My writing process blog hop…

The gorgeous Margo of Sewing in the Gap nominated me in My Writing Process blog hop because she liked “the honest place from which she writes about sewing and life in general.” That made me smile, I’m often too honest and open for my own good – that’s just how I am.

Margo of Creating in the Gap

Margo of Creating in the Gap

What is the Blog Hop all about? It’s simply answering four questions about your writing process. I’ve found these posts really interesting. While we often focus on the sewing process and the makes, it’s interesting to know about people’s blogs from their writing approach.

1. What are you working on at the moment?

From a writing point of view… the Jeans in June/July post – it’s been in the works forever! Apologies! Must keep typing. The kids have kept me manically busy with an onslaught of dance & drama eisteddfods, school concerts, major school projects and more. I’ve written and sewn much less during this period as I’ve valued my ‘downtime’ on the lounge – one needs some time to wipe the drool of exhaustion from their chin. I’ve been happy to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour some nights – it’s the little victories that you must celebrate. I don’t think I’m any busier than anyone else, we all have crazy days. Unfortunately my 2014 crazy days seem to have been wedged into August-September-October. I think we are hitting a calm patch (touch wood).

Sometimes the exhaustion that comes with helping your children fulfil their dreams results in some beautiful memories...

Backstage warm-ups. Sometimes the exhaustion that comes with helping your children fulfil their dreams results in some beautiful memories…
That’s my Zoe in the red top.

From a sewing point of view… my obsession with Japanese sewing books has returned. It’s hard to believe this time last year I didn’t own a Japanese sewing book… and now I have… eight. So expect some Japanese makes coming this way soon.

and this time last year I didn't own a Japanese sewing book. Shape Shape 1 is on loan from a friend.

and this time last year I didn’t own a Japanese sewing book. Shape Shape 1 is on loan from a friend. Pattern Magic is missing from this shot.

There is a plaid jacket on it’s way… I actually going to make a muslin because I want this coat to fit ‘just so’ (I know, I fainted too at the thought of me making a muslin. This.never.happens).

My ready-to-wear inspiration, the fabric and the pattern....

My ready-to-wear inspiration, the fabric and the pattern….


2. How do you think your work differs from that of other writers in your genre?

I don’t think it does.

Perhaps my backdrops are almost always outdoor and often on my local beaches – however there are plenty of bloggers who photograph their makes on the beach, like the fabulously talented Handmade by Carolyn.

I tend to sew a rather wide, & at times wild, variety of garments. I’ve stated many times that I don’t sew for practical reasons, although I do produce clothes that I wear. I’m inspired to sew for personal and creative reasons. Sewing is my mental yoga and I am rather addicted to colours, patterns and shapes. Sewing provides an opportunity to experiment and I find the endless variety addictive.

From a writing perspective I think I don’t differ much either. The very nature of this sort of blogging is that we write about ourselves and our sewing. I guess my ‘voice’ is unique to me – like any other blogger. As Margo pointed out, I tend to write from the heart… for better or worse. My favourite writing style has always been ‘first-person’ and I’ve written a good deal in that vein – for myself and others – in my professional life. Sometimes more of ‘me’ escapes into text than I intend. Often I hate that in hindsight – but that’s what makes me ‘me’. I’m an extroverted thinker, I tend to verbalise all my thought processes (with lots of arm waving) – where some others ponder things silently, I talk as I work through a thought (yes it annoys me too), often ending up at a completely different place… that is reflected in my writing.

I think my blog is like so many blogs in the sewing genre. I’m on a journey. You are invited to come along and read my rambling and browse my snapshots. The roads we choose and the terrain we cover may vary greatly, the people we met along the way may touch and change our lives. That for me has been the most beautiful and unexpected thing that blogging. The fusion of writing and sewing has bought to me a new view of the world and myself, and wonderful friends.

3. Why do you write what you write?

I often ask myself that one! I often write late at night, around midnight. It’s one of the few times I don’t feel that I am short-changing my family. Some nights I’m sleepless and writing is a productive alternative. Other nights I’m stressed after a long, long day or I’ve had to endure a difficult person or situation – like so many hobby bloggers. It’s impossible not to let those things slide into view – or type – well for me at least. If I was writing a ‘how to sew’ blog (note: definitely never going to happen LOL) or something along those lines, I would write in a vastly different way. However in this space I’m writing what I consider a ‘personal sewing blog’… so that’s what you get – for better or for worse some days (sorry about that!).

Sometimes I’ve written things that are raw and honest – and sometimes I wish I could unwrite them. However that feels dishonest so I leave them there, it’s part of the journey. Sometimes people read things into them that aren’t there… but that’s life. People bring themselves to a text, filling in the gaps and making assumptions which they view as ‘fact’. I share some of my life but definitely never all of it. I’ve got some personal ‘lines in the sand’, I think everyone does.

Sometimes what I wrote two years ago is starkly different to what I think or do now – that’s the interesting thing about blogging.

4. What’s your writing process, and how does it work?

When I’m feeling inspired or happy, my fingers fly across the keyboard. Words, or the ‘gift of the gab’ as my father called it, has always come easily to me.

Blog writing is vastly different to writing that I do in the context of my IRL job. Work writing is often very considered, necessarily neutral and edited within an inch of its life by many different people for a variety of reasons. Most days you just have to suck it up and ‘toe the line’ professionally.

I don’t want my blog writing to become like my work writing. I blog write ‘off-the-cuff’, flippantly – particularly in reference myself. I often think that the Aussie attitude gets lost in translation, particularly type. Not much I can do about that – I love an Aussie turn of phrase and most of all the self-depreciating manner, the slight irreverence to authority and so on.

Often I write posts twice as long as what I end up publishing. Because I think and write in such an extroverted fashion, I tend to wander off on a mental tangent before meandering back to what it’s supposed to be about… the sewing!

Sometimes when I’m sewing a song, an idea or something that has happened (good and bad) pops into my head. Those thoughts become part of the garment and work their way into the post and become a theme. For me, the writing and the sewing are inextricably linked, one is a reflection of the other. Generally those are happy or silly things… sometimes not. ‘Happy’ is back on the sewing menu and I’m sewing for the sheer hell of it at the moment – just like I used to in the early days of my blog.

Who’s next?
This was an easy pick for me.

Anne of Pretty Grievances.
Anne’s was one of the first blogs I found… and remains one of my favourites. Her personality bursts out of the screen and pops down next to you on the lounge. I’d love to have a meal with Anne, although I might choke on my chutney from giggling too much.

I’m convinced that no one else could have dragging the sewing world kicking & giggling into the full embrace of animal print via Jungle January. We have entered the fabric jungle and Anne is leading the way with a machete in hand! She’s a truly unique voice – and I shall never look at any catwalk photo the same way again.

Love this picture of Anne because the speech bubble kills me every.time.

The one and only Anne of Pretty Grievances: When I'm not complaining, I sew….

The one and only Anne of Pretty Grievances: When I’m not complaining, I sew….

Amanda of Bimble & Pimble
What’s not to love about a sassy sewing gal that types a sentence like… “I think I may be a boat neck lady in my noggin but in real life I am Baroness von Scoop Neckington. But what’s life for if not living on the edge – neck meat covered up and all!”. There is no one quite like Amanda.

Amanda of Bimble and Pimble

Amanda of Bimble and Pimble.

This is one cool sewing chick and she is one of the most beautiful & funny souls IRL.

So over to you ladies!

25 thoughts on “My writing process blog hop…

  1. You talk about saying too much sometimes – but I can’t think of any time when I felt like you overshared, or winced and thought, “Ooh, she’ll regret posting that!” You just sound like you, and that sounds very normal to me. On the other hand, I would dearly love to hear you in a video so that I can read your words with an Aussie accent and attitude! Pretty please????

  2. I agree with Gillian! What I love about your writing is the ease with which you seem to be able to share who you truly are! Someone who can do that the way you do gives me the sense that you know who you are. It’s something I struggle to do. I too never think that you over share. 😉 You just make me feel like I know you…..

    • Thanks so much Margo and I enjoyed writing the post – it gave me lots of food for thought. I’m often surprised when I met people when they say ‘oh you are just like you are on the blog – but shorter than I thought ‘ LOL well I just write like I think and talk – so if we ever do meet… you know exactly what to expect!

  3. I’ve lived in an acquired an Aussie family. The Aussie “attitude” (as you call it), really suits me, and without having really thought about it, I think that is one of the things that draw me to your blog. I’m always homesick to Australia, and reading your blog posts and seeing your gorgeous photos from the beach or the bush helps.
    Also you make beautiful clothes, which I also love to see 🙂

    • Australia is a broad and beautiful land – and I guess Australians are as well – like every nationality. I travel a bit but it’s always lovely to come home, our way of life and approach to life is like a battered old armchair, familiar, relaxed and comfortable.

  4. Thanks for sharing. I am loving getting to know bloggers better through these hops. I don’t often comment, but I do love your blog. I don’t ever have the feeling that you have over shared (something I think I can be guilty of myself), but I do think your personality absolutely shines through!

    • Thank you Helen. I feel so comfortable when I write – and sometimes I worry I get too comfortable. However I’ve made some extraordinarily lovely friends through blogging which has been a blessing. I just write like I think and talk – that’s what I love about most blogs, the people behind the photos and the text, that’s the most compelling part. xo

  5. Interesting. My writing process is similar to yours in that I write as I go along. I don’t know how to plan posts. I just write what I think at that moment and sometimes it shows. I love what you make and sometimes I wish I could be as prolific. Oh well….one day.
    Your pictures as well are really nice. I love the beach and the ones that look like you in the jungle. What I love most though are the ones on Instagram that make it look like you are in the matrix.

    • Gorgeous Dibs – one day you will be so prolific! You have a little buy to look after and the hours and days whizz by when you have little people in your life – I certainly didn’t sew much at that time!
      Thank you so much for your kind words, and I’m glad I am not alone in my writing straight out of my heart. It feels natural.
      LOL my Matrix pictures are in the lift at work. It’s the only access I have to a full length mirror – it’s just that the lift is covered in mirrors – very confronting on a ‘tired face’ day!

  6. I have loved reading your blog since I first found it. Your honest, matter of fact writing style is fabulous! And the fact you make gorgeous clothes! Just makes me want to try harder so that one day I can make something that looks more RTW than ‘homemade’!

  7. I love your blog and, as others have said, never felt that I’d read something you would in time regret saying. The honesty and fun of your personality comes through so well, as does the Aussie side, which add to the enjoyment of it all for me. Like you, I love the down to earth attitude and fun quirks of speech from Oz – don’t change a thing, you’re great! 🙂

    • Thanks Maxi, I’ve been trying to school myself to edit myself less if that makes sense. If I talk a certain way I think I should also sound like that one my blog… if that makes sense!

  8. Love, love love your blog. I am a fairly new sewer, but I’ve found that I love making coats for myself. In this post, you talked a little about a making a plaid coat and showed a little of the pattern. Is this a self drafted pattern or a actual “pattern” pattern? I would love to know what it is. Also I am finding that I too like japanese sewing books.

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