Friday, 3 January 2014

My top 5 inspirations from 2013

And we're in the home stretch of Top 5s!  Just this and 2014 goals to go!

Inspirations is a toughie!  When I first bought a cheap sewing machine, my plan was to do machine embroidery and maybe make a few bits and pieces for N.  I had no plans to start sewing garments for myself.  However stumbling on the world of sewing blogs changed that!  I realised that you didn't have to have been sewing since you were a child to be able to make beautiful, great fitting clothes.

I've picked a few areas where I feel really inspired, by bloggers and others.

1) Pattern designers

By that I don't mean established pattern companies like Colette or Sewaholic.  But some of my favourite bloggers have released their own patterns this year, both free and paid for.  I can't get my head around the process of doing this and how complicated it must be, but how cool to see people making, wearing and loving something you have designed!

Source: House of Pinheiro
 Rachel's Brasilia dress

The lovely Katie from What Katie Sews also mentioned recently she was working on releasing a pattern she had designed - can't wait to see!

2) Refashioning

Source: Charity Shop Chic
When I arrived at the epic blogger meet up back in April, I almost squealed to see a dress I recognised and loved that I had just been reading about - Sally's fabulous Mad Men shirt dress!  And no post about refashioning would be complete without a mention for this talented lady.  She totally inspires me to have a go at refashioning.  I just need to find some time for scouring charity shops - I'm sure I don't have her vision of what the most unpromising items could become!

3) Sewcial media

 Some bloggers have such a skill for bringing people together.  From the top 5 posts you are reading now, started by Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow, to the blogger meet ups and swaps organised by Rachel, Claire, Marie & Kat and many many more, and the Spoolettes spearheaded by Clare, sewing people love to get together and chat together!  Especially if there is fabric shopping involved.  Or drinking.  Or both!

Whether it is online or in real life, a lot of people spend a lot of time and effort coming up with great ideas to spread the sewing love and that is pretty inspiring.  A few mentions (I couldn't possibly cover everyone so please don't be offended if I have missed you off!):

the aforementioned Gillian from Crafting a Rainbow
Rachel from House of Pinheiro
Claire from Sew Incidentally
Kat from A Krafty Kat
Kerry from Kestrel Makes
Joost from Make my Pattern and creator of the Sewcialist logo and Firehose
Lady Katza from Peanut Butter Macrame
Heather from Handmade by Heather B
StephC from 3 Hours past and Cake Patterns
Clare from Sew Dixie Lou

4) Beautiful photography

I've seen some recent blog posts talking about sewing blogs turning into fashion blogs and being all about photography and less about sewing. These are not the blogs I read. I want to read about sewing but I don't see why you can't have clear pics and great interesting photography. OK, so all we really need is daylight and non blurry photos but it's hopefully more interesting when I manage to get pics somewhere other than my back garden being photobombed by a 5 year old and a grumpy cat! 

I know I appreciate it when bloggers work hard with pics (as long as i can see the clothes obviously!).

Some honourable mentions:
Rachel from House of Pinheiro (is there anything this girl can't do?)
Lizzy from Sew Busy Lizzy
Sally from Charity Shop Chic
Carolyn from Handmade by Carolyn
Janene from Ooobop
Clare from Sew Dixie Lou
Rochelle from Lucky Lucille

I still have work to do on my blog pics - the winter is hard when you can't incorporate an outdoor photo shoot into a family weekend! I'll never be able to take hundreds of pics to choose from (the 5 year old wouldn't stand for it!) but the ladies above and others inspire me to get better!

5) Dyeing fabric

I used to do a lot of fabric dying, tie dye etc as a student and thought those days were past! But I've become inspired to pick it up again for a few reasons.

On holiday in the summer we visited a beautiful shop where the owner created lovely batik scarves and sarongs. I wanted to buy fabric but at upwards of £40 a metre it wasn't going to happen. I really want to try making my own. Imagine the great border prints you could make?  I'd also like to try shibori and other natural dyes like Sally and screen printing like Carolyn.  Sadly these are summer projects unless i want dripping fabric everywhere so I'll need to wait a bit.  

So that's it - my inspirations! 

Only goals to go - just need to work out what they are!


  1. I can't believe the amount of inspirational sewing bloggers out there. I'm so pleased to have met some this year, the sewcial aspect of sewing was something I really didn't expect but it's such a huge bonus. I hope there are lots more meetups to come this year!

    1. sewing bloggers are the best - i would never have started if it wasn't for them (and that would have been so weird - can't imagine not sewing now!). i hope to see you at more meet ups this year too!

  2. I like your list of inspiration! I would like to work on my photography as well, even though I do like to take pictures. I need to put more thought into it. I'm so jealous that you got to meet with other seamstresses & bloggers! I hope you have a wonderful year ahead! :)

    1. Thanks Kathy! Maybe you'll get to meet some people this year as there are a few near you I think? Look forward to seeing your new year of makes!

  3. Thanks for the love darling. Its been fantastic following your journey and I'm looking forward to see what you will come up this year xx

    1. Thanks Rachel. Same to you. Hope to see you again soon!


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