Monday, 1 September 2014

Blog Hop

I’m guessing many of you will have seen that recent Blog Hop that is, um, hopping around our part of the internet. I’ve really enjoyed reading those that I have come across (especially Louise’s and Amy’s – so much truth in both of them), and was thrilled when Lynne from Ozzy Blackbeard nominated me to take part. Before I let you know who I have nominated, my answers to the four questions are below.

Why do I write?

If my educational choices are anything to go by (history at university), the fact that I like to write would be the quick answer. The real answer is a little more complex. Like many, I originally started my blog as a way for me to track my progress. I thought if I poured my thoughts into a post it would save Adam from no end of sewing related chatter.

Late to the Party Anna Dress

However, as time has gone on I’ve realised that writing fulfils a number of my core values. Now this might sound cheesy, and some of you might be rolling your eyes here, but that’s how it is. I started my blog at a time when I was struggling. I had lost connection with many things – work, friends, hobbies, etc. I also didn’t feel I was learning and achieving much. Creating my little blog was part of getting me back on track. As a post needs content, I was more mindful about what I learnt while creating an item and took pride in what I achieved. And then strangers started to read and comment. I suddenly had a connection to a community that was likeminded, passionate and open to talking all things fabric. All of these reasons still stand. I genuinely love talking to fellow sewists – comments, tweets, emails and meet ups make me feel warm and fuzzy. I hope that feeling never goes.

And Adam? Sadly for him the talk continues, and has probably increased, but at least now it is structured and I have the chance to give him a break by going for a drink with Oxford sewists. He still hasn’t escaped taking my photos though…

What am I working on?

I normally have a couple of projects on the go. At the moment the projects are selfless ones: a duvet cover for my mum’s birthday this week (don’t worry, she knows what is coming!), planning a long sleeved polo shirt for dad’d birthday this month (his request). For me, I’m making a scrap bag out of my scraps. I’ll make sure I share all of them with you.


In addition, I’m starting to plan my autumnal work wardrobe but I haven’t yet made any firm decisions. Sorry for the lack of details – I’m working out what is missing but I can tell you it is in desperate need of a colour injection and I hope it includes my first self-drafted pattern that I complete on my own. 

Oh, and I’m about to crack open the Juniper trousers to try and break my jeans habit while at home.

How does your blog differ from others of its genre?

Hmmm, tricky as most sewing blogs have the same theme running through them!

While this is an almost exclusively sewing blog, you will find variety in the content. You’ll see finished skirts, tops, dresses, jackets, coats and even trousers. I’ve dabbled with tutorials – items that would be useful around the house, ways to use up scraps and sewing techniques.

Dolly Clackett Emery

I’m pretty proud of the Notionally Speaking series as I've yet to see anything that is similar. I also want to give a shout out for Oxford – it is a wonderful place to take photos and adds an interesting edge to my photos.

How does your writing process work?

I’m a drafter. During, or immediately after completing, a project I make bullet point notes in Evernote to ensure I keep track of the points I want to make, alterations etc. When it comes to actually writing the posts (which can be at any point), I will just write – even if it is complete rubbish. Following a break, I’ll come back and tweak or completely redraft. The latter is not uncommon as I normally don’t like the flow or I’ve missed an essential point that changes the direction of the post. Every now and then I will write a commentary piece. These take a lot longer as it takes me time to work out how to say what I want. The process for writing them is still the same though.

Floral Gabriola

If I’m not happy with a post, it doesn’t go live. Simple as that. I have no idea who will come across my work and I want to make sure they leave with a good impression! I have changed the go live dates of posts to give me extra time to ensure I'm happy the end result. I like to post once a week (discipline and routine are good for me), and mostly on a Saturday although that isn’t set in stone - that type of rule would take away some of the fun for me.

So who is going to write the next chapters of this Hop?

Jodie from Jodie’s Adventures in Sewingland. I first came across Jodie on Twitter and then had the pleasure of meeting her in person. I’ve been swooning over Jodie’s recent makes – particularly her teal Ceylon and mint Truffle.  

Sam from Stitched Up by Samantha. I’ve been following Sam for quite a while and have always been amazed at her skill with free motion embroidery. Check out her stripy bag as part of the Minerva Blogger Network – amazing! I’m also lucky enough to have this piece by her in my lounge.

Make sure you look out for their posts next Monday.


  1. Lovely to find out a bit about your writing process Claire. I'm impressed at you having 2 selfless sewing projects on the go - I rarely have even one!

    Thanks for passing this on to me for next week, I'd better get on with writing my post!

    1. It's not often I have a selfless project but they are building in number this year! Looking forward to seeing your post next week.

  2. I've enjoyed reading your blog hop, it's interesting to see how everybody approaches writing their posts. I must have a look at Evernotes, I know I've heard of it before. I really need something that isn't a piece of paper to jot down blog ideas, because the pieces of paper seem to magically disappear!

    1. It's my virtual notepad! It is synched across all my devices meaning I'm never lost when writing a post and there's no excuse not to update the notes.

  3. Such an interesting read :) I have enjoyed all these posts as they have appeared, but it has made me think that I'm glad nobody asks me these questions as I wouldn't have such good answers!

    I tried Evernote when I started with the OU, but I'm a pen and paper girl (well someone has to keep Paperchase in business haha!), I think it helps me to remember things better, and I'm way too easily distracted by technology :)


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