Thinking about Sewing Blogs - Information, Inspiration & Authenticity

 
I've been blogging for over four years. That's a long time in the blogging world, and things really have changed in that time. Hobby bloggers have become professional businesswomen, books have been released, challenges and meet ups are frequent and there is so much scope for inspiration. There have been two series of a primetime sewing-based show on UK television! The world of sewing blogs is buzzing, and it has led to me think about what I like to read on sewing blogs, and where my blog fits in.

I read blogs for information and inspiration. On some blogs, I enjoy looking at the pictures and outfits created and am content with never seeing the inside of the garment or reading about the process of making. Elsewhere, I appreciate the lengths some bloggers will go to to explain how they made a garment or equally I just enjoy the tone of other blogs and it doesn't matter how much or what they make.

Overall, it is authenticity which is most important. On my favourite blogs, I really feel that the blogger's true voice comes through and their blog reflects their personality. When a blogger is always blogging to an audience or pleasing sponsors, I find it dull and skip through posts. Sometimes I might make a mental note to come back and read them at a later date if they have made a pattern I like or have written a tutorial for something I want to try.

Sponsored posts are fine if they are relevant and not too frequent. I also get bored with seeing the same patterns and products on numerous blogs. It's a small world and like many people, I read a lot of blogs so it can be boring if everyone is talking about the same things. Especially when I don't have the time to try and keep up with the newest patterns, then everything is a bit overwhelming. It can be easy to feel left out though I do feel that I am happy pleasing myself rather than trying to keep up with the most recently released pattern. Sometimes it feels like things have got a bit cliquey in the sewing world and I wonder if new bloggers find the world a bit inward looking.

It is great to see blogs becoming successful but disappointing for long term readers when this leads to a shift in content. More than that, when a blogger always has her audience in mind and the focus is always on 'creating content' rather than sharing their personality or the things that really matter to them, it becomes obvious in the tone of the blog.

What do you think? Is that selfish of me?

My least favourite type of blog is the one which has been set up purely for the purpose of building a brand, although I want to keep this discussion general and not name any blogs. There is one blog I can think of which always leaves me a bit cold because it presents quite a prepared 'character' and feels cynical in how it is developing, as if the efforts to reach out to the sewing community are purely for the means of growing the blog and increasing revenue. Although it does provide useful technical sewing content, I rarely read the posts for these reasons.

So this led me to think about how my own blog fits in. I don't have the knowledge to provide lots of technical information but I hope that my blog reflects my passion for sewing and knitting, using vintage patterns from the 1970s and 80s, and shopping in charity shops. In the past few years I have developed an improved sense of what I like to wear, what suits me (I hope!) and what I like to sew and knit.

I have met some great people through meet ups and enjoy connecting with people on a regular basis through Twitter and email. I have taken part in some blog hops and reviewed a few things but I believe these have been relevant and hope they have been of interest. It's always nice to get offered something for free, provided you don't have to go too far off course to meet obligations. It's interesting trying to maintain a balance between writing for myself and also providing things that other people will be interested in reading. I can't imagine not blogging, but do wonder how it the blogging world will change and develop. For example, so much commentary now takes place through Instagram and Twitter rather than blog comments.

Now I wonder where to go next? I have thought about doing some outfit posts, as most of the stuff I wear is now handmade or charity shopped and of course this is something I like to talk about. But I wonder if this would be of interest and also if I would even get the chance to take the photos! One thing I am currently working on is a series of posts about fabric and yarn shops in Glasgow. I have chosen 10 shops and will be posting about them once per week, beginning shortly. 

So what do you think about sewing blogs? Or about this blog? This is a bit of a brain dump-type post but I've been trying to pull together some thoughts I've had on blogging for some time so I'd love to know if this resonates with anyone.

K x

117 comments:

  1. i totally agree kerry. there are a few blogs that have dropped off my reader recently due to the number of sponsored posts and series that were appearing. if you are doing a blog tour say for a book (tillys and tasia's sewtionary spring to mind as the most recent ones), if you have reached out to a load of popular bloggers - say with over 1k readers - everyone is following them and so has basically read a very similar post 15 times! i like lauren lladybird's approach to show a tutorial from the book.

    i don't want to read "what i did at the weekend" if it's not about sewing! I can forgive holiday posts or whatever but i don't want to read a "series" just so that you have something to post on a thursday. just tell me what you've been sewing! i do like it when bloggers introduce you to other bloggers tho, but i am painfully bored of this blog hop (and that's nothing to do with the fact that no one has nominated me - sob!).

    am very aware that my last few posts have only been minerva ones - i have been really lax on blogging recently so i need to sort that one out. lots of sewing, but no time to blog! people will be complaining about me soon!

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    1. Thanks for your comment Jo. Don't worry I don't think anyone will be complaining! I realised that a lot of my posts had been finished objects, because I had a small backlog I finally got around to posting and that did lead me to think, like you, people might be bored. But I think people read so many blogs that these things are generally absorbed into the mass.
      (p.s No one has asked me to do the blog hop either!!)

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  2. It most certainly resonates with me. Two blogs I followed 'before they were famous' have become so shamelessly promotional that I do not feel the same connection with the author at all :( I think it can be done, but the writer needs to have the committment to put other stuff than promotional posts in, the same as they would have done before. My favourite blogs are people who sew what they fancy, although I am always interested to see the latest thing too even though I can never keep up....personally, I like outfit posts because I have a tendency to repeat the same stuff and seeing what others are wearing in the real world (not models) is inspirational. I hope blogs don't die out in favour of the other instant platforms as you can't connect in such an in depth and personal way on them.

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    1. It must be a hard balance that's for sure and I think bloggers must work hard to get a balance. Don't forget your roots! I'd be sad if blogs died out too though.

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  3. I don't blog but do read quite a lot of blogs, finding new ones all the time, and am much happier with infrequent sewing posts rather than regular 'sponsor' posts, although I enjoy the window into people's lives on other non sewing blogs! So no consistency there! I think I am trying to say I agree that the writer's voice must come through for my interest to be maintained, regardless of frequency of posting x

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    1. Hi Jenni
      Yes I'd rather have sporadic quality posting too then a schedule of diluted posts and I agree so strongly that the author's voice makes the blog worth reading

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  4. Although I agree with everything you've said and it's all very interesting...bring on that list of dream shops in Glasgow! And take me with you for 'research' by all means ;)

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    1. I'm working on it! I'm trying to get around them as much as possible to get a few posts in the bag

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  5. That's a food for thought post and a good one too. From a personal point of view, I don't mind seeing blogs with a few sidebar adverts that have relevance to someone's blog, but it turns me off completely when there are loads of sidebar ads for this that and the other - and even 'buy me a coffee' sponsorship links. As far as I'm concerned blogs are free to read and I wouldn't want anyone stumping up for me - as if they would!!

    I think you can tell the blogs - like yours - that are written by true enthusiasts by their content and the real love they have for their topics. There are too many blogs out there that are 'style over substance', with pretentious artfully shot photos and twee 'insightful' posts. I'd rather read something that was honest, such as if someone made a mistake with their sewing, but learnt from it and passed some tips onto their readers.

    P.S. Some outfit posts would be good - I always enjoy reading those :-)






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    1. I'm fine with a few adverts too but the more there are, the more you think that they must have some influence on content. Even in terms of wanting to attract more advertisers. I'd love my photos to be a bit better but I don't have the time or equipment so that'll never be the main feature of my posts. Thanks for your comment and I hope I'll get some outfit posts in! :)

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  6. I have a lot of similar thoughts/feelings. I have completely lost interest in some blogs that I used to adore. When it comes to my own blog I know I don't sew or knit enough to have regular content (ie - more than once a month), but I would love to blog more often. I don't use twitter or instagram, so feel somewhat left out when it comes to that.

    I like seeing what people make, so sewing and knitting posts are great. Outfit posts are fun too, because I like to see different ways people mix up their hand mades beyond their initial post.

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    1. I like seeing handmades worn as normal too, though I find the Me Made May barrage too much for me - I've participated in the past and it's s good idea but it does take over blogs a bit. Thanks for commenting - look forward to reading your posts when you get a chance, it's hard to find the time :)

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  7. i think that sewing blogs are generally a very positive thing. However, there does seem to be a proliferation of marketing activity which is a turn off. I find book tours particularly tedious as one is treated to 15 semi sycophantic reviews of the same book. At least when patterns tour about, there are different fabrics on different bodies.

    I was particularly narked by the recent UK blogger meet up and sew together session which seems to be a lesson in clique-y-ness. Not sure why I would be interested in seeing pictures of people sewing at a session (repeatedly as I

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    1. I pressed publish in haste .. I shall carry on
      Not sure why I should be interested in pictures (repeated on the different blogs) of folk sewing at a session to which I wasn't invited. I'm surprised none of the posts were titled 'I'm in the cool gang and you're not!'

      But, all that said, we can vote with our feet and stop reading. I have done just that with one blogger whose posts are all about promoting her business and telling us how exciting it is - while it's brilliant that people are making a living from their passion, and from sewing in particular, I can hold that thought simultaneously with finding it bloody boring to read about.

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    2. Hi Miriana
      Thanks for your comments. The marketing on blogs has really stepped up hasn't it, and companies are discovering the power of bloggers. Especially as people don't really say anything negative but would rather leave things out and not refer to them. There have been so few imstances of critique that they become almost notorious

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  8. I am with you on this. Authenticity is the word I think....I love blogs that have a true voice...like yours. I do lean towards the creative/making and vintage blogs because they interest me most, but there's nowt much more disappointing than a blog written to sell things. I simply stop reading them. There are plenty of fab ones.
    xxxx

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    1. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoy the blog. We are definitely spoilt for choice these days with so many new blogs popping up

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  9. I have been thinking about this lately, too. I want to read and see pictures of makes from bloggers that are purely home sewers. The second someone releases a book or a line of patterns (with exceptions of course. I have always loved Tasia and Christine Haynes and Jennifer Lauren.) I hate sponsored posts, Mood sewing network junk, Minerva junk. I just want to see what you sewed for fun and maybe what you did last weekend while wearing it.

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    1. Hi Amy
      I love some of the sewing lines where the patterns are really different from anything else available and are well drafted and with great instructions. As you say Tasia is a great example (I haven't used the other 2 so can't comment). But some of the other ones I have no interest in as I don't like the patterns.

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  10. I don't tweet and I don't Instagram. I think the deluge of picture and comments would send me off to my sick bed. I still love blogs, despite the growing commercialism. I just ignore the articles that have to do with books or ugly new patterns I wouldn't care to sew. I do come across enough new information to make it worth my time. And I love outfit posts, I follow a lot of non-sewing blogs. So yes do put up whatever you like, I know how to read and I know how to ignore, it's always my choice as a reader!

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    1. Yes you're right, there is an absolute wealth of information out there on blogs, I have certainly picked up a lot of helpful tips from online - after I took a beginner sewing class all the inspiration and most of the inspiration I got came from blogs.
      Thanks for your comment

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  11. I totally agree. It's been fun watching people turn sewing & blogging into a sustainable job - but not so great when it feels "clinical". I do miss some of the good 'ol blogs that used to be before they went mainstream.

    I'd love to see and read about the yarn & fabric stores in Glasgow, Kestrel. Happy blogging. :D

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    1. Thanks Liz, I'm working on a few posts about stores which I hope will be useful for locals and visitors. Most of the shops don't have great websites so it's hard to know what to expect.

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  12. I don't know, I am very new to blogging, I don't need much technical advice and i just read them to look at pictures for inspiration and read about how easy to make things were or what the sizing was like. I try to put in my blog what I want to see in others, like showing your mates what you made and chatting about it.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Vicki, sounds like you are enjoying blogging and that's what it's all about :)

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  13. This was a really interesting post, Kerry, and it really chimes with how I have been feeling about sewing blogs. Like you, I have totally stopped reading some of the bigger sewing blogs where the blogger has a book/sewing pattern to sell. I really don't begrudge anyone their chance to make a living, and if they can make a living doing something they love, more power to them. But being sold to ALL the time is actually kind of offensive - twitter is particularly egregious on this score. I don't mind the odd sponsored post either, but as someone said above, I find the sewing blog network posts a bit of a turn-off. With the exception of the Mood network (of which my awareness is reasonably limited) the sheer size of the networks is off-putting, so you're seeing posts from them constantly. I get that free fabric is difficult to turn down and there are benefits to being part of the network but, yeah. It turns me off.

    I really feel what the commenter above has said about the sewing blog community being cliquey, too. It is. In one respect I can totally understand why - I have been lucky enough to make both online and real-life friends by blogging and of course I am excited about seeing them and spending time with them. But it really does limit conversation and it limits open discussion. This was really evident in the 'conversation' about pattern testing - so many of the comments along the lines of "it makes me sad to see people being so negative" were actually really silencing. I stayed out of it - mainly because I was on holiday at the time - but it did bother me. I read and occasionally post on GOMI, and while it is often too bitchy for me, I think there is a lot of sense and a lot of honesty on those forums. Of course, you can't openly SAY that on sewing blogs because GOMI posters have criticised some sewing bloggers and "OMG it's so negative whhhyyyy are people so mean?" Hm - yeah, I guess what I am saying is I find the constant niceness of the sewing blog community a bit restrictive and cliquey too.

    I think sewing blogging is in its awkward teen years. We're in a funny place where a lot of the bigger names are starting to make money from it, and that can be a bit polarising, and it's causing some angst. But it's good to see honest, thoughtful posts about it like this. Thank you x

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    1. Your point on the silencing effect of niceness is an excellent one - to the extent that I felt reluctant to name the blog I unfollowed (it was Tilly and the Buttons in the interest of injecting a bit of meanness). Those aiming to make money from their sewing related endeavours need to cope with a bit of criticism.

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    2. Thanks for your monster comment Roisin!
      Interesting you mention GOMI because I discovered their craft forums by accident recently and it was truly fascinating. There are definitely some horrible and plain bitchy comments in there but I did agree with so much of what was said, particularly in relation to bloggers releasing patterns.
      I agree that the closed world makes it hard (impossible even) to comment negatively but of course this doesn't have to be in a harsh way but more as constructive criticism. There are a lot of people who are so fiercely loyal that this will be a hard thing to happen. One of the comments I read (on the Michelle Tres Bien Ensemble blog post I think) was that designers who have been trained are used to receiving criticism of their work and are able to not take it personally, and probably even seek it out, versus amateur designers who are not used to it. I thought that was an interesting point.

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    3. Ah your original post Kerry and all these comments are fascinating!!! Thanks so much for opening (or continuing) these discussions. Roisin made some points that are spot-on in my book. I think the whole 'pattern testers/reviewers clique' debate/debacle was really interesting as it allowed how a lot of people feel to come to the surface. I personally took a lot from it with the release of my own sewing pattern. Yes, I did get some of who I imagine to be the 'tester clique' to test my pattern. I did that because I know them personally and therefore feel that they would feel that they could give me more honest feedback than if they didn't know me personally and didn't know what would or wouldn't hurt my feelings, and also because most of them are extremely experienced sewers used to using lots of different sewing patterns and I needed that from some of my testers. However, I then decided to hold a giveaway for free review copies that was chosen by random number generator and I'm so excited to see/read what most of the new-to-me bloggers make of it.

      xxx

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    4. Hi Zoe - very interesting to hear how you tackled what has become the potential minefield of pattern testing and your reasons make a lot of sense. The giveaway was great to make people feel included and combat the idea of a clique and I'm sure will be useful for you too to get a really diverse range of feedback. In fact I met one of your new testers at a little fabric shopping gathering this afternoon!
      I do love how positive the online sewing community is and I have personally benefited from it enormously, but it can't be flowers and sunshine all the time, so if debates such as this help to get some discussion going I am delighted. At the end of the day we all want what's best for a great community.

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  14. Interesting post, Kerry. I think it is natural that we have thoughts about how our blogs fit into this ever growing world. I feel like I am a reasonably new blogger (about 18 months) and it can be difficult at times knowing what to post. I've generally stuck with my makes and experiences in the hopes that someone finds them interesting. In the time I have been blogging there have been changes with blog hops, tours and sponsored posts on the increase and this slightly irks me as my feed is full of the same products. I skip over those posts quite frequently. Obviously we all want our blogs to be successful, and I wish everyone well who wants to develop and maybe start their own business, but more often than not something gets lost in the process. I get bored of some of the bigger blogs as it seems the only thing they care about is their product. I get it - they’ve worked hard and should be proud of what they have produced but I don’t like the endless selling. Variety is a good thing.

    I don’t mind series as long as they are relevant to sewing in some way. I tend to like those that are informative or give you a greater insight into the blogger but around how or why they sew (the basis for my current series). I look forward to some of these posts. I also like to leave a post feeling like I have learnt something or come away with a new idea so outfit posts get the thumbs up from me!

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    1. Hi Claire
      I think blogging your makes and experiences is exactly what people will want to read and as you say, a bit of variety is important - so that you don't get bored never mind your readers. Thanks for your comment

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  15. Great post, Kerry. I don't have much else to say that you and the previous commenters haven't said already, and I agree with Roisin's point about sewing blogs being in an awkward transitional state.

    I feel like knitting blogs went through this about 10 years ago. After a few years of intense growth, the knitting bubble burst, brick and mortar shops started closing, and popular blogs went silent. I'm not saying that this going to happen with sewing blogs (I really hope not!), but I think the occasional rise and fall is natural. We're in a very intense rise right now with so many new blogs popping up and so many bloggers releasing their own patterns... and I suspect that this won't last forever. I'll be curious to see where it all goes.

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    1. I was thinking about knitting blogs and how I don't feel the same way about them. Two of the best (in my view) and most popular blogs are Needled and Yarn Harlot. Both bloggers manage to make money (and possibly a living) from their craft, but manage to never get on my nerves doing so.

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    2. Interesting to have that comparison, I don't follow any purely knitting blogs so know little about them. You're right that this is an intense phase and like you say, I wonder what will endure :)

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    3. Try the two I mention - they are brilliant. And show that there are patterns by someone other than Andi Sutterland!

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    4. Thanks Miriana, I have found Yarn Harlot but having trouble finding the Needled Blog as when I search I keep getting Kate Davies, who I already follow.

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    5. Kate Davies originally blogged as Needled and then switched to using her own name. I've recently done the same, switching from Knitsofacto to Annie Cholewa, it has disadvantages re. confusion but all sorts of other advantages re. scope for keeping blog content fresh.

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    6. Thanks Annie - that makes sense to me now, I thought I was being really thick and couldn't find it. I'm pleased to find your blog too - you have some great resources on there and I like your charity donation policy.

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  16. i agree, a very thought-provoking post! Authenticity is king and you really can't fake authenticity. I also agree that we are in a massively transitional stage. I have very fond memories of our Edinburgh meet up and that exhilaration of meeting so many people whose blogs I'd been reading for a while, all of us being a bit shy yet excited. Who knows what the future holds? My one hope is that our community never stops engaging with the self-moderation and mutual support that has made it a benchmark of online integrity. We all helped make that happen and it's something to be proud of.

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    1. Thanks Karen, I really enjoy meet ups and exhilaration is a good word to use for them. It is lovely to meet like-minded people. Also I agree that the 'mutual support' you mention is also a key feature of the community but we definitely have to make sure that continues to look outside and doesn't get too inward looking. We certainly do have a lot to be proud of.

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    2. Karen I completely agree that the online sewing world is pretty much UNIQUE in its respectful, generous and non-vitriolic voice. I posted a little way down this comment thread that I found GOMI upsetting - I think there are so few positive places for women (let's face it, we mostly are women) to meet and talk and interact without judgement online (or without danger that someone is going to hack us and post pictures of us in our muslins online)...! I'd rather keep things a little too sweet than go the other direction.

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  17. I agree that you can always tell when a blog is starting to jump the shark. Often I'll keep it in my reader for a few months hoping that it's just a busy time and posts will return to the creative content that made me start reading in the first place.
    I subscribe to a number of different sewing blogs, some of the bigger ones, some that appear quite small readership wise. I'm generally hoping for honesty in writing, a description of what drew someone to a particular pattern in the first place, and how a pattern wears. One of my favorite knitting blogs does a series where she evaluates the wearability of a piece, showing different combinations of the sweater/dress/etc with other clothes, how the yarn has held up, how often and in what situations it gets worn, etc.

    It's funny because I quite like the Mood/Minerva sponsored posts, I'm sure partly because I don't read a lot of bloggers in those circles, maybe only two or three, and partly because it has always seemed to me like the bloggers are just making things they would have sewn anyway.

    I am greatly looking forward to your Glasgow posts (or at least any posted before the end of October). I'll be visiting Glasgow then and have already bookmarked your post on the new yarn shop in Glasgow for a bit of shopping. Now I just need to find a way to occupy the rest of the family while I visit all your recommendations!

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I like the sound of the blog that evaluates wearability, I love the practicality of this! Glad you're looking forward to the Glasgow posts, I will definitely have a few up by the time you visit and there are plenty of places the rest of the family can go :)

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  18. I rather wonder if some of the bloggers out there that have begun to use their blogs almost exclusively to sell their affiliated patterns/books, etc are going to eventually slow down their blog posting in favor of working on other projects. I haven't really unfollowed anyone over this yet, but I suppose I would if I started to notice I was constantly skipping their posts in my reader or that the exact same info was available from multiple sources (such as in the fabric store networks). It seems that another popular blogger turned book author turned pattern designer had similar comments made about her, and she has since way decreased her posting frequency, but what content is there is now more enjoyable than it had been for a while when she was doing a lot of postings with product tie-ins.

    I like your idea of outfit postings. It wouldn't work as something I would do myself; even when I have mix and match separates, I tend to favor certain combinations, at the expense of variety. That doesn't mean I don't like to see how other people mix up their wardrobes.

    I completely agree with you that the most enjoyable blogs to read are the ones where the writer sticks mainly to writing what they enjoy rather than what they think readers want to hear. I think you do that quite well.

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    1. That is an excellent point about writing what you enjoy. Even if you only have ten other readers that agree, you are being true to yourself...and to them!

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    2. Thanks for your comment. I agree that fewer postings of higher quality is preferable but wonder if the most successful bloggers have the pressure of maintaining the number of hits to their site to please advertisers, so it works better to post more?

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  19. I've always enjoyed your blog precisely BECAUSE it's about scouring charity shops, sharing knitting patterns and being honest about what you DON'T like (Mollie Makes springs to mind!) I like the occasional blog series too, but it has to be something that interests me (like fabric shops!) or that's really useful information like the new Indie pattern releases Diary of a Chain Stitcher posts about. I don't mind a bit of personal stuff on sewing blogs as it makes me feel a bit more connected with the author, but I really read sewing blogs for advice and inspiration. The first thing I do when I have a new pattern is read through all the blogger reviews to pick up tips and fitting advice, this has saved my bacon on more than one occasion! I read a few style blogs but mostly for the pictures as I don't find what they have to say half as interesting as sewing bloggers! I'm also enjoying the Curvy Collective posts as the topics are quite diverse and thought provoking. Anyway, that's my brain dump in return! Great post Kerry and some really interesting comments too. x

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    1. Thanks for your comment Jane :) Blog reviews of patterns are really helpful to pick up on any recurring issues - Ravelry is great for knitting and I use it a lot to check out feedback but there's nothing as all-encompassing and user friendly for sewing. I know there are a few sites but I haven't ever really got my head around them.

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  20. Really interesting. I have also noticed a polarisation of readers of my blog - there are many who clearly only want to see sewn FOs and will only leave a comment if I have finished something, which gives me shocking performance anxiety when I am not sewing anything at all! I keep expecting someone to leave a comment "Stop blogging, you unproductive loser! You are boring and old and frumpy and I don't give a hoot about your owls or your socks!" Except they won't, because that would involve slowing down long enough to write something, instead of speeding through the blog-reader looking for pictures of finished frocks.

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    1. You know how 'laugh out loud' is overused? Well, this comment did make me properly from the gut laugh out loud. Possibly because it describes pretty much what I think every time click 'Publish'.

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    2. I love how you described your performance anxiety. When you can sum things up like this, I really don't think you have anything to worry about, blog wise :)
      I do understand what you mean about the comments only on finished items but personally I enjoy reading lots of blogs without commenting but might only comment when presented with a 'ta dah!' moment as that is the usual time to say 'well done'. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy seeing pictures of knitting in progress and snapshots of life.

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  21. I don't know how well placed I am to be commenting on this because I don't write a sewing blog and I do feel conscious of that sometimes which often means I'll hold back from joining in with discussions or posts. In fact I suspect my blog is exactly the kind you and Jo mean as it's just all about me and the things I like.

    I do follow some sewing blogs and it's been clear to see the recent changes with so many people jumping on the commercial bandwagon as sewing has become more popular. Even I have unfollowed blogs I used to read (Tilly's is the one which springs to mind but there have been others) when I've found they don't seem to offer posts I want to read anymore. This is the same as I do with fashion blogs which become less about the things I'm interested in - I figure that I only have a finite amount of time for blog-reading so I'd be better spending that time on blogs I want to read.

    I don't feel that I keep up with the community that well, but I do see a lot of love for the same patterns - and I guess I'm guilty of that myself to a certain extent, as I have a handful of dress patterns which I like and therefore make from again and again. I'm not sure if that's what you meant.

    I don't consider myself anywhere near skilled enough to write tutorial things or anything technical really and I guess that because I use mostly recent and popular patterns, there is so much other, better content out there that I don't need to as I'd only be repeated someone else's more articulate post, no doubt.

    I'm sorry that you feel that things are so cliquey. I'd be put off attending things, as I don't think that I count as a sewing blogger, so I don't feel as though I'd be welcome.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Char. You blog about what you like and being true to that is what makes it enjoyable to read. You shouldn't feel pressured to write tutorials or make patterns you don't want to, just to blog about it. I don't think the sewing blog world is unwelcoming, far from it, and I love attending meet ups without being phased about it, even though I'm not an extrovert. But I think there is a cliquey-ness to a certain extent as there are a few blogs which always feature the same patterns and are sent things for free and to try out. I don't want it to sound like sour grapes because I've been sent things too, but it can be so boring to see the same pattern or book on blogs over and over agin

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  22. I found this very thought provoking. The blogs that I like best are the ones from which I draw inspiration, the ones from which I learn and most definitely the ones where I feel that I have come to know the writer. I think that I detect a difference between sewing blogs and blogs that cover sewing along with knitting and crochet and indeed knitting/crochet only blogs. Is there something about the pace of knitting and crochet that makes one focus on the process rather than the finished product?

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    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the post and the comments have been fab to read.

      I like your point - knitting and crochet are so much about the process. I have come to realise this myself through making things over the last few years. I do knit to get the end result I want but if I don't enjoy the process then forget it - no point. That's why I can't be doing with metal needles and acrylic yarn when wooden needles and natural fibres are the business, and patterns designed by actual knitters (Kate Davies, Ysolda to name two) are so much more enjoyable to make than patterns which have been made by companies, as they are designed with enjoyment of process in mind and it shows.

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  23. I've unfollowed many a blog I've followed for years. When a post starts "those lovely people at" by heart sinks and I can rarely be bothered to read further. Blogs I enjoy offer a variety of subjects, I like to know the person, admire their outfits, congratulate them on what they've made and see what they've found in charity shops. If I wanted advertising, professional photos or sponsored posts I'd buy a magazine. xxx

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    1. A good point well made Vix, thank you.

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  24. You have certainly touched upon a subject that resonates with a fair few people just now! Like so many others (it seems), I've been thinking about this kind of thing recently wondering whether and how to put it into words - so thank you for the post, which is more eloquent than I would have managed.

    I am with the majority commenting here, I think. The blogs I enjoy most are the ones which have (or at least project) a genuine personality. Like you, I don't necessarily need lots of garment construction notes, sometimes some nice pictures and a couple of paragraphs about the day you've had is much more interesting to me, but I can appreciate the more sewing-centric posts if they are telling me something useful about a pattern or a technique I might want to try.
    I am not really bothered by sew-alongs, blog-hops, book-tours, indie-releases etc etc one way or the other. If the participant is someone whose writing style I enjoy reading , I will probably enjoy the post. If it is someone I find a bit tedious at times I will probably skip or skim that post.
    I also don't mind the Minerva/Mood/White tree fabric/name-an-online-fabric-store-here blogger posts; they are generally not much different to other garment posts by that writer, so I think if I objected it would just be sour grapes that I don't get free fabric!

    However, I do agree about sponsored posts / blogging as a business; this is where they can often become formulaic and loose that personal style. I have not yet taken anybody off my reader because of this, but I do find myself employing the "mark as read" button more frequently with some bloggers. (this is not the blogs that just have a couple of ads in the sidebar - just those where each post is geared to pleasing a sponsor/selling a brand... and I know the "XX blogger network" posts are sponsorship, but they still usually get a pass from me)

    Anyway, I have more to say on all this, but this is already a long comment just to say "yeah, I agree".

    (I anticipate some more of this kind of discussion in the next few weeks... I think you might just have opened a floodgate!)

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    1. I agree that the blogger network posts don't bother me either because they don't usually mark a departure in what the blogger makes. I never look at the blogs of the actual fabric retailers where I presume the garments are often posted in more detail but I don't find these posts jarring. Thanks for commenting

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  25. I think this is a well-written and well-thought out post. Yup, the community is evolving and who knows where it will be in a few years. Funny - I'd never heard of GOMI till I read this comment thread - and boy, after a quick read of the forums - it's f***ing disheartening. Are those are two options? Be too nice or be vicious trolls? It was actually upsetting to see young women, who are doing their best to be entrepreneurial with their passions in life, being trolled for pages and pages and pages. I 100% agree with you that blogs are getting too "same-y." I personally love Two On Two Off, Miss Cidell, the Slapdash Seamstress - basically bloggers who regularly post about more advanced and tailored makes. And yes, I no longer follow a lot of the blogs people are talking about here - but it makes me sad to see that this kind of Reddit style sniping is where our community is going.

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    1. It's not like there are only two options. GOMI isn't exclusively nasty. I dispute the use of the word "trolling" too. The threads about bloggers/designers/whatever are giving space to the discussions people want and are entitled to have. That's not always going to be positive. It is often nasty - that's one of the things that comes with anonymous commenting - but it's also often not. Personally, while my interactions there are limited, I've been relieved to see people asking questions or expressing frustrations with the community because you certainly don't see much of that coming from within.

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    2. Yes, I get that - I think the thing that upset me was seeing a 6 page thread of quite harsh and very judgmental critique of someone I know personally. They weren't even critiquing her sewing skills (she doesn't offer patterns). It felt was very personal and if it was me I would have felt extremely wounded. But yes, you're right, there were people supporting her in that thread too.

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    3. Thanks for commenting Caroline and Roisin. I think part of the problem is that there is nowhere else online to write any criticism (or vent frustration as you say Roisin), so that the GOMI forum has become a hub to vent. It can seem meaner to see it all in one place and maybe pushes people to make more vicious comments than they might otherwise. I agree that some comments and threads have veered into personal comments which are mean and bitchy but discussion and critique of products should be encouraged.

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    4. I don't read the sewing blog threads on GOMI, so i can't really comment, but I've got into the habit of reading a few GOMI threads on fashion bloggers fairly regularly and I have generally found the commenters to be really funny and not at all malicious. Sure there are the ocassional people making comments that are out of line but they always get called out really quickly. People are actually often making really helpful and constructive suggestions for practical things the blogger can change.

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  26. This is such a thought provoking post and you express some of the things that I have been thinking for a while. I get really fed up reading about pattern blog tours and the book tours especially (naming no names). I no longer follow the blogs of the worst offenders, if I wanted to bombarded with overt promotion I would buy mags (which I don't) or watch TV (neither). I like a blog with a good personality, and there are some great ones that I follow which are about charity shopping and/or sewing, both things that interest me. In the sewing ones I am not too fussed what they show, pictures of pretty frocks are fine as are "how to's". I also love to see vintage patterns made up and a bit of knitting. I read a LOT of blogs and have noticed that there is definitely a lot of promotion going on now with sponsored posts and this makes me a bit sad in a way as it takes away the emphasis from the author onto the product. Anyway, I am too knackered to make a decent contribution but will say keep up the good work and I am really looking forward to you series on Glasgow shops. I can't think of 10 so hopefully there will be some new ones for me to visit. xx

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    1. Thanks for your comment, glad to hear you are looking forward to the new series on Glasgow shops too :)

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  27. I found this all really interesting too- great discussion. I suppose people are all different and blog for different reasons and in that way will appeal to different readers. It is interesting that things can change over time and blogs by their nature can quite often capture those transitions. I know it's something that we all say, and often, but I do feel exceptionally lucky to be able to share my love of sewing and handmade with other like minded enthusiasts- I mean who else would understand that my first attempt ever of doing numerous toiles to attempt an SBA and then finding out I should just have cut a size smaller was funny!? And to make real life sewing friends ? Wonderful. I too will always remember that Edinburgh meet up with such happy memories! Kerry as for your blog didn't we always chuckle at those Monday patterns ? And I used to be so inspired by your charity shop finds - you seemed to have such a high score rate you almost got me inspired enough to venture out at lunch time. Maybe this has all moved on for you, but I also like the way you sew vintage for everyday. Keep up the good work!

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    1. Hi Winnie, thanks for your comment. I do feel very lucky to be part of a great community and I suppose it is only natural that it will change and develop over time and it will be interesting to see how. Glad you enjoyed the charity shop posts, I do have some more to do so maybe that will inspire you! :)

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  28. A well written post and a really interesting and honest conversation in the comments! I'm commenting on a mobile so will write more when I get to a computer!

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    1. Look forward to hearing more from you :)

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  29. I've started feeling the same way lately with blogs. I blog as well, but I know I don't have a very big readership - and that's ok! I enjoy blogging mostly for my own catharsis. It's like if I can put my projects out there, it feels like they are more worthwhile even if no one ever sees the post. It doesn't make much sense, but oh well. I mostly blog to please myself. I occasionally put up crochet patterns I come up with for accessories to published patterns I make up, and I do tell about any fitting issues/changes I make in sewing patterns just because I always find those helpful on other people's blogs if I am making the same pattern. I also don't see anything wrong with using affiliate links on my blog as long as the opinion is completely my own. Case and point: I blog about Craftsy classes I take. I am a total fan-girl for their classes and I only blog about the classes I have actually taken myself, so I can give a true "review". I see other bloggers make comments like, "Don't worry, none of these are affiliate links," like that would be a terrible thing if they were. I don't see anything wrong with it when done in moderation. After all, if my review is causing someone else to look into this company for the first time I am helping them out. Anyway, sorry if this is kind of random, lol. I don't like blogs that feel too stylized and salesperson-like, but I won't shame someone for making money with their blogging time or getting something for free.

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    1. Hi Megan, I think blogging to please yourself is the best way and people do connect with it. With affiliate links, if people are clear about them then that's the main thing. Thanks for commenting

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  30. I have been blogging for a year now and reading for six months before that, I find I am drawn towards those blogs that show a passion for sewing and a personality that shines through. I am fed up with super stylized photos that wouldn't look out of place in a magazine, it bears no resemblance to my life or my sewing. I like it when bloggers are honest about there makes and actually share there opinions with a bit of pep. What a great debate you have started.

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    1. Thanks Louise, the debate has certainly taken off!

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  31. Such good points both your and the comments above - seems many have the same issues.

    I too am getting very sick of essentially the same type of blog post. I like to see different garments made up on a variety of people. I love your vintage makes and used to love the hilarious pattern fronts you used to do. (I realise this is quite a commitment to do regularly, but please do more!) I like your knitting posts and you have introduced me to some new patterns.

    Whilst I would never wear the 70s style myself (wrong shape) I love seeing what you are up to, you always make the garments look super wearable and not costumey.

    I love to follow bloggers who don't follow the crowd, sew to their own style and aren't constantly advertising.

    PS - I love that I have met you so I can read your posts in your accent :)

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    1. Thanks for your comment Liz, it does seem that many of us are sharing the same views about repeated posts and like bloggers who do their own thing. Viva la difference!

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  32. Wow. What great reading for a Wednesday lunch hour! I love an honest blog and as everyone else has pointed out, you can spot them a mile off. But there is no shame in a sponsored blog or a business blog. They are just different. It's not compulsory to read them or connect with them if you don't like them there are thousands more out there! I like mostly to do my own thing from vintage patterns or Burda but if I see something new that works I'll try that too even if it means joining the masses. And if I think its great I will indeed big up 'those lovely people'! Incidentally I'm never paid for such bigging up.... not yet that is! ;-)

    Keep on keeping on Kestrel Makes. Yours is a keeper! x

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    1. Hi Janene, thanks for your thoughts and kind words :) I was just thinking about business blogs actually and I think in that case the situation is upfront because the reader always knows the background to the blog. With personal blogs the lines are more blurred because often the blogger has built up trust with the reader by blogging in a 'free' manner previously, and too much marketing at them will make the reader feel exploited.
      But of course we all have choices, so just as long as the boundaries are always clear and readers will vote with their feet (or whatever an appropriate online equivalent is).

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  33. Lovely to see your blog posts, with regards your question about outfit posts, I think you've answered your own question! :-) If you are being honest to yourself, and posting about things that are interesting to you, I think your readers will appreciate whatever your content is, equally if you don't feel you have enough content and are just trying to find things to write about, then that will come through in the post. I loved your post, very interesting to see your opinions, I do go on twitter sporadically but must admit I find it difficult to be a part of the conversation there, and feel more comfortable commenting if I find something interesting. I think it may just be because I'm not used to twitter and that I need to throw myself more fully into it. For now I am very much enjoying reading comments, and joining in if I feel the need.

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    1. Twitter doesn't work for me either. I don't see how you can join in the conversation unless you're on there all the time! That's why I like Facebook, for all it's flaws.

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    2. I think you do have to use Twitter regularly to make the most of it, the information is so fast flowing that you to keep up to date with it and also not be afraid to speak up

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  34. I am so glad it's not just me! A couple of years ago I used to get excited by new posts in my blogroll but now find myself scrolling through trying to find ones worth reading. I'm really only interested in seeing what people have been sewing, particularly patterns that work well for people of a similar shape to myself. I'm so tired of the endless blog tours, if only a few bloggers took part they would not be so bad, but now there are actually itineraries published, with in excess of 30 bloggers posting about the same thing! I'm also totally turned off by commercial blogging, I understand that they are trying to promote their business but would it hurt to at least do the odd post about something they have sewn using somebody else's pattern that is not new and up for review? Thanks for this timely post, you've managed to put into words exactly how I've been feeling and opened up a platform for discussion that is not available anywhere within the community. Please do more outfit posts and charity shop finds that's what I want from a blog!

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    1. Perhaps we have reached maximum saturation point with blog tours? I agree that some do have huge numbers of blogs involved. Often though, the blogger won't know how many people might be involved and only finds out once they have committed or even posted. I've been in that situation of agreeing to do something and then being annoyed with myself that I didn't ask how many other people had also been asked because I then felt bad that people were reading the same thing on my blog as many others.
      (thanks for the outfit post/charity shop vote too!)

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  35. There are so many comments, I didn't manage to read them all!

    This is all interesting to me, because I am not a sewing blogger, though I've finally taught myself to sew and it's something I plan to blog more about, though I think I will always approach it from an outfit post direction, because that's what I started as as a blogger in 2008 and I'm hardly in a position to give technical advice. I've sort of been watching the sewing blog phenomenon from the sidelines. I can see that you guys have a lovely community, but it does feel rather cliquey at times.

    It's also interesting how many people above have said that they only want to see sewing related post and don't want to know what people did for their weekends. I guess I'm very different, I like blogs that cover a lot of different topics, and I think they are a lot easier to keep fresh for the blogger, because you can just let things develop and change with your interests. This is certainly how I've approached blogging, I never rebranded or made any grand mission statements, I just started posting about different things as my life develops. I was quite close to being successful at one point, but I actually found that incredibly stressful to maintain and it had a negative impact on my day job, which obviously isn't ideal. I'm much happier now when there's no pressure and stats to keep up. I really think I'll never stop blogging now, for me it is part of my general interest in creating things. I'm proud of my

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  36. (Sorry, blogger cut me off, was obvs getting too long!)

    ... Blog even if no one reads it!

    The other thing worth mentioning here is that fashion blogging (of which I'm also not really a part) is going through a similar crisis. There's a post by final fashion recently about having a funeral for fashion

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  37. (And it's happened again!)

    Blogs, now that all the successful ones are basically walking adverts full of affiliate links.

    And I'll leave it at that before blogger chucks me put again!

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    1. Thanks for your comments Franca, interesting to hear from your perspective. You're right about things changing on your blog, as I have found that once I 'settled in' to my blog, the things I now write about are maybe not the same as when I started, plus my situation in life has changed so now I want to talk about some different things but I'm not sure how they fit in.
      I mostly follow sewing blogs and yours is one of the few more lifesyle/fashion-type ones that I follow. Personally, I'm not always looking for technical sewing stuff so it is nice to have a mix, plus I like your charity and vintage finds too.

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  38. I love this post and have been reading through a lot of the comments. I have been having a bit of a struggle with some of the same thoughts. At the moment it's around thinking of other things to do because I've not been making as much, and I'm about to start making stuff for other people and don't want to bombard blog with that.
    I also was planning something similar around fabric shops which is funny - but I'll maybe hold off now! Coincidences :)

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    1. Ooh I just beat you to it on the sewing series! Sorry, but don't let me put you off, you might read my posts and think they're rubbish! :)

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  39. What an excellent discussion! Totally get where you're coming from with the highly commercialised blogs. More power to the folks that manage to make a living out of something they love but the constant barrage of self-promotion really puts me off. I'm all for variety when it comes to other sewing blogs so seeing an onslaught of the same content just makes me keep scrolling.

    I only started really sewing garments in March - call me a toddler-sewing-blogger - so I'm still really trying to find my feet when it comes to showing off my makes. I absolutely love your charity shop finds and your blog seems really well balanced to me! It's your blog and I think that sincerity comes across when you blog what you like. Yo do you! I am really looking forward to your tour of Glasgow fabric shops!

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    1. Thanks Amy, glad you enjoyed the discussion and I hope you will enjoy the shop posts too!

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  40. I have a solution that works for me. I don't write a blog and have no intention to start one. And so I follow a gazillion and one blogs. I do it through Feedly, which I check a couple of times a day. Agains the name of the bog which has a new post - there is the title and perhaps the first 5 words...and I know what I want to read that day. Which , in practice, means that I read about 10 a day. But I keep the rest, because there was something, or some things in those blogs, that I liked. And then, from time to time, I purge the list if I can't remember what some blogs are about or why I put them on the list.

    p.s. I don't like it either when a number of blogs have entries about the same pattern at the same time. So I miss those posts.

    p.p.s. as someone before me has written here - blog for yourself, you may make it private, like a proper diary!

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    1. Thanks for your comment. Sounds like you have a good grasp on your blog management which is great, so you don't waste time on anything you don't like :)

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  41. I enjoy the blogging. Not the flogging!

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  42. It's funny, I'm in a slightly different sphere with reading non-clothing sewing blogs rather than clothing specific ones, but I think I have some similarities in my feelings towards them.

    I don't like people that have just gone commercialised, along the lines of 'whack a BlogHer ad on here and let the bucks roll in'. To that end, I also don't like it when people promote things that are nothing to do with their regular blog topics - eg pimping some new cosmetics on your quilting blog.

    Constant sponsor posts irk me. And now I know you're laughing at me, roughly every Tuesday! I got handed the 'Finish Along' as a done deal in certain respects, and doing an advert per sponsor per quarter was part of the deal. At least I get to choose what I highlight, and what to say, but I can't wait for the year to be over and for it to be passed on to someone else! (Note that I personally get nothing from this, but each quarter there are a large number of prizes from sponsors that I 'virtually' hand out)

    My own metamorphosis has gone from irregular progress reports on all sorts of random things, to daily posts (I think just to prove to myself that I could) and then this year I realised I was writing a bunch of shite, and who needs to read that every day anyway... Now I post several times a week, and I try and share progress on things at least once a week. I would seriously love to share more, but if I'm making for publishers, I can't show things in advance of the publication, and with a full time job I often don't have time to make much else to show. It's a challenge!

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    1. I agree it's really jarring when a blogger promotes something that's unrelated to their usual content. It's nice to see progress posts and share in how a project is going. Maybe that's more interesting with quilting projects than with clothing? I don't know, I think for large scale and longer projects it can be nice to see the development.
      Thanks for your comment!

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  43. Great post! I read this post the other day, and have checked back a couple of times since to read the comments, and didn't have much to add that hadn't already been said, but something has hit me this morning! I think the one thing that tends to bug me most of the blogs I follow is book tours - I completely get that the author/publisher wants to get their book out there, and people want to hear about it, which is great. BUT, I'm never 100% sure if I can trust their comments, because they got it for free. And not because they got it for free and they want to please the author/be nice to their friend, but because you are inevitably less judgemental of something if you haven't had to pay for it. If I got a book for free, even if I only found a few bits in it useful, I'd think 'well, it's still worth having (of course it is, it was free!). If you have had to pay hard earned money for something, you're much more likely to be critical. So I read all the posts about how xyz book is amazing and so useful, and I'm sure it is many of them are, but I find it hard to know from all the blog posts raving about it. I have, on more than one occasion, bought a book based on such reviews, to find it's not actually that great at all. I would LOVE to see some book reviews from people who have actually paid for the book. They've bought it because they think it's right for them (as opposed to just being given it), and I'd love to hear whether it lived up to expectations. Hmm, there's a thought for some future blog posts! On the other hand, posts from pattern testers showing off a new pattern don't really bother me at all, and that's because the patterns/finished items speak for themselves much more. I look at those posts, like I look at most FO posts, to see what the pattern looks like, and decide if it's something I might want to sew myself. That is something that is much harder to cover up, no matter how much the blogger may rave about the pattern.

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    1. Hi there - interesting point about the book tours and how you regard something you get for free. I think FO posts on new patterns are a great idea from the pattern maker's view as continually seeing a pattern often helps to sway you to its possibilities. Or if the styling of the original pattern is off-putting to you they have an effect. That being said, there are some patterns I know are definitely not for me, no matter how many versions I see - that's when it gets dull!

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  44. This is such an interesting conversation and the comments are really educational to all of us who blog. I think it comes down to one main difference between blogs- whether you are a blogger turned business, or a business that has a blog. For me, I'm the latter. I've been writing a blog as a running support to my business for nearly 10 years. The early days of my blog are long gone when I went from a ready-to-wear business to a DIY business, but never did I consider myself a "blogger". Rather I have a business and I blog in support of that business.

    I agree with many of the other comments that say they get annoyed when their favorite blog becomes a platform for the blogger's new business, and I think it really stems back to the difference to the blog's origin. My blog was never a "blog" per se, the way yours is, where you document your makes, etc. So those blogs that were pure that are now mostly selling to us feel changed, and in not such a great way sometimes.

    From a business perspective, I completely understand why this happens, as this has become their job, but if you read the blog for the personal angle and now it's all business, it can lose its appeal for sure. I am sympathetic to those that no longer have time to blog their makes for fun, since they are now running their own businesses and that takes more time than anyone can ever imagine. Most of us cannot afford to pay for a full-time blogger while we run our businesses to keep everything going. But I too have lost a bit of love for certain blogs that are no longer speaking in a way that I once loved.

    Sponsored blog posts are only annoying to me when they have nothing to do with the blog itself. For example, a when blog I read recently was posting on hair curling and teeth whitening tips. These have no relevance to why I read this blog and really annoyed me. But if it has to do with the topic at hand, it doesn't bother me so much. Personally I have turned down many sponsor opportunities because I couldn't endorse the item and hopefully others are doing the same, but one tends to wonder when sponsored posts come up often.

    Anyway, this is long now, but I think this is a good conversation to have from both a reader and writer perspective. I read tons of blogs, both sewing and non-sewing related, and when the voice changes it can be hard to take because we've gotten to know the writer and it's like losing a friend. In some cases, we actually know these people and that can make it even harder to see it veer from the reason we started reading their blog in the first place.

    Thanks for the conversation and to all the thoughtful comments!

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    1. Hi Christine
      Thanks for your comment and I'm glad you've enjoyed reading what everyone has to say. I've found it fascinating too. The difference between business blogs like yours and personal blogs is interesting isn't it- with a blog associated with a business the lines are very clear and the reader knows what background the blogger is coming from. It's that blurring of lines with personal blogs which is difficult to negotiate - the feeling of personal trust which can be challenged if the reader feels they are being marketed at, especially when the products do not appear to be the things the blogger would usually be interested in. Talking to my friend Jen about it today, she compared it to when you start reading a magazine article and then realise it's actually a sponsored advert written to look like an article. You feel a bit duped.
      It would be great if it was easier to make money from personal blogging as it does take an investment of time, but it's not worth sacrificing what readers you may have for the odd sponsorship opportunity that forces you to compromise what you like to blog about.

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  45. Wow! What a conversation! Great post and definitely. Lots of food for thought.

    Personally, I follow a variety of sewing blogs. I like to read about people's lives, but I also like to read about the sewing process, whether it's brief, or detailed. Ultimately, like a lot of people above, I like the bloggers whose personalities shine through. I also tend to prefer blogs that are well written, but not exclusively so.

    I have to say I haven't hugely noticed a change in some of the blogs as mentioned above. Maybe I am just oblivious, or maybe it's just that I tend to skip the posts I am less interested in.

    I get the perceived cliquey-ness, and it does irk me, but I also get that these people are genuinely friends. The same patterns/books etc doing the rounds do become tedious, but again, I just skip the posts if they feel old. I actually quite like blog hops etc, depending on the questions, as I like to find out more about people and their thought processes. In fact I've just been nominated, and was going to nominate you!!! Might check with you first on that one!! :)

    And from me, yes to outfit posts, yes to charity shop finds, and yes to the Glasgow series!!!

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    1. Hi Helen
      Nicely summed up there :) The blog hops I am thinking of are the promotional ones rather than the question asking ones. I don't mind them as I'm nosey and I like to know about people!

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    2. Oh right! Yes, with you on those types of blog hops!

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  46. I don't have anything to add that everyone hasn't already said. But I did want to give you props on the way you've responded to everyone. Allowing everyone to have their voice, making sure that they know that you've understood what they've said and putting an unbiased or positive spin on all of it. I seriously commend you.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. It has been truly fascinating to read all the comments, I feel really pleased with how much everyone has engaged with the issue. It definitely shows the passion we all have to keep our community working.

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  47. This has all been fascinating! I definitely understand where you're coming from but I love reading blogs for the variety - some very business-like and professional and others blogging for fun and everything in between. Coming at sewing from a hobby and attempt-to-be-green/thrifty point of view,I find bloggers who churn out clothes to be more irritating than those who have sponsored posts. I always wonder what the ethics are of buying all that fabric and whether those people really need as many t-shirts or pretty dresses as they make. Total judgement on my behalf,I know, folk can sew and blog about what they like but personally I relate more to hobby sewists/bloggers who make maybe one or two things a month than those who have a new item of clothing to show off every second day. I find posts using thrifted or recycled fabric more inspiring to me personally because it sometimes feels like anyone can pick something from a fabric store but not everyone has the creativity to refashion a garment or harvest fabric from something else. It feels more attainable to me, as a hobby blogger and sewist with no sponsors or unlimited funds to buy fabric!

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    1. Hi Amy, thanks for commenting. I am also interested in the ethics of sewing too and have been thinking recently about my personal ethics - I rarely buy clothes new but I have bought some new shoes recently and also have a pile of fabric (though not a massive stash). As you say, it's great to have a choice of bloggers to read and ther's sure to be someone out there who's interested in the smae things as you.

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  48. Being a blogger is very overwhelming, but being a reader seems to be worse sometimes! I follow a lot of blogs but feel like 30% of them are worth the read. Mainly because the other 70% are full of ads, promotions, or the blogger selling their own products. Granted, I know my blog posts have mainly only been my Minerva ones, but I love that it's forcing me to post. I'm currently pregnant, so I haven't been posting as much but I have been sewing up a storm. I find it hard as a blogger to post interesting posts. I typically just post finished garments and a review of the pattern. I do like these on other blogs because if I'm thinking of making the pattern I want to know all the "gotchas" or if it's even worth it in the end. I try my best to explain what I can in my own posts. I do tend to ramble though (like here in this comment LOL). I'm trying my best to be a good blogger, but I figure 1-2 posts a month about an actual garment is better than me posting boring posts about nothing!

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    1. I think it's definitely better to post when you've got something to say, rather than for the sake of it. Then readers will look forward to your posts. Nothing wrong with pattern reviews, always helpful to know any pitfalls.

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  49. Followed a link from Puu's Door of Time to get here and boy am I glad I did. You've articulated very well and thoughtfully a lot of things the sewing community is facing. It's a difficult growth spurt and in time it'll sort itself out. Intend to follow blogs that make me laugh, teach me something or inspire me. It did take me a while to sort the 'growing a business' blogs from the personal but I blame my newbie- ness.

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    1. Hello there, glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for the link back to Puu's Door of Time too

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  50. I'm very late to this post but have just read all the comments. I largely have the same issues with things like book tours and blogs that are suddenly all about the products. The difficulty is that as soon as you have a product, you are a business and you need to make money in order to survive. So you try to make money in as many ways possible and try to get as many people to write about your stuff so you reach people that don't directly follow you. I can really understand how this is annoying to some, but I'm also wondering: how could it be done better? How do you think it's possible to keep a balance in surviving as a business and still not become annoying because of that?

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    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for commenting. For me, the line between personal and business blogs is the problem. For example, when you read the Colette Patterns blog you know it's connected to their business and although they post a range of content and get good interactions with commenters, their role as a business is clear. It can be difficult if a blog has begun as a personal venture but then turned into more of a business. Not always, some bloggers seem to manage it. Sarai of Colette did have her own blog, which I used to follow, but stopped posting a while after Colette took off.
      I imagine that some companies just see blogs as a cheap way of promotion and although it can be nice to find out about some new and relevant products it often seems to be the same blogs who feature products and while of course companies want the most popular blogs on their side this risks being dull for the readers.

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    2. It is a very difficult balance to keep. Mixing business content and personal stuff is difficult. Both time wise and the way they reflect on each other. I've been thinking about my own blog since I read this post and am working on a concept for my new blog, that will hopefully keep that balance. Thanks again for writing a thought provoking post!

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  51. I've been blogging four years too, and have seen the sewing blog scene change so much. It's like a big club of self promotion now and the new PDF patterns everyone promotes are just not very interesting. I've seen my own taste change a ton. When I first started I was really into vintage, then I became a kids sewing blogger sort of. I also post my work from the theater and now I just make what I want. I used to worry about page views and my ad revenue and started getting really commercial too, but I got burned out. Now I just want to have fun again.

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    1. Hi Justine, I really enjoy your blog - you wrote a great post a few months ago which was about things you'd learned (I think) that included a bit about sewing bloggers knowing their value, which really stuck with me. My own tastes have changed since I started blogging too and now I'm interested in writing about different things too and with less time to sew and blog I want to make sure that I'm enjoying it.

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say