ceci ce n’est pas une poste*

Magritte’s The Treachery of Images

Hey, reader.  I suppose we could go through the complicated business of apologies and explanations, but let’s not.  I’ve been thinking about it, and I realize that I use the Internet like Quaker meeting.  I speak when I feel moved to say something, and spend the rest of the time in contemplation—reading your blogs (and, yes, GOMI’s Crafting forum**), thinking, and the like.  It’s useful for no one but me, which makes it my favorite sort of anything.  I’ve published posts for the sake of cleaning out my drafts folder before, and it’s just not my sort of work.  Those posts feel a bit sterile to me, you know?

Where was I going with this?  Oh, yes!  I’ve spent the past few months reading around and thinking about sewing, and our community and all of that jazz.  I suppose my posting philosophy—and, yes, I am far enough up my own [I hate having a cleaned-up blog] to actually use that phrase to open a real, live sentence—mirrors my life philosophy [for those of you playing along at home, we’ve just hit Charlotte’s-a-dee-bag-bingo]: I try to leave spaces better than I’ve found them.  I don’t think that five photographs and a thousand words about my Monetas will bring any value-added to the community (feel free to disagree with me, you foolhardy few), so I just hang that sucker in my closet and call it a day.  After all, I’m not terribly original in my sewing.  You could just go visit Mary or Jenny or Neemie or Amanda, to name just a few, to see bangin’ versions of patterns of which I’ve made pale imitations.

But then, that causes a free-rider problem.  The sewing community exists because, yes, it’s a social fact that we’ve agreed to, and we’re bound by silent and not-so-silent rules, some of which make me spitting, raging angry (did I ever tell you about the time that I accidentally knocked off all of the books from my desk, as I launched a scathing rant at a (male) classmate in an English seminar, because he complained that a female protagonist wasn’t nice?  Third rail, reader.  THIRD. RAIL.), but that’s neither here nor there.  It also exists because people write things about sewing, and write reviews of the patterns they use.  In 2007/2008 I literally added every single sewing blog linked to by Pattern Review and Burda Style members to my Google reader [let’s all pour one out for GR] and I still just barely had enough to read.  Now, my to-read list teeters on the brink of untenable, and I have to consciously make a trade-off between number of blogs read and active participation in the community.   Talk about opportunity cost.

Then, I think about the ungodly number of self-help books I read.  They have names like Art and FearA Conversation with FearHow to Discern Whether or Not You Fear the Notion of Fear or the Act of Fearing, Also Fear. . .[Boo!].  Most of them have some variation of the same story.  In Art and Fear it’s a pottery class that’s divided into two: one half is instructed to throw their best work, while the other is instructed to just throw as many pots as possible.  The side that was just going for volume made the technically better work.  In A Conversation with Fear, the author’s husband decided to, quite casually, not come in to eat supper until he missed a basket—and sunk loads of shots in a row.  (The latter text is, incidentally, about skiing.)  In, Ignore Everybody: And 39 Other Keys to Creativity it is the simple piece of advice “the only way to gain approval, is to stop needing it” (or something along those lines.  “Is to not need it?”  I’m in a coffeeshop some 7 miles away from my apartment and that book, so who the hell knows?).

I don’t know, reader.  I’ve got loads of friends who pretend to not want or need things: to have just happened to have found themselves with tousled mermaid hair and wearing corally-pink NARS blush—reading just that book, in just that way, at just that very particular place where you can have enough witnesses to make it real, but not so many that you can be accused of actually trying to get attention.  To have woken up like that.  I wake up to the promise of tea, try to spend a few lazy minutes playing with the Ladies Witherspoon, and will perhaps blitz breakfast in the blender.  Not because my internal compass told me to soak almonds before eating them or drink green juice, but because the pushes and pulls of desires and interests clashed with lifestyle, aspiration, and the ever-so-sticky issues of class and status,  and wrote me a breakfast menu.  Veni, vidi, vici.

I have to admit that I understand why some people have a visceral distaste for the appearance of effort.  My theory is, it isn’t the actual appearance of effort, but discomfort with the dissolution of the fantasy of eventual effortlessness.  If everyone admitted that they hope to be one promotion or eye cream or sewn garment away from this book deal or that astonishing lack of crow’s feet—if it seemed like we were all trying—then life would seem a little more daunting.  The hope, for me at least, is to reach some sort of equilibrium and then ease off.  But that may never happen.

Oh, yes, the point to all this.  I’m on the fence on whether or not to put actual effort into this here blog, and what that would look like.   We’ve talked about this before, haven’t we?  On principle, I am a big believer in putting in visible effort.  I think it is especially important for women to be unashamed of their ambition.***  Gold effing stars, reader.  I want all of them.  However, I also recognize that sometimes these efforts fail—because of the perceived unattractiveness of effort, or because of discomfort with occupying the liminal space between being internally and externally driven, or because some people simply lack the finesse to gussy up how the sausages are made.  I like that I have enough readers to constitute a pretty comfortable cocktail party, rather than fill a football stadium.  I love looking through my stats and seeing where all of you are from (Sitka Alaska!  I was reading Yiddish Policeman’s Union, and wished I could have written you an email, Sitka Reader!  Wow, that bordered on creepy.  Or, when I was writing my paper on post-war pogroms, I realized I had some readers from Poland.  We have to talk, y’all.)  But!  I don’t feel like I’m a good or good-enough steward of this space, and I don’t think I contribute as much to the community as I take from it (yes, the goods are non-rival and non-exclusive, but still).

Anyway, that is State of the Seam Ripped.  2015: The Year I Try Not to Fuck Up.  Full stop.

* Yo, French speakers!  From what I understand, ceci c’est un blog, but if I were to try to use/translate post, would I feminize it like I would for postal mail, or masculinize it like a job post or a physical space?

**I have a big old rant about how some people sheepishly confess to things like watching Scandal or reading Robert Ludlum novels, as if the mere association with them compromises others’ view of their intellect or good intent.  People, man.  We’re allowed to be multifaceted.  Personally, I consider reading GOMI research, which is also why I watch as many Real Housewives franchises as I do.  Do with that what you will.

***Is it just me, or is it kind of a form of ladder-pulling?  Mindy Kaling seems to get frequently annoyed when young women ask her for advice for how to do what she did.  I’ve read her say something along the lines of, “Am I supposed to tell people to write two-man shows with their best friends and hope to have Greg Daniels in the audience?”  Uh, no, but you could tell people to keep working on something creative, even when they have three roommates and shitty day jobs.  You could also stress the importance of putting your work out there, and not being daunted by rejection, because it happens to everyone. As a bonus morsel, you could add in the usual bit about how the work sometimes finds you, but you have to put yourself in a position to be ready when the opportunities make themselves available to you (insert Matt and Ben example here).  I have no idea why I get so hocked off when I hear MK give dismissive responses to these sorts of questions.  I’m just going to blame the half-or-kind-of South Asian sisterhood, and call it a day.

32 thoughts on “ceci ce n’est pas une poste*”

  1. OMG… am I not supposed to tell anyone I read and enjoy Robert Ludlum novels? I recently shared that little tidbit with a friend- Reading my first one from cover to cover during a hurricane. (Parsifal Mosaic…) Guess I will try and keep that on the down low for now.

    I love this post. Best post I have read all year. Ya, I know the year pretty much just began but it says it all! I struggle with the same things. More than half my stuff is un-blogged. It was suggested to me once I should do more tutorials but you know how many tutorials there are already out there? On EVERYTHING? I guess if I come up with some marvelous way to do something no one has discovered I could but for now I just think I would be cluttering up the internet with ANOTHER one. My posts are pretty boring and simple- here is what I made… here is what I changed. And ya- a few mediocre pics. I’d love to do more BUT I just don’t know what I would do. Maybe I will just randomly write what I feel… But is that gonna get me a sewing book contract? 😉

    I think I am off to go enjoy some of your older posts. I am thinking THAT will up everyone’s estimation of my intelligence. Right?

    1. Oh, Laurie. I don’t know if you can both read Robert Ludlum and Seam Ripped. So sorry to lose you!

      Would it be horrible to say that I just don’t *get* confessions of that sort of thing? I’m sure Ludlum is gripping and interesting and hits just the spot when you need it. Me? 2015 is the year that I bought my first Taylor Swift song. (Damn spin class. I’ve had “Shake It Off” in my head for weeks. Weeks!)

      Thanks for the compliment on the post. Despite the fact that we’re two weeks into the year, I’m happy to have smacked down more than 14 days worth of contenders.

      How many tutorials can we have, really?! Though, I will admit that I was just flipping through some new pattern offerings, and there are some things that are offered as entirely new patterns that could probably be tutorials. (Applying ribbon or strips of fabric onto a basic dress, for instance. Doing basic pattern conversions/combinations.) You know what I think the problem is? Sewing blogs and the attached community are relatively new, so when we think of the form of a sewing blog, we think of people who have been around the longest and who are most widely read. In my book, that leaves people like Gretchen/Gertie. But! I don’t want a sewing book. I just want to gossip about sewing in peace. Both things are okay, but I think, for me, I have to step back and think of path diversity.

  2. Does it make any difference to say that instead of going out to get my son’s 18th birthday present, I STOPPED to read this post? That I think there is more than enough room on the happy elevator for everyone, AND we can take some criticism and commentary as well? When you get that (insert golden ticket concept here), you can delete all the posts you deem insubstantial.

    I like your brain. Show me yours and I’ll show you mine? Brains!

    1. Oh, God. What’s he getting/does he read sewing blogs? Even if he were reading, I insist that you spill the beans.

      I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: I’m in school, and I get really disturbed when I don’t get somewhat harsh and straightforward criticism. “Fix that skirt, you dope,” would be welcome. Didn’t Bunny from La Sewista make some sort of badge to this effect?

      I have 28-ish insubstantial posts, rotting in my drafts folder. The must. be. perfect. before seeing the light of day. I do the same thing with blog comments. Is that not how this works?

      The weird Hannibal Lecter-ish imagery. I like your style.

  3. The Effort Post! It came!

    If I ever meant to keep my GOMI association a secret, I did a really, really bad job of it. So no judgment here. But ROBERT LUDLUM??? (Kidding. I’m sure someone who’s read as much epic fantasy as I have loses all judgey points on Robert Ludlum.) … Actually I’m beginning to think that I may have made myself into an unofficial GOMI Craft ambassador. Oops.

    You know … my attention and energy are limited. I can’t put effort into everything. Sometimes it feels like I can put effort into hardly anything, but regardless: the point being, that not everything can be a job, or even job-like. So I’ve got a short list of things that are worth putting effort into: 1) My daughter, 2) My job, 3) Cooking and general life maintenance like filling up the car and making sure we don’t run out of milk, 3b) The dog, 4) Sewing and making things, 5) Health stuff like diabetes and asthma and working out, 6) Reading as much as I can stuff into my head. That pretty much takes all of it. If the blog isn’t just fun and easy, at that point, it’s taking effort and attention away from where my priorities are. Other people have other lives with other priorities and maybe for them, blogging ranks higher up and they can actually devote effort to it. I would assume that if they are doing so, they are getting something out of the experience that doesn’t need to be rewarded by their readers. If not, then that’s something that may require rethinking on their part. I’m not sure free riders really applies to the world of blogs. The fact is that those silient readers by their very presence in site stats will boost the blogger’s chances of obtaining whatever it is they’re after.

    Then again, you may find, once you are out in the wild world of work and away from academia, that you have more free time than you know what to do with and effort-into-blog looks more like fun and less like work. I’m looking forward to whatever you do next with the space, and keep my fingers crossed that we get to see some of what you sew!

    1. See, I’m basically taking an informal poll about whether or not life gets better or worse after school, time-wise. The jury is split. I am curious about what it would feel like to have a brain that isn’t a jumble of deadlines—but I imagine work has its own share of calendar hogs.

      Where were we? Yes! The effort post. I’ve been taking adult ice skating lessons lately, and people keep telling me how brave I am to properly learn how to do something that “fearless, free” children pick up so easily. Oh, the myth of the fearless child. Might I introduce the reality of sample bias? (The timid kids are at home or on the sidelines.) Point being, people seem to romanticize childhood as a time without anxiety, free from the bounds of adult concerns for health and wellbeing. In a weird way, I think a lot of people try to recapture what they imagine to be that feeling of simultaneous freedom and ability. Which, if you ask me, doesn’t exist. I suppose I just need to have another twenty-something annoying epiphanies, and I’ll settle up on all of my promised posts.

      I’ve never read a Ludlum, but I hate myself for reading The Goldfinch. The Instagram (m-ed Text) Heard Round the World for nigh a year. “Everybody just do your thing, man,” is my general life motto, but given that I am a high-strung, Type-A, twenty-something and not a stoned sixty-something surfer dude no one takes me seriously. Go figure.

      Ah, that’s because you’re one of, maybe, a half dozen “out” GOMI crafting bloggers. I find GOMI problematic for a reason that almost no one else cites: boards on boards. I’m a longtime GOMI reader (from before the Crafting Forum existed), and I ended up there from TWoP which had pretty strict rules about that sort of thing. When the habits neufs/Fatty Magoo stuff started, that was when the boards lost me.

      1. I actually found it was kind of both. I’m sorry for saying this in advance, I know it’s contrary to your post, but I was one of those very annoying people who didn’t have to put a whole lot of effort into school to get good grades. So I’d go to classes when I felt I’d learn something, and then spend the rest of my time doing things that were more valuable to me than sitting in a class not learning anything, and it worked really really well. At work, if you’re not there, you don’t get paid, so there’s a lot of sitting around at my desk when I’m done everything productive but I can’t leave yet because I’m being paid for 40 hours. BUT. When I go home, there’s no piles of work lurking in the corners to demand my time and attention–or at least, not the way schoolwork did. A lot of it, I think, depends on your job and temperament, and you’ll really only know for sure when you get out there and start working.

        See, I’m such a newbie that I don’t even know what TWoP is. Oh! TV w/o Pity. Took me a moment there… Boards on boards can definitely be a problem; but for me, anything run by and for humans is going to be deeply flawed, and you’re picking the flaws you can live with. I can live with boards on boards in exchange for being able to have in-depth honest conversations with people I like on things that interest me, rather than 300 repetitions of “nice job! looks great!” But I’m sorry it lost you. 😦

  4. I definitely ‘take’ more from the sewing community than I put in and maybe that’s why I feel guilty sometimes for not posting all my makes. I dunno. I agree with Laurie though, sometimes I feel like I *should* do a tutorial (maybe that’s how I’ll increase my readership!), but then I realize, what the heck am I going to teach people that you couldn’t google already?

    I’ve never even heard of Robert Ludlum and now I feel like I’m missing out on something juicy! My husband is definitely in the camp that looks down upon people who watch reality shows. How he ever stayed with me during my ‘Jersey Shore’ phase, I will never know. I think I first heard of GOMI through your blog and oh man, I fell down the rabbit hole one day, cackling to myself while reading some of those forums.

    I look forward to reading your posts, whether you’re writing about a recent make or not, so I hope you do continue to write here when the time permits and as long as you enjoy it.

    1. I know you know this, but I’m tired and feel compelled to say it anyway: Sometimes, bloggers really can’t distinguish forest from trees, because they’re so deep in the trenches. Everyone starts doing tutorials, which are old hat, but they don’t take on soft eyes and realize that the tutorials didn’t necessarily drive increased readership five years ago (as much as it did drive increased page views), but it was rather the confluence of the dark arts of SEO; the novelty of the idea of lay-person knowledge-sourcing; and further good, strong work beyond that one tutorial post that formed the launching pad, here. Going to jump off the soapbox now. Y’all stepped on a land mine by mentioning tutorials. I do a lot of international business stuff at school, and we constantly talk about how literally adopting a technology, rather than developing an environment that encourages innovation, is just a recipe for perpetual lag.

      Jersey Shore? I would have never put money on it, but now that you mention it, I can see you as a Jersey Shore fan. For me, it’s reality shows when they’re in their infancy, when the participants don’t quite know which parts they’re supposed to play. The first two or three seasons of Bridezillas are priceless.

      Oh, I’m so full of myself, I don’t think I’ll ever not have a blog. And, I keep such good track of the SBC, I can’t imagine ever not having a sewing blog. So, I’ll be around to darken your door for the foreseeable future.

  5. Lady, you keep on being you! I must admit to stalking every single post you craft but can never figure out words rad enough to comment. So here she be:

    1. Your musings on sewing and community and ethics and consumption quite simply get the brain going. It’s such a different take to everyone else and I heart it bad. In saying that, if you want to post on Scandal and why I need to get on this wagon- make it so!

    2. Effort is tops. Hats off to those who have effortless achievements but I wanna see that people choose to do something and work to make it happen. That inspires me. Yeah, you’re gunna make mistakes and sometimes look like a tool. Welcome to learning 😀

    3. Guilty pleasures are the best! I used to feel somewhat ashamed about my addiction to angst noughties teen shows (read: The OC, Roswell, Dead Like Me) and then I was all “frack that, I’m fabulous trash tv and all!” and then went to Buffy con. Because rad ladies are totally multifaceted.

    And this is why I don’t comment- gah! Anyways, glad to hear all is well your way and hope you had the best time at the Kanye soul cycle (is it weird I am referencing an instagram pic? Oh well, I’m rolling with it!)

    1. I actually just don’t comment anymore, because I can almost never figure out what to say, despite loving so much of what I read (including your adventures, madam).

      1. You are not currently on the Scandal wagon? So, CBR does not get terribly cold, I know, but you want to watch Scandal just for the wrap coats. And the show’s weird self-awareness of being the era of the GIF and meme. “It’s handled.” [cut scene]

      2. Yup. “I just whipped up this perfect cashmere riding jacket over the weekend, in between brunch and my bridge game.” Well, isn’t that special. Then again, I recognize that there do exist people who just have a knack for [whatever] that I don’t have, and I like reading their posts too, but I feel less horrible eye-rolling about it.

      3. I have given up on guilt. My name is Charlotte, and I watch a truly unholy amount of television. I am out and proud. Oh, Buffy is the Platonic ideal television show, though. One day, I am going to write a paper on the Golden Girls- Arrested Development- Buffy incestuous writer triangle.

      OHMYGOD cycling was so rad, I had to cancel rock-climbing today because I was convinced that my entire body was shut down for service. This is why *I* don’t comment.

      1. Haha! I think not. … not that I have anything against those who do. I just found this post very humorous, and that was one of my favorite parts.

  6. I’ll join you in pouring one out for Google Reader. Google Reader is the reason I was able add people like yourself to my feed, and it didn’t matter if they only wanted to post something every third full solar eclipse, I would get to read it without having to remember to check their website all the time. Yes, now feedly does almost the same thing (hate bloglovin’) but Google Reader where I began to feel the weight of how much writing about sewing I was consuming, and then aware that it was a one way conversation.

    I don’t think really think of your not blogging about your sewing as a free-rider problem. Not everyone needs to have a blog, and certainly not everything that someone who does have a blog makes needs to be written about (that’s what instagram is for!). However as a reader, before I had a blog, it felt like I was commenting from the ether, from a dark unknown void. It felt a little like one of many applauding to a stage “great top, it’s lovely on you!!” It was not a conversation. I probably only blog about a third of the stuff I make, and I’m certainly not breaking any new ground in the stuff that I do blog about, but at least now it feels like I’m putting myself a little bit out there, and if you want to see a little of me, you can, and when I tell you that I like your top, and I have nothing more insightful to contribute, you might believe me when I tell you that I’m not just a monosyllabic commenting robot.

    To the question of what the effort would look like? I’m not sure I understand the question. I can’t read any of your posts and without thinking about all the reflection, drafting and re-drafting that must have gone in to them. Do you think it doesn’t count if there’s no muslin picture? I mean you could do the usual make a pattern, chat about it a little, have some pics of you in it, but I’m just as happy to read what ever writing what ever stuff comes out of your brain.

    1. You know, someone recommended the Digg Reader to me, and it actually works quite well, but I am too lazy to spend the afternoon categorizing all of my subscribed blogs. (I try to read *everything* in the community, which is growing impossible.)

      The conversation issue is a biggie for me. Even though I have blog, I still most of the time feel like I’m shouting into the great unknown, from the great unknown, and like it is rather pointless. Though, people like comments! Constructive ones especially! Before everyone had a blog, I remember blogger-commenter friendships forming, and wonder if that’s possible now with the weight of the expectations we seem to have developed of full participation in social media. Whatever the hell that means.

      Oh, thanks, for the effort bit. I think, and I’ve said this before in other spaces, that for some bloggers (myself included), our sewing blog format is derived directly from the Pattern Review/Burda style template, which creates a “picture or it doesn’t count” attitude that isn’t necessary now that there are so many results when you Google “Simplicity 2444,” or what have you. I feel like a bit of a slacker for not at least trying to cleave to that, even though I understand that it’s now largely a matter of preference.

  7. Charlotte, you’ve got a boatload of ideas and a ton of talent. As gag-worthy as the concept is, having a private “mission statement” with goals for your blog can really help you focus and edit it.
    Nah, scratch that. Do what I did at your age…sew up some Halston patterns and go out dancing. On the nights that someone doesn’t come home with you, read a Robert Ludlum novel. Enjoy your youth!

    1. I’ll take option B, methinks. But, I am really entertaining the idea of a mission statement. That might be a good substitute for lonely Ludlum nights.

  8. No need to apologise. I’m hear because I thoroughly enjoy reading about your thoughts, and also because I love how well read and worded you are on topics that are of particular interest to me.
    When I first started sewing… I read everything and posted like a maniac. And like a sponge, my absorption rate hit its threshold, and I could do neither of those things no more. Also, in contrast to before, I didn’t want to. And it was at that point that I decided I would give no fucks about others expectations, and I would blog for my own pleasure. I often wonder if others experience a similar effect after the initial glow of blogging wears off.
    I have some kind of mythical perpetual motion machine attached to the ambition part of my brain – which makes the acquisition and hoarding of said gold stars extremely necessary, and it drives me both in my sewing and my career (where I operate as part of 1.9% of my organisations female population who are in high powered operational roles in the construction/maintenance industry. Sound cocky? I give no fucks about that either). So I very much understand that drive.
    I’m with SJ Kurtz. I get excited when you blog. So if I am to say anything at all.. you’re already onto a good thing and I don’t see why the continuation of that is at all a bad thing. Ms McCall said it for me – I think what I particular enjoy about your blog is that it is about sewing, but it worded, not imaged. It takes a lot more to write than it does to take pictures. It covers the peripheral sewing world issues that we can all relate to, and then partake in a meaningful conversation about.
    Love your work – and Happy New Year to you 🙂

    1. Happy New Year, Mel!

      I’m trying to wire the ambition part of my brain in a way that jibes with sewing. On one hand, I want to sew all of the things and sew them well and post frequently, but sewing is one of a constellation of hobbies I have, and the proportions of interest seem to constantly ebb and flow. Can I ski well and sew well and read for pleasure and travel and rock climb and live the rich, dynamic life that a confluence of contemporary media and old-fashioned ambition has rendered me entitled to? I’m determined to forcibly make the answer yes. It’s totally healthy, I’m sure.

      Oh, I do enjoy your cockiness and donation of no fucks. I hate, hate, hate it when people diminish their jobs with a series of “justs” and “little oh me, it’s a complete accident.” NO. You are one of few female engineers in that position, and damn it you fucking earned it, and continue to deserve it. Huff.

      Thanks for saying the lovely things about the blog. Luckily, I am just self-absorbed/creative enough to always need an outlet for my sewing thoughts and/or feelings, but the competitive part of me needs to feel as if there is some sort of Pareto improvement each time, if that makes any sense.

  9. Coming out of the lurk to comment – I like a little substance and discussion with my sewing style. I also am a big fan of visible effort – you don’t wake up one morning being a success (or on the path to it), you work for it. Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes it’s just one foot in front of another but it’s never effortless.
    On the other hand, sewing is a hobby and it’s supposed to be fun! I guess I think that it’s still effort in a way, just fun/enjoyable effort. For me, when it stops being fun than it becomes effort that could best be directed into necessary non-fun things.

    On “guilty pleasures” – I myself have a not-so-secret addition to romance novels. I used to hide them in shame, but these days I’m done with apologising about the things I like. It’s very liberating!

    1. I think one of the biggest signs that I’m becoming a different, possibly more decent, person is that I’ve completely given up on shame. It’s pretty much never worth the energy. I see your romance novels, and raise you getting dragged down the street by my obese cat when I walk her.

      I go two ways a) sewing is supposed to be fun, yay everyone! and b) why did you put that on your blog, do you not know how to press? (I’m kind of a mean girl.) So, I don’t know how to strike the balance between the harshly judgmental 2/3 of my personality, and the other 1/3 that wants to be all “Everything is irie! Just do it, man!”

      High five for the Visible Effort Brigade!

  10. I feel like the best way to blog is to write for yourself. You can keep it in draft form, in Evernote… or you can share it in a blog with your sewing friends because only we will understand. The only people at work that show any interest in my sewing hobby are those that totally lose interest when they find out I don’t sew things for other people. So go there. Go there with your ideas on things, the books you read, projects you are interested in, items you like to sew and things you hate to make. Go there with your opinions. You are not a magazine with subscription fees, you can write anything you like. You don’t have an audience to satisfy, just do your best for yourself because someday, you might want to look back and see what it was that brought you to this particular place.

    I will probably still follow you if you get obsessed with hats and really any tv except TBL and DWTS. I am an old TWOP regular and understand about your metaboard feelings however, I don’t miss some of the psychotic megalomaniacal mods I encountered there which thankfully are not on GOMI. I did find out that Bravo’s Real Housewives will not rot my brain and I do watch Scandal and only sometimes roll my eyes at Shonda’s ridiculous over the top dramatic monologues that sound like the same person when anyone holds forth.

    As for life getting easier, depending on what you do it is highly likely life will be more complicated, filled with stress and more difficult after graduation. It is almost guaranteed. There are also wide periods of boredom and disgust. However, you will have moments where you feel on top of the world and that everything will work out just wonderfully. Those moments of joy will pull you through. And you will look back on college years fondly and with longing.

    1. Do you find yourself giving dramatic, over-the-top monologues? I do it all the time in class now. I’ve also started saying “shitbird” since (finally) watching The Wire, and “reading” people, as instructed by the Real Housewives of Atlanta (which I started watching because Anderson Cooper recommended it as the best of all the franchises—I still think early-days New York and New Jersey take the cake). I was only an occasional TWoP participant, because things got really intense, really quickly. But I loved reading, and loved the order of things, if that makes sense. Rules are my jam, but I can understand how the mods were stifling.

      Where were we? Yes! Sewing. I have loads of friends who ask me to teach them to sew, then choose complicated bias-cut garments or to “self-draft” unwearable things, rather than go with my A-line skirt recommendations. The second group say “teach me to sew” when they really mean “sew something for me while I drink wine and watch,” which has rendered me a total meanie about it. I do wish I had more DC sewing friends, because a lot of the good, important information I’ve gotten about patterns have come from the honest feedback of friends, which, up until the GOMI forums started jumping, was hard to come by on the Internet. For instance, a friend advised me against the Devil Dress of Pattern-Drafting Incompetence, also known as Darling Ranges. I saw so many cute ones on blogs, without notes on problematic fitting, and thought “surely, it can’t be that bad.” It is. It is that fucking bad. I’m honestly considering ceremoniously burning it during the next cold snap.

      Thanks for the encouragement. I think that I might do some more of the going there. I temper my opinions on this blog, because, while I acknowledge that there exist norms radiated down from on high (-trafficked bloggers), and that some of them are suffocating and antediluvian, I still for the most part follow them. I should probably do more “going there,” and less holding back (which is why I don’t really post pattern reviews, as I have Rahm Emanuel’s mouth).

      Looking back on my college years with longing? I so look forward to that. For me, the great struggle of my college years hasn’t really been time or stress, but rather a feeling of powerlessness to these administrative tides that have little to do with me, but manage to wash my ship ashore far too often. Obviously, I’m starting my job as a tadpole, and will likely experience the very same thing when I start work. But hope is good, yes? Yes.

  11. Your posts are always a treat to read – so much so that I save them in my Feedly to read then and then by the time I get around to it, it’s been so long since you posted that it would seem strange to reply. While I would absolutely not turn away pictures of fabrics and garments and the odd notion, I thoroughly enjoy your blog as is.

    Because I lurked your comments and read about your desire to eventually write a paper on Arrested Development, I must tell you that I did exactly that thing and presented it at no less than two conferences. I kind of wish I’d decided to specialize in TV because I certainly watch way more of it than I read books these days.

  12. I love your blog because it has substance. I don’t need nor read fillers. So do as you please, write when the muse strikes you and we’ll be there.
    Now, Ludlum winds a mean yarn and I have consistently found him very good at cutting airport noise to an acceptable level.
    If you mean This is not a blog, you would say :”Ceci n’est pas un blog” if you mean This is not a post, I would say : “Ceci n’est pas un billet (ou article)” but then, post is starting to make it’s way as an acceptable French word to bloggers so you are just ahead of the curve, though post in that sense is masculine. Ceci n’est pas un post.

  13. Happy New Year! As usual you are so on point. I will make my comments with numbers to pretend that my thoughts are organized, but they are not (yes I do it at work too. it works) :

    1. Originality and sewing blogs. Damn this is a hard one. I’ve been reading blogs from back in the old days and since I started mine I still can’t say what I’m bringing to the table. It’s not like I can be really myself there (although I’m trying to go in that direction) because the space would quickly sound like GOMI and everybody would notice that I am really not nice. at all. Who wants to read the blog of a not-nice-person? No one. Like any blogger I like my stats… I was thinking about that every time I read the writing blog hop. I was trying to answer the questions in my head and could not think a single thing. I’m guessing it’s not a good sign if I can’t even articulate why I do it.
    I keep thinking that there must be something else to do today. Maybe something about instagram, or medium. I don’t know. Something that is not just a blog showing what I made. Let me know if you figure it out!

    2. Finding stuff to put in my Google reader in 07-08 = daily activity. 2014 is the year when I started deleting active blogs from my feed.

    3. Interesting point about the appearance of effort / effort on your appearance. I’m realizing more and more that it’s very cultural. In France, you have to constantly pretend you’re making no effort at all, but here in Haiti or in Latin America as a woman you are expected to put in a lot of effort. It’s even better if it shows in form of chiseled abs, heavy gold chains and designer bags!

    4. French speaker to the rescue. In my usual narcissistic way, I decided that you are specifically asking for my input here : french bloggers use the anglicism “un post” which is ugly, but hardcore defenders of the francophone world will use “un billet” (a note). They are the same people that insist on translate the word email (courriel).

    5. You are the only blog where I read the comments (and your replies to the comments). That’s should say something about the quality of the “billet”.

  14. Bravo once again on such an engaging post. I wouldn’t argue that lack of posting/commenting constitutes a freeriding problem as such though. In any community there is a number of prolific producrs and a number of heavy consumers and an entire spectrum between.

    For some reason I keep stumbling across blogs from software developers who manage to tease out “this is what I understand about the world based on my experience with code”. They’re engaging not because I give a fig about scrum or code or GTD. As much as there is a genre of sewing blogs who can churn out a catalogue of patterns – giving us all a common knowledge base – perhaps there are still gaps and voids in blogs who can use “because I make things” as a frame for their view of the world.

    Sticking with basic economics – It’s all water and diamonds.

  15. Um, I’ve never even heard of Ludlum! I guess I’m a little sheltered in my tiny corner of Vegas. Ha! My mermaid hair took so much effort (and massive amounts of weather luck- humidity, but not too much humidity) and I still only had the occasion day of really good hair. That is why I cut it all off. I just feel more like myself with short, straight hair.
    I so look forward to reading your blog posts, even if they aren’t as frequent as others. I post far less often than you! I completely understand not posting about your Monetas. I, too, feel that it’s all been done before, and more eloquently than I could ever have done.

  16. I can’t say that I have any idea who Robert Ludlum is, but given my love of historical romance and YA fantasy/romance books, no judgement here!

    You might find this hard to believe, but I’ve been struggling with this too. I look back at the posts from last year and wonder why I’m still bothering. I’m not tailoring coats or doing alterations for the queen, I’m just making simple stuff that hopefully makes it’s way into my closet and gets worn regularly. Oddly though, I don’t mind reading about it from other people, but for some reason I feel a bit silly about posting my own. And because I’ve been trying to focus on simple things, I don’t feel like I’m contributing to the community very much either. Unless my dogged insistence on sewing for my actual life (as opposed to some fantasy where I need lots of fancy dresses) will rub off on others. However, I enjoy your quirky style of writing, so post about all those Monetas or whatever to your hearts content. 🙂

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