Blogging introspection – or is it just a chain letter?

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Thank you marvellous Marianna of the Sew2Pro sewing blog for nominating me to participate in the Writing Secrets of the Bloggers. She emails, with impeccable manners “I realise this invitation might be as welcome as a chain letter”, giving me an easy get out. However this challenge simply  involves answering a few questions and nominating two further bloggers to do likewise.

Love what you do Mural, London
Mural at Angel, London

Why do you write?

I love writing. I enjoy putting a sentence together.  I made illustrated books when I was in my teens. I was a faithful pen-friend to Rainy Belcher from Ohio for many years. I have had a go at writing a novel, being a journalist and  producing short stories. I like to send, and receive, a well crafted email. I suppose a blog was inevitable. Because…

  • the writing finds its own audience
  • instant customer feedback is assured
  • it’s almost free to play
  • total editorial control is addictive
  • I like lots of  pictures
  • the technology is brilliant

Essentially I write for myself, for my own pleasure, but I love it when I get a reaction – a comment, a “like”, or (best of all) an argument. For this reason I try to comment on other people’s blogs, favouring those that are thoughtful and reflective, well laid out and beautifully written. I am impressed with the inventiveness and talent of humanity. Work done and then displayed with love, skill and commitment thrills me – cooking, sewing, embroidery, painting, musical composition, photography, critique, dance, and pure writing for its own sake. Whatever your interest there is someone, somewhere, keen to share. There is so much to learn and it is always exciting!

Grandmother and baby with a tablet
Doing the blog on holiday

What are you working on?

It started with the colours – going through them, explaining who suits what colour and why, discussing the connotations and so on. I have a few more series up my sleeve – types of garment (eg skirt styles), types of fabric, the personal style of well known people, famous dress designers, national style. I seem to have a never ending list of interesting subjects. Plus some guest blogs. I also take requests – Galina asked about Bias hemming, and Karine about Obama’s beige suit – and I was happy to respond.

Vogue 2031 Kate Davies
Vogue 2031

How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Fit and Flare is at heart a sewing blog, but I don’t need new clothes every week. The writing slows down the sewing. My blog is different because it covers

  • the Romanian blouse and Ghanaian hair
  • Hillary Clinton’s Pant suit and Nigel Farrage’s tie
  • printing on synthetics and Matisse cut-outs
  • shorts at work and how to impress in an interview
  • vintage styles and an emphasis on work wear

and so it goes on. I just try to make interesting observations about clothes and what they convey, and reflect the diversity of London in my posts and images.

Young Bangladeshi bride and her sister, London
Girls on their way to a wedding, Kings Cross

How does your writing process work? 

Every day thoughts occur to me that have a connection with the type of blog I write – style, making clothes, political and social issues associated with what we wear, international perspectives. I choose topics by

  • seeing someone wearing something
  • reading a post or comment on a blog
  • reading the paper or watching the news
  • meeting someone with a different perspective
  • going to an exhibition or watching a film
  • sharing my experience
  • and covering my sewing and printing work in progress.

Then, as the mood takes me, and usually in a state of excitement I choose the working title. I research, using books or the internet, combining it with my own history, experience and perspective. I take photographs, or gather pictures, to illustrate the post. I always like to see something with my own eyes, as well as read words. I spend roughly an hour a day on the blog. I write each post, then revise it between 6 and 20 times until I am happy with it. I try to find a catchy title. I think about which post to feature each day when I go to bed. Then, when I get up, at about 5am, I give it one last read through and push “Publish”.

“Your 156th post has been published” it replies.

Old porcelain painted brooch
Great Grandmother’s brooch

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who reads Fit and Flare. It means a lot to me.

And, with their consent, I would like to hand the baton to Stephanie of My Vintage Inspiration, who writes beautifully and interestingly, and Ann of Annie Loves Linen who knows quite a lot about technology as well as sewing.

9 Responses

  1. Nick johnson

    Fantastic!

    Loved it

    Xx

  2. I have very recently discovered your blog and enjoyed reading your back catalogue immensely. Part of that enjoyment comes from the fact that it is little different from regular sewing blogs – I really like the critique of how powerful women dress, embracing the looks from other cultures, dissecting how your colleagues dress. And you always look great and are a fantastic example of how to dress appropriately for work without looking like a corporate drone.

    And I’m sure this isn’t the intention, but your blog seems to be a pretty good marketing tool for the organisation that you run – shame that what I know about social housing can be written on the back of a stamp.

  3. Mariana captured many of my thoughts about your blog. I am always impressed with how you create coherent and interesting posts with a unique angle, every day! Your work is impressive.

    I also feel a special connection to your blog because I connect with many of your thoughts about dressing for work and about vintage clothing…and the list goes on. I also appreciate your willingness to express an opinion.

    Oh and thanks for nominating me. I honestly have to search to find people to pass the torch to as I don’t currently have a huge blog roll of people who have not yet done the hop!

  4. I loved it too (and all the other ones).

    Tim L.

  5. Always good to get to know you better. I enjoy your blog, and I do find it a different approach then most. Not only is it very interesting , its a real education as you always provide such engaging posts. How you find time for all you do is beyond me!
    Have a great day Kate.
    one of you privileged blog follwers ,
    Joyce

  6. I enjoyed this and am always in awe of your productivity!

  7. I did wonder how quick your writing process is and the answer is: much faster than mine. I tend to read your posts greedily first thing a.m. while listening to the Today programme and making a row of packed lunches then I often read again in the evening (or the next evening) when I am in a more contemplative mood.

    I have learnt a lot from you and look forward to more that is to come. Thank you!

    • Thank you everyone for your lovely feedback. And all I would say in terms of “finding” time is that this is simplty the luxury of being a woman whose family has grown up. I didn’t sew or blog at all when I had packed lunches to make.

  8. I enjoyed reading more about your creative process. And your white dress pictured in the post is just lovely 🙂

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