Three year Blog Anniversary

posted in: Organisation | 61

Before I started blogging I believed that the average blogger could produce reasonable posts for a year or two, two and a half years, tops, and after that it would be repetitious and boring to read. Most of us don’t have that much to say! Or sufficient stamina!

And when that happens I have a deep admiration those who decide they have said enough, shut up shop deliberately, rather than try to keep it going when they have lost interest, or no longer have the time. And I really like the people who rely on Instagram instead of launching another blog (there is a blog post published every six seconds). This newer medium is perfect for those who want quick advice on thread choices, or help on how to do a hem on chiffon etc. Me too. In fact it is only because I actually enjoy writing that I am a blogger at all. For most purposes I think Instagram with its square, often arty pictures, short posts and instant connection is ideal.

So back to the blog. I have already exceeded the 30 month limit I initially thought  advisable, and I have been here for three years. In that time I have (unbelievably) published more than 800 posts. Had I been posting one a week, that would be 16 years worth!  At, on average 750 words a post, that is 600,000 words –  around six books, if I were writing a book. That’s alot to read! I do worry that I have outstayed my welcome.

Fabrickated blogaversery
Ice-cream Third Blogaversary celebration

So how has it been for me?

Looking back, as a novice blogger, I had five key questions.

Will I cope with the technology?

The first six months were hard as I struggled to manage the technology. At first I couldn’t do a link, or crop a photograph. I didn’t know how to schedule a post, automatically post to Facebook/Twitter, or create a gallery. But trial and error taught me most things. A few issues eluded me for ages but I managed a widget this month, which pleased me immensely, but I still can’t embed a video or piece of music. My one attempt at “vlogging” was not worth the candle.

Can I produce a reasonable number of words, in roughly the right order, once or more a week?

Then there is the writing. Could I produce daily posts? For the first year or so I was so excited about communicating that I wrote daily. In fact I found I could. I could make the time and deliver to a deadline, and I still have so many ideas and topics that I wanted to learn about or write about.

And, the really hard one, will anyone read what I write?

Will anyone read what I write? Will anyone comment on what I write about?

And after a few months I started to get readers and commentators, and the numbers reacting has amazed me. I am staggered by the generosity of people who read and comment.

Bless you! Thank you! Love you!

I know my blog is not very professional. I take pictures, rather casually, with my work phone, and I often have typos in the text which I may, or may not, correct during the day (sorry!). But you know that I am open, and relatively honest, and I try to communicate as if I was talking to a good friend. And while it is an effort and a commitment, I enjoy writing, and I love the feedback, even the critical stuff (actually especially the critical, challenging and probing observations). Frankly it would be hard to give up what feels like a friendship.

I have been very lucky to meet several other bloggers, followers and commentators. Several times I have bumped into people on the bus, in shops or in the street who I have met through the world of blogging. They recognise me from the blog, or I them. Isn’t that incredible? I think I would miss all these friendships and relationships it if I gave up now.

What about content?

The best blogs come from a passion. They give useful information that help others who in search of answers. They inspire. They allow you to feel less alone, more part of a joint endeavour. They are inherently interesting – for example seeing how someone else struggles to make a pair of well fitting trousers is very interesting to me (but undoubtedly in the watching paint dry category for most of my family and friends).

How much should I share?

There are bloggers who never show their face or give their name. Entirely their right to share their craft but nothing personal. For myself I want to hear the human story – this is what makes a blog interesting and compelling to read. There are only so many posts about putting in a zip or making a patchwork quilt that I can stomach. On the other hand I can (and do) read human interest blogs about adoption, cancer, running up mountains, setting up an enterprise in Malawi etc as they come from the heart and often involve human suffering and human achievement. I have been very open, and there are a few negatives associated with this, but on the whole I am very glad I have had faith in the vast majority of people who respond in kind. By themselves being open, friendly, trusting and honest about their weaknesses and failures. For me the internet of bragging is unsavoury and boring. Let’s hear it for the tryers, the failures, the learners and those that persevere against the odds. You are my kind of people!

So, at the end of three years, what next?

My future plans

I set out to write a blog about “fashion and fit. style and stitching”. I think it still serves a purpose. I have written alot about all four subjects

  • Fashion
  • Fit
  • Style
  • Stitching (I used this word to encompass knitting, embroidery and other crafts)
    small patchwork block
    Patchwork and Quilting class, lesson 1

Since creating a new home we have been spending more time in the country and this has meant less sewing (although more knitting). I don’t see this changing much.

And at work I have an exceptionally busy year ahead with a couple of big projects to complete. I have started a new blog – this time with a work focus! Leading Culture is really addressed to Chief Executives and other leaders, so I am not expecting many of my Fabrickated readers to sign up. But I have committed to one post a week.

Following careful reflection I am not going to close the blog because I would miss you. I will continue to write about the subjects that interest me, which of course will include clothes making and other crafts. I really appreciate hearing from readers and followers and I would love to meet you all in real life. But from now on Fabrickated is only going to have two (rather than three) posts a week – on a Tuesday and a Saturday. Whether I get to my fourth birthday or not – we shall see.

Thank you for coming with me. I appreciate and value every single reader and commentator. You inspire and support me, for which I am deeply grateful.

 

61 Responses

  1. I am very glad to hear that you will be continuing your blog, as it is on the short list of ones that I check in on every time I turn on my computer… I love the mixture of things that you find interesting to share, and particularly that your blog is personal. (I have stopped reading blogs where the writers have turned to accepting contributions of goods from manufacturers in exchange for what now appear like amateur advertisements for clothing and supplies)

    For me, reading blogs gives me a tiny glimpse into what others have chosen to share about their lives, all over the world. I try to do the same thing with my own blog, to share at least tiny bits of what is important, interesting and beautiful in my everyday existence and efforts…

    • Thank you so much Alison. Your blog is of a similar ilk – based on your fascination with materials, making beauty and developing your personal style. I have no time for the crassly commercial either.

  2. If I could screenshot the first comment on your professional blog I would as it’s a good laugh really given today’s topic….!

    My favourite post of yours was the one about my dad, and the ones I really enjoy are where you talk about style rules. My least favourite are where I’m photographed in them, with my mouth full of food or a huge frown, though I’m not too upset by this; frowning and eating are also my favourite things. Well done X

    • I like the style ones too. But unless I start writing about celebrities I don’t have enough subjects. If you or anyone else suggests a public dissection of a politician, businessperson or high achiever I would be happy to oblige.

  3. Stephanie

    The new blog sounds like a great new adventure!

  4. I am glad that you are continuing your blog. I think it’s one of the most interesting of the sewing blogs that I follow and I always read it when it pops up on my email. That usually starts me off reading some of your older posts as well! I especially like the posts on style.

  5. I’d miss you lots if you stopped writing Kate. There’s always such a variety of topics, a little bit personal, advice and loads of inspiration. Thank you.

  6. Hi Kate,

    I enjoy your blog for many reasons; sometimes it’s thought provoking because it might be looking at something from a different perspective or just considering something I hadn’t thought about at all.

    The variety. And educational.

    It’s well written. Personally I’m not bothered the photos are not taken on Nikon spx at speed whatever. They’re fun.

    They are very human, honest and friendly. They are down to earth too. I like the chatty dialogue and I find that I tend to enjoy this type of blog more probably because it is just chatting to a friend.

    I’m glad you’re keeping up with your blog for of those reasons, I appreciate your commitment to them.

    Have a great weekend.

  7. Jo Muscat

    Hi Kate, I enjoy your posts very much and your writing style I find friendly, credible and direct. I hopped across to your new work blog as culture and leadership are subjects that interest me and I feel I will enjoy following that too! Feedly couldn’t locate the new blog, perhaps because it is embedded in a website? – not sure if you have any tips on that front?
    Thanks for the time you take to share your thoughts and skills! Jo

    • Thanks so much for the feedback Jo. The work blog is not a true blog but something our comms team set up within our website. I am thinking of just taking it off to a normal WordPress blog as it is not possible to follow. I

  8. well done – 3 years – I know for me, blogging has given me great focus for my sewing and my pet project, and as I no longer know any more sew-ers and makers it was a wonderful way to connect and ‘meet’ new people, and then it also did get me started on started a makers group and then connecting up with others locally so for me blogging has been a great catalyst. love reading your posts

    • Eimear – I so enjoy your blog, and your projects which are always very impressive. For me, like you, the connectivity is the main thing. And again, as you have found, the blog does give focus. When I am making something I often think – that is interesting, or I wonder why that happened, or more philosophical reflections. And when I share them, I hope I might spark creativity in thought or deed in someone else. Thank you for following and commenting, and inspiring me.

  9. Claire Mather

    Having got to the age of 55 being a keen dressmaker and interested in most crafts, you became the first blog I followed, I am very happy you have decided to continue I always look forward to seeing what your next blog is about even if I feel exhausted by the amount you achieve in your home/work life , it has inspired me to use my spare time more constructively. Keep blogging

    • That is lovely Claire. Personally I find creative work very reviving and such a good complement to “brain” work (employment). We all need to explore different sides of our personality and abilities, don’t we? And I assure you I flop in front of the TV too.

  10. I’m glad you’ve decided to continue with your blog. I read it regularly.

    • I very much appreciate your blog Jay – always full of learning and expertise. Yours was one of the first blogs I was attracted to as you tackle such a wide range of challenging projects. I love pattern cutting and find it fascinating. I hope to get back to it again soon.

  11. Three years already! It doesn’t seem that long at all. I enjoy all your posts your personality comes through and its always an interesting read. Partly that interest is because you’re refreshingly honest when things a less than perfect and I can relate to that, and partly because you have wrote of other interests too and those posts resonate with me too.

    You embrace change and your writing may be diversifying but I’m betting you’ll still be here next year. I will if you will.

    • Thank you Annie. Your comments are always generous, compassionate and full of insight. I feel close to you although we have never met. My son Gus said his favourite posts are the ones that cover minor disasters. I agree, if only as an antidote to the air brushed, plastic surgery, idealised Barbie lifestyle we get via Instagram. We need to affirm and reaffirm that it really is great to be ourselves, and to enjoy and embrace our quirks, differences, sucesses and failures. Life is never all positive or all negative is it? No point pretending.

  12. Congratulations! A few weeks ago I passed my 2nd blogiversary and totally forgot to mark it with a post. I’m so disorganised. There’s still no rhyme or reason to my blogging, so I’m very impressed at your tidily scheduled posts- always interesting and informative.
    I’m with everyone else- don’t stop, you’d be sorely missed!

  13. Jenny Brown

    I always enjoy seeing what (and how) craft you are doing next, and how you have styled what you make. Very glad you are continuing. Cheers, Jen.

  14. Congratulations, Kate. I’m glad you’ve decided to continue – I’d miss your posts. I agree with most of your words here – and maybe when I get to grips with Instagram I’ll agree with that bit too – but not yet, maybe never! I definitely prefer blogging to Instagramming. I won’t be trying to follow your work blog, though!

  15. I’m also one who would miss you terribly. Your posting schedule is impressive and I think your readers will certainly understand if you publish only once or twice a week. Most of us have trouble doing one or two a month. Your posts often inspire me and thanks to you I’ve renewed my interest in knitting.

    • Well Mary I really appreciate that you read it at all. I think of you frequently – when I am basting with your needles and threads for example! Your blog is amazing. So expert – your latest post on trouser tailoring is super and highly recommended. Thank you for your friendship and mentoring.

  16. Is it selfish for us readers to want you to continue? I think bloggers are very generous to do what they do, as well as brave to put their thoughts and creations out into the great unknown. And I imagine it takes up a lot of time planning/organising/composing and blogging/posting as often as you do. I enjoy your posts, the community of commenters and the sharing of common interests. Thank you.

    • Thank you Kerry. It probably takes at least an hour to write a blog post – maybe twice as long if I have to research it. And then reading and commenting, and Instragramming, and responding to comments – its probably five or six hours a week. Compared to the average of four hours a night of watching TV (in the UK) it’s not that much!

  17. A couple of things: I deeply appreciate the time, technical skills and art associated with writing a blog of this quality. It must never be taken as a reader entitlement! Two posts a week would be great, as would 1. Recently I went back and read all your posts in order from the beginning (assisted by a rainy holiday week) and it is amazing how the quality and interest consistently holds up over the months and years.

    Second, the grandson is adorable.

    ceci

    • Well – how nice is that? Thank you for reading the back catalogue – I haven’t done that myself yet! My son Gus says that readers and follows are in a symbiotic relationship with the blogger. The blogger performs in response to the encouragement of the readers who get free content. But I feel the boot is on the other foot. I get enormous pleasure from the dialogue which is what motivates me to keep writing. Even these short interchanges are very satisfying and interesting. I hope you keep commenting Ceci.

  18. Congratulations on your blog anniversary, Kate, and I’m also glad to hear you will be continuing. Your posts are always a pleasure to read, entertaining and thought-provoking, and you are generous to share your reflections on such an interesting range of topics, stitching-related or not. I often find myself pondering over a particular post or comment for some time afterwards.

    Given how busy your schedule is (I am slightly in awe of how much you manage to pack into your days!) I appreciate your time commitment to your blog. Thankyou and enjoy your weekend.

  19. Congratulations and please don’t stop, I am a regular reader and find it always inspiring.

  20. Your blog is an inspiration to women who have real jobs and real deadlines and how much one person can cram into a week. I don’t know how you do it all and still smile in the photos! Wishing you well on the new venture!

    • I too am in awe of you Mrs Mole! You keep on turning out marvellous looking dresses, against crazy deadlines, and with a challenging clientele, shall we say. I never tire of reading of the ins and outs of your sewing room. Long may you continue!!

  21. I have so thoroughly loved reading your blog for the last year, and I sometime find myself burrowing into older posts on a topic. It’s been an inspiration for me and full of information. Your style posts especially! And I so appreciate your open and friendly tone. Congrats on an achievement to be proud of, from a grateful and loyal fan!

  22. I also would miss your blog very much! I love your authenticity and do feel like it’s a safe conversation space where you bring up thought provoking questions about style, modernity, perception, etc. would also love to be able to subscribe to your work blog. Being a CE with empathy and a people-focused culture is rare. Glad you are sharing your insights. its such a meaty topic that could benefit from your candor and wisdom!

  23. Congratulations! Like many others have already mentioned your blog is inspirational, informative and educational. I love reading it and always look forward to your posts. I admit I was holding my breath till the bit where you definitively said you would be continuing with the blog as I’d miss your posts terribly. SOme of my favourite posts are the culture ones where you share your visits to museums, shows, exhibits and galleries. These were activities I loved dearly before I had my kids – and its nice to see what may yet be in store for me when my role as primary caregiver comes to an end. Thank you for letting folks like me live vicariously through the medium of your blog. Hila x

    • Thank you Hila for your sweet feedback, your lovely blog and your amazing, inspirational lifestyle. I like the visit ones too but as we are in London less I fear they maybe fewer in future. I will try to keep it up as it is very enriching and mind opening. And as a Mum with grown up kids I can reassure you that your time will come. It was a great surprise to me that the rest of my life is so full, engrossing and that I am still learning every day. When I was up to my ears in kids I really couldn’t envisage actually having free time and hands that were not full.

  24. Phew. As I read through this I was beginning to worry that you’d decided to retire from blogging! We would definitely miss you. Your posts are one of the first things I read in the morning in the days you post. So glad that we have met in person and I hope that we will meet again before too long. X

  25. Karen Christensen

    I’m fairly nw to your blog but enjoy it immensely. Glad to see you are going to continue.

  26. Just another reader taking time to say how much I appreciate the range of topics on your blog. Your energy and commitment to stretching yourself is impressive and quite inspiring. Your ability to to describe your interests in writing is equally so. Thank you for making the effort.

    • Thank you so much Dagmar. That means alot to me. Making the effort is sometimes all we can do, and it can be enough.

  27. I think you have to like to write to have a blog because there are so many other mediums that you can share your sewing on now. It’s why I continue to blog – I love to write and I love this medium. I hope you continue sharing here for many more years. I think you have a unique voice that has contributed greatly to the sewing blogosphere and we would definitely lose something if you left. I also believe that blogs have ebbs and flows. Some months/years you have way more to say because you’re sewing more and then other months/years the life you live changes and those changes are reflected in your blog. However often you post, I will be reading along and will try to comment more so that you know I’m around!

    Happy Blogoversary!

    • Sweet Carolyn – you really are the Queen of the sewing blog and I am one of your grateful subjects. I love your style, your talent and commitment and I was inspired by the way you shared your family life, your political views and religious beliefs. You are a woman of great strength and I have been encouraged many times, in many ways, by your approach. Thank you.

  28. Oh my, I don’t know where to begin or what to add to the appreciation and support already expressed in the comments. Yours is one of my favorite blogs. You come across as a real person, with honestly-expressed opinions, creativity and drive, and a wealth of thoughtfulness and generosity. I love the way you love to learn, and the enthusiasm you bring to each endeavor. The variety of topics, and the lack of pretense, is wonderful. I imagine that most of us would love to meet you in person–I certainly would. You’ve been an inspiration.

    • Elle (and everyone else here) I would LOVE to meet you in person. Let’s try. I really welcome the opportunity to catch up with internet friends. because sewing people are my kind of people. So nice, so open and friendly – so much understanding and solidarity. Thank you for your very kind feedback.

  29. Congratulations on 3 years of blogging, Kate! You have great style, both in your sewing and in your writing, so it’s lovely to know you will still be sharing both with those of us who follow you!

    • Another amazing sewist and blogger across the ocean – you, Mary Funt, Mrs Mole and Carolyn N are all such amazing experts producing sensational garments you put me to shame. But I always love what you make Karen, and the way that you wear it, and I envy your perfect life style, and those dear, dear little girls in their strawberry dresses.

  30. Congrats on 3 years!!!! That’s a great milestone!

    I’ve just shut down my Instagram (I pretty much hate Facebook and once they acquired it; I came to dislike IG as well). I love blogging. I love telling the story vs the quick sharing of a photo with a little text.

    I love reading blogs so hope everyone who has an interest continues to write and share! So thanks for the 3 years! 🙂

  31. Buttercup

    Happy blogiversary Kate. Im glad you have decided to keep blogging. I look forward to your thought provoking blog and would feel the loss if you stopped. I think the best blogs are the ones that have a human touch and yours certainly does that. I also look forward to reading your Leadership blog when it’s up and running.

  32. Oh gosh! I am so glad you are blogging, and will continue! I love that your blog reflects you, “unprofessional” photos, typos, and all ;). You always have something of interest to say, which is relevant to others. I’m glad to have run into you in this internet sewing world! Happy Blogiversary!

    • I feel the same about you, dear Wendy. You are always so generous and kind. I hope one day we will meet in person…

  33. My heart dropped when I read the first part of your blog as I thought you were going to say that you were finishing up! I love reading what you have to say each week and I’m more than happy for you to drop down to twice a week. Just please don’t stop writing.

  34. Brenda Marks

    Congratulations on making such a big milestone! I’m delighted to hear you’ll keep going. : )

    I love your photos. They seem real.

  35. Congratulations on three years. You have put in a lot of effort with your blog. You have been incredibly generous with your advice on colouring and styles and I have learnt a lot from that. I have enjoyed your frank and honest discussions which I see have sometimes garnered criticism but how boring would life be if we all felt compelled to stick to safe conversations.I love your photos etc , after all you work as well as doing all your amazing creative endeavours. I am glad too you are not giving up blogging just yet but trying another way to make it work for you . I do wish sometimes I could be a bit more adventurous with my blog but being a GP in a small country town I am most conservative with what I post. Good luck Kate.

    • I covered the question, briefly, of how much we put out there. I know it makes us a little more vulnerable in some ways. But I am an optimist and I believe in the essential goodness of people. I would say 95-99% of people are just decent and good hearted – certainly that has been my experience in life as well as in blogging. Also as you say it does depend on where you are and what you do. Thank you for commenting Janine.

  36. Anita Steiner

    Congratulations for your third anniversary. I very much enjoy all the things said above already. Mostly I am astonished what you can pack in to a day. I am very glad to hear that you will be going on with blogging. I will soon go to London and will see and visit some of the places you mentioned. I look forward to that. Anita from Basel

  37. Just popped on to leave my comment after initially reading the post when it came out, wow what a lot of replies! I was glad to get to the end of the post to find you would still continue with it. I don’t get time to catch up on many blogs these days but yours is the one I love to find in my inbox. You write such interesting posts with varied subjects and there is always something to inspire.

    • Thank you Helen. I love your blog too. Your work”man”ship is superb and I always think you look terrific in your clothes. Not everyone manages that combination. You have been really supportive and I have valued your feedback, support, advice and encouragement. To you!

  38. Please don’t stop blogging (if I can be really selfish here). You would be missed.
    I enjoy reading your blog to see your triumphs, occasional struggles (usually overcome magnificently), opinions on other peoples style of dress, the blossoming of your new country home, and the other crafts you have managed to shoe-horn into your already busy life. Reading all that I would understand if you decided you didn’t have time. But I’d still miss you.

  39. I had to read this really fast, with one eye closed, just to make sure there was no word of you leaving us. When that was the case, I could slow down and really read. Your blog was one of the first I started following; you inspired me then and continue to do so. My own sewing is coming really, really slowly, but I’m studying and learning, and getting ready to burst forth!
    Congratulations on three blogging years, and I’ll check into your new one because you’re a great writer. Love learning about craft, and also your lovely family and environs. Here’s to as many more years as you want!

  40. Peter J

    I came across your blog by accident and while I have no great interest in making clothes etc. I find your pages are an antidote to so much of the poor content on the web. Its a fascinating and interesting insight into a world i dont inhabit but find fascinating. Having said that my wife is knitter and now i have led her to your space , she is hooked.

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