Effortless Attention

Blog Name and Blog Hop

Sooo … I’ve finally chosen a name for my blog and made a simple little header image for it! I know that it’s supremely unimpressive, but I’m not a designer and so I’m generally going by the safe route of “the less stuff I add, the less I can mess up”. (Which is why I didn’t have a name or logo/header in the first place.)

This little change was prompted by the lovely Sarah of Fabric Tragic, who nominated me for the endless “blog hop” that has been going around the online sewing community for what feels like ages. She’s the second or third person to mention my blog for some reason or other, so I’ve decided that I really need to come up with a name in order to reduce the potential for confusion.

I do feel flattered that Sarah thought my blog was interesting enough that she wanted to know more about why or how I do stuff, but at first I wasn’t going to answer the questions because I myself am getting a little tired of reading this same stuff all over the place. (Yes, I do read way too many sewing blogs!) But then her reply to my “thank you” comment on her blog made me change my mind, so I’ve decided to answer at least some of the questions after all.

But before that, have a photo of my sewing machine! My blog design currently requires at least one image per post and I couldn’t think of anything else to add to this one (and didn’t feel like tweaking the design). Please excuse the less-than-ideal backdrop. We don’t get enough light right now and this was the best place to take the photo.

Toyota 9600 Sewing Machine

Why do I write a blog?

In the comment that convinced me to write this, Sarah wrote,

You should post your finished things on Kollabora and burdastyle - it will get you more traffic to the blog

Which immediately made me think, contrarian as I am, “And why would I need more traffic to my blog?” I think I understand why Sarah suggested this, but I’m not actually writing this blog for any audience other than myself. Please don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate people’s interest and comments; they’re just not why I (mainly) do this. I might change my mind if people started to provide more constructive feedback on how I could improve. Since I’m self-taught, that would be extremely valuable to me. So please feel welcome to give me your honest opinion on anything I post!

I started to write my blog as a convenient way of keeping track of my progress. I am terribly forgetful and I just wanted a place to record what I had made, what I thought of it at the time, any adjustments I had made and anything I would like to improve on if I made another version of the same pattern. That’s it, that’s why I blog.

I’m not a “social” person, in the sense of … I don’t use BurdaStyle, Kollabora, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Whichever Social Something or Other Platform Thing Is Hot Right Now. I don’t want to spend the time. I already spend a huge amount of time reading sewing blogs. When I actually make something myself rather than waste time on the Internet, I prefer to just scribble down notes on my blog and be done with the whole “sharing” thing.

What’s my writing process?

This was actually the most interesting question to me. It seems like pretty much everyone makes first, then photographs, then writes. This wouldn’t work for me at all. I usually have several projects on the go, I’m forgetful and I sometimes leave stuff unfinished for months. And then I don’t always feel like taking photographs right away either. So by the time I’ve finished and photographed something, I wouldn’t be able to say anything much about it any more.

I usually start a blog post about a project at the same time that I start the project itself. I fill in the basic details, like which pattern and fabric(s) I used, and then whenever I think of something while I work on my project, I add a paragraph to my blog post. That way, by the time my project is finished, my blog post already contains most of the information I want to include.

I always have several unfinished blog post drafts waiting for me, just like I always have several unfinished objects lying around in various states of incompletion. When I finish a project, I tend to put it onto the “to be photographed” pile and leave it there for however long it takes me to find the motivation to take photos. Once I’ve taken five million photos, I usually procrastinate on sorting through them, choosing just a handful of them, playing around with colour balance and such, and then adding them into my almost-complete blog post. Once I’ve done all of that, I will reread and edit my blog post about ten to twenty more times before finally publishing it. For most posts, I probably delete at least half of what I wrote, and most of my posts are still way too verbose. “Concise” is not my middle name.

What am I currently working on?

I just (almost) finished my brother’s birthday present two nights ago, which is the third Grainline Studio Portside Duffel Bag I’ve made. Yes, there is a blog post draft about all three of them, but two of them haven’t been photographed yet and I actually still need to finish two of the shoulder straps.

I have a half-assembled dress lying around that is a pattern test and is due in a few days, so that will hopefully be the next thing I’ll finish. I’ve discovered that the suggested construction method doesn’t work with my fabric at all, so once I’ve hit “publish” here, I will unpick that and try again.

Right next to me on the couch there’s a pile of stuff (fabric, lining, zip) for a winter coat. I desperately need a new one. I don’t want to wear my shabby old coat any more this winter! I am planning to rather drastically change the pattern I’ve chosen, so I should really make a toile of this soon. I’m sure this project is somewhat overambitious, but then where is the fun in sticking to things you know you can do?…

Next to that pile, there’s a skirt that just needs some hand-finishing and a pair of pyjama trousers I made for my boyfriend quite a while ago on which I need to fix the too-tight elastic. Those two will probably be next, after the dress.

That’s just a few of my unfinished projects and plans, but that will have to do. If I keep writing, I won’t ever get anything done!

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