Musing about blogland

Just so you are not totally photo deprived, here’s another Renfrew I made.

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I added 2 inches at the waist and I like this length a lot better than the last version. It’s pretty loose and comfy – perfect weekend wear. The fabric is lovely quality cotton lycra jersey from The Fabric Shop, Fitzroy. I bought it last winter and the colour is a big departure from my normal palette but I do like it. I now want a more fitted work-appropriate knit top, but I think I’ll try a different pattern rather than radically alter the Renfrew.

But what I really wanted to talk about today was blogs. My first sewing community was PatternReview. I posted a review of this little dress that I made Althea for her first birthday and people on the other side of the world who didn’t know me left nice comments!! I was so excited. The forums were warm and friendly and very helpful. PatternReview really kept me encouraged and sewing and  I am very grateful to everyone there.

I noticed that quite a few sewists on PatternReview had blogs. The blogs had more pictures, it was more customisable, and I just knew that there was another world that I would like out there. However at that time I was in the very, very torturous process of writing my PhD thesis and another distraction was not what I needed. So I read blogs sporadically when I came across them and would not let myself get a blog reader.

Post thesis I set up my blog reader and away I went. It took a while to find blogs and liked, and importantly to drop the feeds from blogs that drove me crazy (…..seriously talking about yourself in the third person, not my cup of tea). Several blogs that I only found late in their lives and loved have disappeared but I am learning that is the way of blogland: we all have real non-virtual lives and our passions wax and wane.

It’s taken me a while to settle into blogland and I still don’t comment on blogs as much as I would like. My big issue is that I do the majority of blog reading on my phone (I use Reeder for MacOS) which makes it very easy to read blogs during my lunch break, or a spare snippet of time I have at the park when the toddler is amusing himself (it does sometimes happen), but very annoying, if not impossible to comment on blogs. Blogger blogs, actually it is impossible. So I mark as unread and then a week later when I open my laptop the moment has passed.

There are so many lovely blogs that I enjoy reading and now I have finally managed to (manually, laboriously) import 25 of my favourite blogs into WordPress reader so that they can appear in my sidebar. The list is ugly – someday I’ll work out a better way to display them. (Gosh I wish I’d chosen blogger back when I started this blog – widgets! bloglists! bah!)  I want to spread the blog love so please do check out the blog list. There are some gems, I hope you enjoy!

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Monkey dress

I hope no one’s reading my blog hoping for couture sewing methods and high fashion. Because what I have for you is a monkey dress!

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The pattern is Simplicity 3572 which is now out of print. The pattern contains lots of dolls clothes in three sizes for both knits and wovens. This dress should have been made in a woven, but ages ago when I decided to make this dress as an Althea-and -me project I let Althea choose the fabric and she chose this stretchy interlock. It made making this much more annoying than it should have been.

I actually had some unexpected time alone with Althea today, so dredged the cut out pieces and finished this off. Althea sewed on the machine on some scraps and did some pinning but basically I whipped this up while she mooched around and waited.

This is not my finest work, but really it is perfectly fine for a stuffed monkey. She wants me to sew the straps down like on the pattern illustration through (never misses a trick that one!) rather than my quick and easy halter.

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She’s happy!