The Gin Kimono and a fashionably late bloghop
Rather embarrassingly it has now been about 3 weeks since the delightful Morgan of Crab and Bee nominated me in the little blog hop that has been whizzing around the sewing blogosphere in the last couple of months. Firstly I stalled because I wanted to do the answers justice, then I injured my arm and found it a bit hard to do anything and lost my mojo. Then I worked what seems like 75 weekends in a row (but it might have just been 2......). First world dramas aside, all is good now, and after a massive sewing binge this week my mojo is restored and hopefully I can give you some vaguely interesting (but unlikely to be profound) answers.
In case you have no interest in what motivates me to blog, I shall first placate you with my latest make, a highly unnecessary but very fun kimono. I call this my Gin Kimono, as I intend to wear it on cooler summer evenings drinking gin. I feel rather Phryne Fisher in it (although of course Phryne's would be silk, and not a rayon snapped up off the Darn Cheap $2/m table). The print is the most marvellous explosion of ikat roses, splattered with neon pink, tomato red and the slightest spatter of chartreuse. I know you'll all be thrilled to learn that I do still have the ability to sew a woven fabric.....
Of course kimonos are just sohotrightnow, and I'm rather alarmed by being so on trend (kimonos! neon! ikat!). But I loved this fabric and bought 2 metres of it a while ago with the full intention to make something drapey and dramatic. There's been lots of lovely northern hemisphere kimonos floating around on the blogosphere and my favourite was Caroline's from Sewaholic.
Most have used one of the many draft it yourself patterns out there, but I was
lazy extremely clever and used a vintage dressing gown pattern in my stash. It was already cut to size, so I just shortened it, whipped it up with french seams and faced the neckline with self-fabric bound with rayon seam binding. Quick, cheap and fun.
And so to the blog hop....
I've really enjoyed reading everyone's responses. I know I'm biased, but sewing blogs are the best genre of blogs ever, and what sets them apart from many other blog types I think is the fantastic combination of useful writing and images. Of course I love pretty pictures, finished makes and WIPS, but I also really want to read about peoples experiences - wins, losses and triumphs over a new skill or pattern. I want to be impressed and inspired, but also learn.
Like many other sewists on this blog hop I started writing to connect with people that had the same interests as me. It can be such a solitary hobby, often perceived as being a bit daggy, and my friends and family, whilst being very supportive, just aren't into it they way I am! To be able to share beautiful things, failures and useful knowledge with like-minded people is so enjoyable. It's great to think too that I might be helping someone else by sharing a tip or trick that I've come across down the rabbit hole. It's nice to know that there's other people who share in the delight of a perfectly executed zip insertion or sigh with envy to learn I've happened upon the Holy Grail of striped fabric (actually I really have - striped cotton blend ponte from Miss Matatabi. You're welcome).
I also enjoy the creativity of writing. My job is clinical and not creative. I loved English at school, and blogging is a great way to have a little creative writing outlet. I've never had the discipline for a journal or diary, but this is the perfect way to chronicle my progress and skills. I do struggle a little with what I perceive to be the narcissism of blogging. I'm not big on sharing the minutiae of my existence and but I reconcile this conflict with the knowledge that I'm really not doing this for any 'look at me' value......
What's my writing process?
I can't say that I have ever thought about this until now. I suppose I do have a process, but it's not rocket science. Plan, sew, photograph, write. That's about it! I like to think about why I've chosen to make a garment, what it is about it that's worth sharing, what I love and what I'd do differently.
If you knew me in real life I pretty much write how I talk, which would explain why some of my posts might seem to have a little bit of a stream of consciousness feel to them. Writing should be effortless and natural, not forced and affected. I'm pretty keen on checking my grammar, spelling and punctuation. It's old-school I know but spelling mistakes make me twitchy and OMG I h8 texting shorthand!
How do I differ from other sewing bloggers?
As Morgan mentioned I am rather focused on creating garments that I can wear often and fit well into my wardrobe. I tend to have restraint when it comes to the lastest swish new indie pattern (they often go on the list but my list is so damn long that it takes forever to get to work through it). I've weaned myself off crazy prints (for the most part - clearly neon pink ikat rose print rayon is always going to be a no-brainer) and am aiming for quality over quantity when it comes to my fabric purchases. I've certainly not been a slow sewist - my sewing this year has been very knit focussed, with most of my woven makes being repeat offenders, and as a result I've been pretty productive (maybe too productive!).
I know when I started this blog I was hoping to chronicle a bit more of our work and travels with our Kombi Sunny Boy. I really must share some photos of his interior - the curtains just aren't quite finished yet.....
Right this second I am a pair of ankle bands and some top stitching away from finishing some True Bias Hudson pants in a beyond-fabulous jacquard silver and black Ponte. My husband has declared them even in their unfinished state to be man repelling, but I already love them.
I've just finished my first Zo Sews Dolores top (I was lucky enough to be given a freebie copy) and intend to make a second before I write about the pattern.
There's also a half made up vintage bomber jacket, and a nearly finished silk kimono tee haunting my sewing room (and a skirt and shirt cut out. It's a sickness). I have taken myself firmly in hand and declared I cannot start anything new until they are done.
And who to next?
Quite a few of my favourite bloggers have already hopped - I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kirsty, Sara, Sasha, Debbie, Jillian and Danielle's responses and encourage you to check them out if you haven't already.
I'm nominating Jana of Plokplokta and Kirsten of Fiftytwofancies. Both are fearless in approaching new sewing challenges and have great style. Enjoy.