Singing the Blahblah Bloggin’ Blues

Had a bad case of the blogging blues these last couple of months and had to just walk away and think for a while. Blogging was supposed to be an enjoyable thing but became a stress and an obsession instead. I have enough of those already. It got so I couldn’t make anything without thinking about whether or not I ought to be photographing my progress, jotting down the steps and writing a tutorial. And how often did I check my stats?? Sheesh, talk about a creativity killer. Can’t say I’ve come to an understanding with myself about what I’m doing here on WP or why or for whom… but hey I didn’t hit ‘delete this site’ so even if not exactly back in the saddle at least I’m walking alongside the horse. And I have been sewin’ up a storm while singin’ those blues and at the end of the day making clothes is my passion and I just have to keep sight of that.


A while ago while idly perusing vintage dress sites looking at pix of dresses hoping for some inspiration I came across this red beauty on and it was love at first sight!

photos by

So I made a version for myself. It’s made from a heavy silk crepe I’ve been hoarding for years just waiting for the perfect moment to use it and has a velvet yoke, sleeves and pockets. The embroidery is cut out from an upholstery sample, first BondaWeb-ed to stabilise it and help stick it in place on the velvet and then blanket stitched with silk buttonhole thread all around the edges. The pattern itself is a cobbled together job- draped bias sleeves from a 1940’s style evening dress I made a private client a couple of years ago, skirt, also bias is a lengthened version from the 30’s pj top I put a pattern up for (DIY page) and the bodice was adapted from a fitted shirt block. The 4 rows of shirring at the top and bottom of the bodice to control the fullness is a technique I really like and don’t use enough. In a panic I discovered I was down to my last fabric buckle covering kit and they are so hard to find these days… Vogue Fabric site has them in USA and But they won’t ship them to the UK for some reason so had to warn my Mum in New Mexico a packet of a dozen is headed her way which I’ll collect in January. Phew, panic over 🙂

I’ve used the cut-out embroidery technique before on this georgette and velvet kimono I did for Making Magazine (a UK craft mag I do sewing projects for quite a lot)

That’s a pic of one of the  18″ square upholstery fabric swatches a friend who works in a posh interior design shop gave me and the image below shows how I machine stitched it on. Going around all the edges with blanket stitch is somewhere on my to-do list….. someday. Anyway I think it’s a good cheat for adding embroidery onto clothes for those of us who don’t embroider.


25 thoughts on “Singing the Blahblah Bloggin’ Blues

  1. THAT DRESS! I would love love love to buy a pattern for it from you.

  2. What a GORGEOUS dress-so inspiring. I for one want to read everything you blog, even if it is not very often. Thank you!

  3. The dress is beautiful. You are so talented.

    I’m glad you didn’t hit the delete key as I love to see your work. Blogging can become a chore at times and make you feel blah. Now I tend to blog when I feel like it and try and ignore the stats.

    You might try Sunni at A Fashionable Stitch for belt kits. She is based in the US, but I’m sure several UK bloggers have bought belt kits and other items from her.

    1. Thank you Jane, yours is a sensible approach!

      I’m in the US late January anyway so will order some of those belt kits. I’ve already got a dozen buckle-only kits from Amazon waiting for me there as well… I’ll be returning with a few years supply !

  4. I am very touched by the supportive comments that have been made… thank you all very very much! It means a lot to me.

  5. Hi, I always like reading your blog but if you go through a period when your heart just isn’t in it then it is wise to give yourself a break. Good things are worth waiting for. I find that I always have more that I want to do than I can actually get done. It is a good idea to concentrate on sewing (when you feel jaded) if that is what you love – then blog about the results of the sewing.

  6. Your dress is absolutely gorgeous!! And I sympathise with your blogging woes – it’s so easy to get caught up with it, especially as there are such prolific bloggers out there, and put a lot of pressure on yourself to deliver constantly. Your posts are always incredibly informative and educational though, and always interesting to read – however rarely that might be.

  7. Hey Vera,
    I’ve pined your photos on my pinterest board:
    I hope you don’t mind….. Yes I agree with your blogger blues…. but that’s where the world is now, weather we like it or not… So I’m just supporting you and would share my new knowledge of pinterest wealth.

  8. I’m not a seamstress, I can’t really sew. But I enjoy seeing and reading about whatever you make, whatever you blog. I think Heather Lou said it best, try not to worry about the method, frequency or style of blog, just do it when you feel like it and don’t pile on the stress. None of us would want to think that’s what you have to go through to produce these amazing garments and wonderful blog.

  9. OH.MY.GOD. (Clutching heart in sewing equivalent of heart attack). That dress is so unbelievably beautiful I kind of want to cry. Please don’t even JOKE about not blogging if it means we don’t get to see the likes of this little beaut…. I can emphasize with the blog stress. But the important thing to keep in mind is that we 100% put the stress on ourselves. Does anyone really care that I haven’t posted anythings since Halloween? No way. We should be posting because we want to, not because we feel we have to. But you HAD to post this. The world needed to see it.

  10. Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe your dress…it’s incredible!

    I completely relate to your questioning whether or not to photo every step of a project. I’ve been meaning to post some of my creations on SewRetro, but completely forget about taking pics (not to mention even finding the camera batteries, downloading them, etc.), and don’t even seem to be able to remember to get hubby to take a pic of me in the final outfit!

    Please eat lots of green chile for me when you head back to NM. I grew up in ABQ and family still lives there, but it’s really hard to get back from the east coast with 2 little ones in the car! 🙂

  11. I know exactly what you mean about the blog-blues!
    I have not written my blog for well over a month possibly longer and at the moment I don’t even want to look at it.This is the first time I have read another blog or commented either!You have written exactly what I feel.
    I got to the point where I was just making things to blog about,and that is no way to produce something that is of value to yourself, and got disheartened if no one found it interesting (obsessive stats checking syndrome sufferer too) I now feel like cringing every time I think of the rubbish I have posted about in the past year….apart from my version of your french knickers of course!!!!
    I love your dress it is just too gorgeous for words!!!!
    Hope your broken foot is better now too.

  12. I love the dress have to make one. I think a nice green velvet with nice yellow flowers on top.

    1. That sounds a lovely combination!
      This turned out to be such a flattering style that I’m making one in a rayon print crepe soon too.

  13. First, I understand the bloggin blues. I’ve been avoiding creating anything and find I’m blogging more about the antics of my cat than anything else. I feel like I gotta keep up with Blogger Jones and keep turning out posts about whatever which leaves me less time to sew and create. But,now I found you and my Lord what a beautiful dress, and a great little “cheat”, those sleeves are dreamy! and maybe you’ve left a bit of inspiration to get me back at my machine. Ah, just great post here. Thanks!

  14. The red dress = WOW
    Your dress = WOWZA!
    The Kimono = there are no words!
    I have missed you and glad you are back. If you only show up once every week or two and bring us delicious pieces like this, I do not mind ‘starving’ until you post again! There is nothing like dessert!

  15. LOVE that dress! I want something similar myself – need to find a pattern that is going to work because I don’t have your skills of making pattern pieces from scratch 😀
    The embroidery is a great idea. I wonder if such things are widely available in op shops to repurpose – hmmmm!

    1. Hi Kitty, this dress pattern or something like it would get you a long way towards creating a similar dress. A fluid crepe type fabric would work best…. but a soft jersey could too now I think of it. You’d need to draw the yoke lines on the pattern and slash and spread the remainder of the bodice for all the gathering. I did a 2:1 proportion of gathers. If you really do go ahead with a pattern for yourself and have how-to adapt it questions just ask.

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