hands and 24 hours in a day is quickly becoming a bottleneck. For freesewing to thrive we must make it simpler for other people to dive in, and get involved.

As such, I have embarked on a journey to tackle technical debt, and simplify our technology stack. The first big hurdle was rounded in August when the JavaScript port of our core platform reached feature parity. Since then, I have ported several patterns, and currently I am working on a new backend and website.

The new setup will be faster, more modular, and easier to extend and wrap your head around. Which is crucial for our long-term growth.

Unfortunately, this is one of those scenarios where nothing works until everything works. So while you can go to beta.freesewing.org now and kick the tires, it’s probably going to be a bit of a downer as so much is still broken, or unfinished.

So please bear with me as we continue this important behind-the-scenes work. Because while I can’t tell you when it will be ready, I really feel it’s something worth looking forward to.

Oh, and one more thing

I’m more of a looking-forward than a looking-back kinda guy, but as I reflect on the year, it is clear to me that the most important thing we did with freesewing, was to team up with our patrons.

Twelve months ago , we launched our patron project. Since then, 65 patrons — spread roughly equally among our 3 tiers of patronage — have stepped forward to support freesewing. The knock-on effects of these people making a commitment to support our work have surpassed even my most optimistic hopes.

You may or may not know that I have made a pledge to donate all income from freesewing to charity. So this morning I transferred our entire revenue for the year (3162.14 euros) to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). Money that will go towards bringing relief to some of the most vulnerable people on this planet.

You made that happen, and if it brings a fraction of the joy to your heart as it does to mine, you’ll understand how much your patronage means to me.

I have, for several years now, put a lot of time and effort into freesewing. And I can honestly say that I’ve never worked harder on this than I am doing now. But at the same time, it has been easier than ever for me to find the motivation to do so. Every contribution, no matter how small, is like a small patch in a warm blanket of support under which freesewing can thrive.

So thank you for all this. And let’s try to do (even) better next year.

Written by