Let’s Go to the (Blog) Hop + Fun at FIT!

Anybody else hear the phrase “blog hop” and get “At the Hop” stuck in their head all day? I mean, I ain’t MAD… it’s a catchy tune! I’ll wait a minute for you to finish dancing.

OK. I was nominated for the writing blog hop by two of my favey-faves, Amanda of Bimble & Pimble and Vicki of Vicki Kate Makes. If you haven’t checked out their blogs before, you definitely should!

Amanda is an Aussie with a heart of gold and an infectious enthusiasm for sewing and life. Everything she posts is a hoot to read and her photos are always hilarious. Plus, she has two dogs as well, so I don’t feel like the only crazy dog lady around!

Vicki lives in the UK and is one of the sweetest, kindest people I’ve ever internet-met. She is so thoughtful and encouraging, and I would love to share a cup of tea with her and chat her ear off in real life. She’s got a passion for cute fit & flares and always picks a great print! Also, her son is, quite arguably, the cutest child on the face of the planet. I mean, THAT SMILE.

Let’s get down to business. The questions! Now, there were slightly different questions on Amanda’s and Vicki’s posts… I have no idea if these are two separate hops or what that’s about, but I’m being totally cheeky and combining them here!

1.) Why do you write/sew?

I got into film/TV, like most people in the field, because I’m an artsy-fartsy type. But the actual job is all organization, logistics, and problem-solving. I fell into sewing accidentally when a coworker invited me to take an intro sewing class with her and was immediately hooked. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed having a creative outlet! I love that sewing sits at the intersection of creativity and pragmatism- you get the fun process of turning an idea into a finished thing, but it’s also wearable and usable (unlike when I was really into painting and gave one to my parents… who hung it up in their laundry room).

As far as the writing part goes, I’ve always been a writer of some sort, from keeping ridiculous diaries and having an unreasonable number of pen pals as a kid (thanks to my parents who let me use tons of stamps to send letters all over the world!) to writing awkward screenplays in college and keeping a blog about books when I first moved to NYC. But I’ve really appreciated finding the sewing blog community because it’s so much more fun to connect with people over the shared love of craft! I’m an extreme extrovert and I love being part of an online community where I’m constantly finding new bloggers, new techniques, and new ideas. And it’s so cool to befriend people online and in real life that you otherwise wouldn’t cross paths with- it’s nice to interact with people from different walks of life!

2.) What is your writing/sewing process?

My sewing process generally begins with a list of projects to make that I write up every time the seasons change and then promptly ignore in favor of whatever suits my fancy! I’m a “fly by the seat of my pants” person and I tend to make whatever I’m in the mood for, although I’m trying to be a little more focused so that I’m spending my time wisely. In the past I’ve often gotten to the end of a season and realized that I didn’t make the garment I most wanted to wear, so I’m trying to remedy that and prioritize makes a bit more.

My writing process is pretty unorganized. I take blog photos and then sort of blast out a post without thinking through it too much. I’ve recently started a little notebook to keep notes in for each project because I often forget what changes I’ve made to a pattern, what size I cut, or what changes I’d like to make the next time. Hopefully this will help me remember things and write more detailed posts!

3.) How does it differ from others in its genre?

I don’t take things very seriously around here, which might be different from some blogs. Sewing is about experimentation and play for me, rather than a serious pursuit. I want to do a good job and use the right techniques, but I like to try new things and don’t mind looking a little goofy. Also, pugs! (See also: Where Heather Grows and Shanni Loves for more pug-spiration)

4.) How do you keep motivated to blog?

I feel like I’m checking in with my friends when I blog, but even when I’m not blogging with super frequency, I like to stay on top of my blogroll and see what everyone else is up to. Blogging has always felt like a dialogue to me, and since I’m super chatty, I always want to do it. The only thing that’s a mojo killer for me is feeling obligated to post. I receive a lot of requests to review books or pattern test, and I only say yes to a few things because I don’t want to feel like blogging is a heavy responsibility. The second I “have” to do something, my inner rebellious teen just doesn’t wanna do it and I don’t want to blog at all, so I try to keep obligations to a minimum. I feel like you would be able to tell if my heart’s not in it! Also, if there’s a garment that I don’t feel like blogging about, I just don’t do it! I try to review every new pattern I try, but I hate asking Man Friend to help me with photos of a basic garment or something I’ve made before, so I just skip ahead to the next thing to cut down on the number of photo shoots he has to do.

5.) What are you working on right now?

Ooh, I’m so excited to tell you! I’m starting in on a coat project! Right now I’m still not quite settled on the fabric or the pattern (I want to make six or seven coats, but I NEED to just make one), although I’ve gotten the options down to two fabrics and two patterns and I just need to make the final decision. I’ve just ordered a used copy of The Complete Book of Tailoring by Adele Margolis and am anxiously awaiting its delivery! Still trying to decide if I want to go crazy with interlining and tailoring… decisions, decisions!

Now, I had a hard time deciding who to choose to do this hop next, so I decided to cheat a little and pick the authors of the two blogs I’ve followed for the longest time and for the shortest! I haven’t emailed them, so don’t feel any pressure to do it, girls, but do check out their blogs, everyone! Gail at Today’s Agenda is one of the very first bloggers I followed that’s still active, and I’m anxiously following her October tailored blazer project! Chloe’s blog, Loops and Life, is brand new to me, but I love her style and kinda want to steal all her handmade clothes! If any of you readers want to answer these questions, consider yourselves nominated!

OK, I have a little business to attend to! Patricia from Laurence King Publishing asked me to announce an event that’s happening at FIT on Tuesday, November 4th. They’re bringing three of their authors to FIT to speak about their books. I’m really looking forward to Karolyn Kiisel’s draping demonstration- I’ve watched her on the DVD that accompanies Draping: The Complete Course, and she’s super entertaining! New Yorkers, come check it out! You don’t need an FIT ID to get into this event, luckily. πŸ™‚

Speaking of FIT, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet on the blog, but I’m taking a ladies’ tailoring course this semester and it’s super fun! I’ll give you a full run-down when I’ve finished the class, but… I’m sort of scared even saying this out loud… I’m kind of getting into slower sewing processes. I KNOW. It’s very soothing for this fidgety gal to do repetitive hand sewing!

Alright, what’s shaking with you guys? What are you working on these days? What’s new?

41 responses

  1. I hear you on “having” to do something. As soon as I put that pressure on myself I just don’t want to do it anymore!

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  2. Ah pen pals I’d forgotten all about them! I remember my brother putting his name down somewhere and he ended up getting a constant stream of blue air mail letters from Sri Lanka! My mum was still receiving letters from 10 year old Sri Lankan girls years after he left home!

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  3. What a great phrase: “sewing sits at the intersection of creativity and pragmatism” ! I think that’s why I love craft. Not that I don’t love art too, but as far as actually making something myself, if it’s practical/useful as well as beautiful, it just calls to me more.

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  4. I enjoyed hearing more about you! I fully agree that sewing is so fun and satisfying because of the way it crosses over between creativity and usefulness, although you said it much better!! I’m about to embark on a coat too, and like you I’m scared about which route to take, fusibly interfaced, or full on tailored?? It’s all so foreign to me. Keep us updated with which way you decide to go!

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  5. I can relate to your feelings on your industry! I was an art major that ended up working in design, and it’s more technical and business-ish than I could have imagined – organization, logistics and problem-solving, as you put it. Sewing seems to still use those skills but in a very tactile, satisfying way.

    Also! I’d be curious to hear what’s it like being a self-described extreme extrovert in what seems like a community with a higher concentration of introverts?

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    • If I could give advice to a youngun now, I would tell them to think about what the work circumstances are that bring them joy (do you like working in a group? do you enjoy in-depth research?) rather than focusing so much on “I like history” or “I like art”. It’s a backwards approach to finding your path!

      Interesting question! I often feel like I’m not a “natural” sewer. I feel like I look around and everyone else is detail-oriented, patient, and happiest when they’re alone working on projects, and I’m just… not! But where I notice the difference the most is when I meet up with other sewing bloggers- oftentimes it seems like there are 20 quiet people in the room and I’m the only one that can’t stop talking! I worry that my genuine (and omnipresent) excitement comes across as insincere and that my attempts to be warm and welcoming can be overwhelming to shyer people. I’m always so happy and pumped to meet people, but I try to censor myself and not be too obnoxious!

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      • Yep, I could have definitely used that advice. Like, “Hey Morgan, you’re not going to want to work in fundraising even if it is for an art museum!”

        Having only met you digitally, I can say that your enthusiasm in the online space is very welcome πŸ™‚ And even though I’m an Extreme Introvert, I can blather for hours about sewing.

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  6. I like your idea on sewing being at the intersection between creativity and pragmatism – never thought about it like this and maybe that’s why I like it so much too; only from the other side too much artsy / snobby abstract stuff πŸ˜‰

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  7. such an interesting read! i have the exact same feelings about sewing being a useful hobby. i don’t have a lot of excess cash to spend on a hobby that doesn’t fill some sort of need–thank goodness i love sewing! also, i think i’d give anything to feel like an extrovert for a day… i’m inside my own head way too much!

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  8. I just want to say you are lovely and awesome and I’m glad to know you through blogging! πŸ™‚ (I’m charmed by the idea of an extreme extrovert, since I’m so the opposite!)

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    • Ahhh, that’s so sweet of you to say! I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know you, too! I often fear that I am too overwhelming to the many introverts in the sewing world when I meet them in real life… I try to be quiet and not too over the top, but it’s so hard for me!

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  9. Lady, this was a fascinating read! So stoked you took part πŸ˜€ I hear you on the worries of being an extrovert meeting with peeps for the first time- it’s just so exciting to be talking about sewing with peeps in the flesh and there are all the things to talk about all at once and dear god I just keep talking πŸ˜‰

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    • SO MUCH TALKING! And when I get nervous or feel like someone isn’t having a good time, I catch myself doubling down on the chitter chatter and it’s like a machine gun of words just firing out of my mouth! Sorry, guys!!!

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  10. I second Measure Twice – the world would explode from awesomeness and I want to be there!! I’ve loved having a nosey in to the inner workings of your rebellious mind! And thanks for the worshiping of Boy; you wouldn’t believe how grown up he is looking now!!

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  11. So fun to read this! This phrase really stuck with me: “I feel like I’m checking in with my friends when I blog.” I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, as my blogging mojo has been failing but I miss checking in with my friends! Lately I’m doing a lot more “micro-blogging” via Instagram. As much as I love words, I’m all about the pictures πŸ™‚

    Thank you for the nomination. Honestly, I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to get myself to do it – I’m not much of a navel-gazer. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this is the second time this meme has been tossed over to me! Pincushion Treats tagged me over a month ago and I have yet to produce. So lame!

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    • I’ve really enjoyed Instagram the last few years- it’s fun to get more of a sense of who people are outside of their hobbies. And it definitely doesn’t feel like you’ve been absent- we keep getting cool looks at your awesome handiwork!

      No pressure to post! Definitely don’t want to push anyone into a “have to” post! πŸ˜€

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  12. the painting phase! please tell me it’s still in the laundry room gallery! i do the same thing with projects & ruggy requests. have like 6 things on the list…

    and thanks for the new eye candy. i loooooooove those gals!

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  13. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Amanda from Bimble & Pimble a few times…she’s super nice and exactly as down to earth and funny IRL as she appears on the blog. I love your blog too as you seem so down to earth and I enjoy the conversational tone of your posts. Oh and of course my love for the pug-spiration goes without saying.

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    • Oh man, you’re so lucky! πŸ™‚ I hope one day I can make it to your part of the world and meet all the lovely sewing folk! Thank you for your kind words! I’m so glad you like the pugs. πŸ™‚

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  14. And pugs!!! Yay!!
    I also see blogging as a type of discussion/conversation so when I’m not writing, I’m always reading. The sewing blog community is awesome! Thanks for sharing your process – I love getting to know everyone just a little bit better!

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  15. I can’t wait to see what coat/fabric you choose to make! I so love your style, glad to hear that someone else kinda blasts through blog posts. I like your idea of keeping a notebook!

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    • Welcome back! Hope you had a great trip!!!!! I’m just so forgetful- if I don’t write things down, I don’t remember (and, shockingly, my old technique of scribbling weird half-notes down on post-it notes didn’t really help me keep track of anything!).

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