A distraction from my lack of tangible sewing progress.

Today’s post will be a delightful distraction away from me not having anything currently worthwhile talking about when it comes to sewing.

Lisa, from Notes from a Mad Housewife nominated me for the blog hop that’s currently making its way around the online sewing space – I’m not actually sure where it started exactly but I’m in excellent company – Heather from Handmade by Heather, Leila from Three Dresses Project and soon – Morgan from Crab and Bee. They’re all ladies who have wonderful writing styles and whose sewing I really enjoy admiring!

what am I working on?

Recently I’ve been losing a lot of battles in the land of The Trouser, but I’m gearing up to win the war. In between pondering that, I’ve been working on my hybrid jacket, which is coming along really nicely!

poppykettle on instagram

I’m also just about to start basting together my mum’s jacket, as she’s popping down to Melbourne for my birthday next week so I want to squeeze in a fitting session :)

Otherwise, I’m trying really really hard not to start a fourth project. The only reason I haven’t is because I feel a little bit sewing-output-constipated right now. A lot in the pipeline… and well yeah – you get the analogy. So many things I want to sew!

why do I write?

Because I have to. Otherwise this blog wouldn’t be a blog, but a Tumblr, right? :)

I decided to start a blog when I was at the end of a my first year of sewing lessons, when I knew I wouldn’t be continuing on with that but wanted to maintain a connection to other people that sew. I had only just discovered the online world – Julia from Julia Bobbin had just started a blog and from hearing her talk about it and being inspired by her Tessuti Competition win, I decided maybe it would be something I would try, too. It took me a while to get used to the whole ‘writing’ thing!

Fast Forward a little and the fabulous Rachel from Boo Dog & Me organised a Melbourne meetup. I remember being pretty nervous rocking up to Tessuti where everyone was meeting, and I’m sure I did a lot of incoherent babbling (it’s a nervous thing) and Rachel didn’t even bat an eyelid (so polite!).


Since then I’ve had the opportunity to meet some wonderful sewing enthusiasts overseas, had a few incredibly supportive and beautiful emails from people who read my ramblings, received unexpected fabric/pattern/care packages in the mail and made some wonderful friendships, as well as come into contact with people who I don’t necessarily get to spend much time with, but adore none the less. It’s kinda corny, but I feel that by writing I’m somehow giving a little something back in turn for all that I’ve received. That, and I love hearing from those of you who take the time to comment :) Commenting can be hard work, I know!

how does it differ from others of it’s genre?

my blog you mean? Um, I don’t know. And quite frankly, I don’t really care. This little space has given me so much more that I had ever anticipated – wonderful real life friends and the love of seeing what other people create, so I’m not really interested in getting all competitive about it all. I direct that energy into being the best I can be at doing this, and learning new sewing-related things. Everyone contributes towards the sewing blogosphere in their own way, and I think that’s what makes it so wonderful.


And of course spending time with other sewing enthusiasts!! Myers Briggs classifies me as an introvert, but I’ve not yet been to a sewing meetup or social sewing day when I haven’t come away completely buzzed and on a high because there are just so many bloody fabulous people out there who sew. (Is that what it’s like to be an extrovert all the time? That must be exhausting!). So I’m super, super duper looking forward to the next Frocktails – which is this coming Saturday! I’m predicting that sequinned dresses are going to be all the rage…

how does my writing process work?

You know, back when I got a job with my current employer, it was all the rage to do psychometric testing. I had to do three tests – Maths, Problem Solving and Language. My result announced I sat in the 91st, 93rd and 23rd percentiles respectively. Of course, being an engineering/construction company, they hired me instantly. Ha! I recall having a little giggle with myself that I had at least managed to pick a profession that suited my abilities. No seriously, my geek high school friends and I used this integral expression as a joke that really, we no longer needed English classes:

Integral Expression of Life

Lame-osity aside, my blog writing process reminds me of writing a lab report – I stay focused on the technical process and outcomes. It’s also a really good challenge for me – writing a coherent post that flows. These days I usually start writing a post when I start making a garment – that way I can capture those ‘aha’ moments that I would otherwise forget about by the time I came to writing a post. It also means I remember to get decent WIP pictures, and that my post changes constantly up until the point I take photos, after which I proof read and then hit publish.


I for one would love to know a little bit more about many people, but the two sewing bloggers I’m going to nominate here are Karen, from Fifty Dresses, and Leith from Sew Brunswick. Both sew and blog things that I really enjoy reading about! It’s a matter of writing about your writing process, by answering the questions I’ve got bolded in this post. Of course, this is totally non-obligatory thing :)

And I’ll be back soon with some real sewing stuff, promise!



  1. I am also heading to Frocktails, and am epically excited! I am a new (and extremely lame) blogger, who started for the exact same reasons as you! I have made many things that need blogging…but need a built-in photographer!
    I hope i get to meet you. I sewed my own wedding dress for my November nuptials last year too. Nothing as amazing as you, but i felt your pain and also joy in making it :) Jen x

  2. So fun to read more about you! We’re basically opposites when it comes to aptitude- I never felt so out of my element as in my two required college science courses (luckily I didn’t have to take a math!!)! I think “floundering” is a fair descriptor for those days. I love that sewing attracts people with such varied skills, interests, and personality traits, and I’m so grateful that all of you share your unique perspectives on your blogs!

    1. You’re so right, Sonja – so many people with different minds all doing the same thing. It’s what I love most about sewing blogs, because everyone has such a unique perspective and way of communicating their process. Yay for sewing!

  3. What a fun post! I love reading the ‘why’ and ‘how’ behind my favorite blogs! I’m always amazed at the huge spectrum of people who sew and are part of the online sewing community. I’ve always approached sewing as a creative process – being fairly ‘right brained’ myself – but I love reading about the experience of sewing from the perspective of all the engineers, math-heads, scientists, business woman etc. that are part of this community. Ya’ll teach me so much!!

    1. I think that’s why I love reading your work so much, Sallie – you approach it from a completely different head space to me! I think I started out reading blogs to see the finished garment photos, but these days I think I actually love reading about the thought process behind how it came to that point (the finished thing) more. We’ve each got something to teach others :)

  4. i’m still sad that i missed you the one time you were in NYC before your khalje class – so i loved getting this peek into your thoughts. thanks for sharing!!

  5. Ahh, I love seeing pics of your works in progress. That jacket looks yummy. I agree with how you view the online sewing community – there are so many different voices talking about creating. It’s a bonanza! I’m an introvert, too, but when I find someone who shares my interest I can really talk a blue streak.

    Also, you must have had the best-written lab reports in school :)

    1. Yah, exactly. I can talk and talk and talk about sewing. And also listen to other people talk about their sewing too!! Fascinating stuff. I remember thinking one time, how did I not come across this hobby earlier? But no matter, it’s here to stay now! The whole blog thing is really an introverts dream – contact and discourse with others, without planned contact – ha!

  6. it’s so interesting to hear more about you! i definitely qualify as an introvert also… i find it absolutely exhausting to be around people, even when i’m having a blast! i really enjoy the technical aspect of your writing, i always want to know the nitty gritty of how something is put together. thanks for participating!

    1. Thanks for nominating me, Lisa – it was a nice change to move away slightly from staying on topic I think. I often struggle with the thought of sharing a more personal side of me in writing this, even if it’s just peripheral to what I’m writing about. I was just saying to Morgan above that a blog is kinda like an introverts ideal space – discussion, thought bubbles and discourse without having to be there in person! I’m so very glad I went out of my comfort zone to the first meetup we had in my home town though, it’s given me back so much. :)

  7. You are such an inspiration to me as a newbie sewer. The quality of your construction is always impressive and you take on such intimidating projects! I read always but don’t comment much. Thanks for sharing all that you do!

  8. Thank you, Mel, for sharing more about your blogging process – and sewing – and life! What a fascinating and fun post to read. And – thank you for nominating me to answer those same questions; I accept with delight (I think). . . !

  9. It was fun to read your thoughts! I’m enjoying the connections my blog has brought as well.
    I thought the lack of sewing progress among bloggers was a U.S. end-of-summer thing, but apparently the malaise has spread to your part of the world. Let’s all get going!

    1. Nope, I reckon it’s a worldwide infection currently making the rounds of sewing blogs. I’m blaming it on the suddenly warmer weather and sunshine and the fact that both of those things have been occurring on the weekends!! What’s the northern hemispheres excuse? ;) I’m planning on a burst of sewing progress this weekend!
      Your Spadea patterns have me absolutely intrigued. I think I’m really going to have to hunt some down to call my own!

  10. I’m really enjoying this blog hopping series … the questions are great and give us a small peek behind the scenes of the bloggers we follow and love. Your jacket is looking great, look at all that yummy pad stitching :-)

    1. Thanks Sandra! I love the way pad stitching looks too! I find it so relaxing and enjoyable to do. But the weather has been so wonderful here the last two weekends I’ve just been wanting to get out and enjoy the change. We’re scheduled so crappy weather this weekend so I’m hoping to make a fair chunk of progress, haha!

  11. Thanks for sharing and the nomination. I will get around to posting but I might be a bit slooooow. Got so much stuff happening right now!! And none of it is sewing! Slowly, slowly.

    I love your engineer’s technical approach to sewing and blogging. That jacket is looking great.

  12. Talented lady. Love you so much. Was going to write more but I’m leaving it there. So glad you came to that meet up. Life would be that much dimmer if we hadn’t met. xx

    P.S. I love that photo of your wedding. Perfect day. Also: the chef went to a wedding last week and came back telling me that the celebrant used to host this TV show and I was all like “DUH. If you came to Mel’s wedding you would have seen him already, and I told you all about it THEN. So NER”.

    Maybe I didn’t leave it there. Whoops

  13. I am such a freaking snoop and get a serious kick out of these posts – so thank you for sharing! And as for your comment about be moving to Melbourne, don’t even joke about it! Haha if we can’t get good jobs in NZ, who knows where we’ll end up ;) xxx

  14. late reply just to say that i am really looking forward to seeing your progress and hearing about your hybrid jacket! i have been scrutinizing the french jacket posts here and also on a challenging sew, and tossing the idea around. i’ve never felt like the chanel style jacket really suited me (so to speak;) but then i see your various posts, and i wonder…

  15. You will win the war of the Trouser! I understand that one and it’s so satisfying to keep at it. I love seeing the whys and hows behind the blog. I’m super process oriented and I have to stop from constantly processing the meta out loud. (I also write blog posts as I’m making so I start getting ideas… a lot gets edited in the end but the original ends up stored away as my own private journal of making!)

  16. Still catching up on some blog reading (yep at work!)
    It was so lovely to see you again on Saturday night, never long enough though :)
    I love reading about your processes and how you create your garments, you are so technical, I love it! Good luck with the pants, I know you will get there

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