Monday, July 7, 2014

two sewn things and blogging pressures.

I lost my sewing mojo for a few weeks! And maybe my blogging mojo a bit too, if I'm being honest. I think the blogging world has changed drastically over the past year or two and I'm not gonna lie, I don't love what it's become. I open my feed on Bloglovin' and out of all the sewing blogs I follow, probably half of them are doing the same thing all the time--reviewing the same $25 indie pattern that they incidentally received for free, participating in a blog tour from another indie pattern company, sewing up the such-and-such dress for such-and-such blogger's link-up or the such-and-such sewing network (ahem, Vogue), or whatever. Blah. No offense ... I think it's boring. Even things like Project Sewn, which could be so fun, choose the same bloggers that get chosen for everything else. Why is that? I don't get it. Can we see some skills and ideas from lesser known sewists for a change ?? Do the prettiest blogs always have to win or can those who don't own their domain names join in the fun too? (I am not talking about wanting to be invited myself, I do not sew well under pressure, ha!)

I miss the sewing bloggers that sew from the big four pattern companies that we can all afford, post their free amateur tutorials for us all to enjoy and that include snippets of their real lives too. Those are the blogs I'm having a hard time finding! Are we getting fewer and farther between or am I just not looking in the right places? Are the bloggers with more modest followings and few comments per post getting discouraged because they don't have the time or money or desire to keep up with the changing blogiverse? (I made that word up ;)

At any rate, I'd like some ideas for blogs to follow that fit these criteria! Leave your favorite, but relatively unknown family life or crafting or sewing blogs in the comments so I can check them out!

Moving on :)

I have two things to show you. The pictures are not stellar. I haven't found my favorite photo spot at my new house yet. I miss my brick wall from two houses ago! That spot was so perfect.

The first is a dress I made for July 4th that I really love. I had a gingham from the thrift store that I decided to make a sun dress out of:


 I used the bodice from the Cynthia Rowley pattern, Simplicity 1688, but wanted a more casual skirt so the skirt is Simplicity 2588, a tried and true pattern for me. I like that it's pleated instead of gathered, which gives it a more mature, less sweet look. And I moved the zipper from the side to the center back.
I accidentally made my straps too short! So I got creative and made fabric loops and sewed buttons on to extend them in the back. I used a pop of green thread to sew the buttons on and that is now my favorite part of the dress! A happy accident.

Before that, though, I was making some old things new and made New Look 6285 from the skirt part of an Ann Taylor outlet dress that didn't look very good on me.
 I actually think these photos look alright, maybe I've found my new spot after all! This is my lanai off our master bedroom. You should see the view at sunset!

I bought this pattern because I love how you can mix and match snippets of fabrics, like with this lace and this knit. I wouldn't have had enough fabric for the whole top without the lace inset so this pattern was perfect. It's definitely a looser fit than on the pattern envelope, though, so keep that in mind if you make it. I prefer a loose top in this climate!

In other news, I have found my new fabric store!!!! It is so cool. It's literally an open warehouse in an alley, piled from floor to ceiling with awesome fabrics. If you follow me on Instagram (my user name is nikkischreiner), then you may have seen my posts about that and about the humpback whale print I am making a button down shirt out of! I had to order buttons so I'm waiting on those, but I cannot wait to show you that because it is awesoooome!!!

Cheers! And don't forget to link me to your fave blogs! Or YOUR blog, for that matter! Or your Instagram page, I really love Instagram, I'd love to follow more sewers and blog buddies :)

23 comments:

  1. Gah! That gingham dress is just gorgeous, Nikki. 1688 is such a cute bodice, especially with the directional print change you went for. I love it on you!

    Also, I'm not sure I get to weigh in on the below-the-radar blog stuff, since I'm now (somewhat surreally, if I'm honest) a past PS contestant and MSN member, but completely understand your frustration with the increased sponsorship in sewing blogs. It's a sign that our beloved hobby is growing, but certain patterns and companies can also reach peak saturation levels really quickly. It's really hard to even define what a "small" sewing blog is now, but some of my lesser known favorites are...

    http://www.tworandomwordsblog.com/
    http://beebeesvintagedress.blogspot.com/
    http://rosiewednesday.blogspot.com/
    http://thequirkypeach.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Mary! I really love your blog, I think you've stayed original and true-to-yourself and deserve your newfound "fame" ;) I liked your post on this topic recently too. Maybe it's good that bloggers are starting to dialog about this issue.

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  2. I have waaaaaay too many faves to list. I have a long blog roll on my sidebar.

    I've only been sewing for about a year and a half but I've seen several blogs that started as faves switch over. But there are still a ton of SEWING blogs! Don't be discouraged!!!

    That tank is fantastic and I think you should just go make half a dozen more! It looks so cool and comfortable!

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  3. Check Cathy at http://cathywu.com/journal/kalali/.

    I found her when she was blogging at "treadling in Benin" when she was learning to sew garments.

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  4. I'm with you on the whole blog discouragement thing. I rarely read blogs anymore because of it. I'm also on Instagram lately and when I have a few free minutes that is where I usually go. I just started fiollowing you. I'm @busyquiltmom though I do both quilting and sewing.

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  5. Yes, I am another on the same discouragement list ~ times have def's changed. I personally prefer the smaller, less commercial blogs that really just sew from the heart ... hopefully this post of yours will open up a few new ones. And I just love your gingham dress, very summery and a great save on the straps ... J

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  6. Love your dress! I do agree it gets a little boring when everyone is reviewing the same free indie pattern. Usually I start marking them as "read" once I see a pattern over and over in the posting titles.

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    1. I do that same thing, mark as read! That's why it occurred to me that everything is the same--I didn't have much left to read, lol.

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  7. I love your dress, gingham always looks great. Agreed it is getting a bit same, same out there in blogland. Gush, gush look at the newest basic pattern that is overpriced and there are a million versions of it already. I like some non commercial blogs that have some home life too... reality... things aren't always perfect and polished. Funny this blog is new to me!

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    1. Welcome, Summer, thanks for reading! I agree some of these patterns are crazy overpriced! I would NEVER pay $30 for a pattern.

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  8. This is my sister-in-law's blog: http://www.gyctdesigns.com

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    1. LOL, the name of her blog is cracking me up. Sounds like something you would say, haha. Followed. thanks :)

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  9. Great post!! I am not a fan of how blogging has changed either--especially regarding all the sponsorship I see. I love reading blogs, yet it is frustrating when ads pop up, or I am redirected to an advertisement. As far as blogs that are lesser known and still innovative, I too have a long list. I agree with what Nakisha said about staying encouraged. There really are great blogs out there--including Nakisha's!!!!! PS--I love the dress and the tank. You sew a lot of wonderful things!

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    1. Thank you, I just added Nakisha's blog to my reader! And I agree, the pop-up ads are very annoying, I forgot to even mention those! I feel like I'm the weird one for having no desire to "monetize" my blog, haha.

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  10. Do you follow adventuresindressmaking.com? She sews from the big 4, does refashions, knock-offs, home projects, and recipes too.

    www.dressupnotdown.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, I've been following her for a really long time! She sews on a budget and has good style ideas.

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  11. I love your honesty!! I just went thru my blog roll that I have on my blog page and took off about half of them...they were like the ones you describe. When I first added them, it seems like they were different, more home grown. I'm with you - I like to read blogs, hear about what people are doing, see what's in their sewing room and living room! hear about hubby and kids, are they well, moving, happy. I like lives shared. I know others like something else, or the big-follower blogs wouldn't have so many followers!

    I like your blog :-) and hope your mojo comes back. I lose mine once in a while, too. You've had an incredibly challenging year, in addition to an incredibly challenging lifestyle. But you have a beautiful family, I admire you all so much and appreciate your willingness to share with us.

    I like to read the blogs that are left on my blog page now. Several of them are French, I adore their moxy style :-) and male pattern boldness is an exception to the big-follower business - Peter Lappin is so entertaining and shares everything.

    Ciao!

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    1. Thanks, I will have to look up his blog, I have heard of it, but never visited! And you're right, I forget that I have had a ridiculous amount of change this year, ha! My mojo is already coming back, thanks to all the encouragement in these comments :)

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  12. I really enjoy reading your blog, and agree totally with everything that has been said..

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  13. You said it very well and it's true. I am not a blogger, but I love reading, following, learning and being inspired by those who do. My blog list has been dwindling!!!
    Nikki...I love your blog...it's refreshing, you are genuine and I hope you never stop sewing and blogging!!!

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  14. Love your gingham dress. so pretty and cool /comfortable ..
    I agree with you .. I sometimes wonder why I even blog.. Enjoyed looking at your blog..Proud I found it.. Happy sewing.

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  15. Hi! I'm a little late to the party, but I'm gonna pitch in anyway :) I just found your blog today, and I'm loving it! You got yourself a new follower :) I'm so new to the whole blogging thing, I only started reading blogs when I started writing my own a couple of months ago. I hear what you say about the patterns though. I don't mind seeing the same indie patterns pop up (I'm in awe of all the hard work that must go into making one), but I do feel like the ugly duckling since I sew mostly Burda, out of old habit. I had never even seen an indie pattern before joining the blogging world.

    I don't know if I'm fit to make any recommendations, but a couple bloggers that pop to mind are:

    creatinginthegap.blogspot.ca
    blogmixedemotions.blogspot.ca

    I would love for you to check out mine too at purplepleats.blogspot.fi :) In the meantime, happy blogging to us all!

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  16. I totally agree with you nikki! I love your blog and everything you make. I agree most bloggers have sold out.

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