Thursday 6 November 2014

Catch Up and Blog Hop

Well I've had an awful few weeks, can you believe my other cat, Barney, got sick and also had to be put to sleep.  We estimate he was around 18 years old which is great going for a cat, but the timing is terrible and I have been incredibly upset about it.

Barney in his younger and fatter days, RIP my friend x
I've just returned from a fitness retreat weekend in Koh Samui, Thailand (thank goodness for all the workout gear I managed to make recently!) which proved to be a good tonic and I hope I can move on now.  All in all 2014 has not been a great year and this has definitely showed in my blogging and sewing output and quality - while doing something I love should provide comfort it seems that I need to be in a place where I can properly focus and enjoy the process.

There are worse places to do a workout!

Fabric shopping in Hong Kong (where I live in case you don't know!) is another matter though so I am all set to welcome the return of my sewing mojo.  On that note "couture a la mode" asked where my print workout fabric came from - this is not helpful I'm sure, but it was from the fabric stalls on Ki Lung St in Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong.  It's total pot luck what you will find and tends to be mill ends so you have to get it while you can, that one has already gone I'm afraid.

Before I get on and post the things I have made this seems a good time to respond to the meme that is going round (or gone by now!) on blog writing and reflect on the process a bit.  I was nominated by two bloggers I follow - Tia Dia at Mezzocouture and Elle from He Cooks She Sews.

What am I working on now?

Right now I am just finishing up more Fehr Trade workout gear and have traced a dress - Burda 10/2014-101 and pulled fabrics for a bunch of cardigans.  The weather here is starting to cool down so I am thinking about garments for fall, but with a summer holiday planned over New Year I want to make some resort wear too.  Be warned my blog will be all over the place in the next few months!

How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I'm not sure it does really, I'm certainly not trying to be different, teach, or to monetise my blog.  I focus on the finished product with a few details here and there if I think it might be useful. I mainly use Burda magazine patterns with a sprinkling of Vogue designer patterns.

Why do I write what I do?

I remember when I first discovered Pattern Review years ago, 10?, I loved seeing other interpretations of patterns.  From there I found sewing blogs which I loved even more because you could get to know the personality and style of the sewer behind the blog a bit.  After a few years lurking around I decided I wanted to give a bit back to the community and my little blog was born and I started commenting ang getting involved on a small scale.  Through this and despite living a long way from most of the bloggers I follow, over the years I have been lucky enough to meet many fellow sewers which has been fantastic.  On a more practical level, thinking about the blog post is in the back of my mind while I sew which I think helps me when I am problem solving or find something particularly brilliant - or stupid!

How does my writing process work?

Ah, I started answering that above! In addition, I might take photos mid construction, otherwise it's usually all about the finished garment.  While I don't use a template, my finished garment posts tend to all have the same basic structure - I am not a creative writer at all so this helps me get off the starting blocks.  The post title is always the pattern name or number, there is always a picture and link of the pattern and photos both on the dress form and on me.  My photography skills are down there with my writing skills so this last step is what always holds my posts up, but I think it is invaluable to show most garments on a body, I certainly appreciate it in other blogs.  Then I slot the words in around that, sometimes I will have jotted down some notes while I was sewing, other times I refer to the mid construction and detail photos to remind me of key points I want to get across.  

In summary it's just "I made this and here it is, I do/ don't like it"!  Thank you all for reading it and making me feel a part of this great internet community.


  1. So sorry about your kitty baby :( I lost a cat this year and it was much harder than I could have imagined. I still swear I'm going to see her come around the corner when I open my bedroom door.

    So nice to read a bit about your process. Can't wait to see the Burda dress.

  2. Super sorry to hear about your cat - that's tough to deal with for sure. I hope your SewJo returns soon -- maybe you can find mine whilst you're at it. We're off to HK for a few days in Feb...I was wondering where there is to fabric shop?

  3. Sorry to hear about Barney. It must be very quiet in your apartment without the cats.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about Barney, and that you were able to get away to such a gorgeous setting for a while (albeit for exercise, which is worse than cleaning the house, in my mind). The year 2014 is soon to be left behind, and here's to your mojo and fun sewing. I'm looking forward to seeing that dress you've traced off. :)

  5. My condolences for Barney. He lived a good life.

    I really love your blog and sewing and have done for a very long time.
    It's that simple, you either like what you've made or you don't. And to me that's always refreshing.

  6. Sorry to hear about Barney that's a pretty good age for a cat isn't it.

  7. Barney was so lucky to have you as his Mom! I know how hard it is to lose our Pet People- each one has a distinct personality and a special place in our hearts.

  8. Very sorry for the loss of Barney. They certainly leave a gap. Here's to the next wee while having more nice things in it to ease the troubles from your mind. Your blog is one of the first I found and I continue to love your matter of fact approach.

  9. Our condolences for Barney. He is undoubtedly more comfortable where he is now, and grateful that you helped him transition with dignity and saved him from suffering. But it is hard for use who are left behind. Take care. Grief and mourning need time.

  10. So sorry to hear about Barney.

    I've followed your blog for a while now and I continue to enjoy your writing. And I love to get a little glimpse of life in Hong Kong through your writing!

  11. Sorry to hear about Barney. Our animals hold very special places in our hearts and when we lose one, it cuts like a knife and is very hard to deal with. I hope each day gets a little easier.

  12. So sorry about Barney. Companions are the best and their loss can take time. I hope you find comfort soon.

  13. Allison,
    Truly sorry to hear that your Barney is gone. I always enjoyed seeing your kitties in the background of your photos. And Barney has a wonderfully expressive face with his white-spotted muzzle.

    As the craftytraveller said, your blog is one of the first I came across and I love your no-nonsense, direct approach. And you do cover really useful techniques, particularly when you fix a problem and show your to-the-point solution!