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.