A New Beginning

To be blunt, this is a bittersweet post for me, but it has to be done...so here we go...

I began this blog as an offshoot to my original blog, which was meant to document my time abroad. I was working on a fitted back jacket and posting pictures of it, but it simply didn't fit into my 'Abby travels around the world la la de dah blah blah blah' blog. So I started a new blog.

This blog.

And it was this blog that got the following, that put my name out there, that tried and tested me, introduced to me to some lovely and inspiring people, and also taught me that not everyone is as lovely as they seem. It was this blog that gave me the chance to give a paper on my own subject, which gave me the chance to meet some of the greats in our field. This blog inspired others to start writing down their experiences, this blog inspired a great deal of controversy, inspired laughter, and gave birth to friendships.

This blog, quite simply, changed my life.

And sadly, the time has come for the blog to end.

This is the last post on Stay-ing Alive.

Though I am sad to say good-bye to you all in this capacity, this is not the last you'll see of me. If anything, you're going to be seeing a lot more of me.

As of today, January 29, 2013, I will be starting my 7 year apprenticeship as the next Millinery/Mantua-Maker at the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop in Colonial Williamsburg, and and and I am so so so so so excited. My dream has come true. :)

The road leading up to this point has been incredibly long, painful, and arduous. I cannot tell ya'll how many times I didn't just have a door slammed into my face, but I ran full force into a brick wall of NO. I have spent the better part of this year doubting myself, my talent, my education, my passion, my abilities. Wondering, if I should just give it all up and go to massage therapy school and be a yoga teacher. (Note: I'm not hating on this, I was just planning on doing these things as my 'retirement' career, not as my 'first' career, but seeing as how my first career wasn't panning out, I was wondering if maybe my retirement career was my only career...make sense?...and I still would like to be a yoga teacher...anyways..I'm digressing).

Long story short, when the Millinery Apprenticeship job was posted, it was hard for me to apply...did I want to go through this again? Will this just end like everything else? Will Fredrik and I have to move back to Indiana and live in my parent's basement? Will I start growing a frightfully large amount of facial hair? After long talks with Fredrik and my family, I knew this is something I had to do. The last time the job was posted was in 2008 and I had decided to go to grad school instead of apply for the job. I watched good friends battle it out for the position with a mix of gratitude and pain. Grateful that I didn't have to go through that process, but also experiencing a deep pain that I didn't go ahead and apply for my dream job.

When it was posted this year, I knew, despite the fact the past year left me doubtful, exhausted, and cautious, I had to apply.

I wrote my cover letter, applied for the job, interviewed, and then I got the job!

I am so grateful for my experiences leading up to this, and I am excited for what is to come...it feels good...really good...it has been a while since I felt this way.

Now, as for Stay-ing Alive...

With the start of my new job, things will change, I cannot in good conscious write about my sewing, my research, my experiences, now that I will be working in the shop. My priorities are different. One of the reasons I haven't been writing over the past year is because of my work, and how it affects my blog. Now that I know what is going on in my life and career, it is clear that my time writing for Stay-ing Alive has come to an end.

The blog will not be removed, I'll leave it up here, for the time being, however I'm going to eventually disable the comments.

Finally, I just want to thank you all, so very very much, for everything. This blog has changed my life in so many ways, but I would not be here without you, either.

So thank you for your support, your challenges, your laughs, your inspiring passion, intelligence, and beautiful work.

Keep sewing.
Keep writing.
Keep challenging.
Keep laughing.

And, very seriously, whatever you do, if you have a dream, a goal, a plan... do not ever ever ever ever ever give it up. Not ever. Do you understand? You will succeed. You will meet your goals. Just keep trudging through the muck and the dirt, jump those hurtles, even when you want to give it up, and you'll succeed. I promise. 

And with that, I'll catch you all later...but this time, I'll see you at the Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop's facebook page!

<3 <3



  1. Congratulations on your apprenticeship!

    I wish you all the best and hope I get to see glipses of your future adventures as a mantua-maker to be.

  2. I wish you the best - I'm hoping to visit Williamsburg while you are apprenticed. I will try to stop and say hello!

  3. I wish you the best! I hope to visit Williamsburg soon and will stop by to say hello!

  4. Best of luck to you! Thanks for all of the blogging; and yes, post tenebrus lux, after the trials comes the dream.

  5. Wow! Congratulations! I am SO happy for you. :D I understand and fully support your decision about the blog, too, and I appreciate your "farewell" post very much. Someday I hope to come by to see you. In the meantime - enjoy it to the full!

  6. First of all, congratulations for getting the apprenticeship and your dream job!

    I've followed your endeavours though this blog since the historical sewing forum time and learned a lot so it's a bit sad that you have to go. But I'm looking forward to follow you on FB instead.

    I part of me envy you, just a little. I dream of working with costume in some way but the job openings in Sweden are even fever then in the states. But maybe some lucky day...

    Anyway I wish you and Fredrik all the luck in the world!

  7. Warmest congratulations and best wishes to you! I know all too well all the feelings you have experienced and described, and what it is like to follow a dream for many years, and alone, and to never give up no matter the miseries and heartbreaks along the road.
    I am so happy for you~

    My husband and I are historical reenactors among other things, and spent our honeymoon at Williamsburg after an 18thc. wedding. We long to go back, and if ever so fortunate I shall be sure to stop in a M. Hunter's and bid you good day should you be about!

  8. Congrats...and best wishes for your apprenticeship.
    Lovely to see that you've been able to make your dream come true!


    P.S.: Thank you so much for introducing me to the "weird running whip stitch thingy" via your blogpost :)

  9. You shall be much missed, m'dear, but for very good reasons. CONGRATULATIONS! I wish you the best of luck and a wonderful next 7 years. It as an honor to get to meet you in Williamsburg, and I look forward to seeing you the next time I'm there :-) <3 <3 <3

  10. Congratulations! I'm glad your hard work has paid off. I hope to see you working this summer.

  11. Abby,
    A heartfelt congrats to you. I know of some of your trials and I am so, so glad that you were able to work through all the hardships to get to this place. Both you and the shop will benefit greatly from this marriage.
    I am glad you persisted with your dreams...because, speaking from 20+ years, I can tell you, not everyone succeeds in their dreams. I will tell you what my dad told me when I worked for the National park service at your age...."you are very lucky to enjoy the job you have. The majority of the population doesn't have that opportunity."

    Again, congratulations. You are one of the lucky ones (with a BOATLOAD of talent).

  12. Congratulations! What a wonderful opportunity for you.

  13. Congratulations! The apprenticeship sounds like an amazing opportunity, and I am sure you'll do great.

    I'm going to miss this blog though. Thank you for the time you have put into it.

  14. Congratulations and best wishes as you start a wonderful and exciting journey!

  15. Wow, congrats! I'm so thrilled for you! Permission to creepily drop by someday in the far future when I get to CW next and say hi?

  16. How exciting!!! Huge congratulations to you and best wishes for the future. It'll be sad to see no more Stay-ing Alive, but I'm following the FB now, so I'll see more of you there.

    Congratulations and best wishes again! X


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