Just Patterns Yasmeen Skirt in Progress

A move, exciting news and what to expect around here in 2018…

Dear readers,

 

The last quarter of the year just seem to have been on fast-forward. Life has been busy at Tidbits HQ.  The main reason behind my silence is that I traveled to France for holidays (Yes, I saw the Dior exhibit. Yes, it is absolutely amazing!!), came back to New York and was then learned that I would be moving back to Haiti (on Thanksgiving weekend…) less than 2 months later. A Things were hectic. I had break my lease, sell all my furniture in New York, organize the shipment of the rest of my belongings (aka the sewing room), find a place to leave in Haiti and start my new job! I’m going to miss my friends, the Garment District, my nice apartment and the City in general, but I’m also really glad to be back. Haiti is a beautiful country and I managed to avoid the freezing New York winter!

Christian Dior Exhibit by Sewing Tidbits
The Paris Christian Dior Exhibit I visited in September

As things are finally starting to slow down, I started writing this post 3 weeks ago. I initially thought that I could write some more before the end of the year, but that quickly became unrealistic. So I figured that I may as well make it an end of the year kind of post. Currently, my sewing room is in a container somewhere in the port of Port-au-Prince and I’m trying to arrange for customs clearance and delivery, right between Christmas and New Year. This is going to be fun… But in the mean time, I am completely restless! Without sewing to keep myself busy once the little human is asleep, I just don’t know what to do with myself.

I’m particularly impatient because several deadlines coming up. Last summer, I started contributing to the print magazine Sew News! I always wanted to write more formally about sewing. I even have a secret-not-so-secret dream of writing a real book one day, which is a bit weird, considering how long it took me to be comfortable writing this blog! My book fantasy is a topic for another day, but I figured that writing articles for a print publication would be good practice and a fun thing to do. So when I heard this episode of the While She Naps podcast, I decided to be brave and I sent Sew News an email pitching some article ideas and asking to be added to their contributor calls. I was so surprised and thrilled when Amanda, the Editor of Sew News, not only expressed interest in some ideas, but also mentioned that she was already following me on Instagram! After some back and forth, we firmed up on 2 submissions, for which I have sent back my texts already (one of them included  samples and there were some mad sewing nights). I’m now working on 3 more articles with a sample each. I can hardly believe it…I managed to take some in-progress pictures like the 2 above. I’ll share more details once they are published! I think the first piece will be in the March/April issue and I CANNOT WAIT!!

Pushing myself to be more involved in the sewing community was one of my motivations when I started Just Patterns with Eira this year, and it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of running an independent pattern activity. Since releasing the first pattern back in January, there has been so many great interactions with sewists and fellow bloggers. Talking about Just Patterns, we just released our fifth pattern, the Yasmeen Skirt. It’s one of the garments hanging in Eira’s closet and that made me repeatedly beg her to start the pattern business with me so I’m particularly happy about this release! I sewed my own sample of the skirt in a blush color linen and hemmed it to wear with flat sandals for a casual/resort vibe which I think will work well for me here. Unfortunately it’s in my shipment, so I can’t show more than the picture below with Eira adjusting my sample on me! We have already mapped out our next 3-4 pattern releases, so Just Patterns will continue in 2018, despite us no longer being in the same country.

Just Patterns Yasmeen Skirt in Progress

On the blog side, I am coming to terms with the fact that I probably won’t be able to post to post everything that I sew, even if my productivity is not that great. And maybe it’s not a bad thing. I’m realizing that I enjoy more discussing with you what is going on in the sewing community and how we feel about our handmade garments rather than what I sewed. I’m not saying that there won’t be finished garment posts anymore, because otherwise the blog would feel like an empty shell. But, maybe it’s just a matter of acknowledging that it hasn’t been about the clothes for a while now!

It  also helped me figuring out how I want to structure content between the blog and my Instagram account. I fell in love with Maria Martimo’s Instagram Account (as well as with her impeccable sewing, and taste!). She sticks to the same structure for every project: a picture of fabric/notions introducing the next project, some construction pictures and a couple of pictures of the final garment. I decided to  shamelessly copy her strategy for the below Stephanie Skirt I sewed recently (with a gorgeous wool/cashmere coating from Mood!) and the verdict is: I loved it. It brings cohesion to my feed, and gives me the opportunity to discuss sewing techniques. I’ll try to post in that format from now on until, you know, I change my mind again…

Sometimes, I feel like every other post here has me questioning the very fact of writing a sewing blog. And yet, Tidbits just celebrated its 5th anniversary. This is quite incredible to me considering my bad record at any documentation habit. I never thought that I would actually make it that long, so I spent  time reflecting on why I managed to keep the blog running and I think I have the answer: it’s you! No matter how much time past in between 2 posts, you were always around to welcome me back and engage, so I want to say a huge thank you!

I hope you are all having a peaceful end of year and I look forward to hearing your thoughts about what 2018 has in store for the sewing world!

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Ramblings on 1 year of blogging. Asking for your opinion!

1. It’s been a year… Phew, I never thought I would make it! This blog is not my first try and all the others failed miserably after a few weeks so YAY ME!

2. After a year it is still very small, growing little by little and I like it. I cannot say that I have found my “voice”, it’s more of an experimentation. I’m not extremely comfortable writing for some reason. Which is weird because I write all day long (reports, notes, minutes and such…) and I read so much about sewing everyday that it could have imprinted (I can never say this without thinking about this creepy part from twilight, yes I read twilight AND saw the movies AND no I’m not 12…) but apparently not. Maybe I’m not dedicating enough time to it, it’s like I’m trying to write the post as fast as possible… Any advice on better writing ?

3. I’m still very uncomfortable in front of the camera. I think it shows (that’s what The Old Man told me when he saw my blog. Doing it by myself with the tripod helps a little, at least there are no witnesses and I can delete dozens of embarrassing pictures!! But my point and shoot camera was already very basic when I bought (in an airport on my way to Zambia) 4 years ago. So now my Iphone takes better pictures. Should I invest in something else or not, the question open for debate…

 

4. I would like to do more informative content (tutorials, uploading patterns, etc.) but I can’t seem to find the time. Also, I’m always wondering about my added value compared to all the amazing stuff already out there. What is missing really? I’m thinking about steps to make your finished results closer to nice RTW, information is available but sometimes hard to assimilate or to adapt to home sewing patterns users. I’m also thinking about how to make them all visual, no text (kind of the makeup/hair ones on pinterest) would it make any sense or am I just being lazy not wanting to write ?

 

5. I’m also reflecting on how to integrate better the blog with my Instagram account, I like Instagram a lot: pictures, no need to talk too much, nice small sewing community… I even toyed the idea of having an instagram only presence… I’ve read with interest this post by House of Pinheiro. I’ve been trying to interact more on other people’s blog, but using feedly to read, it makes it inconvenient to comment. FourSquareWalls also mentioned Instagram as a blogging supplement in her 2nd blogoversary.

 

6. Speaking of FourSquareWalls, her blog has been one of my favorite reads over the last year so I was totally shocked when she mentioned my Lagarfeld for Burda skirt as her inspiration for her Green Army Skirt (although the first commenter said I look weird. Don’t worry commenter, while having my picture taken, I feel super weird so I end up looking the same!). Other highlights have been to have the Ready-for-the-Office Dress and the Open Back Dress featured by Burdastyle.

7. I’m soooo bad at sewalongs… I completed my Thread Theory Jedediah muslin last weekend… Should I keep trying? I think I may want to limit myself to the PR RTW Challenge.

 

8. Finally, blog looks… Not much to say here, It’s extremely basic, sometimes when I visit other bloggers I get a little envious but then I remember that mine is not a business, I have no design skills and I should focus on the content…

 

That’s it! Loooong wordy post for my standards and I’m ready to listen to all your suggestions and advice !!