There are fashion bloggers, beauty bloggers, food bloggers, health and wellness bloggers – I could run the gamut – and then there are sewing bloggers. For all other types of bloggers, there are rules, guidelines, and standard operating procedures to good blogging, one example being that all pictures fill the entire width of the blog post column and another being to post consistently, or on a schedule. We stitching bloggers are a different breed and the things that keep our blogs running are unique. Since shifting the focus of my blog to pattern making and sewing (I started as a fashion blogger about six years ago), I have noticed and learned the idiosyncrasies of our ways. This isn’t just a helpful hints or tip post – it is also a commentary on our habits, myself included.
In the land of normal blogging, post consistency is very important. In my opinion, it doesn’t matter how often a blogger posts, what matters is that the posting is consistent and high quality. Some of my favorite blogs don’t post every day or every other day. When I first started following Emily Shuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, she only posted three times a week and never posted on weekends. That is what I liked about her blog – there wasn’t a pressure to keep up with her and when she posted, it was always a well written and photographed post, as if she spent her day off from blogging shooting and editing.
We seamstresses are the exception to this rule. For a sewing blogger, not posting consistently or not posting for weeks is okay. A silence from the web usually means that you are in front your sewing machine, making your next masterpiece. And sometimes, the longer the silence, the better. Dixie just admitted that she hasn’t been blogging as often as she normally does because she’s working on a pattern. That preview of what’s to come has me, and I’m sure you, checking her blog every day in anticipation of its release. Hurry up Dixie!
I’m the tortoise in the race to complete projects, I don’t come close Marcy or Lauren’s scorecard, and that’s okay. I take months to perfect patterns, sew muslins, construct final garments, and then organize photo shoots but that’s my pace and that’s the way I work best. When I try to speed up, I mess up, like I did a couple of weeks ago when I rushed to cut and start sewing a red taffeta dress and neglected to research the fabric. I ended up using the wrong needle and not underlining the fabric like every book and blog suggests. I threw away what I had begun and started from scratch. You know what helps though? When I look at my What I’ve Made page and see all the garments I’ve made over the years and remind myself that the reason those projects came out the way they did was because I worked at my pace.
The online sewing community is also unique when it comes to relationships. Like Sallie wrote, internet friends are sometimes the best friends. Browse through the comments on any sewing blog and you’ll notice that the same people write every day (you’ll also notice that a seamstress’s comments are longer than the usual fashion bloggers comment “love that” or “gorgeous!”). In most cases, the blogger and the commenter are friends and they’re helping each other out by giving tips, tricks, or links to helpful resources. We’re a close knit community but also a welcoming one. Don’t be shy and reach out to us!
I’m a copycat but at least I admit that I am one. When Mandi launched her new blog, Making Nice In The Midwest, she wrote a great post about her tips for bloggers and one of them was that it is okay to copy others. It is! In the post, she wrote that when a blogger is first starting out, it is okay to take ideas or content from other blogs as long as credit is given. How do you think Picasso and other great artists like him learned how to paint? By copying or replicating paintings from the great masters. This is necessary – in order to develop the skills, techniques, and aesthetic that will become your own, you have to work in the ways of those you admire. I copy Amy’s methods of bra patterning and construction but I do so because I am trying to find my own method.