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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.