The Writing Process Blog Hop comes to town!

Carolyn sitting at the computer

Am I about to write something brilliant??

Do you find yourself yearning to know more about me as you’re sipping your coffee each morning?  Are you constantly thinking, “I wonder what Carolyn’s doing right now?”  If so*, you’re in for a treat, because I was recently nominated by the very talented Kat over at The Couture Academic for the Writing Process Blog Hop!

*I sincerely hope no one is doing this.  🙂

Kat is one of those sewing bloggers that I not-so-secretly wish I could meet in person someday because I suspect we would get along fabulously.  Her attention to detail in finishing her garments with couture techniques is admirable, and I really enjoy her positive attitude and genuine love for sewing.

Anyway, onto the questions!

What am I working on now?

Pink striped Archer in progress

My latest project is another Archer, similar to my previous one, this time in baby pink shirting with bright pink accents.  I happened to stumble upon more of this Robert Kaufman Oxford shirting that I love sewing and wearing, so of course I scooped some up immediately.  Plus, I was on a roll with my last Archer and figured I’d keep the momentum going!  I really enjoy wearing these shirts, and they fit perfectly into my everyday wardrobe.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

For a long time, I couldn’t figure out what my “sewing style” was.  Now that I’ve been sewing for a few years and have a gallery of finished projects to peruse, I think I’m starting to figure out my signature.  I’d say that I sew modern, practical separates with a focus on fit and craftsmanship.

I have a very active job (running around the lab) and urban lifestyle (walking is my primary mode of transportation), so I need clothing that allows me to move comfortably and protects me from the chilly weather.  I’m also a perfectionist and enjoy taking my time with my sewing projects, so I always make a muslin of new patterns, adjust the fit until I’m happy with it, and construct sturdy garments that will withstand many washings and wearings.  Occasionally I’ll sew a pretty dress, but it will be fully lined and fully functional (i.e., a slippery lining to wear with tights)!

Finished Project Gallery screen shot

Some of my finished garments

With respect to patterns, I rarely buy new ones (I only purchased one this year so far, and it was a total fail!) and choose my purchases very carefully.  Do I like the style?  Is it functional?  Can I see myself making multiple versions?  I much prefer to select a few basic patterns and crank out a functional wardrobe that I know will work for me.  I also find that most new patterns these days have a fairly feminine style, which is really not my taste.  Where are all the indie pattern designers with an urban/streamlined/androgynous vibe?

As for my writing, well, I am verbose.  I fully admit it.  🙂  I can’t help it though, I swear!  Brevity is just not in my genes.  I enjoy getting out all my thoughts on a particular project and sharing the details of what worked and what didn’t.  Some sewing bloggers will write a short paragraph or two and then bombard you with gorgeous photos, but I personally prefer to provide more explanation.  I figure if people don’t like reading that much, they can just skim the writing and look at the photos, right?  🙂

Why do I write what I do?

I write for two primary reasons: (1) for myself, to document my adventures in sewing and crafting, and to refer to later when I make another version of a pattern; and (2) for others, to review patterns, highlight their quirks and any fitting adjustments I made, and to share any knowledge that I learned along the way.

Being part of the online sewing community is immensely rewarding for me.  I’ve learned so much along my sewing journey by reading other people’s blogs, and I hope that I’m contributing the growing body of knowledge and helping others along the way.

Boston area meet-up brunch

Pattern Review Day in Boston, July 2014. Can you spot me? (Source)

How does my writing process work?

As I’m working on a project, I make a mental list of things I want to write about.  Common examples are pattern modifications, new techniques, and any interesting details that I’ve added.  I make sure to take photos illustrating each of the items on the list, and then I try to explain what’s shown in each photo.  Sometimes I find that I want to write about something and don’t have a photo for it, and I’ve gone back and taken an additional detail shot to capture what I’m writing about.  Sewing blogs are all about the photos!

Although this process seems to work for a sewing blog, it’s actually not my preferred method of writing at all.  Ideally, I like to carefully craft a story that flows from beginning to end, choosing my words thoughtfully and creating a certain mood and tone.  I find this really hard to do when explaining sleeve plackets and broad shoulder adjustments though!  Perhaps one day I’ll write an all-text post and indulge my love of prose… but will anyone read a post with no photos??  Hmmm….  🙂

And now for my nomination…

For the next stop on the blog hop, I’d like to nominate Molly of Toferet’s Empty Bobbin.  If you’re not already following Molly, I’d highly recommend checking out her site!  She has a similar style in sewing patterns as me — modern, streamlined styles that fit into her professional wardrobe.  She also does a bunch of really creative custom embroidery pieces, often with an edgy vibe.  I dig it.  🙂

Molly is also one of the very few sewing bloggers out there who isn’t afraid to share her brutally honest opinions on various sewing-related issues.  She recently wrote a post about blogging networks that’s worth a read, and her post on the ubiquity of t-shirt patterns put into words exactly what I had been thinking.  I find her honesty refreshing and thought-provoking.

So Molly, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on why you choose to write what you do!

4 thoughts on “The Writing Process Blog Hop comes to town!

  1. The Writing Process Blog Hop is such a great idea! I love to read about what,why, where, how the process takes places…especially if it links to sewing! Great blog post!


    • Thanks Natalie! It was fun participating, and it’s always nice to reflect a bit every once in a while. And of course, it’s another excuse to talk about sewing. 🙂


  2. I follow some craft blogs that focus more on embroidery and I’m pretty sure this same blog hop was going around those blogs just a week before I noticed the garment sewing blogs take it up. I suppose, like me, there are enough people doing a little of both to make the jump!


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