Hop to It!

Look! You’ve blog hopped to me! Lucky you!

Thank you, Rachel, for selecting me to be hopped to.

I met Rachel pretty much around the same time I started sewing garments seriously. (Well, okay, I was still pretty silly about it, but you know what I mean, don’t you?) I had started thinking that I would take my sewing beyond a miscellany of tote bags and alterations like shortening the length of store-bought trousers, and I’d started googling sewing on the internet. I found heaps of non-Australian bloggers, and then stumbled upon bloggers IN MELBOURNE. It was very exciting (obviously exciting enough to warrant some all caps action).

This was right at the time of the very first sewing bloggers Melbourne meetup, organised by a different Rachel. I had bought a sewing machine at that stage, but not actually made anything on it except for practise stitches, so I just did not feel I could attend the meet-up. I’d be a right fraud.

Then, Rachel organised Social Sewing and the draw of sewing in a large space spurred me to get at least a garment under my belt before attending the first one. Social Sewing is now a regular part of my calendar, even though I no longer need the large space as I have an entire sewing room of my very own, and if I miss a month, am desperate to ensure I’m at the next one because I miss seeing and chatting to everyone, even if I’ve been reading what they’ve been up to on their blogs. I look at the photo in Rachel’s post about the very first Social Sewing, and all those erstwhile new scary faces are now familiar, firm friends.

Enough yabber, let’s answer some set questions and hope to pass the exam:

Why do you write? I have always written. Before the advent of blogs, I kept diaries. Remember them?

I never wrote them just for me; I always expected someone would read them. Not because I thought I would one day become so famous/important that people would wish to know what 8 year old me thought, but because when you’re one of many, you just don’t expect privacy. Everything I owned as a child was someone else’s, and my things would also become someone else’s. I just never had a sense that anything was uniquely mine nor that I could demand that it be mine and mine alone.

I have always written with a putative audience in mind. It was not that hard to take the step of starting a blog – back in December 2004. And as my obsessions change, what I write about change. The only constant, is that I write.

I write because it is how I think things through. I think in words. I do not think in pictures or feelings or sounds or whatever other ways people might think. I think in words. It’s possible I dream in words too because my dream images are always nebulous but any words spoken or thought in dreams remain with me.

I write because I love to read, and writing is the natural progression, the productive progression from reading. Have you read An Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett? It is wonderful, and its theme is the importance of reading, its joys and its pitfalls, and what it turns one into (spoiler: a writer.)

I write because I love telling stories.

I write because it is my prime creative outlet. I might have sewing, now, but creating via writing is what I consider my prime hobby. It is the thing from which all others derive. However, I don’t write creatively. I have never written fiction (although I’ve tried. Ha.) Fictionalised accounts of events and people, yes, but not fiction as such. It’s just not my way. I don’t kid myself that I will ever be a Writer (although I am a published author – did you know that? Rachel does!)

And I write because, simply, I love writing.

What are you working on? Honestly, what aren’t I working on? I am not a single project person. Not in sewing, not in life. I have multiple sewing projects on the go at all times. I realised, the other day when I was at the library, that I sew like I read. I find it really difficult to start a book if that book is my only reading choice, even if it is something I want to read. I like having lots of choices, and then I will actually start one of them.

But because you are, perhaps, not interested in the meta level, here are my current projects (and my process in brackets):-

  • Dreaming (I mean Planning) Phase
    • Deer and Doe Bruyere shirt and shirt dress (planning phase; pattern acquired, not yet traced. No idea what fabric. But I am planning very diligently.)
    • Thread Theory’s Strathcona tee shirts for my partner (pattern acquired; not yet traced. Fabric assigned, so that’s pretty good)
    • Kitschy Coo’s Trifecta Top (need to identify suitable fabric. I need more casual clothes!)
    • Cake’s Tiramisu-Belladone in black merino, gifted to me by Ms Cake herself (need to cut into the fabric; might need to trace a 30A bodice, and re-do the waistband as well because I have taken it in in each Tira I’ve made up)
    • Another Cake Tiramisu-Belladone in a knit suitable for work in summer (need to acquire grey-ish or navy-ish (or both-ish) fabric. I love these as work dresses for me. I love the Lady Skater knit dress but it’s a bit too casual. The surplice neck and waistband of Tiramisu just lifts this into the ever so slightly fancier camp)
    • A Sew Over It wrap dress (pattern gifted; must trace and allocate appropriate fabric!)
    • True Bias Hudsons for hiking (made three Hudsons so far; just need to buy suitable technical fabric in appropriate colour and then they’ll be done as soon as the fabric is washed and dried. Fancy trackie-daks sew up fast.)
    • An ever-changing cast of bags.
  • Practically Completed (otherwise known as Fabric Cut & Waiting to be Stitched Up)
    • Sew Loft Emma Pants (only the waistband to go! take that!)
    • Kwik Sew 3422 (button up shirt) for my partner (fabric cut out and collar interfaced)
    • A variety of knit tops
      • More Maria Denmark’s Day-to-Night with sleeves,
      • Maria Denmark Birgitte tee (cut this out ooh maybe summer this year, maybe last year. Still not sewn up. Because it got cold and I did not need the t-shirt. It’s warming up again now, so maybe it will end up with some seams stitched together. Who knows?)
      • more Tessuit Brigitte tees (I’ve taken to randomly cutting a knit tee whenever I cut another project. Then it’s there ready for me to sew when I need to feel productive. Knit tees are my sewing palate cleanser, while things like trousers are my prolonged degustation meals.)
    • A white and navy blue florally print Christine Haynes’ Emery dress hopefully wearable muslin (all cut out since May/June, not even got anywhere near the sewing machine yet. Kinda lost interest. Squirrel!)
  • Some People Might Call These Unfinished Objects But I don’t Because I Live in Fantasy Productivity Land
    • A red linen Deer and Doe Sureau (zipper put in and waiting on a decision from me about whether I rip it out and re-insert; so very close but in that state since June)
    • A floral blue Victory Patterns Chloe (needs zipper inserted or the decision to sew up that seam and wriggle my way into it, because I can)

There. Are you glad you asked or did you need three cups of tea to get through the list?

My winter sewing plans and big blue ticks to show that I’d done stuff. Also, moving some plans to Spring. And maybe next winter (Iconic Patterns’ Jackie Coat)

How does it differ from others of its genre? Well, first, I’d have to define my genre. I guess I’m now firmly within the Sewing Blogging Community, but honestly, I don’t see myself as a sewing blogger. I’m a blogger who happens to sew. I’m also a blogger who loves to read, ride my bike, garden, talk about worms and all kinds of other random stuff called, Life.

No, I’ve worked it out. Worms. Worms is what makes my blog quite different from others. I love them. (But not to touch. Ew. Don’t be gross.)

How does your writing process work? I write much like I sew. In snatches of time. Sometimes, in the 5 – 10 minutes before I eat my lunch at work (okay, I never sew like that). Most often, in the evening at home. Blog posts get written over many days. Photographs get taken whenever I remember and consider there is sufficient light, but I’ve got really, really slack with photographs lately. I blame the iPhone. We are considering purchasing a micro 4/3rds camera and launching back into taking good photographs. We shall see, we shall see.

Once a blog post is ready, I don’t post it for a day or two. I usually go back and proof-read. Depending on the topic of the post, I spend that time thinking about whether I should post. This used to be more of an issue when I blogged about Life, instead of Sewing. Some of my sewing posts just get posted after an hour or so of stewing, rather than days. I rarely write the entire post in one hit, which is possibly why they end up so long.

But, hey, I’m having fun here, not trying to win any blogging awards or, heaven forfend, monetise my blog. So it’s how I like it and how I want to do it and you cannot make me stop. Just try. It will be misery for both of us.

Now, I am supposed to pass this on. I am really bad at passing these things on. My blog is the place where Internet memes go to die. But Rachel did an excellent thing, which was email me FIRST to see whether I would accept the blog hop. Genius, she is. So I followed her lead and emailed some likely candidates, and am therefore passing this onto:

  • Ms Macstabby of Crafternoon Naps I love her post titles. My favourite title so far is: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now. Also, we are fabric twins.
  • Kokorimbaud whose no nonsense style I thoroughly admire. Cake? No, she sews cucumber sandwiches.
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8 Comments

  1. Really enjoyed this. It’s particularly relevant for me as I’ve just started my blog after agonizing about it for ages. It took me 4 months to decide on a free theme and then I still wasn’t happy! I found it really interesting to read about your writing process. My current difficulty is deciding how much personal stuff to include (mine is a sort of hiking blog). People always say keep these things short as readers have a short attention span these days, but personally I enjoy a nice long read! There are so many supposed rules to follow that it is confusing. In the end I hope I eventually work out a comfortable balance between what I want to write and what people want to actually read! I want it to be useful to others but still fun for me to write.

    I’m sure I will pick up lots of useful sewing tips. I’m afraid I am very impatient with my poor machine, when it’s actually my lack of skill that is at fault! 🙂

    Reply

    1. Hi Jane! Thanks for visiting! I will enjoy reading your blog. We lived in Brisbane for many years and enjoyed hiking some of your haunts. Ngungun looks so different but still so much the same … Good luck finding the balance in blogging; do what works for you!

      Reply

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