After 3 years and a bit of blogging, someone asked me one day why do I blog?
The answer that came to mind was not actually to the intended question. What I answered instead was the question ‘why did I start blogging in the first place?’.
In 2014, I had finished my stint on the UK Great British Sewing Bee Season 3 (although it was only shown in February 2015), and I was feeling totally useless. I got eliminated in episode 2 (of 8) and I was convinced I had made a fool of myself on national television. Although I had only been sewing for three years at the time, I felt I needed to prove myself to the world.
I really am NOT a (sewing) idiot.
I CAN sew an invisible invisible zipper.
I CAN pattern match (though to be honest, I pretty much darn hate patterns).
And if I want to, I CAN make kids’ dress-up costumes in the shape of a cupcake – but to this day, that need never took me.
So it was a bit of a negative start, a sort of ‘Alex against the world’.
And then the blog went live and the show aired, and I was amazed at the warm, lovely, accepting, embracing social sewing community that I actually never even knew existed.
Welcome sewing positivity *trumpets blowing, clouds parting, light shining*!
And for the past three years, all I wanted was to make, write about and share my projects with the sewing community, and my lovely sewing friends, to inspire and be inspired, to learn from and teach.
And I still do.
But three and a bit years later, I keep getting this nagging feeling of SO WHAT? Is this it? Just make, shoot, write-up and move on? What’s my value added? How do I contribute to the sewing community, and dare I say it, to the wider world?
Some of you may know that I work in sustainability, focusing on sustainable textiles. I tried to bring this into the blog in the beginning, and I had lofty aspirations to sew only with sustainable fabrics. Well, that proved more difficult in practice than I thought and I quickly fell off the wagon and wrote pretty much exclusively about what I sew with whatever fabrics I had in my stash or caught my fancy in the shops.
However, at the beginning of 2015, I decided to slowly walk the talk and stop buying RTW clothes. I wrote about how much this contributed to my mental wellbeing in my #SMYLY2018 post.
But what more SHOULD I do? What more CAN I realistically do?
So now what?
In the last year, I came across more and more the concept of ‘slow sewing’. But this is just a piece of the puzzle for me. It’s not enough to sew less and sew slower. It’s also about where the resulting garment fits in my wardrobe, how much do I wear it, how long will it last (both physically and morally, as in how long do I actually want to wear it for), what do I do with it when I no longer want it and also, do I actually need to make it in the first place. So sustainability comes into play, minimalism, living with less, but also more frivolous things like styling and wardrobe management.
And so here we are, the third reincarnation of Sewrendipity, with a new mission:
To provide inspiration, education and support for sewers and fashion lovers who want to live more sustainably, by sharing my style experiments, sewing passion and sustainability knowledge.
That’s right, I am not just talking about sewing a me-made wardrobe, shock! horror!
Yes, dear readers, shop-bought clothes are not the enemy here. Buying a well-curated selection of clothes you will love and cherish for a very long time, that will make you feel amazing and that will complement your existing wardrobe is less bad than churning hundreds of handmade projects that you will never wear. If you can find and can afford some that are either from more sustainable brands or even second-hand, all the better!
That is why I want to inspire you to build a wardrobe in the way that suits your life, that is as sustainable as it is stylish and creative. Non-sewists are also welcome! You can find inspiration in items that may be me-made and be able to source them from an ethical company even a good quality high-street brand. Or maybe I can inspire you to start sewing, it really is a lot of fun!
And just how are you planning on doing that?
Well, leading by example is one way to do it.
I feel I have already started on my own personal meaningful wardrobe journey and I want to keep sharing it with you. I am often inspired by other bloggers, sewing ones, but also more and more, sustainable style, ethical, minimalist and simple living ones as well. So I want to share and inspire as much as I have been inspired myself.
If you were following me because you are passionate about sewing, don’t worry, I am not abandoning that at all. I am still 100% in love with sewing and I cannot imagine not spending loads of time in front of the sewing machine. So there will still be plenty on sewing post on the blog, as I am still continuing my RTW fast that I started in 2015.
However, I so want to have more focus in what I sew and be more purposeful in my choices, with more thoughtfulness around what makes it into my wardrobe. Check out my new ‘About’ page where I’m explaining it.
What’s changing then?
As you might have noticed in my new logo, there will be three key content areas at Sewrendipity: Style, Sewing and Sustainability. I do want to achieve a good balance between them from now on. I have been writing a bit about sustainability a few years ago, and a lot about style lately, but I do want to have a more thought-out spread between these content areas. Blogging calendar is the way forward, my friends!
What will be included in each content bucket?
‘SEWING’ is quite self-explanatory and those of you who have been following me for a while know what to expect. Mostly, it will be about the clothes I sew for myself (My handmade wardrobe), as well as sharing my sewing tips and tricks, sewing tools, books and classes reviews and anything else I come across worthy of recommending.
‘STYLE’ is a bit more confusing, as it really can be anything, right? I’m not trying to become a style blogger with a new outfit every week. In fact, my goal is quite the contrary. I see styling as a tool to help me love the clothes that I have even more and push me to discover new combinations that will make me as excited about old clothes as I would about brand new ones. I am embracing minimalism and capsule wardrobe with relish, as you might have noticed lately, and it feels just the right amount of challenging, whilst still fun! I am planning two types of posts under this header. One will be about capsules trying new combinations over a given period of time. The second would be about styling a given (me-made) item in a few different ways to explore how versatile a particular patern+fabric combo can become. I would also like to look more at the theory of style and explore, review and try out various style discovery systems (like Wardrobe Architect, Unfancy, Curated Closet, etc) and of course, share my impressions with you.
‘SUSTAINABILITY’ is of course about sustainable textiles, sustainable living and sharing what I have learned about the environmental impact of textiles and what can we do about it. I would love to hear from you what are you most interested in so I can research and bring you information from the behind the scene of the industry. I hope to strike a healthy balance between telling you interesting stuff and sharing opinion pieces to start conversations.
You will also see a category called ‘ACCORDING TO ALEX’, where I am grouping life updates, stories and other posts that don’t naturally fit in the other areas.
Of course, I will continue to update the ‘FABRIC SHOPS DIRECTORY’, but there will not be any dedicated posts as such. If you want to keep up to date with the latest additions, please subscribe to receive email updates.
Don’t talk about the £££
Another change that I wanted to share with you is that I have moved to self-hosted WordPress, which means that it is no longer free for me to run the blog. The reasons are many, most important of which is the flexibility to customise the look&feel. I hope you have noticed the brand new template and the new logo, but there are a lot more exciting things going on under the bonnet. I do hope you like it and I would love any feedback, be it on the navigation, look, structure, etc. If you spot anything untoward, please give me a shout!
However, this means that I need to get creative with financing these fancy new changes on an ongoing basis. So I will start monetising the blog in ways that I hope are unobtrusive and will not detract from your experience. I will continue to produce the content with the same honesty that made me worthy of your trust so far and hopefully, I will continue to warrant it going forward. Please read more in my Disclosure Policy.
Thanks and acknowledgements
The blog revamp took so much longer than I planned, but it was just my procrastination more than anything. I worked with some fantastic professionals to make it happen and I want to give them a big shout out here, in case anyone would like to make sure of their services.
My shiny new template is from Pipdig and I could not recommend Phil and the team more. I have never met a more helpful, knowledgeable and responsive IT specialist ever! He was absolutely fantastic in helping me get everything just right and customing the template to be just as I dreamed of! If you would like to move from Blogspot to WordPress or from Squarespace to WordPress, he is your man. Best money I ever spent!
I also worked with a fantastic freelance graphic designer, Sean from Palma Bay Creative, to come up with the visual identity. I was convinced that it would be a quick and easy process, but I got to version 8 because I can’t make a decision to save my life. I am so grateful to Sean for his patience, and working with me to make my dream logo happen. He also pulled together a complete brand pack, with colour scheme, fonts and the logo, of course. If it hasn’t clicked yet, the logo is a stylised S (from Sewrendipity, but also from Style | Sewing | Sustainability) in the shape of a clothes hanger. I absolutely squealed with delight at how clever this was! I cannot speak highly enough about what a great experience I had working with a professional.
As to the unsexy stuff, my hosting is with Siteground and I am very happy so far. If you see any other aspects of the blog that you like, please ask, as I have loads of super cool plug-ins to share if you are interested.
Thank you so much for reading this to the end! It means so much to me to have your trust and your continued readership! I hope you will enjoy this new incarnation of Sewrendipity and you will continue to share my journey!
Let’s build a meaningful wardrobe together!
I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT ALL THE ABOVE. PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT ABOUT THE NEW MISSION, THE STRUCTURE, THE LOOK & FEEL AND WHAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT. OR ANYTHING ELSE, REALLY :)!
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