Thursday, 9 October 2014

Hoppity Hoppity Hop

The amazing Danielle from One Small Stitch, who never fails to amaze me with her flattery and generosity (I haven't yet told you that she knitted Baby Boy the most gorgeous cardigan!), has nominated me for this Blog Hop that's currently doing the rounds. Hopefully you are not yet bored of reading this type of post. I know I'm not. I love finding out more about fellow bloggers - it rounds out their personality in my head - and this hop is interesting in that it's about the writing process, not just the sewing.

So, here goes:

1. What am I working on?

Plans. I'm not actually sewing anything, but am planning my next few makes. In the past, I have fallen into the trap of writing a big "summer/autumn/winter sewing plans" type post, and then 100% failed to deliver. I always overestimate my capabilities and underestimate my time. This autumn/winter may be no different, but making my recent Scout in 3 days was a real confidence booster in terms of execution but also in terms of realising what I can achieve if I put my mind to it. P will be working in Dublin for 8 consecutive weeks in the near future, which will leave me lots of evenings to myself, with plenty of sewing time. Of course, it will also mean me looking after 2 children by myself all day (and since our recent holiday Baby Boy has steadfastly refused to go back to sleeping through the night. Sigh.), so of course my evenings may instead be spent exhaustedly collapsed in front of the TV. But I'll go with the optimistic view for now.

My next make is most likely to be another blouse - I bought this gorgeous viscose (below) at the recent Glasgow bloggers meet up for this purpose. I won both the Belcarra and the Afternoon Blouse back during Me Made May, so the viscose will probably become one of these. Unless I go the easy route and churn out another Scout. I am wearing my most recent one every other day at present!

Other plans include a Mabel, a Moss, more blouses/tees (patterns TBC) and perhaps even the Ultimate Trousers if I can psyche myself up enough.

I also have a huge pile of promised unselfish sewing that has been hanging around since the beginning of the year (I promised a friend a dress for her Christmas last year!), and since I  now know that I won't be having any daughters to sew for, I'm taking more interest in boys clothing patterns. I absolutely adore this tee by Girl Like The Sea:

Girl Like The Sea

2. How does my work differ from others in it's genre?

It's written by me. Hopefully my fabric and pattern choices, my personality, my decisions and my skills make my blog mine, because from every other aspect its the same as a million other sewing blogs out there.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I sew because I love it. Simple as that. My motivation was never to improve fit, to stop buying RTW or to make a stand against fast fashion. I just really like the process and the achievement. I find sewing utterly addictive and totally consuming. It allows me to switch off from every day life, as it requires concentration, but it's something I love to concentrate on, which makes it a joy. That being said, there is also some motivation around being able to make a "one of a kind" garment, as I do like to be different (my sister would say I like to be contrary, but I disagree :)). That I can make something fit better, that I can avoid unethical manufacturing processes are secondary benefits.

I'm not sure why I write. About 18 months ago, the idea of writing a sewing blog became appealing. I think I wanted to join in and belong to this great online community that I had recently discovered. I wanted to be part of the fun, and I wanted to communicate with like minded, passionate individuals. I suppose a small part of me also wanted to show off what I was making. I actually never expected to stick at it. I thought I'd get bored pretty quickly - I had previously written a blog that had a very short life - but then I found I really enjoy the writing process. I miss it when I don't blog. I've found that having had a baby this year has cut off 2 creative outlets for me - sewing and writing. The 2 have become intertwined for me.

4. How does my writing/creative process work?

I am quite ad hoc about both. As I mentioned above, I make plans but rarely stick to them, so there ends up being no great design. I am easily distracted by the next shiny pattern release, and by pretty fabrics. I didn't take part in Me Made May this year, but if I had done, I know my conclusions would have been no different from the previous year - not enough bottoms and not enough casualwear. I am hopeful this will change. Being pregnant and then not sewing for a while, plus now having different wardrobe requirements (I will be off on maternity leave for a year and don't have nearly enough casualwear for that) are forcing me to think differently. I can't necessarily make the next "big" pattern, as it might not fit my currrent lifestyle requirements, so I'm trying to focus on what will work for me and my current circumstances.

With writing, again there is no one approach. I obviously blog about more than just my sewing here. My personal life does make quite an appearance, and sometimes I have been brutally (too?) honest about things that have been going on in my life. Sometimes I just start writing and see what comes out. Sometimes I have a game plan. I write about what interests me and what I think I'd like to read elsewhere.

With the FO posts, it's a matter of documenting the what and the how. I narrate my post in my head as I sew, but of course I don't write it down, so when I eventually sit down to write, I'll have forgotten most of what I previously "wrote". I'll frequently publish a post only to immediately edit it with something (several things) I have missed. I try to keep a record of changes, issues I've encountered and fixes I put in place, plus any helpful tips I've come across along the way. I don't really consider myself good enough to be writing tutorials, but I like to give something back.

My photography leaves a lot to be desired but I like to ensure I include photos of me wearing the item I have made, front and back views, plus some photos of the insides. I am unfailingly honest about my makes and will post the duds as well as the successes. I'm not sure if that's what people necessarily want to read about, but for me it's important. I like to show that everyone makes mistakes, but more crucially I like to record what I learnt so that (hopefully) I don't make the same mistake again. Unless, of course, I am pregnant/hormonal/sleep deprived in which case I will continue to sew things inside out and back to front.

Writing a post takes a long time for me - several hours. I will write it, read and reread it. And then reread it again. Mostly I end up having to edit and remove content, as I waffle (I do it in real life too). It's important to me that I write "well". I like to read something that's well written (correct spelling, grammar, extensive vocabulary), so I am careful to write something I would want to read, as much as I can within my capabilities. I'm not saying I'm a brilliant writer - far from it, I am far too fond of excessive exclamation mark use - but I like to push myself to be the best I can.. I am also careful to keep my voice. I can easily be swayed by the writing styles of others (e.g. Lauren from Lladybird has a distinctive voice), but that wouldn't be me. And if I wrote like that, you'd be mightily disappointed if you ever met me!

So, I think that's it from me. I'd now like to nominate 2 fellow bloggers to carry on the fun, and I am keeping it here in Scotland, although neither of these bloggers are Scottish! - Kerry from Kestrel Makes and Nessa from Nessa's Place. Kerry's was was one of the first sewing blogs I discovered. I love that she makes 1980's patterns her own - they never look dated on her - and she is less likely to jump on the new pattern bandwagon, so there is always something different to read on her blog. I'm also pleased to hear she's planning to go back to recording her charity shop finds! Nessa makes clothes but also makes the most fantastic quilts. They truly are beautiful! I don't quilt, but again enjoy the differences in the posts she writes.

I have enjoyed this series so much that I would encourage any of you to join in, nomination or no nomination. In fact, although I'm not naming you, consider this your nomination if you fancy a go! If for no other reason than to appease my nosiness!

Finally, because this is a very text heavy post, here is a picture of Baby Boy to break things up. Told you, I put too much of my life in here!



  1. Great answers and what a gorgeous wee face to end the post :)

  2. Interesting! I've been nominated as well and have yet to write my post also being busy due to life! Gorgeous baby and hope you get on well (and maybe get some sewing done!) when you have some time to yourself.

  3. Fab baby pic at the end, he is a smasher. Interesting to hear what makes you tick! I think I over estimate what I can get done as well. I am trying to expect less of myself so I can be pleasantly surprised with myself when I achieve.

  4. What a cute baby pic! He's lovely. Thanks for the nomination, I will do my best to get that post written :-) I love that fabric you bought, look forward to seeing your garment

  5. Great post :) Nice to hear a bit about you. Lovely pic too!


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