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Monday, September 15, 2014

Why I Blog...

A couple of weeks ago, Carrie from Right Sides Facing asked if I'd like to participate in a blog hop where I would have to answer some questions regarding why I blog. This particular post topic has been overdue for me for a long time, and I actually have attempted to write about my reasons for blogging for sometime now. Apparently, I unknowingly played a small part in Carrie starting up her own blog (read about it HERE), and now in return, she has encouraged me to open up a little more about why I blog. Thanks, Carrie!

I know I have said a few times in the past that sewing and blogging have changed my life, but I've never gone into great detail on the specifics of "how".  I'll attempt to explain a few of those reasons for you now.

Why do I blog?

After working more than a decade as an engineering consultant, I quit to be a stay at home mom to my son and daughter.  Having a little girl to sew girly things for like my mom and grandmother did for me made me realize that I always loved to craft and create. My enthusiasm for sewing again quickly grew out of control, but in a good way. I felt I had found something that made me feel like the real me--made me feel comfortable and fulfilled.

Because of the internet, I was able to teach myself some new sewing techniques, and soon I decided to start a blog to share the things I'd sewn for my kids with out-of-town family. It wasn't long before my projects were being featured by other popular, well-known bloggers, and as a result, I suddenly was being asked to pattern test or participate in blog tours.

I found that the pattern testing process reminded me a lot of the elements I enjoyed--reviewing drawings, reports, documents, and calculations--from my old engineering job. I began sharing on my blog pattern reviews (both good and bad) with a community of women who feel as passionately about sewing as I do.  It was (and is) so exciting to have total strangers get excited about and feel the need to respond to something I've sewn or created! I never used to get that kind of response when talking to people at a party about designing airports or water or sewer systems! Sewing and blogging gave me a restored sense of purpose in my life that I was proud of, unlike my previous experiences in engineering.  

Blogging also led me to attend the Sewing Summit and join several Facebook groups devoted to sewing and pdf patterns. As a result, the real-life friends I have made in the sewing/blogging industry have helped fill a void left in my life by the death of my mother.  For 35 years, my mom taught me, encouraged me, and loved me no matter what, and I missed that terribly to say the least. She would have loved knowing how much I love to sew and that she taught me to do it!

I had hoped that my extended family would read my blog and throw a compliment or word of encouragement my way on occasion. They have been wonderful supporters, but because they don't share the passion about sewing and patterns that I do, I get more responses like "when do you have time to make all those clothes and blog about them" than "I love that dress you made for Ella.  What beautiful work!".  And that is where you all come in.  You, my sewVery fans and readers, as well as the dozens of other blogging/sewing/designing friends I have made along the way, have helped fill that void left by my mom.  Your sincere comments and encouragement as well as your own personal stories have filled my heart.  We all need someone cheering us on, and since my mom can't be here to do that, I'm glad I have all of you.  Thank you!

What am I currently working on?

At the moment, I'm finishing up a project that I'm contributing to a book, I'm writing a post for Selfish Sewing Week, and I'm starting an ambitious project that I'll share next month to kick off Flip This Pattern for October on Frances Suzanne. I also have my second pattern in the computer drafting/grading stage!

How does sewVery differ from other blogs of its genre?

I'm not sure that my blog does differ from other sewing and crafting blogs. I guess if there is a difference, maybe it's that I enjoy sewing purses and bags as much as children's clothing! I also try to participate in charity sewing projects that appeal to me and then share and encourage others to participate.

How does my writing process work?

I usually begin by deciding on the pattern or the project I want to create. I schedule the blog posting date for the project, and then I then I decide if the project has a theme to it. I then pick fabrics and a possible photo shoot location accordingly. All this time, I'm thinking of how I will organize my blog post, what made me want to sew this item, and if I can tell a story that will interest people with my post.

Then it's time to start sewing!

I prefer to sew one project from start to finish, but I might not get the pictures, tutorial, and post written right away. My favorite part is sewing, and sometimes I just need the sewing therapy and put off all the other stuff! 

Lately, Ella isn't quite as cooperative when it comes to modeling pieces of clothing that I make for her, but when she is in the mood, photo sessions can be a lot of fun! If time and weather permits, we usually go to a park or playground around town for the photos, but if I'm in a pinch for time, we just run outside and take the photos in our messy backyard!

Taking photos of step-by-step processes for tutorials is my least favorite thing to do since it breaks up the continuity of the sewing project, and I really hate it when I forget to photograph a step!

I usually try to take pictures of several projects all at once and then edit them soon thereafter. Finally, I write my blog post and do my best to incorporate all the mental and physical notes I've made about the project or pattern.

Now that I have shared with you a little about why I blog and my process of blogging, it's time to pass on the invitation for the blog hop to two of my personal friends: Lindsay from Craft Buds and Lindsay Sews and RaeAnna from Sewing Mama RaeAnna. Both of these ladies mean so much to me and would not be a part of my life if it weren't for sewing and blogging!

I met Lindsay almost 3 years ago when we both attended Sewing Summit and roomed together. A few months later, she moved to the same town and now lives just a few miles away from me! We get together often to talk, eat, and even sew. Lindsay has helped me out in so many ways by putting me in touch with people in the sewing/blogging industry and especially by encouraging me to pursue what I love!

RaeAnna read a blog post I did for Shorts on the Line and from something I mentioned, she figured out we live in the same area. She reached out to me in an email, and soon we met up to gab while our kids had a playdate. RaeAnna and I don't live as close to one another as Lindsay and I do, but we talk often and try to get together every few weeks to socialize while our children play. We've collaborated on a couple of projects/series together in the past, and most recently, RaeAnna gave me tons of advice and guidance as I prepared my first children's clothing pattern, the sewVery Sunny Dress & Top Pattern, for sale.

Thanks for stopping by today!

Have fun sewing!


  1. Hi Veronica,
    It's been very interesting learning new things about you. Your blog was one of the first I started to follow. I started following because of the mutual interest on sewing bags. But seeing your child clothing sewing has been fun too. Ella has grown quite a bit during this time. I have something else in common with you; I'm also an engineer. I stayed home when my girls were small. But there were no blogs then. I've pursue different creative venues and now I'm sewing bags and selling them. I love their construction, how to go from a flat, flexible material like fabric into making something with a specific shape to serve a purpose. I'm happy to see how you're designing patterns already. I can see how that appeals to you being an engineer. It's like marrying your creative side with your "intellectual" side. I'm not sure if that's the best way to put it. Best of luck in all your plans.

  2. Thank you so much, Veronica, for sharing your story. I loved reading about how you got started blogging and why!
    You are sewVery talented and I love your blog!! :)

  3. Great post Veronica. It was nice to learn more about you!


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