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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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.