(Warning: this is a long one, so I’m putting some pictures from my Instagram feed to make it less heavy!!)
You may have completely forgotten about my existence and that would only be fair. Since moving back to New York 5 months ago, many many things have happened (some of them include sewing). For some time I didn’t have enough energy to blog, and there will be more on that later. I am grateful to have my energy back now but I haven’t figured out yet a way to take pictures that’s not too daunting.
My dress form stayed in Haiti, and that means all pictures of finished garments would have to be on me… Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I am still alive and sewing. But having a backlog of projects to show on the blog is adding to the paralysis. I do have a camera, a tripod and an apartment that gets decent sunlight (although only between 1 and 3pm). So that means little to no pictures, and really, what’s a sewing blog without pictures??
Are we still reading the sewing blogs in our feeds?
(she asks while typing and hoping that someone will reply…)
In addition, there are been several announcements recently of people quitting on their sewing blogs, sometimes to focus on Instagram, as you can read here and here. It feels like a recurrent discussion by now. Blogland looks like Real Estate sometimes, with cyclical highs and lows. From where I stand it does certainly look like we are hitting a low, but I may be wrong.
I currently have 294 sewing blogs in my Feedly. Granted, they are not all active, but still 294!! I enjoy reading blogs with my morning coffee, but can I really call this reading? It feels more like skimming through repeated content. So why? I obviously don’t have an answer to that.
On the other hand, some have also been implementing traditional sewing blog recipes for more than 5 years, and sometimes 10 and they are still going strong!! Through good writing and discipline they keep generating a lot of engagement, and I definitely don’t skim their posts… There are also new and not new gorgeous sewing blogs around that keep inspiring me to run to the sewing machine(s). But to be honest, both options require a lot of work, time and skills that I don’t have!
Enjoying the process
I’m a firm believer in that you should decide what you do based on how much you will “enjoy the process”. If I keep blogging in some form, it’s important for me that I enjoy the process of making it happen and not only the outcome of a pretty and up to date blog. Because let’s be honest, that is never going to happen. So let’s start with lists, lists are FUN (you’re allowed to disagree) to see if it helps :
Things that I like :
- Thinking, Talking, Plotting, Reading, Watching all things about sewing
- Changing my mind
- Trying to take pretty pictures to emulate the bloggers I admire (and never succeeding)
- Process pictures (because I don’t have to be in front of the camera, ha!)
- Giving my opinion (I like that A LOT and probably too much)
- Interacting with readers and other bloggers through comments&emails
- Reading and sharing articles on things that are not sewing related
Things I don’t really like :
- Getting myself ready to be in front of the camera
- Taking pictures with a tripod
- Reading my old posts and realizing my writing makes no sense (ugh)
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Restricting my opinions because I fear to be seen as not nice.
Are we allowed to disagree or to dislike ?
That last point is very important for me. For some reason, I don’t feel comfortable writing what I really think about brands, products and what is going on in the sewing world, because it’s often not going to be nice. Most of you don’t know me in real life, but if you did, you would know that “being nice” is not a very strong concern of mine!! So why here? Of course, there is a difference between expressing your opinion and being mean or disrespectful. The issue is that in order to avoid the latter, I also censor the former.
This auto censorship is particularly striking to me as I literally have no ambition of having any commercial activity linked to my blog. I have no brand endorsements, nor am I seeking any. I don’t get asked to do reviews or pattern testing. Basically I can do whatever I want. But I don’t. I tried to be active on GOMI for while, but it also ended up boring and repetitive. The same “clique” impression it initially criticized appears to be re-forming there with the same people commenting over and over on the same things. I still read it occasionally but I don’t find the opinions expressed there as refreshing as I used to.
So, is this a space where i can say that I really don’t like what has been released these days in terms of Indie patterns? And then, am I allowed to change your mind later about a particular pattern (yes it happens, often)? Can you make an Indie pattern and find the drafting terrible for a somewhat basic shape and then write about it? Can I once express excitement over the launch of a new sewing media, only to be disappointed one or two issues later? Can I comment on the fact that sewing podcasts seem to be restricted to the same 5 or 6 people being interviewed on different shows?
What to expect around here…
I read some opinions of people thinking that Instagram is killing blogs. I don’t think it’s completely true yet. For instance I feel self-conscious of posting repetitive content on Instagram. If I make a shirt, I don’t think I will be comfortable posting a picture of the shirt, then a close-up of the collar, another of the placket, a shot of the inside, etc. And yet, I love seeing those pictures on blogs. So I want to keep the blog active for now.
A lot of changes, obviously. I knew 2016 was going to be a year of change, I had just completely underestimated by how much! However, I feel that I have to make them in order to keep this space alive. I was never a long post type of blogger, but I really want to experiment with short-form content and I think there will be different type of posts :
- I would like to do more process shots as I sew. A sort of a visual diary of a garment in the making (but not tutorials) and blog them right away without too much commentary. I could follow them up with a wrap up post on that garment which would get written only AFTER it was worn for a day or two! Too often I made something, posted happy pictures, wore it the following day only to discover that there is something wrong with the fit.
- I would like to share, inspiration, articles, podcasts and other reads that I found interesting. Some will be sewing related, some will not.
- I want feel able to comment freely and constructively on what I think going on in our little corner of the internet, and hear what you think about it too!!
That’s it for today, I would really really love to hear your thoughts so please jump in the comments about what you think is still relevant content for sewing blogs, and let’s keep talking!!