Sewing, Blogging, & Consumption

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learning how to use my camera step one towards being a better blogger.

Y'all, I have a bit of a conundrum here today.

1. I want to blog more consistently and 2. I don't want to blog fluff but 3. I'm not sure how I feel about 52+ completed projects a year.

One of my resolutions this year was to blog more consistently, since this is always one of the top tips for better blogging (whatever that means). I do think as sewing bloggers that can be a bit of a challenge, though. I may not have a completed item to post about every week, and when I tried to step up my posting last year, I felt a bit guilty about posting little snapshots of works-in-progress.

This issue of needing "something to post" also gets into the consumption aspect of sewing. My good friend Alex from Craigle & Co. recently linked to an article written by a fashion journo about her (failed) resolution to buy only 15 things in 2015--but make them perfect ones. She eventually succumbed to the call of fast fashion, but I think her plan was a good one. When I read fashion blogs I marvel over the sheer amount of stuff they have! I think most of it they donate or resell, right? Otherwise, they would be absolutely swimming in "last season" clothing. Do these prolific sewists do the same? I would definitely consider buying 52 items of clothing in a single year excessive--although the national per person average is about 68 garments, according to the author of Overdressed--so what makes sewing 52 items different?

I think sewing, rather than buying, clothes does have more inherent value--we're learning new techniques and skills, we're challenging ourselves, we're making puzzles of patterns and fabric into something useful. We're not just swiping a card (although we're probably typing in the numbers at Mood online).

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a quick snap of an easy project from my instagram--where quick snaps belong?

All of this just to say:

I am going to try and make 52 things this year--something new and shiny to show off every week--but I'm also striving to learn something new with each item I make, whether that new skill be big (like tailoring a blazer) or little (like installing a zipper guard in a dress). That way, I won't feel so guilty about so much consumption, I'll learn a few things, and hopefully increase the quality of my handmade clothes--not to mention maybe provide some Work in Progress post fodder.

Finally, what type of posts would you like to see more of from me? What I Wore posts with how I'm styling my handmade pieces? Work In Progress posts with how my projects are coming together? Wardrobe/Sewing Planning? Tutorials? What about Beauty/Lifestyle? Fitness? Introspective rambles like this one? (Not.) Just don't say more completed items ;)

xoxo,
allie

ps: phew! thanks for making it through that post--january is a time for self-absorption thoughtful self-reflection, right?

allie J.

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16 comments:

  1. I definitely agree--for sewing bloggers it's difficult to blog consistently! I'd actually love to see a work in progress series for a more involved project you're working on. That'd be something different that I really haven't seen on other blogs before!

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    1. As I psyche myself up to do some tailoring, I think I'll try to take some progress pictures--I hate pausing to photograph things I'm workin on, though, I usually just want to get it over with!!

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  2. I like the idea of seeing how bloggers wear the things they've made. Making 52 things a year sounds like a lot, but if you wear those items and cherish them, then who's keeping count?

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    1. Yeah, I'm going to try and do more style posts--after all, we make these things to WEAR, right?

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  3. There have been some years where I have made close to 52 items, but most I have not. I think in the sewing blog community there is an understanding that good things take time, and I would personally rather see a nice garment every few weeks than a hasty item more regularly. All this is to say - don't put too much pressure on yourself! If you want to take longer sometimes to churn out a coat, we will be here patiently waiting :)

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    1. I'm working on finding a balance of more complicated items (like a coat) interspersed with less complex ones like my striped mariniere top--that way the posting can be semi-regular and I still get to challenge myself with some harder projects!

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  4. I think if a person sews all or most of their clothing they might sew more than 52 items a year. Bras, panties, workout gear, party dresses, tees, just to name a few. I enjoy seeing "how you wore it" photos. I think I would like to see all the different ways an item is worn....maybe like a photo collage. I hope when you have your Kate wardrobe finished you will do a summary post and tie everything together. And work in progress posts are helpful too because sometimes just beginning a project is scary and seeing you jump right in is inspiration.

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    1. Doing a summary post for my Kate Capsule is a really good idea, thanks! And that's true, if you are sewing ALL your clothes, that probably is more than 50 things, since all the little pairs of underwear and stuff add up quickly!

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  5. As a blog reader, I'm not disappointed if I don't see a post every week I'd rather have quality posts than filler. I think if work in progress posts, tutorials, and styling related posts are consistent with the vision for your blog; do it. If you're going to do those other types of posts do it consistently too. A question I ask is "Is this of value to my readers, does it make sense with other things I'm doing?"

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    1. That's a really good rubric--does it *feel* right?

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    2. I completely agree. Blogging should be fun and not something that makes you feel guilty. Don't put so much pressure on yourself! We follow your blog and if we don't hear from you in a few weeks, we won't forget about you!

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  6. As a reader I usually tend to click on tutorials or styling related posts more than anything else (of course apart from the new completed item posts). I also notice the first photo on a post is very important because it's the one shown on bloglovin feed. If I see a great photo but not so interested in the content, I tend to click on, too :) and end up reading the whole post anyway :)

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  7. I really like progress photos, especially for something like tailoring. There's always lots of information to glean. Now that I've been blogging for over 5 years, I've learned that coming up with a number goal is often unrealistic and stressful - enjoy your blogging :)

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  8. You raise some interesting points that I have considered often. I also think 52 new items a year is an awful lot, but each to their own :) I used to feel so utterly compelled to keep making in order to keep blogging and the slog for even one item per two weeks was immense. I work! I have a family! I want to exercise! I don't need a million dresses/jackets/shorts/tops/you get my drift. I then got more involved in IG and now I keep my blog for finished item posts and the IG for works in progress and quick community engagement. I guess it also depends on why you blog. Are you looking to make money from it? Engage sponsors? Well then, blog consistency and traffic are certainly important. Doing it because you want to share the love and the excitement for your craft? Blog as often as you like. I for one can assure you it will make no difference to me. I won't be judging you if you take a break, blog copiously or blog rarely :) Go forth and enjoy.

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  9. I can say this has been on my mind lately as well. I want to sew more and share my work more frequently online, while at the same time avoiding excess consumption. My current strategy is basically to cease 'consuming' and sewing through my fabric stash! That way I can create with what I already have, and when the time comes that I've worked my way through the stacks, I can invest into more sustainable fabric options, and should hopefully have a good idea of what I wear, and what I love.

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  10. One way that I'm able to sew more and not have an overstuffed closet is sewing for other people. Plus, sometimes there are patterns that seem really fun to sew, but just aren't really my style, so I enjoy making them for my sisters, friends, or mom. Not sure if that helps you but I thought I'd throw it out there just in case. :)

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