Feeling Reflective

Monday, February 4

So it is the start of the new year, and all around the sewing blogosphere, people are signing up to various sew-alongs and pledging to undertake projects. I think I have signed up to 1 or two myself, and you will be shocked to hear I have not even started a single one of these projects. Why do I do this? Why do we do it? I am most certain I am not the only one who gets excited when some new project comes up, or some sew-along, signs up, then promptly forgets about it, or just cannot make the time to follow up and actually partake in said sew-along.

Why do you do it?

Is it to have a sense of belonging? to force ourselves to actually make something by partaking in a strict sewing program? to make new friends? to increase our blog readership?

One more thing, why do we choose certain patterns over others? why do we rush to make the latest independent pattern even when we know it is not our style, or does not suit our body type? I have bought patterns in the past just because I saw it made on a blog I follow, and then filed them away and never looked at them again...well not true, I do look at them, and marvel at my foolishness.

Oh, and another one. Why do we follow the blogs we do? is it because we actually like their style, or just because everyone seems to be following them? Do you get excited when you see you have a new follower? I squeal in excitement when I notice a new follower. The flip side is, when I notice I have lost followers, I get sad. why does this affect me? Does it affect you?

Do you look at other blogs with many readers, and wonder what you are doing wrong that you go 5 months without a new follower? I feel that way sometimes. Do you.

Surely, having a blog should not be about how many people follow you, or how many people comment on your posts ( I have been known to wake up at 3am to check if there is a new comment on my recent post....pathetic I know). It is always nice when you start a blog, and no one reads it, or no one comments. You are yourself. You write for yourself, and you are free to express your personality. Then you start getting followers, and you start changing. You start writing for other people, changing into what you think they want you to be. I felt that way sometimes, rushing to sew something, just so I should post about it, cutting corners, just so I could have a post up and have some comments.

The good thing is, even if you go through that phase, you end up finding yourself ( I certainly did). You come to realise that it does not matter how many followers you have. It does not matter that you don't sew as many items as other people. You realise that like our fingers, not everyone is the same. Not everyone has the same commitments, not everyone has the money or time, or patience or dedication to sew all the time. Not everyone has the space, nor gadgets or access to sewing tools ( I'm still jealous of you...yes, You Americans, with your Joanns and fantastic estate sales). Not everyone is at the same skill level. Don't beat yourself if your projects don't turn out the way you thought they would. We all learn by making mistakes.

I am still learning, and I am making more mistakes than I did before, because I want to be better. I want to make nicer and more fitting things, and I am finally trying to do things properly (when I am not being lazy that is, which is most of the time).

I could go on and on, just rambling about stuff, but as it is, my stomach is growling. Food, I want. So if you read this, and think I am bonkers, you probably are right. Don't blame me though. Blame the hunger. Did you know that being hungry can be used as a defence in court? Yes, hunger can lead to temporary insanity. I am not even joking. All you have to do is read this post to see the effects of hunger on yours truly.


  1. Lool... love it.
    Abandoned by Blogger account for a Wordpress blog that is supposed to connect me to the people who will luuurve and buy my work; haven't posted a thing though.
    We all have some madness within. I say celebrate it because it's what makes us unique!!
    But while you're at it, do some sewing :))

  2. The furthest I have ever got in a sewalong is making a bodice muslin for a dress and realising it didn't fit and I didn't know how to fix it. I still get excited about them though and still devour the posts and hope I will put them into practice someday...

    As for buying patterns that don't suit you, luckily (unluckily) I do so little actual sewing (too busy reading sewing blogs) that I usually have long enough to realise a pattern isn't my style before I get round to buying it... I've drooled over so many Colette and Sewaholic creations before eventually realising most of them are not my style. On the other hand, sewing blogs are the only reason I have an idea of what IS my style!

    By the way, I follow a lot of sewing blogs and occasionally I'll unfollow some just to try to control my habit. Usually I only pick the ones to unfollow based on their creations not being the kinds of things I would make myself, but I always feel guilty and wonder if they will notice they lost a follower... Now I know they will ;)

  3. You're too funny Dibs. I hated Wordpress for not telling me how many followers I have but now I care a lot less. I try to concentrate on the interaction with the people who comment and enjoy the "conversation". But I'm with you, it can be hard to accept that you're not being read as much as other people, especially after slaving over a piece. But at the end of the day what matters is that you're happy with your garment.

    Get sewing lady! I saw that shopping cart you had to buy at Walthamstow to carry your all your goodies!

  4. Hi dibs, lovely to meet you on Saturday. I say just be yourself, you and the other ladies made me feel so welcome, you are awesome,don't worry bout followers, people come and people go all through life. I hope we meet again soon. Zora

  5. i'm a voratious reader, a sparodic sewer and a non blogger but all that you've written makes sense to me! you are always a joy to read however often you write :o)

  6. Loved reading this, your so spot on with what you say, especially about hunger. I am literally evil when I'm hungry!

  7. About the hunger thing... did you know that research showed that the best business decisions are made when you really have to pee? Maybe we should decide which pattern to buy, or which project to start next at that time and all will be well :)

  8. I love your witty style :)
    There's one more question I'd add to your list: why do I keep following a blog whose contents I never read? There are at least 10 blogs I started following in the past, but as the time goes, I realize I don't bother reading a single word it's written there. I tired a few times to read a post, but the more I try, the more I realize I'm not actually interested in reading it. So, the question is - why don't I stop following the blog? Am I just being polite, trying not to offend author of the blog?

  9. You ask the best questions! I've struggled with everything youa re talking about... and like Mela, i try to focus on how awesome the people are who do read and comment! I really like the community on Twitter - I find it is much more immediate and personal than blogging, and that satisfies my itch to connect.

  10. I love your writing style! I have definitely had all those feelings and questions about acquiring patterns because they're popular, trying to do sewalongs but failing, etc. In addition, because I don't blog, sometimes I have this feeling of inferiority like all these bloggers are friends and they all talk to each other and they all like each other and I start to feel left out, which is kind of crazy and irrational! But the feeling creeps up on me, I can't help it. Sometimes I think, maybe I should start a blog! But I don't really want to have to take all those pictures all the time, it sounds like a lot of pressure, and I think I would start to feel competitive about it, like I would want my blog to be excellent, not just average, and I would certainly want lots of followers! Anyway, I probably sound loony, and I can't blame hunger, I just had a giant burrito plus ice cream. Well, in any case, I want to say I appreciate your blog and the work you have put into it!

  11. I enjoyed reading this, you're always so funny! You're so right in asking these questions. Definitely food for thought. (pardon the pun hehe)

  12. Oh I love the way you write Dibs. My number 1 reason for having a blog is that it pushes me outside of my comfort zone. And the pressure is on when people are watching: You need to get cracking and make things! Also, there's nothing better than looking back on a productive sewing year and be proud.

  13. Really interesting thoughts. I think you've got material for a few blog posts there if you wanted to expand on it! I avoid the whole following thing by reading blogs via rss. And I'll generally read anyone's blog who reads mine - I've found some great ones that way.

  14. Hi Dibs !
    This is a really great post! I have been asking myself the same questions. I used to be really dizzy about the number of comments I would get but now, it's just about sharing my sewing. As for sewalongs, it's really about sewing in same time with other people, it's feel great but then you have to stick to a deadline and that's where it became least for me :-)

  15. Isn't this just being human? And maybe there's some kind of life cycle in being a blogger and the new acceptance after your reflections about how you want to blog, what drives you could be describes as the 'mature' phase like that of the slower wider river ( yeah, I did a level geography, blame that, sadly it doesn't come from some eastern philosophy, but wouldn't that be nice?!)
    I'm not techie enough to know about followers, and wondered how people could tell, it's a blogger thing is it?! Kind of glad I'm on Wordpress!
    Carry on being you dibs is my message in a nutshell, love your style and humour. X

  16. Nope. You're not bonkers. Hungry sure, but not bonkers. Else I'd be bonkers too. And so would many others, as already commented above. Blogs are to be enjoyed not worked, so I couldn't agree more.

    Oh and thank GOD we're all different otherwise wouldn't life (and blogs) be so damned boring?

    I should sew more. But that's for me. I don't do sewalongs because time (and brain function these days) is limited so I wanna sew what I wanna sew.

  17. I really enjoy your blog because I think you write from the heart and that makes you quite special.
    My life is v.serious so I try to keep my blog light-hearted because I do like to laugh (a lot) and often work and family things get serious - and I forget how to laugh.
    I sew because it makes me happy. I sometimes sew things to learn techniques. I sometimes sew because I have a vision in my head. I sometimes sew to relax.
    For whatever reason I sew I always keep in mind that everyone sews for different reasons, and those reasons are no better or worse than mine, they are simply different. What motivates and drives people is different. That's what makes blogland an interesting place. And I try to be respectful of differences rather than judgemental.
    Really love this post. It must have good good productive hunger pains :-)

  18. Dibs, I loved your post, but you need to be more selfish. I write my blog for myself. I consider it a sewing journal I'd allow people to read along. I write only when I feel like it. I blog about what I feel like. Comments and followers are a nice bonus but they're not more than that: a bonus. They don't have to be. Have a bite. And then let the selfish you bloom :)

  19. I am fasting two days a week, so I know what you mean about the hunger!

    Thanks for such a frank post. I found it very interesting, and food for thought.

    I haven't blogged for a couple of months and, at first, I was upset with myself over it. Then I realised I could just let that feeling didn't matter! In fact, that works for lots of different situations, I have found.

  20. I read your post via The Perfect Nose. And, I totally understand how a blog can get away from the you. And, yes I get all giddy when I get a new follower and then I'm down because I haven't 'produced' anything. up Down Up Down. It's a blog! That's it. My identity is not tied to followers! Ack! Thanks for this. It really helps put things in perspective.

  21. Great post! I know what you mean-- sometimes I feel this crazy pressure with the blog, like, "oh crap, it's been x amount of days/weeks and I haven't posted anything new!". It's silly, because it's something that should be fun and not a chore. But by the same token, I do kinda like having self-imposed deadlines to finish stuff because otherwise I'm pretty sure my house would be overtaken by unfinished projects (I find it WAY more fun to start projects than to finish them, especially if there are any kind of obstacles or difficulty along the way).

    Keep writing and making for you! We love to read your blog because it's a reflection of your unique voice, not because you post on a regular schedule or finish two garments a week. :)

  22. Hells yeah. I can only wish I was as verbosely gifted as you to talk about stuff like this.
    I went through all of this at my little blog's inception, and found my own way around it. I'm much happier now.
    Perhaps you should document the various stages of blog ownership? I think you've already got it nailed.

  23. Hear Hear! I wholeheartedly agree with you, Why do we feel like we have to make certain patterns just because they are the "in" thing amongst several bloggers at that point in time. Half the time I love what has been made but I can't see it working for me, so I have to stop myself from getting caught up in the hype.
    I read certain blogs because I enjoy them and not because everybody else seems to be following them, I waste enough time catching up with the blogs I enjoy to waste even more on those I don't.
    For me the main thing is to do it for myself and if other people enjoy it then that is a bonus.

  24. Wow, what a great blog! As a curvylicious girl myself I just love your style. Inspirational or what? Cant wait to follow and see what else you come up with

  25. Hi Dibs, I came across your blog only recently and love your writing. It can be interesting to see different interpretations of the same pattern in a sewalong, but too many can get a bit boring. It does seem like some bloggers change when they gain heaps of followers.
    I'm usually far to shy to leave comments or follow blogs publicly, so in return I have very few followers of my blog. But that is kind of liberating, because I'm mostly writing for me and my friends and family, my blog stays truer to me.
    I hope to read more on your blog soon!

  26. Dibs, This is my third time blogging and first time as a sewist!

    The first time blogging experience left me reading and responding to every single comment, looking for comments every 10 mins, and after a while I was posting for my readers and commenters... Add some health issues to this mix and I didn't want to blog about my subject anymore.

    I moved onto the next one on a slightly tangent subject, this time I didn't entertain or think about comments... I'd grown a bit as a blogger, I guess. And I didn't ant to blog for anybody else but me. A selfish blogger.. I didn't visit other bloggers blogging on the same subject.. Once the goal was reached or when I had settled down on a stage where I was comfortable with where I was and what I was, I was done blogging about it.

    Now this time around, I'm blogging on a hobby I had on and off relationship with but something I could never give up ... and this time around, I'm blogging to keep a journal, to help me walk through the path I want to go.... to reflect back.. Even though I read a lot of sewing blogs and leave comments when something prompts me to, I don't do it for networking or to increase blog readership or to market my blog... I read other blogs and leave comments only when I enjoy them.. And once in a while, I get a comment, which surprises me... and brings me a smile. but I wouldn't do anything to increase my blog readership for it takes away the pleasure from blogging for me.

    I sign up on sewalongs once in a while, hoping at least that might bring my mojo back to me and help me get moving. Taking classes helped with that.

  27. Hi Dibs! I follow the blogs I do because I like the voice of the writer and because I like the fabrics/patterns they pick. I like both about yours! Having said that, though, I have put off starting a blog of my own because I thought it might be a pain for several reasons. I do miss the "conversations" others have mentioned. But the real reason I am writing is to say "Thanks!" for the Sew U book that arrived on my doorstep. I love it! I really enjoyed the Royal Mail sticker. We don't have those in the US. Keep up the good work. Karen

  28. Hi^
    I've just come across your blog and I love it so much^

  29. I do sometimes feel bad that I started a blog but hardly ever post to it.. I have not sewn very much in the past and blogged about what it did sew even less! I have decided to sew up my stash and in the process become a better sewer. Not to be concerned with who is reading my blog but with improving my sewing skills. I have a lot of poor choices in both my fabric an pattern stash. But I am determined to make lemonade out of lemons. Thanks for the thought provoking post. Dawn