Monday, October 6, 2014

My Blogging Process

Hi there friends! I've got something a little different for you today - a blog post about blogging! Ha! Actually this topic has been on my mind for awhile now, so when Marie of Ree Sewn nominated me in a blog hop, I decided to go for it :) Instead of answering the four questions exactly, I wanted to break it down a little more into the who/what/when/where/why/how of what goes in to a "quirky peach" blog post. I know, I know... SO EXCITING! But just keep ahold of yourself. We've got a long ways to go until the end.


WHO: Who exactly is this blogger anyways?

Me! Hi :) My name is Sally! I think it's important that a name goes with the face. A few fun facts:

- I am a 20 something living in a suburb of Chicago, IL (USA)
- I am happily married to a boy named Josh
- I teach music to kids for a living

WHAT: What do I blog about?

I blog about sewing projects (almost always clothing) that I have completed. These are often for me, myself, and I. Most are beginner or intermediate level garments. Occasionally you will see a tutorial, or random rambling like this.

WHEN: How often do I blog?

Every week - two weeks. Any more often and it feels like spam. Any less often and I feel like I'm neglecting this space. However, I try not to post just to post (lesson learned - January 2013 I haz 13 posts - why? anybody? lol) I also spend some time each week working on other aspects of the blog - pages, side bar, updating on other sites, etc.

WHERE: Where do I blog?

When I work on my blog, I am either sitting on the couch after a not too exhausting day at school (let's be honest, some days all I can manage is to eat dinner and watch Project Runway), or enjoying unlimited iced coffee refills at S*bucks on a weekend. It takes a LOT longer than I like to admit - at least a couple of hours - to create, edit, and publish a blog post.

WHY: Why do I blog?

Good question! Especially given the ridiculous number of great sewing blogs already out there! Well, when I started sewing, I found blogs to be incredibly helpful and motivating, and I decided I wanted to join in on the fun. My main two goals in blogging are:

Honest Sizing: I like to think I represent the "tall" demographic of ladies, being 6' myself, and also the pear shapes of the world. I want my posts to be a good gauge for both groups on how to adjust patterns to fit well, and I try to be completely honest about my size, and adjustments. I remember feeling like I was the only weirdo who had to grade out so much from the waist to the hip in sewing patterns, until I read another blog who did the same! Confidence boost! :)

Wearable Everyday Clothes: This sewing blog has actually helped me a lot in discovering my style. Looking back on some of my earlier clothing decisions, I can see that I was sewing whatever fabric was prettiest on the bolt, the newest indie pattern, or style trend, with no regards to "Will I ever wear this besides for blogging about it?" I like to make things I know I can wear in everyday life. I want my finished product to look store bought, but with a much better fit and in fabrics and colors I truly love. Sometimes pattern envelopes/photos just don't give a good idea of how the garment could be made for "everyday", and that is where the many variations posted online by bloggers and the like become extremely helpful!

HOW: The anatomy of a blog post

Okay, I will tell you right now that I can be super Type A when it comes to blogging. And it has only gotten worse with time (lol). Here is my own "format" that I use - not saying everyone should do it this way, but this is how it works best for me:

Photos:

- Camera: I have a basic point and shoot camera. Some days it sits on a tripod with a self timer, and some days I can coerce my hubs into taking some snapshots for me

- Lighting: I (now) try to take all my photos outside, for the best natural light. Even if I take them indoors, it is during the day and the window shades are open

- Scenery: Either a somewhat picturesque location nearby my home, or a wall in my house serves as a backdrop. I have green walls in the main room, which can mess with colors, and my sewing room wall now has a huge collage on it, but they both work fine

- Edit: I use Picasa to edit the photos I choose to use for a blog post - this includes cropping, and sometimes lightening the photo, adjusting the color of the fabric, or strengthening the contrast, but never beyond that - we're all human, yo! Embrace the flaws :)

- I love how Morgan of Crab & Bee said it - the photos should capture the "look, fit, and feel of the garment"  Does your garment make you feel happy? sexy? cool? frumpy? Let's see it in those photos, ladies! Hahaha :)

- Here's a question for you: do you have a minimum / maximum number of photos you put in a blog post? I decided a while back that my maximum would be 10, and had to include detail shots, full length shots, from the front, sides, and back. I also made my photos bigger so you could actually see what was in them, and stopped cutting off my head :)

Text:

- My blog posts start as "outlines" of what I want to say, such as "talk about fabric issues here" or "The verdict:..."

- I don't consider myself a "writer" (bahaha - see above ridiculously long post), so I try to keep it concise, with the exception of the "Details" section. A picture is worth a thousand words

- My "Here are the Details" section is definitely the most time consuming part to write, but this is where other sewists can find out pertinent information in regards to sizing, construction, fit, etc. And since it is all in one place, it's easy to skip for those who aren't interested. I also directly copy and paste this section to my "Pattern Review" page, which makes things much easier to post over there

*Side note - when I started sewing, Pattern Review was like the holy grail of sewing knowledge! I found many of my favorite bloggers through it as well. The recent re-design is very nice, and while it isn't as pretty as kollabora, it is a treasure trove of information!

- I try to end each post with a question / questions for the reader to discuss in the comments - I think it is easier to getting a conversation going, and honestly is a nice break from replying "Thanks ____" all the time :) I am never very creative with my comment replies - sorry!

CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'VE REACHED THE END! All that to say, I am really happy I started a blog about sewing. I've met some super people, learned a heck ton about html AND french seams, and have a permanent record of my aging sewing process online for all to see! :) Over to you now - what are your guidelines for blogging? Why do you blog (if you do?) What do you like to see on a sewing blog? Do you even care about how other people go about blogging? Lay on the comments and we'll get this party started!




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