Friday, 24 June 2011

Me-Made-June... Days 19, 20, 21 and 22

Me-Made-June is still on, I'm still wearing self-made clothes every day this month. This week I've rediscovered a couple of homemade dresses that I haven't worn for ages...


Day 19

What's Me-Made in today's outfit?
Banana Sweetie Beignet Skirt

Where was it worn?
Hanging out in Brixton. Yes, it's June and yes, I'm wearing a cardigan. Looking a bit glum in this shot as I've just read the comments on this blog post and taken them personally.

How often is it worn and why?
See Day 10. I said then that that would be its last outing until the Autumn, little did I know June was going to feel like Autumn...

Will it be worn more often in future?
I think so, yes. Thanks to MMJ, I've found some new ways to style this.


Day 20

What's Me-Made in today's outfit?
Where was it worn?
To work. A very dreary day.

How often is it worn and why?
Never! The colour washes me out a bit. Plus, as I realised on my lunch break today as I skipped down Goodge Street, the slit at the back is a touch too high - derrière disclosure paranoia!

Will it be worn more often in future?
I'll probably wear it more often than never, yes. Probably only with tights so I don't need to worry (so much) about flashing innocent passers-by. I might be able to attenuate the dulling colour issue with a bright red necklace or... any other suggestions?



Day 21

What's Me-Made in today's outfit?
Where was it worn?
To work, a meeting, then the pub, where a "comedian" decided to pick on my dress sense, ask if people comment on it in the street all the time, and then try to dig himself out of a hole for the rest of the night. He said I looked like a girl scout! I much prefer another man's comment that I looked like I was on a 1950s cruise - well put. I don't think I've got a particularly wacky style, so it was a bit of a shock that it became such a talking point. I'm extremely sensitive to criticism, but in this case I honestly didn't feel even a hint of offence - I felt proud that I stood out from the crowd and enjoyed the debate that ensued. Have you ever been in a similar situation where someone questions why you dress in a certain way? How did you feel and react?

How often is it worn and why?
Only once ever. I love 1950s full dresses but they're not amazingly flattering when you're little like me. The hem line was a bit long on this and I finally got round to taking it up this week so it hits the middle of my knee. At some point I'm going to raise the waistline by an inch or two as I think this will make it more wearable too - but that requires restitching pleats and a zipper, so I'm not in any hurry!

Will it be worn more often in future?
Yes. Another MMJ success story. I really like this dress, and have a particular attachment to it after it got slated by a man wearing light blue jeans with black shoes (tee hee).


Day 22

What's Me-Made in today's outfit?
Betty Draper Jacket
Self-Drafted T-Shirt

Where was it worn?
To the office, a couple of meetings, followed by an office screening of Bridesmaids. Which is a hoot!

How often is it worn and why?
As I explained on Day 9, I didn't wear the jacket much before MMJ, but I promise to wear it much more in future. I wear the t-shirt at least once a week!

[Soundtrack: 'Guilt' by The Long Blondes]

PS. I've been hassling my friend Karen to start a sewing blog. Well, guess what? She did! Pop over, if you will, to say hello...

49 comments:

  1. That blog link you posted actually made my blood boil a bit! It took me back a few years when I started photography and you can't believe the amount of apparently well meant "advice" and comments by more "experienced" photographers. Funny that none of the advice was constructive, it was all about "you think you can have a SLR and be a photographer, you're young". I was honestly pleasantly surprised the sewing community didn't have these types but I think I was wrong.

    I know the blogger says she doesn't mean to criticise but the constant references to young sewings and enthusiasm and no mention of the positive aspects makes me wonder.

    I know it's hard but try not to take it too personally, you are a great seamstress, sewing, stitcher and blogger.

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  2. Lovely makes as always Tilly...I especially like the birthday party dress and the jacket. In reference to 'that' blog post and comments...I find it rather patronising. I for one love tutorials by sewists at a similar level to me, as they are generally well explained and easy to understand, as the writer has just learnt the technique themselves an therefore understands where there may be confusion. Also, I think experience is all relative anyway...as someone who has only been sewing since last Christmas, to me you are greatly experienced Tilly! I love your blog and think that you are a great stitcher, so please try not to take the comments to heart.

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  3. Tilly, I was one who commented on that post and my intention was not to belittle you but merely to say that I feel even after many years of sewing 'I' am still only an intermediate sewist. It was really about me and where I am. So please don't take it personally as I think you are a great sewist and that I could probably learn a thing or two from you. keep up the good work. Hugs.

    It's good to see that you still have things to wear for me made June. I'm impressed you have so much. I've got to the point where it's like 'haven't you got anything else to wear?' Sad, but true. I'll have to work on that :)

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  4. Hey Tilly,
    I tend to be little bit of a lurker but I really wanted to comment. I follow Carolyn's blog too, as she's one of only a few plus size sewing bloggers, but I too felt uneasy with her post and I just wanted to say your response was very well explained and resonated very strongly with me. So in summary, "Go Tilly!"
    :)Alana

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  5. Hi Tilly!

    A few things - I understand why that blog post made you feel a bit sensitive, I would have been the same. I think you responded to it in a very graceful manner and should be commended for that.

    The other thing is that I adore the birthday dress on you! I don't know what that person in the pub was on about, but maybe he thought you stood out because you looked so elegant. You always do in your photos.

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  6. It seems that some people use 'Experience' to describe a set level of skill or length of practice, while others of us see it as relative to where they started and where they're heading - we are all gaining experience all the time! Even someone who's just sewn their first ever garment has got some experience from it - and you have so much more than that, Tilly. Keep up the good work and don't be put off the 'E' word!

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  7. Love the birthday dress and the addition of the scarf was a great touch!

    Also felt moved to add a comment on Carolyn's post. It seemed to me to a be tinged with a little "sewing superiority" which seems to fly in the face of what I know to be a very supportive and encouraging online sewing community. Not impressed!

    Px

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  8. I found her post a patronizing to be honest. You could have decades and decades of so called 'experience', but if you don't try new things, new techniques, you'll never get any better. Surely what counts is your capability to do things to a high standard? And your clothes always look really well made, fit nicely and look fantastic. Surely that's good experience in itself? xxx

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  9. Hi Tilly - wow, you've received a lot of attention this week, and I am so sorry that some of it has unsettled you. You're an absolute INSPIRATION to so many Sewists, myself included. The online sewing community would be a much poorer place without you. From the get go, you've displayed immaculate taste and style and I know I've learned a lot from watching your sewing journey and the many posts into which you clearly pour an awful lot of care and thought. You were the first online sewer I met when you arranged the outing to the Fashion Museum, and I am so glad to have become friends. Nothing can take away from what you've achieved and don't forget that. Hey, people are talking about you. You must be doing something right! NB I love the Birthday Dress too. I can't see the issues with the waistline, but perhaps that's because of the navy colour.

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  10. I'm with Roisin in that I understand why the post made you feel sensitive and I also think your response was very gracious.

    What is it about the 'human condition' that loves to put labels on ourselves? Beginner, intermediate, expert? Who cares?

    You clearly love sewing and have a great way of describing what you do. I'm with you that a description from someone who has just grappled with a technique and lived to tell the tale is often better than an expert.

    Which reminds me of a training course I went on many moons ago. It was a course called 'Training the Trainer' about how to structure and run training courses. The tutor was great in that she said a good course was one where you worked WITH the students and that every course should be a learning experience for the tutor as much as the student.

    'Avoid calling (and thinking of) yourself as an expert. An expert is an 'ex' as in has-been and 'spurt' as in drip under pressure.'

    (Try saying the word 'expert' slowly and you'll see what she meant).

    Also, she said that if you find yourself about to call something 'complex', it usually means one of two things. Either you think the person you're teaching is stupid (hopefully not usually the case) or, more likely, you are useless at really explaining it.

    Worth thinking about?

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  11. I don't think it was very fair of the blogger to pick on your post and blog in particular, if she wanted to make those comments she couldn't have without targeting them at you. The problem with her argument is that she may have years of experience but some experienced sewers do not push themselves forward and learn new and advanced techniques which new learners may try. Making the same dress over and over again does not necessarily mean you are better then someone who tries different things, makes mistakes, and learns from them. Plus time is a big issue, some people sew every day, some people only once a week, or once a month, I like to blog about my dressmaking so I can share it with my friends and like-minded individuals. I may lack years of experience but I have been surrounded with sewing since I was a small child and I find that I have taken in things that I didn't even know I had. Also there can be no substitute for raw talent, which is something I think you have Tilly, in spades!

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  12. I love your Birthday Party dress - such a simple shape, but it really does suit you.

    I don't know what the point was that this blogger was trying to make, but I really hope you won't take it to heart.

    I read sewing blogs to be inspired by how many passionate, talented and enthusiatic stitchers there are in the world. I don't think it does our craft any favours to perpetuate a myth that you have to have been sewing for 40 years+ in order to be capable of making beautiful things and maintaining such an interesting blog.

    I am sure you are an inspiration to all your readers, and the fact that you are so talented and capable having only been sewing for 18 months is something to be congratulated, not criticised.

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  13. I thought your response to the comments on the other blog was very dignified.
    I too am a newbie to all this sewing malarkey and at 26 I definitely don't have lots of experience. I've only really got into it this year and sewing blogs such as yours and Karens at 'Did you make that?' are really inspiring.

    And by the way the 'comedian' clearly was an A Grade arse. I think all of your clothes are gorgeous!

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  14. I love how you styled the birthday party dress. Very 50s nautical chic! And I wouldn't take what that lady said too seriously. If she's been sewing for 41 years and is still an "intermediate", she's obviously missed something along the way (or just decided that's as far as she wanted to go)! Goodness, I've only been sewing for a year and I consider myself an intermediate. And who care's if you've sewn 30 button holes or 300 so long as you've mastered the technique. Your post came off to me that you didn't just want do do a technique passably once, but wanted to add it to your list of skills, so I'm not sure what she was talking about.

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  15. Ah, silly comedian. I love how you styled your birthday dress, my very first thought was "wow, very chic with that scarf!". :) I'm also totally in love with your Betty Draper jacket and love the casually elegant look with the t-shirt underneath. I think some poppy accessoires (red necklace and belt?) would definitely help with the blue dress. Also, can I have your teal wall? It's really beautiful, the color is totally awesome... :)

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  16. Tilly, you look gorgeous in every single one of your outfits! At first I thought my favourites were Days 21 & 22, but then 19 & 20 ar stunning too...so I've declared them all my favourite ;o)

    As for the blog post/comments you linked to, it's rather patronising, but nothing to take personally I'm sure. You've been a huge inspiration to me and I think your skills are amazing!x

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  17. Hey Tilly, without wishin to sound like a stalker, you've been the single biggest inspiration to me since I started sewing. To me, it's more important to share your experience (be that a little or a lot) and encourage and inspire others than to clock up the years you've been at the sewing machine. If it wasn't for you, I wouldn't have my own blog (which has become a v important part of my sewing life) it's as simple as that. It's hard not to take those kinds of comments personally, especially since you obviously put so much time and effort into making your blog interesting and fun for your readers. I'd be exactly the same. It was a real pleasure to meet you at the blogger meet up recently, here's to the next time. x

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  18. Just thought I should add my support, your blog is awesome and inspiring. I asked my mum what she thought on this issue (she being a long time, 40 years plus sewer!) and she said that in her opinion a beginner sewer was someone who could make lots of things, an intermediate sewer was someone who could make anything they wanted (even if they had to fiddle about and look some stuff up) and an advanced sewer was someone who could make anything and it would look all amazing and professional tailor-made on the inside! So I guess by her logic, all the older sewers who said they were beginners cant make everything they want, but possibly just because they have become more ambitious or their sewing and fitting needs have changed over the years.

    In response to your lovely outfits, I cant believe that comedian-what a %£&%$*£. I love how guys don't realise how much hurt they can cause people, particularly women, by insulting their appearance and clothes, some people would have been crushed but I am glad to see that you were kicking ass instead! (I hate the kind of comedians who think that we ought to pay for their lifestyles so they can encourage people to laugh at others)

    Also your dress no 2 would look really cute with a red peter pan collar and wing cuffs or something!

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  19. I was quite annoied by the post and comments as well. I don't followher but followed your link.

    I just wanted to post here what I commented because I appreciat your blog so much, you inspire me to sew more for me (instead of just for my children). Technically I have been sewing longer than you, and yet surprisingly there is so much i could learn from you! So thank you for sharing it.

    My coment on the other blog........


    I'm a long time reader of Tilly's blog, she was in fact one of the reasons I took up sewing seriously (rather than just a little here and there)
    My dad has a saying "there is always someone out there bigger and badder than you"
    I think that applies here, just because you are experienced doesn't mean there isn't many others out there with more/wider/longer experience.
    There is no guideline that states one must be over 40 and have 30 years’ experience to do a tutorial as a service to others.
    Who cares if a bloggers end product is less than top-class professional level garment?
    They are illustrating a technique to assist others, who may or may not have equal experience or more experience.
    My own mother taught me how to sew as a teenager, now I am teaching her tricks and techniques that I have either figured out for myself or learned from amazing talented people just like Tilly who are generous enough to share their experience with others.
    In short try to be less judgemental with regards to age or 'on the clock' sewing time, you might just learn something.

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  20. Just wanted to add my support here, others have said it better than I could have done. But really, I've been at it for 2.5 years now and I am lightyears behind your skill level and style. You obviously share your passion in a way that pleases many many readers. So please don't take it personally!

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  21. I found the blog post you linked to really irritating in its tone, and ironic. I stopped reading that blog many months ago because the writer is not open to differing views on any topic, including basic matters about which she plainly is misinformed.

    She takes this "Kids Today" attitude, while she's the one throwing around dated slang like "kewl."

    I contributed to your previous post requesting opinions on how to become an advanced sewer. Needless to say, experience matters, but you develop experience by essaying different techniques and showing some ambition.

    I consider myself an advanced beginner, but I'm modest and conservative in my assessment. I have experience of many techniques that home sewers seem afraid of and I'm much more meticulous.

    I was shocked at some point to learn from her blog that I actually am a few years older than she is. I am not kidding when I say that I could almost be taken for her daughter.

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  22. Tilly, as many others have said, you are an inspiration to new sewists, myself included. I am amazed that you have learned so much in such a short amount of time! I think sometimes people tend to look at the length of time that you spend doing something versus the amount of knowledge you have gained on the subject when measuring experience. If you moved to a different country where a language other than your native tongue was spoken, you would be immersed in that language and would most likely become an expert, or fluent, relatively quickly. I doubt anyone would use the length of time measurement if they were to judge your knowledge in the language. Rather, they would look at whether you could conduct yourself effectively while using the new language. Why should knowledge of sewing be any different?

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  23. Tilly,

    I'm sorry that the post made you glum but I did send you the entire post in an email before posting it to my blog and asked if you had any issues with it. It was posted only AFTER you said you had no problems with it.

    I would never do anything to deliberately cause harm to a fellow sewist or to snatch their enthusiasm or joy of sewing.

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  24. Lindsay:

    The language analogy was terrific. Does the author of the other blog think she cuts and makes up garments as well as a Fashion Design or Menswear BFA graduate of FIT? That only takes four years. An Associates Degree only two.

    Another factor that comes into play with sewing blogs is the author's sense of aesthetics; I think Tilly makes interesting choices.

    Is everything what I would pick? Of course not. What do I need to read a blog for if only to find things with which I am already in complete agreement. :-)

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  25. I love the birthday dress. You did a great job!

    Don't let the comments on that other post get you down. You're an amazing sewist and blogger; I love seeing what you're making. Keep at it, keep learning and keep sharing.

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  26. Carolyn (cmarie12):

    It was generous of you to give Tilly an advance view of your post.

    But by any standard, your tone was condescending.

    I recall that you were hurt when some work colleagues seemed critical of one of your garments, although you said that they tried to be tactful.

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  27. Tilly, I meant to say earlier that something hot pink or fuschia would look excellent with your second dress as well. I love the shape of it, it's so elegant!

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  28. Oh, that jacket is so gorgeous and your me made clothes are so inspiring!

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  29. I think that Birthday Party Dress is SO ADORABLE! If I saw that in a store I would buy it in a heartbeat!

    I read the blog link- **eye roll**. Some people just feel super competitive for no reason. You are amazingly talented and I have loved all the photos you've posted of the things you've made!

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  30. i didn't think the blog post itself was too terrible, but some of the comments were pretty rude & condescending. i don't blame you for taking it personally (me - i would have been crying already! lol!). please don't let yourself feel bad. a label is just that - a label. who really cares if you're ~experienced~ or just a ~beginner~? i mean, seriously - you're making beautiful clothes. they fit you, they wear well, you actually WEAR them. you are inspiring other people to do the same (present company included!). that's all that matters! ♥

    i love the birthday party dress, esp with that little scarf :) i tend to dress a little outlandish and/or over-the-top myself (an evening dress to the bar? don't mind if i do!) and the only comments i really get are praise for my bold personal style or whatev.
    that particular outfit you're wearing wouldn't even make me bat an eye (other than admiring how good it looks & being jealous hahaha). i don't think it looks over-the-top at all, but maybe that's just because i tend to wear stuff like that anyway.

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  31. I love how you styled your scarf with your birthday dress. Gives me some new ideas! And yes, the dress is absolutely lovely and deserves to be worn many more times!

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  32. @ Carolyn (cmarie12)
    As Tilly makes clear, it wasn't *your* post that made her feel glum, but the comments added by others to your post.

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  33. Hi Tilly,

    Go you I say. My two cents about that blog post in question is that a post entitled experience vs enthusiasm suggests the two cannot co-exist, if you have experience you have lost enthusiasm, and that the enthusiastic are never experienced! I totally disagree with that.

    Anyone on any journey mastering any craft, sport, profession or whatever must constantly keep learning new things, mixing stuff up and challenging themselves in order to improve, and that requires enthusiasm. If you lose the enthusiasm for what you are doing then why are you bothering to do it anyway??

    That post suggests we either younger sewers don’t respect experience, or that we want to be able to do everything now and don’t have the patience to practice things until we get them perfect. That experience is not something we value. But to me that seems absurd. We all know that we will improve with time, practise and experience, but does that mean we should sit around waiting for time to pass doing the same thing again and again until we have suitable “experience with it”, or should we get stuck in with learning new things. I know which I’d choose. Anyway we learn as much from making mistakes as we do from perfecting things we already know!

    Terms like beginner and advanced are very subjective anyway, so don’t worry about what other people say. I admire people who have a lot of experience but the people who are still enthusiastic even after years and years of doing something are those who I most admire. If someone is filled with passion for something it shines through. Don’t ever let anyone take that away from you.

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  34. Carolyn - as I said, it's not your post that made me blue, it was some of the comments posted under it by readers.

    Y'all - I really appreciate your warm words about my sewing and my blog, it means a lot to me to read such thoughtful, encouraging comments. Thank you! However, I'm feeling uncomfortable with some of the criticisms being made here about other bloggers. I know you're only trying to make me feel better but it's precisely the negativity towards other bloggers voiced in a public forum that upset me in the first place. I love how supportive, encouraging, generous and positive people are (99.9% of the time) in the online sewing community - it's incredibly inspiring - so let's try to keep it up!

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  35. Tilly, I follow your blog, and get so much inspiration form your work. I am older than you, and have a different style, but admire what you create and have incorporated some details into my own "intermediate" sewing. In addition, your enthusiasm is contagious :-) Having been a competitive rider on the amateur circuit, I am well aware of this old argument of experience/technique vs enthusiasm/talent. We ALL have so much to offer and I hope you have regained your "bounce".

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  36. I have to say here that I think some people are getting confused with terms. There seems to be some disconnect- an idea that ONLY time can give you experience and expertise. OBVIOUSLY not true, since you can only become experienced through DOING it :) I am in my early 30's, and I can honestly say I have been sewing since I was a child. I made my own dresses as a teen (not often) but I cannot call myself an expert because the truth is, although I may have been sewing over 20 years, I have not pursued sewing with any real enthusiasm until recently- when I stumbled across yours, and other 'young' sewing blogs. I have learned much from them and found many resources I never knew existed, so thank you for being you!
    As for your birthday party dress, the 'comedian' obviously has no taste- or perhaps he was drawn to your retro look and didn't think it suited his 'cool' look ;) Who knows- obviously it fell flat!

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  37. What bothers me about the other sewist's blog post was that a lot of the people commenting were throwing with the amount of years they have been sewing, as if it were a selling point or something. I don't think experience is something that is automatically gained over the years, you have to work for it too, and that's what you're doing Tilly!

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  38. Hey Tilly
    Gosh, hope I didn't overstep the mark in my defence of your lovely blog and your lovely self! I tried to keepmy comments gracious as things can be so often misread!
    Px

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  39. I love what you do Tilly, and I have just read the post. I don't think Carolyn meant any disrespect, but some people who commented did so over zealously. That said, we are all different people, and we are all inspired by different things and different people. to me, u are experienced, and to my non-sewing friends I am an expert, though I obviously know I am not. so mastery of a craft is quite relative.
    I Hope you don't take all the negative comments to heart, and just continue on your sewing journey the way that suits you best.

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  40. Don't take it personally...instead seek out a book by Stephanie Pearl McFee (ok she writes about knitting) where she was so thrilled to meet an older knitter and was looking forward to learning a lot from this experienced knitter... she discovered the knitter knew how to do one thing well...

    Learn a technique. Practice it. Learn Something else. Practice it...and whilst you go...improve it in a way that works or you.

    Note I talk as a knitter. My sewing is very much beginner

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  41. Great outfits, Tilly! Your birthday party dress is actually my favourite of all your makes. I think it's fabulous and looks great on you, ESPECIALLY with the scarf!

    And I just noticed I'm your blog crush? Aw shucks! Thank you so much.

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  42. Wow, Tilly. What a patronising bunch. Not worth your time or consideration! I'm furious on your behalf!

    Look forward to seeing you on Monday!

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  43. Sorry Tilly, if you think I was one of the people being "ungracious." I was trying to be honest and your reaction to the other blog was ambiguous. Many people read the criticism as going beyond just the comments and to the blog post itself.

    A word to wise: In the future, you might want to be more precise.

    In any event, my reaction was informed by the other blog post, the comments to the other blog post, and my past reading of the other blog.

    In short, on the web, I'm happy to find enthusiasm, and I'm happy to learn from other people's mistakes (assuming they realize they're mistakes).

    I'm also delighted to benefit from other people's experience, when they are in fact as experienced and knowledgeable as they think they are.

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  44. I love it when "anonymous" posters feel free to be snide, mean-spirited and flat out b*****.

    Tilly, you know you've "made it" when people care enough to be rude!

    Love your pieces, especially the Beignet, which I bought solely because of how much I like your versions!

    Keep sewing! Don't let the trolls get you down,
    Caroline

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  45. As a first-time reader (of both blogs) I also feel that the blog post you linked to was mean-spirited, it sounds as though she and some commenters are affronted by the fact that after only a few years your sewing has reached the intermediate level, when she has been sewing for a lot longer than you have and is also still at that level. Amy Karol recently posted about how damaging comparing yourself with others can be, http://angrychicken.typepad.com/angry_chicken/2011/05/just-some-pleasing-dishtowels.html
    I feel it is very pertinent.

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  46. Hi all, I've been sewing for nearly 40 years and I have recently started to blog about my sewing projects and in particular the techniques I have honed over that time, because reading these fantastic sewing blogs has made me realise that they may be useful to newer stitchers. I hope that newer stitchers won't avoid the contributions of the more experienced, but I do appreciate that sometimes we just don't realise what level of detail to include!
    I think that stitchers considering themselves as beginner, intermediate or advanced is a bit limiting, only three levels! After a lifetime of sewing everything there is to sew both for love and money, I am advanced but I'm jiggered if I could say when that happened. Experience is great but the downside of it is that I also have a form of shellshock from being yelled at by clients, making dumbass mistakes with expensive fabrics and knowing everything that can possibly go wrong before I start. It is quite debilitating! :) ANYWAY, let's all learn from each other.
    My contribution to the issue of the blue dress, which I really, really like on you btw, is to wear it with hot pink or red lippie. :)

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  47. i want to add my support too. Although it was stated that the post was not meant to offend it did come across this way. I agree some of the comments were offensive too. I have stopped reading some sewing blogs because of the superior tone they take - if you do not do a certain something then you are not a real stitcher. I dislike snobbery of any form . I do enjoy reading carolyn`blog but really we are all just here to have fun , enjoy ourselves and make clothes we want to wear. You sew lovely clothes that you look fantastic in. This is what it is all about .Hopefully all this support will make you feel better.

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  48. i love it all, but i especially love that you paired the betty draper jacket with the tee and jeans.

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  49. I've nominated you for the Versatile blogger award. check out my blog on what to do now.

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