All about ME

Last week, Lisa G of Notes from a Mad Housewife very kindly tagged Melanie and me in the blog hop on writing that’s going around. Being something of a rule-follower, I tried to find the origin of the blog hop. I traced it back, 6 blogs deep – Lisa, Heather, Leila, and three new-to-me blogs – without any mention of the original hopper. This sewing blog land of ours is vast! Without being able to reference the original post, I don’t know what the intent of the hop is, but what swayed me to participate was just how much I enjoyed seeing these posts popping up in my reader.

Why do I write?
I don’t remember why exactly I started a sewing blog. My first few months of consuming sewing content on the internet are hazy. I wanted to make things and I needed a lot of help. I would look up projects on the internet and invariably end up mucking around Burdastyle without understanding how it worked. I joined the now-defunct Wardrobe Refashion because I was just so interested in what people were doing. After a few months of lurking on WR, I shared my first project with great trepidation – a Burda dress made from a thrifted sheet with some of my illustrations screenprinted on it, shot in Photo Booth on my computer – and people were both kind and helpful. I guess eventually I felt the pull to contribute my own content to the online sewing world in a more involved way. I started two other blogs before Crab & Bee – originally a collaboration with my sister – really took shape.

crabandbee.com

I’ve continued blogging because I really enjoy reading about sewing and the creative process, and it’s so heartening to know that other people share those interests. It’s about documenting, too: it’s exciting to have a tangible way to track my progress in and attitude towards sewing over the years.

I write in general because I’ve always written. I started a journal at age 5 and have kept one ever since. I don’t really understand something until I’ve written it down, whether it’s how I’m feeling or my grocery list.

How does my writing process work?
I suppose the writing process starts with the sewing process, when I start narrating to myself. It’s hard to justify my narration habit if I don’t blog, so at this point, I’m committed. Once my project is finished, pictures are next. I take the straightforward approach to photography – I’m most interested in capturing the look, fit and feel of a garment. I make sure to capture the details I want to discuss, and then order my photographs in a way that feels natural. By then, writing feels like a mad lib. I don’t try to control much of what I’ve written.

For someone who frequently shares pictures of themselves on the internet, I tend to be a private person with a tendency towards brevity. I think both of these qualities are fine, even admirable in certain situations, but I realized a couple of years ago that one of the things that makes a sewing blog more meaningful to me is the connection I feel with its writer. In the hopes of creating the kind of blog I’d want to read, I’ve been trying to put more of myself into my posts beyond just how large of a broad back adjustment I need. It’s a work in progress – as is the broad back adjustment.

How does it differ from others of its genre?
One of my fantasy projects would be doing a big affinity diagram of sewing bloggers. There are a lot of overlapping themes and interests in the sewing blog world. My main interests are sustainable sewing (and exploring what that even means), fitting and adapting patterns, durability and the techniques to achieve it, and sewing my entire wardrobe in styles I love, with a little textile art thrown in. This isn’t the ambitious affinity diagram, but I did want to share a few blogs I look to for inspiration around these themes:

Sustainable sewing: So, Zo, YoSaMi, A Handmade Wardrobe, Gloria & Me
Adapting patterns and pattern-making: Heather B, Madalynne
Durability and technique: Notes from a Mad Housewife
Creating a wardrobe: Fabric Tragic, What Katie Sews, Handmade by Carolyn
Styles I love: Sew StylistOh, She Dabbles
Textile art: Rolling in Cloth, Liza Jane Sews, SallieOh

I think what makes any blog unique is the combination of the writer’s personality and interests, their approach to the creative process and what they create.

What am I working on?
Too many things! I’m playing with a couple of Scraptember ideas as well as sewing scrap undies, making a couple of mens’ shirts as gifts, and muslining and planning some early-fall sewing so I’m not as cold as I was last year. That’s plenty, but I’d love to make another pair of jeans and play around with my newly-completed bodice sloper.

crabandbee.com

Nominations
I’d like to nominate Ebony of Sew Stylist and Sarah from Fabric Tragic. I can’t get enough of Ebony’s style these days – I can imagine looking in her closet and seeing a harmonious wardrobe sewn up in a beautiful mix of solids and tasteful prints. I love Sarah’s intense focus on wearable workhorse pieces, with the occasional Sound of Music singalong costume thrown in for good measure. Also, she cracks me up with her choice phrases – “lady garden” comes to mind. (Ebony and Sarah – no pressure to write up your own post!)

What are some of your sewing interests, and which other bloggers share them?

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39 thoughts on “All about ME

  1. I’ve been loving this blog hop for the very reason you mentioned above- I love getting to know the person behind the blog. I think looking at pretty pictures of finished projects can get repetitive very quickly if there’s not something/ someone a little more substantial behind it. I tend to think twice about non-sewing/ navel gazing posts expecting no-one will be interested or that they might seem overly self indulgent, but I do love reading them on other people’s blogs. I think it’s this personal aspect that makes our online circle a bit different and BETTER! than others 😀

    1. I’m with you – the endless parade of pretty pictures without personality or substance is why I avoid fashion blogs. I don’t think pure style is very interesting unless it’s pretty damned weird 🙂 There’s something about people sharing their creation process that draws me in.

  2. I’ve been enjoying reading these posts, too, as they go around. Somehow they feel different than the “awards” that go around, maybe because they spread less like a chain letter and the content always seems more reflective and real. Thanks for sharing about your process and why you blog.

    1. Wouldn’t that be cool?? I’d waste all kinds of time looking at something like that. Some way for bloggers to identify their own interests would be awesome, too.

  3. Really enjoyed reading about your process especially since I haven’t read the blog from the beginning. The part about self narration made me giggle with glee. I just put mine in the voice of Froggie and pretend that’s normal. Ha haa.

    Thanks for the mention as well 🙂

    1. It’s funny, with my early online sewing presence being kind of scattered I feel like this blog doesn’t really have a particular beginning!

      Maybe I need some sort of avatar to normalize the narration, too… 🙂

      1. I always have inner monologue, too, but I ALWAYS forget anything clever I was going to say by the time I blog! 🙂

  4. That dress is incredible! I missed it the first time around, so glad you shared it again.
    On the second paragraph about your blogging process…I feel the same. Sometimes it’s so hard for me to get my personality on the page, so to speak- definitely still a work in progress. To me as a reader, the sass/stories are wonderful but secondary to the sewing chops- and you have the chops!

    1. Thank you so much – what a nice compliment! I think sass and chops (doesn’t that sound like a hipster BBQ joint?) are tied for me in terms of what I look for in a blog.

  5. Thank you for writing about your writing! I am fascinated by what motivates people to ‘put themselves out there’. I used to write reams of terrible poetry and (cringe) teenage love stories when I was an adolescent and keep them under my bed (must have given my parents a laugh if they ever looked), as well as keeping intermittent diaries. So an early interest in writing definitely seems to be a common factor in many bloggers. Also, I find it interesting that you describe yourself as ‘a private person’. I would say the same – I don’t do facebook, twitter or share my innermost thoughts with strangers, yet I do post pictures of myself on a sewing blog…maybe many years ago, we would have shared our sewing dilemmas more with immediate families and friends, as they would all have been sewing too.

    1. I had such a chuckle hearing about your poetry and love stories, tucked under your bed! I never directed my writing efforts towards fiction, but my journals and notes were love-lorn and cringe-worthy enough.

      What an interesting thought on who we talk to about sewing! I have one or two friends who sew in addition to several local bloggers I’ve been lucky enough to meet, but not enough to meet my drive to talk about and read about sewing.

  6. I love this post! But I’m a great big snoop 😉 Your writing, to me, comes across as so natural I feel like we’re friends (hashtag things stalkers say). And I would be so keen on the sewing diagram! In fact, if you wanted to work on it with someone holla at me! (hashtag things unemployed people say)

    1. You’re my favorite snoop! We’re just friends who haven’t met yet 🙂 It sounds like Katie is interested in the affinity map thing too – I’ll send out an email soon!

  7. Thank you for sharing this; it’s fascinating reading about other people’s creative process. Thank you also for all the links you included. There are several here I haven’t come across before 🙂

  8. this was so fun to read, thanks for participating! i had a little laugh about the narrating part, i definitely do the same thing! maybe deep down there’s a teacher in me somewhere… and i love how you categorized that list of blogs, a few are new to me so i’ll have to check them out! these days i’m most interested in wardrobe building and good technique. i feel like i have a better handle on what i like and i’m confident enough in my skills to make it happen. i think it’s time to take inventory and have an actual plan!

    1. Please do share your wardrobe plans! I love a good plan but can’t follow one, so I love living vicariously through those who can make it happen. I did actually find all of my narration helpful when I was teaching the teen class recently!

  9. I’ve had a really busy last couple of months and lots of bloggy stuff has passed me by so yours was the first of these posts that I’ve read. Really interesting though, I’m glad I’ve finally caught up! I love your Scraptember drive, I’ve got a few contributions for it. Are the lovely linens in the pic above a sneak peak of a Scraptember project? Thanks for the mention as well, I nearly fell off my chair when I read it! I’ve got a lot of sustainability news to pass on just as soon as I’ve got my daughter settled in school!

    1. Yay for Scraptember! I’m excited. Yes, those linens are in fact for my project – it’s made from my dartless sloper tank. I think I’ll work on it tonight as September is dwindling! Excited to hear all of your upcoming sustainability updates 🙂

  10. I’ve enjoyed these posts, too. Including this one! I think writing a sewing blog is kind of a strange thing when you really think about it. You know, taking photos of yourself, posting them on the internet and documenting the process. Sometimes I ask myself why in the world I go to all the trouble. But I enjoy it all so much. And why? I guess I really need to sit down and think about it. There is something to be said for the sharing and the give and take nature of sewing blogs. It’s pretty awesome. I giggled at the self narration, because I do it, too. And I love the idea of affinity diagram!

  11. Hi Morgan, I loved reading about your process and motivations behind your blogging! And thanks for the link, I’m thrilled that you find my blog inspirational because it’s totally mutual xx

  12. What a great post. It’s always fun getting a little behind the scenes info about the artist behind the amazing makes. Yours was one of the first I started reading upon my early entry into this vast sewing blog universe, and I’ve never felt like we were just getting the “this is how wide my broad back adjust was” from you… I guess it’s easy to feel like you’re learning a lot about someone just by reading their aesthetic choices. Cool to know a few more specifics about all that now, though. And then hold on a minute, that’s me! Haha, awesome! Super excited that you thought of me & thrilled to take the baton for a round.

    1. Gosh, I’m both honored and a little sorry to be one of your gateway blogs – were you aware of how addictive reading about sewing would become?

      I think that’s an excellent point you make – you really can learn a lot about someone from their aesthetic choices. It’s another language.

  13. So lovely to read a little more about you and your thought process 🙂 I think Chantal has said exactly what I want to say but would struggle to find the words to describe. And thank you for some gorgeous new-to-me blogs!

    1. Thank you, Melanie 🙂 I’m glad you found some new blogs from the list! Sometimes it already feels like everybody knows everyone else, but maybe not as much as I thought.

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