I can't believe it! I've reached my 3 year blogiversary! So I've been sewing now for nearly 4 years, come Easter, when I found my informal class with Lyn. I posted my first review on Pattern Review in July 2013, more a plea for help! The following are photos from PR, before I started my blog.
|I think you can see why I needed help. This is an unfinished top - I wasn't happy with the dart and crossover position. |
Never finished. Wrong fabric and I didn't know how to alter to fit. This was a Maggy London top
|First finished item (Jalie). I still have this fabric but I gave the top away.|
My first attempts at sewing were appalling. Lack of knowledge, lack of support and a wonky machine! I now have a better machine, support from tutors in class - and of course, my blog and PR, and some knowledge to let me try the things I want to.
|I dared to enter this in a PR contest! I got a lot of help and advice. There was so much I didn't know that I didn't know I didn't know! I could make a nice shirt now. My machine can do things the last one couldn't eg eyelets to finish neckline!|
Thank you so much to all of you who read my musings. I particularly enjoy comments - and am happy to receive constructive criticism, hints, tips etc on how to improve my sewing, my original focus. Please do carry on visiting my blog. I reread my first blog post and those who commented then are still with me - thank you! I enjoy reading others’ blogs too. I'm not quite into Instagram - maybe because I have so little to show! Facebook, too - I have an account but rarely use it. Perhaps I should. But I love the greater interaction in a blog post.
What is a blog?
I started my blog as a personal log of my sewing, feeling that having it public would make me commit to it more - I could never keep a diary. I had to put in a work log/process portfolio for my courses (which came from September 2014) so this helped. At the same time, of course, being public means that one has to be a bit more circumspect. I gradually expanded the subject matter from my beginning adventures in sewing and my course work to include family sewing. I struggled a bit with DH or name, photos or not. How much personal detail?
Most read posts
Until very recently, my most read blog posts were one on making a bodice block and dart manipulation from my first course, one on making a McCall's cardigan/ jacket, photo below, one on my first steps in the Seven Steps to Style programme and a post on Helen's wedding and dress. I say until recently. For some reason, the number of daily reads my blog gets has increased a lot since the end of last year and 3 of the previous 4 most read posts have fallen way behind in the stats. In general, posts on actual garments from patterns are the most read. Sadly, I feel that while numbers who read my posts have increased, comments have fallen off, though I believe that is a common finding. My most read post - the one detailing my best makes of 2106, including all the wedding finery. My most commented post (other than an early giveaway post) - Helen's wedding dress.
|I still wear this. I'm planning to make another, but without the peplum this time. In navy|
|Not a great photo of the dress but it worked well in rather wild dancing!|
The item I'm most proud of?
Helen's wedding dress, of course! I'm also pretty pleased with Anthony's waistcoat which he has worn to several weddings etc since and of the bridesmaid dresses.
Real life meet ups
Over the last 3 years, really in the last year, I have enjoyed meeting some fellow sewers in real life. In fact, I'm going to the Yorkshire Spoolettes Dewsbury meet up on Saturday coming. I went to last year's event and to the Sew Up North event. I briefly met Kate of Fabrickated in London. I have a fitting weekend coming up in March where I'll meet some more new friends.
Confidence and not buying RTW
Over the last 3 years, I have become a more confident sewer. I'm happy to consider tackling anything. From a construction point of view that is! I'm still struggling with fit - I'm battling (again) with trousers at the moment, though I have excellent help! I'm also struggling with making things I suit. In RTW you can try on, like or not, buy or not. It's frustrating when I make things that don't suit and I don't wear. I have given away most of what I've made. This is partly why I enjoy sewing for the family and will continue to do so. I need to find my sewn style. I'm fairly clear what I want to wear when I go shopping for RTW. It doesn't fit, I've become more critical - I haven't bought RTW for ages, though I didn't commit to a fast this year. It's a diet rather than a fast! That is, if I saw something that fitted and I liked I would buy it in a flash! That hasn't happened, with the singular exception of my MOB outfit.
Recently I bought a long black cardigan from Sainsbury's to pair with trousers on a day when I was cold and I think that's the only other thing I've bought in long enough. Quite a change.
|Me in my MOB outfit with Helen|
My focus this year, though, is on staples which I can't buy. A well fitting pair of trousers or two or three. A few well fitting tops, various styles. Some well fitting cardigans, with a bit of style hopefully. A couple of casual jackets. In my colour palette. It may take me a while! I've opted out, or rather haven't opted in, to a couple of wardrobe contests that, while the things I wanted to make would exactly meet the brief, imposed too strict a time frame for my needs.
Fitting and weight loss
A note on well-fitting. I'm still losing weight and I realise that things I make now won't fit in a few weeks. I couldn't put off, though. My RTW is fitting even less well than before. I'll have to revisit the trouser block in a few weeks. Should be easier by then I hope. I will ask Rory's help; she just sighed yesterday when I mentioned the weight loss issue. I'm afraid, too, I do go up and down a bit!
College Courses, learning skills and transferring them
My college courses were discontinued, sadly, but Rory stepped into the breach with a level 3 Class, non accredited. That's good as we learn the skills but don't have to do a lot of the extra associated with the college course - business cases, financial plans etc which no-one on the course wanted or needed. Even better that I don't have a long commute to Sunderland in rush hour traffic! The techniques I'm learning are expanding my skills. They may not be immediately relevant to my plans this year but many are transferable. I'm immediately thinking pockets - a zipped pocket would be perfect in a casual jacket and the trousers I originally hacked had a zipped jetted pocket, though I'm simplifying the design for the block.
As far as the blog is concerned, I'm intending to continue as long as it gets read! I know my photography needs to be better - we'll see! To be honest, it's not a big priority. Are there any changes you would like to see me make?