Someone other than my mum reads my blog!

I had a nice surprise Sunday morning, to find that a very sweet blogger, Danielle from One Small Stitch had nominated me for the Liebster Award, which other sewing/crafty bloggers 'pass on' to blogs they enjoy and follow. Nominated blogs are to have less than 200 followers, so it seems like it helps newer or smaller bloggers get a bit more of an audience and helps people find blogs they may not have without a long journey down the internet rabbit hole. 

Now I've only been doing this blogging caper since January, and I get pretty darn excited if more than 20 people look at my blog each day, let alone leave me a comment on something I've made, so it was really lovely to have Danielle make that gesture. She's asked me 10 questions, so I will do my best to be  intriguing, talented and witty with my answers....

1. Why did you start sewing?
My mum taught me the basics when she decided I was old enough not to sew over my fingers. I remember the sewing room was her walk in wardrobe in a house we lived in when I was about 8-10 years old. She always sewed (so I suppose there's the answer!) and I just absorbed from her that being able to make something yourself was potentially always an option. I sewed basic stuff on and off throughout my teens and early adult years, then was given my machine by my fiance's mum a few years ago. I recently (in last 6-12 months) started garment sewing in earnest after finding the fabulous online sewing community, the resources of other sewists blogs and the fantastic range of independent pattern designers springing up. I keep sewing because I love it - I love beautiful fabrics, I love the challenge of being able to make stuff for me and my loved ones, and I love that it engages the left and right sides of my brain at the same time!

2. Five words that describe you: 
Optimistic, untidy, cat-lovin', perfectionist, kind (I hope!).

3. What is your favourite make?
There's a few that I am really happy with, but I think in terms of the scale of the project and the occasion  I am most proud of my New Look 6000 that I recently made for my friends wedding - it was the first time that I had lined something, I added a kick pleat to the pattern and felt pretty good wearing it!

4. And your least favourite?
It's a toss up between my utterly crapola recent attempt at pants, and an unblogged Iris shorts disaster that demonstrated to me that cheap shitty fabric is just not worth it.

5. What piece(s) of sewing equipment (besides your machine) could you not live without?
My iron, and my iPad. I read about the importance of pressing occasionally on some of the more popular blogs, and I cannot agree more. There's nothing more 'home made' looking than something that hasn't had its seams pressed properly. A good press improves the quality of EVERY sewn item.

I use my iPad nearly every time I sew, and definitely every time I sew a pattern for the first time. I have endless tutorials saved, plus ebooks that I have bought and downloaded onto my Pad that I use constantly - zip tutorials, setting in sleeves, collars, etc etc. One day I will do a whole post dedicated to the tutorials I use because I truly believe the reason I am enjoying my sewing and improving my skills is the seemingly endless assistance found out there on the Interwebs. 

6. What are your three favourite blogs?
Design Sponge - this was the first blog that I regularly visited. It's a great combination of interiors, food, travel, DIY, craft,  and the main contributors are crazy cat people too. Its always beautifully written and photographed, and I've spent many an hour ogling beauty in other people's lives.

Coletterie - this is probably my favourite sewing blog, mostly because of the vast amount of sewing resources saved in its archives. There are often links to other lovely sewing blogs, and many of the blogs I follow would have been found this way. The photography is beautiful, the design is gorgeous and I enjoy reading the discussions on some of the more thought provoking posts.

Tilly and the Buttons - last year my fiancee broke his leg, and we spent most of Autumn and all of Winter on the couch. It was during this time that I found the online world of sewing blogs, and I particularly adored Tilly's blog. I was so impressed by how much she had learned, and improved, and her gallery of finished makes was so cute! And I've just loved watching her on the Great British Sewing Bee (you can watch it via YouTube if you are not in the UK).

7.  What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Um in life in general or sewing? I'll go with sewing - improving my fitting skills to be able to confidently make alterations to patterns. This is what used to frustrate me as a teenager when I was sewing - I had no concept of the idea of improving fit, and I used to have total tanties when things didn't work out. If I had started a blog back then it would have been called 'Sewing without tears - an aspirational sewing blog'.

8. Sweet tooth or savoury?

9. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
Move overseas to the UK and work and travel all on my little lonesome when I was about 28. Great fun!

10. What's your secret for a happy life?
Hmmmm. There are many ingredients I believe. This is going to be a bit deep and meaningful.
- Be kind - whenever I encounter people who are rude, nasty or cruel I wonder how happy they are in their lives. I am sure they can't be truly happy. I suspect they live their lives wondering why its all so hard..... 
- Be creative - find something (anything) that gets your creative mojo going. It might be music, sewing, painting, drawing, knitting, photography, writing. It doesn't matter if you are crap at it, but if you love it and it takes you away to a happy place away from the stressors in your every day life than it can only be good for you. 
- Appreciate beauty and quality - by this I mean the everyday beauty in life, nature, good food, great books, music, travel etc. 
- learn to be happy with what you have - once I realised that having more stuff wasn't going to make me a happier person I was able to work out what sort of belongings/objects and experiences did make me happy. 
- Don't rely on the presence of other people in your life to be your only source of happiness. Of course surrounding yourself with people you love and whom love you back is terribly important, but if your whole world is dependent on the existence of someone else in your life you are risking an awful lot. Know who you are and what you can do to be happy outside of your relationships. You'll be better company for it!
- Exercise - boring I know. 
- Don't eat crappy food - I was diagnosed with fructose malabsorption a few years ago and since changing my diet and cutting out food that makes me ill I've seen first hand how important eating well is to my health and happiness. Life is too short for crappy food (and instant coffee!). 
- Fabric!
- Cats!

Ehhhh. I'm tired writing about myself and my opinions. Now I am meant to nominate 10 other sewing blogs and pass this thing on. I don't follow that many blogs with fewer than 200 followers, and the ones that I do may already have had this come to them, so.........

Crab & Bee - Morgan is very stylish, makes and upcycles beautiful things and seems like a lovely gentle person. She also reminds me of my sweet cousin Hannah, so for that alone I enjoy reading her blog. And she has a cat........

Dive In! - Tess is a beginner blogger, like me and just starting to sew more clothes for herself. I found her through some shorts she had made on Burdastyle and I was terribly impressed by her welt pockets - the idea of them terrifies me! Not sure if she has a cat.

Poppy and Red Clover - Louise lives in Germany and has a penchant for Liberty fabrics, and makes simple items look just amazing with her wonderful skills and great taste in fabrics. It is highly likely that after seeing one of her Banksia tops on Flickr that I was forced inspired to source the same Liberty fabric with cats on it for a future project of my own....... She doesn't have a cat but I will forgive her on that one.

Tiny Nice Things - Neus is based in Barcelona and her blog is a mixture of her sewing and crafty adventures, plus beautiful photos of her Spanish world. I particularly love that she is part of a craft group called the Abuelitas Modernas, which I'm pretty sure translates to 'Modern Grannies'. Cat status uncertain.

And if these ladies should choose to answer my questions, here they are:
1 - Who taught you to sew?
2 - Where is your favourite shop to buy fabric and sewing related paraphernalia?
3 - Do you have any close friends or family that sew with the same passion as you? 
4 - Do your non-sewing friends think you are a bit of a granny, like mine?
5 - What are your 3 favourite fabrics in your stash and what do you intend to make with them?
6 - Share your top 3 sewing tutorials that you have found online.
7 - Do you have a favourite handmade gift you regularly make for friends or family?
8 - Do you shop for clothing much anymore, and if you do, how is it different to before you were regularly garment sewing?

Thats it! Clearly I am not great at following the Leibster rules, and only have 4 nominees and 8 questions, but I'm all for quality not quantity! Here's hoping we get some interesting replies!


  1. Thanks for the nomination! I accept. I enjoyed learning more about you. My cats Mo, Papa'a, Baby Cat, and Cow say hi.

  2. Great answers! Well and truly intriguing, talented and witty :) I haven't come across any of these blogs before, so I'll enjoy wandering through them all, thanks. (I have no cat, I'm afraid...)

  3. Oh, thank you so much for your very sweet words! It really means so much to me that you enjoy reading my blog! And I loved reading through your answers! I’m definitely looking forward to compiling my answers very soon...thank you, thank you! ~Louise

    1. You are very welcome! I look forward to reading them! :)


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