My top ten blogs

I have been meaning to write this post for years!

Sewing, and related, blogs have helped me, sustained me, amused me, and encouraged me over the past few years and I am so grateful they exist. While I follow around 100 blogs and manage to read them on the bus, at the weekend, on my phone, even (very occasionally) in meetings, I don’t always leave a comment (mainly because Blogger is unfriendly to me). You may already be an avid follower of blogs, and you may have your own blog, but if not please check these out. I think you will enjoy them.

Most publish to a schedule, so if you follow they will come. But even those that are inactive for a while have a great backlog of important and interesting posts. Use the search button. Like me I believe all the authors welcome questions which they will answer on their blog, if they can. The most professional among them can sometimes intimidate a little, but these bloggers are all very human.

In making this list I was torn. I could give you my whole list, which includes beginners and professionals. In the end I thought I would give you one or more from each of my main categories, a stand out blog that I always enjoy – because of the expertise, writing style, and (in a world where many of the blogs just cover (“things I made”) slightly more unusual content. Some of these bloggers are my friends (now). In creating a short list I have tried to offer you the creme de la creme.

My favourite sewing blogs

With sewing blogs I look for expertise beyond my own, a generosity of spirit, clear, and unpretentious writing. I generally avoid commercial sites.  The top few that I always rely on because of the expertise, are mainly American (but there is a Brit and an Australian in there too). These are all big blogs, most with lots of followers, and deservedly so.

  1. Mrs Mole writes Fit for a Queen; tales from the sewing studio. 

The anonymous Mrs Mole shares hilarious stories of altering wedding dresses to fit. As fit is one of the areas many sewists struggle with I believe there is much to learn here. She also shares the outrageous behaviour of some of her clients, so an entertaining read.

2. Mary Funt writes Cloning Couture: exploring the world of couture sewing. 

Mary is also a sewing professional with very advanced skills in all aspects of pattern cutting, draping, couture sewing, fit and design. These she shares freely. She has a particular interest in “high-end” and couture looks and produces beautiful tailored garments, with a particular interest in shoulder pads and sleeves.

Japanese basting cotton
Mary Funt

3. Carolyn Norman’s Diary of a Sewing Fanatic

I love Carolyn’s blog. She mainly uses patterns from “the Big 4” – so a useful place to go to see the commercial offering, well made, well fitted and in great fabrics and colours.

4. Bunny is La Sewista.

Bunny can be a bit eclectic, but I love that. She includes bags and other items as well as clothes that she sews for herself. She writes about her home, family, personal history and area. She did a series of important and interesting articles for sewists who are no longer beginners – Next Level Sewing – that I think you will enjoy.

5. Carolyn Smith writes Handmade by Carolyn: Sewing, knitting and thoughts on looking my best.

Carloyn is prolific and professional. She is a great constructor, likes to experiment, occasionally prints textiles and includes beautiful photographs of the Perth (Australia) area. With her daughter she has just started a pattern company.

6. Pia writes The Overflowing Stash, a great name, eh? Pia lives in London and is a very talented designer, pattern cutter, and constructor. She copies designer clothes, plays around with blocs and designs, makes very lovely clothes, and organises her blog in a totally professional way taking extraordinary efforts to produce useful and beautiful information. She also helped me make a perfectly fitting bodice using cling film.

Pia

My favourite knitting blog

7. Karen Templer of Fringe Association: Knitting ideas, inspiration and free patterns, sells yarn and knitting equipment. She too is in the US so I don’t feel like buying (the postage and tax are prohibitive). But she shares lots of ideas, free patterns and expertise. My knitting skills are less developed than my sewing skills so I find her approach about right for me.

The funniest blog

8. Anne of Pretty Grievances: when I am not complaining I sew

This blog is hilarious. Anne critiques the latest fashions from modern designers. She also writes up her sewing adventures from time to time, using gaudy fabrics.

The most educative and interesting blog

9. Canadian Sarah Sheehan writes Pattern Vault: Fashion History through DIY couture.

Sarah is a “recovering academic” so you will find her research writing both reliable and polished. She researches the history of patterns and makes a few of them up. A really interesting and valuable blog

The quilting blog

10. Jenny writes Lilac cat: Quilting and Sewing. 

If I am really frank I am not a cats and quilts kind of person. I tried quilting and there is a place for it, but I am not obsessed. Lilac Cat makes quilts for people in need, and some for herself. She has beautiful cats. She writes really well and shares how to make various quilt blocks.

I love all these blogs and read them avidly and learn from them. There are lots of other blogs I follow and enjoy, with much smaller readerships and less regular output. Maybe they are quirky, or I follow them because I like the person and what they do.

But these are my “top ten” recommendations.

Do please mention any that stand out for you.

And just because I need a picture and I have never blogged this sweater, here is something I prepared earlier. It’s another ombre sweater.

Elizabeth Zimmerman raglan
Zimmermann raglan sweater

I used the same Zimmerman pattern (it’s just like the colourful yoke sweater, but with a fake raglan sleeve), and a variety of 4 ply yarns. I had plain bright pink and beige, and I mixed this up with a variegated yarn called Amitola by Louisa Harding. This yarn with wool with silk. I like how the colours came out.

 

 

 

19 Responses

  1. Kerry

    Thank you for sharing your Blog Top Ten, it’s always interesting to see what else is ‘out there’. I only follow a few blogs and my interest is always driven by the blogger’s personality and content. Other than your blog, I follow http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk and MaryBeard of http://www.the-tls.co.uk/category/a-dons-life. It continues to amaze me that people can converse with others all over the world, joined by common interests, people who would never have met IRL. I also never lose sight of the generosity of bloggers who create the content for others to read. Thanks to you, and others, Kate!

  2. Sarah

    Thank you for sharing this intelligence – I think I will be very interested in the sewing ones ( I already follow Karen Templar ).
    And I love the pink ombré jumper – very striking.

  3. Melanie

    Thank you for making this list. Consistently interesting and inspiring blogs are hard to find. I love your jumper and the colour coordination.

  4. Donna DeCourcy

    Thank you for your list. I’m familiar with most of them, and enjoy the generosity of bloggers who share their skills. When I am in sewing mode, I find it very difficult to stop and take photos, so appreciate those who do. Your sweater is very pretty. I love that ombre effect.

  5. Kim

    May I gloat and say Mrs Mole and I have shared a lunch where some of the tales that couldn’t be blogged were shared. It was wonderful.
    I share some of these blogs in my reader but will be checking those I’ve not seen.
    Please stop goading me with the magnificent EZ sweaters! You’re bringing me to breaking point – and I must finish some lurking tasks before I start anything else 😉

    • fabrickated

      Yes – I am envious! Its like the dark web of sewing blogs – that can only be shared face to face. I look forward to meeting up with you too Kim! As for the jumpers – if you keep knitting the same pattern it always turns out OK!

  6. mrsmole

    Holey Moley…what a shock to see my name in among some of the most popular bloggers in the world! Thank you for naming my blog in such a fabulous list! I follow most of your picks except the knitting ones (for now). The volume and wide ranging topics that you cover are amazing and it makes me think that inside that brain of yours you have so much going on with sewing and knitting and new classes and now writing your book and learning photography…whew…all I have to do is make dresses tight and add bust pads!

    • fabrickated

      The fact that you are funny, modest, kind and irreverent, and you write well, makes your blog one of my all time faves Mrs M. Thank you for churning them out. And what about your wonderous vegetables.

      • mrsmole

        Mr Mole has been starting all this year’s veggies under special grow lights in his study. I have to tease him that they are the same grow lights that they have in the weed shops. One of my last blog posts he told me I came across as bitchy but I got more positive responses for that one than any other, so women love a little attitude.

    • SJ Kurtz

      Geez. Mrs. Mole, more of my nonsewing friends read your blog (because I MAKE them) than any other.

      Additionally, home vegetable growing. So, a blog for all!

  7. Mary Funt

    I echo Mrs. Mole’s comment. I’m honored to be named among your favorite bloggers. Before I read your post I noticed a flurry of activity on my blog and many new followers. I hope my new readers enjoy following my sewing explorations. It’s wonderful when you get to meet another blogger in person; thanks to you and Nick for the amazing time in London. I’m always excited and intrigued by your latest ventures.

  8. Annie

    It’s lovely to know that you are reaching people who are, what I would call, your tribe and we’re all connected to some degree. I’ve met Kim and DF, geographically we’re not too far apart. I’m a bit Provincial and have only visited Big London a couple of times and we’re unlikely to meet irl but our connection is very real for all that.

    I hear you about making comments on Blogger, WordPress and Blogger do not like each other, that grieves me because I like to acknowledge posts that I appreciate, without feedback bloggers could get discouraged.

  9. Aida

    Thank you for sharing this Kate, i discovered and followed a couple of new to me bloggers. I’ve neglected blog reading the last months and just checked my bloglovin feed today after a long time but when I have the time I always enjoy reading them.

  10. Bunny

    Thanks, Kate, for your awesome recognition. I am definitely an eclectic sewist! You nailed that one.

    Thanks also for the links to some new blogs for me to follow. I hope to be back to writing mine soon. Moving a few states over, rehabbing a gutted new home long distances and still working have cramped my blogging style. I still love to write and sew and can’t wait to share new experiences from a new studio and a retirement from full time employment!

  11. Jenny

    Wow. Thank you for including me! I love your other picks. As always it’s good to see the personality of the blogger coming through and if there is the occasional (or indeed frequent) wicked sense of humour so much the better.
    It’s interesting that all of the bloggers in both your top 10 and mine for that matter (and Kate you are definitely there) are women. And I’m guessing in most cases women in the same demographic. Maybe there is a sense of shared experience which helps makes the connection and as you’ve said not necessarily making the same type of thing isn’t always what draws us to a blog. Mindyou in your case your blog covers so many creative things from book writing to house design to dressmaking to shoe construction we do get great value….

  12. Cherry Heinrich

    Thank you Kate for this list. Many new to me which I will now explore. So far I haven’t managed to get past Mrs Mole – so funny! But also very skilled so I am reading her blog backwards. Instead of sewing.

  13. Pia

    Thank you Kate, I’m honoured & humbled to be included in your list. Reading a variety of different blogs make us all richer for the experiences that we don’t have ourselves IRL! I’m still amazed how quickly you master knitting. My balls of yarns are gathering dust & feeding the moth nation. One of these days I will follow your example & make something of them.

  14. Elle

    Thank you for this list. I think you’d also enjoy Communing with Fabric: highly skilled, creative sewing, and an interesting, fun person.

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