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Blog Hop!

August 18, 2014

I’m very flattered to tell you that I was nominated by Amy of Barmy Beetroot to take part in the Blog Hop that has been doing the rounds recently.  Thank you, Amy!  I met Amy on a mini meet-up in Leeds recently and we got on really well.  Anyone who shows you her knickers within five minutes of meeting you is a kindred spirit, right?!  (She had sewn them, of course).

If you haven’t already read about it, the Blog Hop was brought about simply to draw attention to a variety of blogs, and to maybe introduce readers of one blog to another that they may not have heard of.  The Blog Hop also gives bloggers themselves an opportunity to write about their writing – META!  I have found it very interesting to read what other bloggers have had to say, because I’m nosy like that, and it’s interesting to learn more about people’s perspective on their own blog.

Bloggers taking part in the Blog Hop are required to answer four questions, and to nominate two other bloggers whose blogs they enjoy reading.  I’ve chosen to nominate the following two bloggers:

Annika of Naeh-Connection

It won’t be the first time you’ve heard me mention this lovely lady on my blog as she was my Spring Sewing partner earlier this year.  As soon as I started reading Annika’s blog I was drawn to the beautiful photography, and let’s face it, the cuteness of her children!  I was also impressed by her skill and productivity – she must sew ALL. THE. TIME.  And the things she makes are gorgeous.  Also, she blogs in both German and English, which is impressive (and useful to a non-German speaker!).  So, if you haven’t already, go and check out her blog, and stay tuned because next week you’ll be able to get an insight into her writing and blogging procedure.

Lynne of Ozzy Blackbeard

Lynne – a red-haired lady of beautiful dresses, fan of colourful prints, and maker of beautiful garments…can you tell why I enjoy reading her blog?!  We share a mutual love for the Belladone dress: I included her in my inspiration post after she had made two, then the dress I made inspired her next version!  Excellent blog-based reciprocity!  Lynne not only sews, but knits and crochets too!  I admire that.  I dabble in both but never really get anywhere because ultimately I’m better at sewing.  Lynne also takes the time to comment frequently on my posts, and I always appreciate that.  I’m looking forward to reading what Lynne has to say about blogging, and to seeing who she nominates!

Now – onto the questions!

Why do I write?

I’m going to start by quoting directly from Amy of Almond Rock, who said:

I need this blog to prove to myself and to some degree the world that I have dedication and commitment to sewing, that my sewing skills and the quality of my projects are improving, and to create visible proof that I’m doing something I’m proud to share with others.

YES.  What she said.  I couldn’t have put it better myself.

I would also add to Amy’s answer that I can be a bit of a perfectionist, and I like to show that I have done something to the best of my ability.  If I’ve made a toile, I’ll be photographing it.  If I’ve made adjustments, I’ll be explaining them.  When (not if) the insides of my garment are beautifully finished, I’ll be showing you. If I pattern-match, I’ll be pointing that out to you.  I don’t just churn out projects one after the other – I take my time with them, and I want to share that with the very people who take an interest in these things – you readers!  There’s no point in me showing off my seam finishes to my next door neighbour – they don’t appreciate the care or the time it has taken.

However, I do sometimes feel a bit disillusioned with blogging, and when I’m feeling low and being hard on myself I berate myself for ‘showing off’.  Yes, I can sew, yes, I do it well.  So what?  I have friends who work in mental health services, and they do it well.  They do it extremely well.  They’re talented, hard-working and generally amazing, but they don’t feel the need to publicise it.  We can all do something well.  We all have interests.  What this blog says about me is that I need approval and recognition.  Is that selfish?  Am I too self-absorbed?  An attention seeker?  Perhaps I am.  I frequently chastise myself for being all ‘Oh look at me!  Aren’t I clever?  Tell me you agree!  Admire me and pay me compliments!’.  I don’t know… maybe this is just something that comes within the broader territory of art.  Art is made to be admired, right?

Then again, you could also argue that the biggest admirer of my blog is me, and most likely I am its most frequent reader.  I blog to have a record of what I’ve done and to feel proud of my achievements.  Ultimately I know that no one else gives a flying fuck if I’ve done French seams!  I did them for ME!  Yes, I can publicise it, and of course I love getting compliments (I’m only human, after all), but it doesn’t change the fact that the person I am trying to please the most is myself.  I’m my own taskmaster, slave driver and the harshest judge.  I set the standards.  And then I blog them.

What am I working on?

I’m currently finishing off my Minerva make for August, which is a total break from my normal style in terms of both pattern and print.  I currently have no idea if I will love it or hate it, but obviously I’m hoping for the former.  I thought it would be fun to take a chance on something slightly different.  I mean, it’s still a dress, and it’s still a novelty print, so I guess it won’t be wildly out of place in my wardrobe!

My current WIP

My current WIP

After that I have a couple of wedding commissions to work on, and then I’ll be starting on my autumn project – a coat!

How does my blog differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure that it does in any fundamental way.  The majority of my posts are like those you would find on any other sewing blogs – you sew something, you blog it, the end.  I sometimes include cocktail recipes, just for fun 😉

I do try to also incorporate a focus on reviews, too, particularly book reviews.  I’m passionate about books and I collect them just for the pure joy of owning them (and reading them!), but with books about sewing I like to share my opinions with my readers in the hope that they might find them interesting and useful.

One of nine bookcases in our house - this one for sewing, crafts, photography and art.

One of nine bookcases in our house – this one for sewing, crafts, photography and art.

I like to post pattern reviews, too, and reviews on equipment etc.  My review post about my Elna 2007 machine (which I no longer use) is one of the most popular posts on the site, along with a guide to fabric shopping in Paris which Aileen wrote…

…which leads me to one other aspect of this blog which differs from others: this is a co-authored blog!  Thread Carefully started out as a joint blog between me and my friend Aileen, whose nom-de-plume or ‘psewdonymn’ was ‘Julia D Bennett’.  Aileen hasn’t blogged for quite some time, but she still sews and you may have met her at various meet-ups.  Obviously I post regularly and keep up with the day-today maintenance of Thread Carefully, but it is still very much a joint blog as far as I am concerned.

How does my writing process work?

I just click on ‘Add New Post’ and type whatever comes into my head.  Hahaha, not really.  I guess it depends on the type of post.

If it’s a garment reveal, I’ll normally talk about the pattern, the toile, the adjustments, the fabric and the final garment, and I’ll include a variety of photos to capture the finished garment from different angles, and often with close ups of particular things I’m proud of…such as the insides!

If it’s a book review, I’ll make notes as I read the book, and then try to organise the notes and incorporate them into a logical review structure, and answer questions such as: what is the book’s focus, what are its contents, is it visually appealing, is it useful, does it achieve its objectives, is it useful to borrow or buy, who is the book aimed at etc.  I’ll include quotations from the book to illustrate certain points I want to make, and of course I’ll intersperse relevant photographs to break up the text.

Photography is really important to my blog – really to any blog about sewing.  I think on the whole my photos are acceptable.  I try to get my photos taken outside in natural light (preferably sunshine!), or else take them in the sewing room which is bright and airy and white.  I take all my photos with my phone; when I chose my new phone the camera specifications were amongst my top priorities.  I would love to own a proper camera, but it’s cost-prohibitive at the moment, and time-consuming, too.  I have a compact camera but I have found it added so much more time to the blogging process when I had to download the photos to my computer before uploading them to my blog.

Some recent sewing-themed purchases!

Some recent sewing-themed purchases!

That’s all for now, folks!  Be sure to check out Annika’s and Lynne’s blog next Monday when they’ll be answering the same questions and nominating two of their favourite bloggers!

  1. August 18, 2014 12:36 pm

    I completely agree with this section,
    ‘What this blog says about me is that I need approval and recognition. Is that selfish? Am I too self-absorbed? An attention seeker? Perhaps I am. I frequently chastise myself for being all ‘Oh look at me! Aren’t I clever? Tell me you agree! Admire me and pay me compliments!’
    and often feel the same way. But people keep coming back and reading don’t they? Reading other blogs inspires me to push myself into new challenges. They also entertain whilst introducing me to new patterns, books and fabrics which I would never have come across if it wasn’t for reading other peoples’ blogs.
    So please don’t feel you have to justify yourself.
    Great post. Love that book collection!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 20, 2014 9:05 am

      Thanks Lucie. I really enjoy reading other people’s blogs, too. I don’t think badly of the people who write them and I take a lot of inspiration from what they write about. It’s just all too easy to be self-critical.

  2. August 18, 2014 12:42 pm

    Very well put. It’s a constant battle between self promotion and self indulgence and you have to keep operating in the belief that people out there in the world enjoy reading what your writing!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 20, 2014 9:08 am

      You’re right, Amy, thank you. It’s also important to realise that blogging is a reflective process too. It isn’t just “hey look at how great this is”, it’s more often “ok so maybe that’s not perfect so next time I’ll do X”.

  3. August 18, 2014 12:42 pm

    Thank you Louise for your very kind introduction. Actually, I would love to sew all the time, but mostly I’m just struggling to find some me-and-my-sewing-machine time during nap time or in the evening. I loved to read your answers and am already thinking about my post. Maybe later on the train I’ll have time to get started on it… Thanks again for choosing me…

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 20, 2014 9:08 am

      You’re welcome. I’ll look forward to reading your post.

  4. stitchedupsam permalink
    August 18, 2014 3:40 pm

    Like Lucie I feel exactly the same about the section she highlighted. I was actually thinking the other day (and feeling slightly embarrassed about it) that is all I’m really doing showing off. On a good day I like to think not, on a not so good day, I do get embarrassed at people commenting “that looks lovely on you”. Of course, it’s great that they say that, but I’d as soon they complimented my sewing skills. Perhaps I need to take more detail pictures?

    Anyway, love your post, and I’m totally jealous of your sewing/craft/art bookshelf. Mine isn’t half as well stocked!

    Looking forward to seeing your coat, I made one a couple of winters ago and have plans (and even fabric and the pattern) for another this year.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 20, 2014 9:13 am

      Thanks for your comment Sam. It is sometimes tricky to know how to present a project. On the one hand, you want to show it off in its best possible light, on the other, you might feel duty-bound to point out its flaws. I guess as long as there’s a mix it’s ok! I’m making the Robson Trench coat. Never made a coat before so I thought that would be a good pattern to start with.

  5. August 19, 2014 7:46 am

    What a great post, I’d never considered what you say about blogging being a bit self-absorbed. I’m a great believer in everybody having a thing that is just for themselves, simply for the sake of their own sanity! And if that thing is sewing, and by extension, blogging – well, there’s worse things a person could do!

    Thank you for nominating me for the next step on the hop, your new Minerva made looks intriguing, and good luck with your coat. Lynne

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 20, 2014 9:15 am

      ‘There’s worse things a person could do’ – haha, you’re so right!! I look forward to reading your post on this.

  6. August 19, 2014 9:23 am

    Loved this post!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 20, 2014 9:15 am

      I’m glad!

  7. Barmy Beetroot permalink
    August 20, 2014 4:33 pm

    Really enjoyed reading your hop, and I’m looking forward to checking out your nominees who I am yet unaware of. I think on the whole, us British are quite modest, so it feels weird to sing our own individual praises, but why not? In an age when depression and mental health issues are rife, I think hobbies are a really important way to bring happiness in to our lives, and congratulating ourselves on our achievements is a healthy and positive thing to do. I’m really happy you write, so keep it up 🙂 x

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      August 20, 2014 5:32 pm

      Thank you, that is a good way of looking at it, and I agree with what you say.

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