Yup. I’m over sewing blogging

I’ve been meaning to write this post for awhile now. It’s been brewing but I wasn’t sure if it was just a passing a mood or if I really felt this way. Could it be true that I’ve actually grown bored of sewing and blogging about sewing and reading blogs about sewing?Sisters

And how did my Me Made May go this year? About halfway in I gave up, grabbing my old trusty black T shirt and  jeans. Because the handmade ones give me love handles anyway, and  I feel ridiculous getting myself all dolled up and taking selfies of myself with my tripod in my bedroom. And ridiculous for actually caring how many likes and new followers those selfies got me on Instagram.

Sew a new thing every week, post it on my blog and wait for comments and pins. Will sew for free fabric! Why does the validation of strangers, well a few I know, and some I’ve met in person thanks to this blogg, make me feel like my work has more value? Would I have sewn so much if I wasn’t getting the ego massages of a readership?

I honestly feel that blogging and social media is actually creating a culture of narcissists, and I’m sure I was becoming one, too.

And why did I feel so depressed when I wrote an offensive post that earned me a hate thread on GOMI? Did I even know any of those people anyway? I’m pretty sure I deserved that thread at the time, as I was starting to take myself way too seriously. Sometimes it’s hard to see yourself as others might. True or not.

And what about the state of sewing blogs? Another blog post gushing over some boxy and design free t shirt pattern or fan girls gushing over another dartless rectangle. Sometimes sewing blogs feel like “The emperor has no clothes”. It seems every new sewist who has been at it for five minutes is starting up a pattern line and promoting it. More power to them. If the market will bear it, they have every right to. As one sewing blogger I know told me once,” FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!”

Some of my favorite and hardest projects were the least well received and then some of the easiest and dumbest projects like a crappy DIY dolman tee shirt or a crooked potholder were pinned thousands of times. It makes no sense at all.

I don’t have a pattern line and I’m not selling anything.  What seemed to start off as a reaction against fast fashion and consumer culture has itself  turned into just another avenue for monetization and corporate sponsorships. If you really want to make an impact on fast fashion all you need to do is shop at the thrift shop!

I’m sorry I seem bitter about it all. It really was fun and positive for a long time, but everything must have an end. And when you start feeling bitter about something, it’s time to either end it or take a long break away from it. People don’t want to read bitter, do they?

What I do know is that right now I need a break from sewing and sewing blogging and social media in general. I have a garden I’d like to spend more time in, camping trips to take, a birthday to party to plan for Gigi who is turning seven next week and has grown up on this blog, and a house that needs some sprucing up. As well as animals that need bathing on a regular basis!

All those earlier excuses and gripes aside, the truth is I may have lost my sewing mojo.

It seems ironic that just as I created my new sewing studio I should lose interest in sewing.

On the bright side, it will make a great craft room, and I hope to spend more time in there with my girls creating things together, instead of being hunched over my sewing machine, not interacting with anyone else.

I’ll still sew when the urge strikes, but I want to give myself some time off and take away the feeling of pressure that I have now when I think about sewing. I’d like to see if I really do love sewing in and of itself. Without having to post my projects to the scrutiny of social media.  And of course there’s that wedding dress project I still need to finish!

We all care what people think of us. We all want to feel accepted. We all want to feel liked. Social media multiplies those thoughts and feelings without us even realizing it. It’s not healthy to always be under the knife of criticism. In a digital world we need a break from having our lives judged and commented on.

Recently I bought several things from my Land’s End catalog. When I got them in the mail I felt a little guilty because I know I could have sewed them instead of buying them, but guess what? They fit, they looked good on me, and I was done! No fitting issues, no photos to take and no agonizing over my perceived ‘ lack of engagement’. So simple.  Not sew simple!  Just so simple.

But I have met some really nice people and created some nice friendships from the blog so for that I am grateful.

Thanks for reading everyone!

 

 

Share Button
-McKenzie

Comments

  1. Margaret Novy says

    Refreshingly candid! Enjoy your garden, your kids, your life!!

  2. Susan says

    Good for you! When your hobby, passion, creative outlet etc turns into drudgery, by golly, it’s time to stop, at least for awhile. I am a painter/crafter artist who can do without the pain. I personally wouldn’t post a nasty comment on anyone’s blog. If I didn’t like the blog post, I’d stay silent. People in general don’t seem to have the tact or politeness that used to make interacting with the public so much more enjoyable. Take the summer off. I bet you’ll start sewing one of these days, your own clothes and for your little girl, but if not, so what? Don’t let it bother you!

  3. says

    Amen, Sister. I am posting to my blog about once a year, and feeling guilty about not posting more. Oh yeah, there’s the day job, and my teens, and my marriage to maintain. Thank you for all you have posted. It would be lovely to see you here again some time if the mood strikes. But no pressure. Enjoy life. You’ve given us enough. Thank you.

  4. says

    I couldn’t agree more! I’ve been on the fence several times trying to decide whether to keep or let go of my blog. The one thing that keeps me is my Breast Cancer Journal tab. I think for me, it is important to keep it there in case anyone happens onto it that it could help. But I hear you! I’m not racing to blog the next outfit anymore. I’m starting to want to work in my yard now that I have one! ha ha It’s been many years coming and being a first time home buyer, there is so much to be done to make it our own. More and more I feel like I am becoming anti social media. I don’t like the road our youth are headed down. I want to be less a part of it. I started my blog because I was in Germany and life had changed drastically for me…many long hours alone while my husband and children were off to school, leaving me a good 8 hours to entertain myself. Even though I had sewn for years, I jumped into sewing even deeper than I had ever been. I do love to sew for me and my kids, but sometimes it just seems to be overwhelmingly too much work. I tell the kids now, I’m fine with store bought for you if that is what you prefer. Sometimes I shop for me, but lately I haven’t seen anything I care to buy. European clothing was so much nicer and I miss that (insert….should have bought more while I was there!).

    • says

      Ah it’s been nice getting to know you online, Shirley. I remember the German time, how finding patterns and fabric was challenging for you, and then when you bravely battled breast cancer and then the move back to the US. You have been an inspiration and you are also a really talented seamstress! I’ll still be popping into your blog!

      • says

        Thanks Justine! I’ll keep it open and will probably blog a little here and there till I may throw in the towel. Honestly, how many things can one blog? It has served a purpose. Now I want to just make some of my tried and true that I like and I know it works without having to invest more fitting time on patterns that I haven’t tried. My kids are growing up so fast. I figure when I’m dealing with the empty nest feelings, that will be time to dig my heels in once again to cope with a new life. For now I want to scale back and just sew what is needed without feeling like I’m in a competition even with just myself. What a racket pattern makers have though? We blog and they get free advertisement.

  5. June says

    I feel you, Sis. I have also considered blogging but suspected that it could easily SAP my time and creativity. I will miss you, yours was a sewing blog i really looked forward to reading. Enjoy your private time, yoyr family life, and much needed rest. The faithful sewing machine will be waiting, void of judgement, when you get back.

  6. Rosie Goodnight says

    I enjoyed your enthusiastic/creative attitude. Just take a break/ Don’t give up and every so often let us hear from you! Best wishes.

  7. Ruth L says

    Justine,
    One of the things I like most about you is how refreshingly honest you have always been. Blogging is hard work and despite loving to create and being a good writer, it never made sense to me to take on all that extra pressure, especially if it made me hate one of the things I was passionate about. (Plus I love a good Land’s End sale as much as the next girl!) I have never understood why anyone posts to their blog daily… Once a week is more than enough! Close the door on your sewing room, go pull some weeds, and plan an awesome birthday party! I hope you won’t give it up forever, but take your time. Being creative should bring us joy and when it ceases doing that, it’s time to do something that does spark joy. I will miss seeing you in my inbox, but you are making the right decision.
    Warm regards,
    Ruth L

  8. kathi says

    I’ve been sewing for 60 plus years,never had a blog or anything remotely similar to one.I sewed because it was something i loved,and while i did over the years sew for others,i never did it as a business,sure i made money from it time to time,but by word of mouth only.

    Although at one time my bff and i made christening outfits and kids clothes and sold them on consignment,but that didn’t last long either.Those that really loved them didn’t mind paying for a unique item,yet there were others that we heard say,”we could get that cheaper at k-mart,excuse me ,but no you couldn’t,but that’s the mindset a lot of folks have.They want something great for nothing.

    I still sew but just for myself and our family and homes.

    I’m sorry your experience wasn’t a very good one,but that’s the society we live in now.
    Continue to sew for those you love and that appreciate what you do,and if you get a side job,go for it and enjoy the journey.

    I’ve been following your blog for at least a year now and made several comments on it.
    Work in your garden,house and enjoy your family.Life is too short to stress over it.

    Love what you do,and do what you love!!!!
    Kathi

  9. says

    “When it stops being fun, you should stop,” has always been my motto. It’s a hobby not a job. If it was a job, I’d approach it differently. I’m sorry that you are getting burned out.

    Those blogs where people crank out outfit after outfit and take selfie after selfie are boring. I always thought of my blog as my newspaper column, encouraging people to try new things, and having a place to express my views. I blog less when I am doing more stuff, when I’m gardening or cooking. Blogging shouldn’t keep us from living.

    I wish you well, I hope you check back in on occasion. I’d like to see how Rosario’s dress comes out.

    regards,
    Theresa

    • says

      Thanks Theresa, I’ll probably post photos of the dress after the wedding in July. I would love to go to Merida someday! I went to Vallodolid once and loved it. We stayed at the old Governor’s mansion.

      • says

        I love Vallodolid, it’s just two hours from Merida (provided we’re talking about the cities in Mexico not the ones in Spain or Colombia, Spaniards apparently are fond of naming new places after old places).

        You should totally come to Merida, I’ll take you to all the cool places. The exchange rate is the best in years, so Mexico is a bargain. Plus the Yucatan is one of the safest places you could ever go to.

        Though don’t come right now, we are having a heat wave, it’s been 100+ every day. October is beautiful. I get cold in December and January but you probably won’t.

        regards,
        Theresa

  10. Brenda says

    I have learned so much from you & your blog these last couple of years, but the constant pressure to share and post and engage would drive me nuts as well. And I’m right there with you on the “likes” and feedback issues — I can’t even handle it on FB, so I can only imagine what it would be like on a blog that’s all me/you. Like living in a house of mirrors. But one last request — please show us your new sewing area when it’s done! It looked so nice in the early photos, I am dying to see how it turns out and how you organized things. Ok, sorry — that’s just more pressure that you don’t need. So no worries if you don’t — enjoy your summer & if you post just once or 20 times in the next year, I will always be happy to read it.

  11. Sally says

    I have loved your blog….for your honesty as much as your knowledge and inspiration. I will miss hearing from you.

  12. Linda says

    I liked your comments on the patterns you purchased via Wal Mart. The costumes you made were interesting too and fun to read about. I read most all your blogs and have them saved.

    I sew for my grown daughters and make handbags in addition to growing a large vegetable garden and living a somewhat sufficient life on the farm.

    I love my sewing room and fabrics and machines new and old that I collected in my OCD period. Just stitching something and then seeing what it looks like in person is very enjoyable. Don’t totally forsake sewing those cute children’s outfits either and those nice shirts for your hubby. Don’t worry about sharing with the blog.

    Enjoy your private family time in your pleasant life. “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” –Jane Austin.

  13. Elizabeth says

    I’m sorry to see you go, but I’ll check back to see if you’re back now and then. I have loved reading about all the theater costumes you make — and jeans… wedding dresses… all sorts of garments that are way more complicated than what I’ve tackled myself.

    Not a blogger myself but I totally get where you’re coming from. I do wonder the same sorts of things about all the food blogs out there — like, won’t the internet eventually collapse under the weight of all those photos of avocado toast?

    But get out there (back there?) and enjoy life! I will admit to shedding a tear for the fact we won’t see final photos of the wedding dress for your daughter’s friend, though!

    • says

      Won’t the Internet collapse under the weight of all that avocado toast? That is hilarious!!! I’ll post a photo of my FB page!

  14. says

    Justine, I think we all know when we need that “break”. Sewing is an awesome gift, God gave it to YOU, use it as you feel it is enhancing your life, never taking from it! I have sewn all of my life, for myself, my daughter, my home and in gifting. I will always love fashion and strive to be fashionable, but will only make special things when my spirit moves me to do so. You have so much to enjoy in your life now, perhaps have sewing “fit into” it and you will most likely enjoy it more. As for blogging, to me that is tremendous pressure and it would also have me feeling very competitive. Put sewing in its place as you see it now. No worries, darling! I’ll miss your posts, but truly understand your decision!

  15. Julie Walker says

    I appreciate your honesty. I, too, worry about how much time and energy social media takes to maintain. And what is it we are maintaining? For many, it’s unrealistic expectations. So take your break, find your joy and passions. It if turns out you miss this blog and start it up again, hooray! If not, I will still celebrate what it was, and honor what you did.

  16. Barbara lewis says

    I am with Margaret above. Choose life. You have inspired me to do the same. Peace and love, Chica. ☮❤️

  17. Lynn says

    Have enjoyed following your antics into the sewing field! You’ll be missed but I’m glad you’re following your heart.
    Best of luck in the new freedom you’ve given yourself and family.
    Lynn

  18. Margaret Winters says

    Awwwww, sorry to hear that but hopefully your blog will continue every now and then because I have really enjoyed reading it and you inspired a lot of us!

  19. Carol Gardiner says

    Hi Justine, I have to say I agree with all the comments. You will be missed. You are so creative and love so many different things, I am not surprised that you would want to give yourself time to do all those things without the pressure of blogging. Unless you look at your blog as a chance to share some cool pictures of something you enjoyed making or doing (like you would share with your sister or best friend) it seems to me like it could seem a bit too much like work. I have really enjoyed getting to know you through your blog. Have fun in your garden and enjoy your time with Gigi, she will be grown up before you know it. Happy Summer!

  20. Diane A says

    Hi Justine,
    I understand everything you are saying. I started blogging about a year ago (late to the game) and never really got into it. I was hoping to make some sewing friends and connections but that doesn’t really happen in social media. It felt weird posting pictures of myself and was way too time consuming. I think I would rather spend my free time gardening or sewing rather than blogging. I prefer “real life” friendships.

    • says

      Real life is definitely better. Maybe you have a local chapter sewing guild you can join? I recently joined a historic sewing guild and look forward to meeting some real life sewing friends.

    • says

      I just want to weigh in a teeny touch! I completely understand leaving the blogging game. I haven’t touched mine in 6 or 7 months and I don’t know if I will, I even have struggled with interest in reading them, and sewing as I gained a bunch of weight last year (though close to my goal weight now!)
      However on the subject of making real life connections and friends through social media – it can be done and it’s wonderful. People I now consider to be some of my best friends I met through the sewing community. Granted the UK is smaller so you can get the chance to meet in real life at a meet up or even by yourselves but many of us do life at opposite ends of the country. I have met these girls for many meals and drinks over the past number of years. We have thrown each other hen parties, baby showers, have a regular Christmas meal, travelled cross county to their weddings, you name it! Don’t give up on social media and the online sewing community! I deeply vouch for it xx

  21. says

    Vielen Dank für alles,
    ich war nur kurz, aber gerne hier.
    Alles Gute für Dich und Deine Familie!
    Vielleicht gibt es ja mal ein “Wiedersehen”?!

  22. says

    Your words have definitely given me food for thought. I’m still new to the sewing blogosphere so I still get a lot out of it but I can see how I could easily get out of balance. I’ll miss your posts because I really like your personal style and your lighthearted approach. I also really enjoy your historical sewing posts. Take care xxx

  23. Liz says

    Totally! I’m fed up of seeing my blog feed go from ‘this is how to master this tricky technique’ or ‘I tried this pattern and this is what I had to change’ to a fashion parade of newly sewn items with no construction detail, poses like models and, as you say, a series of newly released patterns that really add very little to the design world. It saddens me that I now look at a lot of new releases (ugh, another shapeless dress/boxy top) and think ‘I could do that better’ when that was exactly what I thought of the RTW industry! I don’t blog, and never will, and I have spent the last year slowing down, sewing what makes me happy and fills holes in my wardrobe, not just the next big release or feeling like it’s a competition, that I MUST SEW FASTER! Slow down, smell the roses, burn the nice candles, and watch the world around you. Thanks for voicing what clearly many of us feel. Blogging should be about connecting strangers through shared interest, not feeding narcissistic traits or balancing self-worth.

  24. says

    My blog is five years old now and while I regularly post, it is more about documenting for me than for my readers. That being said I do enjoy the positive comments that come with it and also the comments when things don’t go so well. Because I am writing for me, I also post my less than stellar creations. I don’t feel pressure to churn out projects. My wardrobe certainly isn’t big enough for that! In fact on my Instagram feed where I am documenting my Me Made May (I am too lazy/busy this year for proper photographs and documenting) a lot of what I am wearing has featured in previous years. As for Indie pattern makers, I have my favourites but most of what I see I take with a grain of salt.

    Enjoy your summer and I do hope we see you back again when you feel like it!

  25. Eeeehbahgum says

    Sorry to see you are going – again. You’ve made similar announcements before.

  26. Florencia says

    Hi Justine,
    I really enjoy your blog and I will miss it. I stop blogging 2 years ago because life got on my way. I love sewing and learning new techniques and although I don’t have te time to record it any more I still enjoy my time creating something new.
    Hope to see you back some day, in the mean time….enjoy life!

  27. Jill says

    Your honesty is appreciated and refreshing, Justine. Although I never had a blog myself I too felt compelled to be tied to my sewing room day after day for a long time. I stopped enjoying it as well and have given myself permission to do other things – like interact with my family and friends instead of throwing custom made garments and accessories at them on holidays and birthdays. I felt guilty at first; but now when I sit down to sew it’s because I WANT TO, not because I feel like I HAVE TO. It’s been very liberating.

    I wish you all this best. I may not have commented on your blog often, but I did enjoy reading it very much, not just for your projects but for your realistic attitude and honesty.

    I wish you all the best. Thank you for sharing yourself with your followers for as long as you did.

    Now, go get dirty in the garden!!

  28. says

    Ironically, this is the first post I’ve ever read of yours. Your candor is indeed refreshing and something I’m sure anyone who has ever engaged in social media has felt at one time or another, to varying degrees. Enjoy your life in the wide world! Thanks for all the sewing tutorials you left behind. 🙂 Which I will now go raid. 🙂

  29. theresa henderson says

    awesome post. i often wonder how people actually have time for a life when they are doing nothing but sewing ( quilting ) and blogging about it. how do they have time to make 20+ quilts a year. does this leave time for the important things in life-like your family.

    i had thought about blogging more but i just dont have time. i have a full time job, i have a husband, i have cats. i like to relax after work. i like sleep.

    i just dont see how people do it .

    more power to you for realizing things needed to change

  30. Carrie says

    Oh my goodness, I love you even MORE!!! I know we would be friends if we lived near…..enjoy your life, your beautiful family and property!! XO

  31. says

    Your blog was the first sewing blog I ever read. I’m just going to be real selfish and say that I’ll miss your posts. I am happy for you though. I’ve even felt like that myself at times. Especially in the summer, when there’s no schedule. I know you will come back to sewing because you love it. Blogging…you are making the right choice to let it go if it feels better. Big hugs!

    • says

      That means a lot Amy. I consider you among one of the friends i met in the blogosphere. You always crack me up!

  32. Robin Cogburn says

    Well, I, for one appreciate you and the time it took to do all the public stuff. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!!!!

  33. says

    I’ve fallen into that same trap with other blogs and had to walk away for my sanity. I’m making a very deliberate effort to not look at stats, schedules and social media analytics with this new blog. I’m doing it just for me. I understand the disenchantment and I wish you all the best as you engage with the rest of your life.

  34. Bernice says

    Justine, I’ve enjoyed your blog and appreciate that you have taken the time to share your expertise and creativity. Thank you very much. Good for you for recognizing that you’re ready for something different. Best of luck to you.

  35. says

    Justine, you are one of the few biggish sewing bloggers who don’t follow the crowd. I’ve always admired you for that. Enjoy your garden. Hope you find it as therapeutic as I do mine. I’m guessing you’ll come back to sewing one day. I had a 20+ year break and started again in retirement, after the kids had left home and grandkids had arrived. Maybe you’ll come back to blogging, maybe not. Follow your heart. All the best.

  36. Cheri P says

    I just wanted to let you know that I look forward to reading your blog . I’m a mom and a sewer and I’ve started s small business. I love the tips you give, I always learn something new, but I really enjoy that you share your family with us, it always puts a smile on my face to hear you talk about your family. So please keep all the great tips coming and thank you for letting us share your special family. You are truly inspirational. Thank you Cheri

  37. says

    Enjoy your break! It’s good to step back from time to time and just live life. If you decide to come back to blogging, then if possible, let the blog just be for you, a chronicle of the projects you want to make, with no pressure of trying to please others. I know. Easier said than done. I’ve been terrible about sewing consistently and keeping up my blog. I think the thing that keeps me from giving it up is the sense of community and friends I’ve made along the way. In my real life, I don’t have many people to share my passion for sewing with in real life. That is one of the benefits I have found with blogging, I have a place to share. I’ve struggled as well and have come to the place that I will post when I post and sew what I want. Enjoy your family and gardening. Pop in when you feel like it, if you feel like it. I’ve always enjoyed your blog. You will be missed, but you must do what is best for you and your family.

  38. Eileen says

    What a great HONEST post. Good for you. I have seen some great bloggers turn into not such great bloggers because they fall into the “trap”. The trap of making things they probably won’t wear graduate to pattern testing and graduate to “designing” your own patterns. I feel like a looser at times because I haven’t posted on my blog in 3 years. I sew what I like and sometimes it does not work out so great…but I’m happy 🙂

Trackbacks