Update and thoughts

Dear readers,

 

(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 :

  • Sewing
  • 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!!

 

 

 

 

60 thoughts on “Update and thoughts

  1. Becky May 26, 2016 / 10:21 pm

    I, for one, am glad to see a post, so you see people are still following! I say, do what you like! It’s your blog. I read any blog to see/hear what sewers actually think, so I welcome that in any blog. I have found very few indie designers I like. I find most of the patterns very repetitive and unflattering, but I am not a very experienced seamstress. I am probably an advanced beginner. I learn a lot of techniques on blogs which I have found to be useful. I am interested in sewing elegant everyday clothes because that fits with my lifestyle. Again, do what you like. As Katherine Hepburn said, “If you always do what interests you, at least one person is pleased”.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 26, 2016 / 10:25 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Becky and for your thoughts (I agree with you on everything). And OMG, I looooove this quote, I will definitely re-use it more than once!!!!

  2. Ann Steeves May 26, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    You have said almost exactly what I’m thinking – get out of my head!😉
    Seriously, I agree with everything you say. I have one minor change, though. I’m not quitting blogging at all. I just find that Instagram is better for showing quick hits of what I’m working on while it’s in progress, without having to set up the big camera and tripod. Then when I’m finished I can do the big blog post.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 26, 2016 / 10:50 pm

      Hi Ann!! Sorry if it wasn’t clear in my post, I totally understood that you are continuing your blog and were referring to another blogger quitting! It would be so sad if YOU stopped blogging!!

  3. crab and bee May 27, 2016 / 4:37 am

    So much good stuff in this post to talk and think about. In the past couple of years, I haven’t been as excited to photograph and blog about projects, but I’m also not sure what I do want to blog about instead (or in addition to them). There are so many of us who are so good at making finished, wearable pieces; really exciting when you think of it, but finishing a garment just isn’t as remarkable of an event these days. Maybe I need do a list-making exercise like yours (or just steal yours, because yours resonated!) As to your issue about feeling constrained by what you discuss on your blog, I hope you feel more free to say what you want. As a reader, I think well-worded criticism is one of my favorite things to read. And to take it one step further, I like criticism that proposes a better path, a way of doing things I hadn’t thought of.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 2:55 pm

      I can totally relate when you say you don’t know what you want to blog about instead of finished projects, that’s really the piece that I am struggling with. Now on proposing a better path from what I don’t like, that’s going to be a tough one! Like most French people, I’m fully competent at complain and sarcasm but not so good at being constructive ;-))

      • crab and bee May 27, 2016 / 6:33 pm

        Ha that’s funny! I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before but I lived in Aix-en-Provence for a few months during college living with a family. From what I gather, criticism is a form of affection – why waste your breath criticizing something you don’t care about is what my host mother said!

  4. Tara May 27, 2016 / 4:48 am

    I actually read your blog posts! (on most of the blogs, I just check the pictures and the pattern used, though). I am a huge blog reader, and for a while, I tried to support indie brands.. But I feel disappointed with the lack of critical comments on those brands. Another thing that bothers me is the growing feeling that sewing bloggers have to follow the pace of fast fashion, with new patterns all the time, simplified patterns to sew in only a few hours, and a flood of jersey patterns that don’t require ironing or a lot of fitting changes. There is little self reflection on the process, little dwelling on details. I am starting to go off blogs and internet, and I am focusing on finding sewing books that suit my needs for slow sewing, slow reading and re-reading of inspirational articles…

    I would definitely love to see inspirations and readings on the blog, pictures of technical details on garments, your opinions on whatever you want to talk about !

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 3:02 pm

      Thank you for your encouragement!!

      I truly believe that you are onto something when you say that sewing is trying to catch up with fast fashion. It’s literally impossible and yet it would explain a lot of the more recent pattern offering. I think especially about the Seamwork patterns that gives you 2 new patterns each month that advertise heavily how fast to make they are!
      I realize that slow sewing was more common in the previous sewing blog “generation”, where you could follow week by week the progress on a gown, a tailored jacket or some intricate shirt. This type of content seems to have been entirely replaced by finished items. I would love to hear about the books or the articles that inspire your slow sewing!

  5. Vanessa May 27, 2016 / 6:53 am

    I really enjoy your blog. It’s one I never skip past when I see a post appear in my reader. Personally, I love hearing opinions (and having them, too), even if I don’t agree with them. I think it makes conversation more exciting.

    Your post got me thinking about what kind of blogs I actually read and enjoy, and I think it has a lot to do with how genuine the blogger is. The ones that post glowing reviews of every pattern they make, I just skim past to see the pictures, because I know they’ll tell a truer story than the words. They don’t engage me. Like Crab and Bee said above, well worded criticism is also one of my favourite things to read.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 3:08 pm

      Thanks for your lovely words Vanessa! Your explanation of why we skip the words for the pictures on certain blogs because they are “truer” is resonating with me. I hadn’t seen things like this and now I realize that it would explain a lot. Sometimes I would be reading and thinking “yeah yeah yeah I know you are friends with the pattern designer….” and but then looking intently at the pictures to make up my mind about the fit or the construction.

  6. Mirce75 May 27, 2016 / 7:49 am

    I’m still reading, and I would love to hear more opinions and critical voices on blogs.

  7. rosealys May 27, 2016 / 8:39 am

    I’m still reading too, and thankyou for a post that really reflects a lot of what I’ve been thinking about the online sewing community / (some) indie pattern companies / GOMI. I came to sewing, and the sewing blogging scene fairly late in the day (just a couple of years ago) but I still do a search of blogs for a garment I want to make before I make it to look for pointers to problems and tips for construction. I look on Instagram too but just for inspiration, not for actual sewing help. I do post on Instagram for a quick fix, but I find it much more satisfying to post on my blog, outlining problems I had with a pattern for my future benefit as much as anyone else’s.
    My blog started as a personal blog for friends to follow when I moved abroad, and slid into sewing blogging. I’m hoping to slide back to somewhere between the two because I know some of my friends feel left behind by my focus on sewing. Also I want to focus a bit more on writing and since a lot of my sewing has become every-day clothes I don’t want to post every time I finish another t-shirt!

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 3:14 pm

      We can’t underestimate how much sewing blogs have changed the way we approach patterns. I can’t count the number of times I made a pattern because I saw it on someone else’s blog, and it’s very rare that I make something with googling it first.
      Moving the direction of your blog with what you feel comfortable seems like a great idea. There is not point in putting ourselves in categories like “Sewing” “Travel” “DIary” when we do it only for pleasure!

  8. Fabric Tragic May 27, 2016 / 8:46 am

    I’m glad you’re back! I love blog posts that are thought provoking such as this. I too am intensely underwhelmed by many of the newer, ‘easier’, unexciting or poorly drafted patterns being released (‘it’s such a great pattern! I only had to redraft this this this and this. All the heart eyes!’). I still love seeing finished garments, learning about new fitting tips and celebrating when another seamstress is delighted with their finished project. I’ve only joined Instagram in the last year and find it is very much a 2 seconds of interest then move on kind of place. I deliberately don’t follow many people but I’m more than happy to add to my blog roll still. You just can’t get the kind of info off Instagram that a blog post can share. Long live the sewing blog!

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 3:18 pm

      Thank you Sarah! I have to agree with you on the 2 seconds of interest that Instagram promotes, it’s very addictive but not very productive. Plus, whenever I DO find interesting things like a new pattern, or a nice idea, I haven’t figured out an easy way to save it for later… Finally you are totally right, the content you get from a sewing blog is significantly different!

  9. Hélène Martin May 27, 2016 / 8:50 am

    Allô – j’apprécie beaucoup ta voix et je t’encourage à te laisser vraiment aller! The sewing blogging world has changed a lot over the last few years and I have even more appreciation for bloggers like you who continue to focus on what they’re making, provide insights into the good and the ugly of different patterns and construction techniques and don’t have any master to serve. I enjoy every post of yours and hope you’ll blog for a good long time in your own uncensored voice and only focusing on what you find important and meaningful. That’s what I’m here for. ✨

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 3:21 pm

      Merci Hélène!! Your comment of not having any master made me laugh! But there is true to it, maybe the new niche is having no sponsor or commitments to review this or that!!

  10. Anna May 27, 2016 / 11:33 am

    I’m glad to hear from you again. And as for honesty, that’s exactly what I want to read! Don’t feel constrained by wanting to seem “nice” and not “mean” when giving your opinions. I want to read the truth about how you feel about designs and patterns. I don’t want to hear a censored version that aims to never offend.
    Personally I have not seen anything from indie designers that has inspired me for some time. I’ve been sticking to the main “big 5”, even though these are just as expensive here as indie patterns. I also have a preference for BurdaStyle, even though it’s expensive here too.
    Also, in terms of blogging, I just want to see finished items🙂 I don’t care if they have been made 10 times already, if they look amazing or if it’s a quick mirror selfie before work.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 3:25 pm

      Hi Anna! I learned how to sew with Burdastyle and until today, everytime I used an Indie pattern and things don’t go the way I wanted I keep thinking “WHY HAVEN’T I JUST STARTED WITH A BURDA PATTERN??”.

  11. Mary May 27, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    I love your blog, and as has been said, do what makes you happy. I’m not an Instagramer yet, and love thought provoking and candid blogs.

  12. runningcuzican May 27, 2016 / 1:10 pm

    I read blogs and I instagram. I think both are still relevant. Write whatever the heck you want. Personally, I find so many patterns are not my style at all. The big 4 are no better than anyone else for me when it comes to inspiration. There are so many silhouettes that I am so sick of seeing over and over, like fit and flare dresses and wrap dresses. But. people like them I guess. I have had huge fitting and poor construction details with BOTH big 4 including burda and indies.
    The majority of my favorite patterns are indies and I am including style arc and jalie in the indie category. But are they really indies??? I have about 4 patterns that are keepers that are from the Vogue/Mccall group.
    Inspiration and taste is very subjective. One person’s interesting is another’s fussy. And one persons preference for minimal is another’s boring and meh. How can any company be all things to all people?
    Independent pattern companies have been around for ages and there are so many that come and go. Indies that are not my jam at all, but they are not hacks at all, their skills are top notch.But those pattern makers are not filling up instagram feeds or blogs. They design for a different body and style preference. What is new is certain independents have become very popular whether or not they deserve it in my opinion. But in the big picture this happens with all aspects of life. People get swept away by marketing or the popularity contest.
    You know what? I get more upset by not being able to find fabric I like. Anyone else have that frustration???

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      I entirely agree with you that Indies or Big 4/5 do not have the exclusivity of terrible patterns, bad proportions or counterproductive instructions!!
      The definition of Indies is a difficult question because it’s true that they are not new. Small niche pattern companies survived the 90’s when sewing was probably at its lowest!! However I think that companies like Jalie seem to be more run like a “traditional” business. By this I mean that there isn’t a strong emphasis on the owner or designer being the “face” of the company, which is what we see with the newer Indies.
      Finding the perfect fabric is often a challenge, especially if you have something very specific in mind. But since I’m lucky to live very close to NYC garment district, I’m sure to always find a piece (or 2 or 3 or…) to take home and feed the fabric craving!!!

  13. Cindy May 27, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    I prefer reading blogs. I haven’t caved to getting an instagram account, because I see it as another time waster. I can’t say how much I appreciate that you haven’t attached a bunch of ads to your blog. I have had to stop following several blogs, because they had so many ads that it locked up my computer when I tried to read them. Some of them have pop up ads that are very distracting. I understand that some people are making a career of blogging, but there is a fine line, where they have lost the essence of their blog to advertising. Please keep blogging. I actually enjoy real opinions and real experiences.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 8:38 pm

      I cannot deny that Instagram is an addictive time-sucker, but it kind of replaced Facebook for me… I never really realized how disturbing the ads are on some sewing blogs because I do all my reading on Feedly. But once in a while, I open the blogs to post a comment and I go “What the…. what???!” looking at the ads popping everywhere!!

  14. Sasha May 27, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I kept nodding while reading your post I must have looked like one of those kitschy dashboard dogs. why I do keep blogging? because it’s a challenge. My every sewing project contains in some way a challenge (small or big it doesn’t matter). I enjoy taking the pictures, of course I feel ridiculous standing alone with a tripod in the middle of the street but since I got my nose broken as a photo reporter at a political rally and arrived to the conclusion i don’t have the physique for it I kept selling my gear and soon any kind of photography was a thing of the past – now with my blog I’m taking a sort of “selfie challenge” a way to keep my skill alive. I hate writing but I force myself to do it: english is not my language and you know how it goes “use it or lose it”. So you see for me my blog is a sort of container where I get to practice on a low key, a variety of skills – and I do it without any kind of pressure and if and when I have the time for it… and yes maybe now that my MA in fashion design is almost over I might launch into sewing patterns I think it would be a great stepping stone and work experience but I also might change ideas. I am an avid blog reader – I believe in the peer review process but it must be sincere – I hate when I see what we call here in Italy “omertà” !!! I like reading your blog because you speak your mind. I also read blogs because of good writing (I like bloggers with a sense of humour) and because some have great pictures. So yeah – I read lots of blogs. I don’t expect blogs to teach me anything – I have lots of books and teachers for that, but when it happens it’s a plus. And I would love to have more people calling me out on my bulls**t … yeah I know I’m full of bulls**t … like pretty much everyone.
    Sorry for the novel! (I know I’ll push post comment and fell sorry for it right away)

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 9:01 pm

      Hi Sasha! I love long comments so please don’t restrain yourself!! My blog has definitely be very helpful for me to push myself on the writing and the photography (both things that I’m not very good at) for which I’m very thankful. I’m glad to hear that you have such a low pressure approach to your blog because when I look at it, it feels like you put so much effort into it! If I had to make every blog post as pretty and detailed as yours I don’t think I would ever be posting…

      It’s interesting that a few years ago, I definitely read blogs to learn things but not anymore!! Wouldn’t it be awesome if the sewing land was so trusting that we would all feel comfortable to call on each other BS ????

  15. Beth (SunnyGal Studio) May 27, 2016 / 3:26 pm

    great post and I have been thinking about it since you posted. Yes to so many of your points. I love sewing blogs – when I found them many years ago it was a revelation and came at a moment in life when I needed exactly that. I love reading and hearing about the process, result, choices, etc. Interestingly to me – I have found that the writing part of having a blog is one of the most enjoyable things about blogging. Photography is not my thing – but sewing has a visual result so photos are a necessary component. I don’t really care about the photo quality – I will leave that to other people who have better skills in that area. I just want to be able to show my sewing and discuss what I have made.
    As for opinions – yes please. I have found that the post I write that are a roundup of my thoughts on various sewing related topics get quite a bit of comment – I think readers of sewing blogs are looking for interesting discussions and not just a quick look at a garment, although there is a place for that as well.
    As for discussing patterns, and indie patterns specifically, I agree with you – I often want to discuss but as I don’t sew very many I don’t have a lot to contribute other than to say I am not likely to buy them often since they are so very boring (and poorly proportioned in many cases).
    OK – all for now. I’m looking forward to reading your posts – but no pressure. By the way – I am starting to think about making a trip to NYC – I have not been there in so long…….

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 8:49 pm

      Thank you Beth. Your blog is very inspirational for me on the way you manage to engage with your readers. You are one of the few bloggers where I find myself wanting to say something almost every time I finish reading a post!

      The proportions of some Indie patterns are definitely making my eye twitch more often than not. It reminds me of this great post written by “Sew 4 Fun” written 7 years ago (wow…) and referred to by Kathleen of Fashion Incubator on learning patternmaking and ending up starting from commercial patterns. There are so many things that go into a good pattern, and things like pocket size and placement, button spacing, etc. are often treated lightly by patternmakers without formal training.

      Finally, I SOOOOO hope you come to New York soon, I would love to meet!! I have in the back of my head that one day I will come to you for a jacket workshop but it’s been difficult to fit in my schedule!

  16. patsijean May 27, 2016 / 4:52 pm

    All the blogs i subscribe to, yours included, are sewing blogs. I preview a few new blogs once in awhile and base my subscriptions on interest, what I can learn, and clarity of writing (there are a couple of writers that fill their blog posts with deliberately wordy and convoluted language–being clever?–so no matter how cute they are, or good their sewing, I don’t follow because I am 71 years old and have lost patience as a former English teacher, with such contrivance). I do not see instagram as a learning tool (even though my stepson works there) and I get irritated with podcasts. I like blogs, yours included, and if you encounter a badly drafted pattern, or a product that is poor, as a reader, I expect that you would say so, no apologies. I feel that GOMI is a bit mean spirited.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 8:51 pm

      Dear Patsi, thank you so much for your lovely comment!! I hope my English doesn’t offend you too much (at least I promise I’m not using the Thesaurus to write my posts!!!). I agree with you that Instagram doesn’t provide anything in terms of learning and yes GOMI IS mean spirited at times!!

  17. Nikki May 27, 2016 / 6:19 pm

    Looks like you still have plenty of readers! I’m not into sewing instagrams really. If I follow a sewing blog, it is because I want to see details, or hear about the process or thoughts on a pattern, or see how a new release makes up, or see what other sewers are creating. All of which is too wordy and too many pictures for instagram.
    And reading some real reviews on patterns would be a nice change. There are a few people that are honest, but the rest of the interwebs seems to swoon over every pattern release. And I’m like, ‘really? You just released a t-shirt pattern.’ Is it because we read their blogs and “know” them that we don’t want to be mean or honest? We don’t care about saying something awful about a McCall’s pattern, but there is a person behind that one as well. I’m sure they probably read reviews on the patterns that they worked on as well. If no one ever criticizes anyone, how would they know if something was wrong or something could be worked on? Maybe they think the world needs another t-shirt pattern because no one told them that there were enough.
    This reminds me, I have a not glowing review of an indie pattern to put up😉

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 8:56 pm

      Thanks Nikki, trust me I’m surprised I still have readers because I don’t feel I have done anything to keep them!! I don’t understand all the swooning either these days, most patterns are sooooo boring!!

      I also have a not so glorious review coming up and I keep thinking about how to word it… As seamstresses also we have the tendency of blaming ourselves when something doesn’t work out: maybe it was me? did I choose the wrong fabric? etc… Even though after all those years you KNOW that the sleeve pattern looked weird and the bust dart is so high and so long that it wouldn’t work on anyone….

  18. Mark May 27, 2016 / 10:02 pm

    So very glad to see you are still out there! Love reading your blog!!!

    • Sewing Tidbits May 27, 2016 / 10:33 pm

      Thanks Mark!! I have to say that I believe you are my very first male commenter!!!

  19. LynneSews May 27, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    Great post. I follow both Instagram and blogs, and agree that they give different information. I don’t blog myself due to lack of time, but have an Instagram account which is great for posting finished garment pics and getting quick advice from the sewing community with works in progress. I do think I self censor too, but this is a hobby for me and most people, so I wouldn’t criticise unless someone specifically asks for it, as I think most bloggers are just expressing themselves. But I mostly don’t comment much on blogs because the commenting platforms don’t work on my iPad for some reason. Keep the posts coming!

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 2:22 pm

      Hi Lynne! I like that you mention that it’s just a hobby for most of us. This is mainly true, but the Indie companies tend to blurry the line between business and hobby. That may be why many of us restrain our comments…

  20. RainDayPerson May 28, 2016 / 1:35 am

    I definitely read my blog lists. That said, I am dreading next week’s MMM roundup posts. OMG it will be awful, I’m sure! Hundreds of posts with little to say.
    I have enjoyed MMM on instagram. I think it is the perfect venue for one shot wonders (please! One shot only!)
    I blog for myself, to vent, exclaim, proclaim, and for catharsis. I don’t monetize my space and I don’t get any payola for my opinions. I have tested a little, and I enjoy that process and the feeling that I contribute a little.

    Thanks for the fun post. Welcome back!

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 2:25 pm

      Blogposts with nothing to say are the worst but I have to admit, they are super tempting sometimes…

  21. mokosha May 28, 2016 / 1:42 pm

    really enjoyed reading this post (and comments too), and agree with pretty much everything said.. i kind of enjoy blogs and instagram both, from a little bit different reasons, but i do wish people post more often on their blogs, like in good old times.. that being said, i sew more than ever, but post much less on my blog, mostly for techincal reasons (as my good camera broke, and the old one got lost one drunken night, so all i have is a phone camera, and it makes rather crappy photos, plus i have no idea how to use it to take my own pics, as it won’t fit my tripod, and i hate selfies), but also because english is not my native language, and it takes me forever to write anything.. but reading i like, so i’m loking forward to your future posts

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      The comments are definitely more interesting than the post!! I think I have to agree, the less I blog the more I sew and at the end sewing is still really what matters!! And i totally concur with your point that blogging in a non-native language makes it even more time consuming. If I was blogging in French, writing and editing a post would take me half the time, and i would feel more confident that my message will get across as intended…

  22. notsewsimple May 28, 2016 / 6:07 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your post and it really resonated – I enjoy the long form of blogs and it can be an invaluable resource for fitting notes, warnings about bad patterns and inspiration! I also love Instagram for quick snaps and posting in progress shots. I hope there is always room for both!

    Louise

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 2:31 pm

      Thank you Louise! I’ll try to think more about where I get my inspiration from, long blog content or quick instagram (probably both!!)…

  23. Alli May 28, 2016 / 6:26 pm

    I would love to hear your honest opinion about indie patterns! I think I would learn a lot, especially about what is good drafting. It would be educational!🙂

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 2:31 pm

      Hi Alli, I loved the educational aspect of blogs where the blogger and the readers all learn things by doing and discussing!

  24. thewallinnat May 29, 2016 / 9:14 pm

    Yet another person, who can’t agree more! I am for healthy criticism and feedback, which is almost absent from the English speaking blogs. From time to time, I read comments on the Russian BurdaStyle forum, where people are quite the opposite. It would be quite common to read something like: “Hey, hun, it does not look flattering on you”, or “Try this other fabric/technique next time”, or even “You look too skinny/fat for this garment”. Although, it may sound harsh, but I would rather get this type of comments, then all pretty-pretty.

    I also feel, that the quality of independent patterns goes downhill (in most cases), compared to six – seven years ago. It’s quite sad to see how people, both bloggers and pattern designers, go rather for quantity than for quality. This is one of the reasons why I unfollowed many blogs.

    When it comes to content, I like blogs as well as Instagram. Each of them has its own purpose, which I love: instantaneity of Instagram and deeper content on blogs. Having this said, since this is your blog, it’s really up to you to post whatever content you feel like posting! But please, don’t become one of those blogs, which post in sake of posting! Everything, that comes from inside, is so important! And you can feel it through written words!

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 2:34 pm

      Hi Inna! Too bad I can’t read the Russian forums, they sound hilarious!! I don’t think I have the risk of posting just for the sake of it, I don’t have enough discipline for that!!!

  25. Sandra May 30, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Tu es l’un des des blogs que je suis depuis que je me suis remise à la couture il y a 3 ou 4 ans. J’aime bien ces espaces où on partage son moment couture, ses doutes, ses réussites etc…
    Sur Instagram, l’esprit critique est souvent mal accueilli mais c’est lié à l’instantanéité du principe. Sur un Blog, on prend plus le temps, les gens réagissent moins à chaud et sont plus pondérés (enfin j’aime le croire…).
    Je pars du principe que sur ton espace, tu es libre de faire comme tu l’entends. Tu peux très bien donner ton avis sans que ce soit offensant. Et si les personnes visées ne font pas la différence, tant pis pour elles. Un avis discordant n’est pas forcément une insulte. Des fois, je peux lire des compte rendus assez négatifs sur tel ou tel patron d’une marque. Ca ne va pas forcément m’empêcher de tenter le coup, je reste juste plus en éveil par rapport aux étapes de réalisation car je sais qu’une telle a eu un soucis à cet endroit. Et son expérience me permet de surmonter cette difficulté. Les difficultés des unes ne sont pas forcément celles des autres et vice versa.
    En France, on est hyper critiques les unes envers les autres. Ca m’agace ! Certaines sont jugées parce qu’elles cousent vite, d’autres parce que leurs photos sont pas terribles, d’autres parce que leurs finitions sont bof. Moi ça me soule parce que je pense que chacun exerce son hobby comme il l’entend et de la même façon qu’on achète plutôt Le Monde que Le Figaro (ou l’inverse, hein !), on adapte sa blog list en fonction de ce qu’on a envie d’y trouver.
    Si tu blogues, il faut avant tout le faire pour toi et te sentir libre d’exprimer ce que tu veux y exprimer. Ceux à qui ça ne plaît pas changeront de crémerie.
    Concernant les indés, je pense qu’on arrive à une certaine stagnation. C’est le moment où ça va commencer à s’écrémer. Beaucoup se sont lancés, mais combien vont durer ? Combien vont toujours parvenir à maintenir le même niveau de créativité et de qualité ?
    Et pour les photos, j’aimerais avoir le courage de faire comme Sasha et me photographier dans la rue, mais j’en suis incapable. Les séances photos sont une vraie torture ici, j’ai pris un peu de poids en ce début d’année car je travaille à la maison. Mais j’ai décidé de jouer le jeu récemment et de me faire violence. J’arrête d’être si exigeante avec moi-même et de dévaloriser ainsi. C’est avant tout un soucis d’estime de soi cette question de photo plutôt qu’une réalité esthétique. Mais je me coupe quand même la tête sur les photos xD

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 2:45 pm

      Merci Sandra! C’est vrai que les avis negatifs ne m’empêchent pas non plus d’essayer des patrons ou des produits. Peut-être qu’on surestime le poids de nos propres mots!!! C’est drôle que tu mentionnes l’hyper critique en France. Je ne lis pas beaucoup de blogs francophones mais j’ai toujours l’impression que c’est encore plus rose/amour/tout-est-beau que les blogs anglophones… Je ne dois pas etre sur les bons sites!! Par contre c’est sur qu’en tant que françaises on se juge beaucoup.
      La photographie dans la rue je l’ai fait un peu la premiere fois que je vivais a NY mais c’est horrible. Maintenant je ne le ferais plus. Soit je prends a l’interieur, soit je trouverais quelqu’un pour prendre les photos a l’exterieur!
      Couper la tete sur les photos ca ne me derange pas du tout, surtout si ca te permet d’etre plus a l’aise. Je suis plusieurs Japonaises sur Instagram et elles coupent toute la tête sans que ça nuise a leurs photos!

  26. Splinters&Stitches May 30, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    I actually still prefer blogs to IG, but I can see how it’s “instant gratification” factor would appeal to many. But honestly, if you’re interested in any sort of detail, IG sucks because you can’t zoom in on the pics or anything.

    Re: GOMI. +1–I agreed with everything you said. And I also discovered that whenever I read so much negativity it made me more negative IRL. I should probably see a therapist about that.😉

    I hope you keep sewing and blogging, but I understand how much work it takes–my blog is significantly less polished than most (or maybe all!) and even then it’s still a lot of time when I sit down to do a post.

    • Sewing Tidbits May 30, 2016 / 11:06 pm

      OMG how many times I have been frustrated by how IG treats pictures… Maybe one of my challenges with blogging is that even though it takes me time to prepare a post, it’s never as polished as the bloggers I admire…

  27. 24 June 8, 2016 / 10:26 pm

    J’avais commencé à réfléchir à un commentaire en anglais, mais j’irai bien plus vite en français ! Ton article est intéressant, la lecture de tous les commentaires également. Tout cela incite à la discussion, alors voici, en vrac, ce que cela m’évoque.
    Je suis une lectrice très récente, mais patiente et contente de la venue de nouveaux articles🙂
    Il n’est pas toujours évident de trouver le temps de lire les blogs. Mon temps couture est partagé entre la couture en elle-même, mon blog, et les promenades chez les autres. Les blogs que j’aime lire sont en général ceux où les vêtements cousus sont dans mon style, ou bien dont le contenu est informatif ou bien écrit ; ou encore, ceux chez qui on se sent bien, ou ceux qui donnent envie de discuter ou de faire connaissance. Concernant Instagram, il m’arrive régulièrement d’épingler sur Pinterest les images qui me plaisent, pour ne pas les perdre…
    J’avais une autre impression que Sandra, concernant les blogs francophones ; il me semblait qu’on critiquait peu, que ceux qui avaient quelque chose à dire s’abstenaient en général de commenter. Mais peut-être est-ce plus le cas sur des forums ? Il y a par contre depuis quelques temps des ras-le-bol autour du marketing très présent. Pour ma part, c’est plutôt la présence régulière de patrons trop basiques (et vendus cher) qui m’interpelle.
    Quoi qu’il en soit ce n’est pas évident de critiquer, même si j’aime lire des critiques constructives chez les autres. Je ne le fais jamais, par crainte d’être mal comprise, de blesser, ou de laisser échapper une phrase qui semble être un jugement définitif, par crainte de me tromper aussi.
    Au plaisir de te lire encore (j’ai déjà deux articles de retard)…

  28. LisaB June 14, 2016 / 1:31 am

    I am catching up on my blog reading having been on vacation and falling behind. I am somewhat new to your blog but wanted you to know that I appreciate the questions you’re asking, especially about whether or not disagreement and criticism are allowed.

    I’ve never had a blog and probably never will. It seems like the home sewing community is made up of club members who say what everyone wants to hear. Many times I think it’s just a big popularity contest. I’ve never been popular or part of the “in” group, so I’m happy to do my thing without publicizing it or trying to earn membership into the club.

    Anyway, all that to say that I found your post very refreshing.

    • Sewing Tidbits June 14, 2016 / 1:39 am

      Thank you for stopping by Lisa! I was definitely never with part of the “in” people nor am I now… Call me lazy, but I would never be able to put all those efforts towards the hope of using a Bernina machine for a year ;-)…
      Just for fun, I wish there was data on the correlation between “in” people in other circles and successful bloggers or are sewing blogs a revenge of those who were always out??

      • LisaB June 14, 2016 / 1:42 am

        Yes, that would be interesting. I think many popular bloggers and “experts” are popular because of their personalities and so have probably been “in” throughout life. Nothing to back that up. Just my hunch.

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