Liebster Award

The Liebster Award, given by peers to bloggers with fewer than 200 followers, is a great way to introduce some incredible but lesser-known blogs around the interwebs. I was recently given Liebster awards by Ruffles Gazebo, Thread Theory, and Sunny Sewing, who each chose 11 of their favorite small-time bloggers and asked them 11 questions. Thanks so much ladies!

I took a little time to respond with my own post of 11 bloggers and 11 questions because the Liebster award is such a great opportunity to showcase other talent out there, and I wanted to take full advantage of it to share some of my favorite bloggers with you. I'm a bit of a sewing blog fanatic - I subscribe to over 300 (!) sewing blogs - and the ones that catch my eye have beautiful clothes (obviously), are illustrated with inspiring and informative photos, and have authors with a bit of a personality. If you're not already familiar with them, I know you will love the bloggers below as much as I do!

As a bonus, because many of us are transferring to Bloglovin, I took the opportunity to showcase blogs that have less than 200 Bloglovin followers. Hopefully you will check them out and help gain them more well-deserved recognition on the site! So, without further ado, my Liebster Awards go out to:

Small Things is a sewing blog by Lisa, a Dutch sewist who started blogging to document her pledge to make rather than buy her clothes. The garments that she has made since then are both wearable and incredibly creative. As a bonus, she's also developing her first pattern!

Mollytov is a blog I found only recently. Her clothes reflect that quirky cool-girl street style, and her blog offers tutorials along with finished projects. I also just learned that she lives quite close to me! Molly, let's be friends!

Otga Hasbold is a designer I found through her entry in the Tessuti Spots and Stripes contest. Her garments are sophisticated yet fun, and she's one of those ladies who always looks polished and put together.

Shona Stitches is an adorable blog that just makes you want to fill your closet with beautiful handmade goods. And she knits and makes bras, too!

Manic Pop is another blog I recently discovered and fell in love with because of Nicole's fun, bright sense of style. She also shares her love of music and recipes.

Makes Things is written by Stephanie, who has a self-proclaimed love of neutrals, chambray and alpaca yarn. My kind of girl! She puts together garments and outfits that I would totally rock.

Dreaming of Avonlea is a teacher by day and a blogger and dressmaker by night. She makes a ton of adorable (and sometimes even reversible!) dresses and is quite adorable herself.

The Tangible Artiste is a gorgeous mama with great personal style. I don't always follow people who post kids clothes, but her tots are some of the best dressed on the web!

From ? I Was Born and ? I Shall Become is written by an Estonian sewist who makes beautiful clothes in soft pinks and grays accented with lace and studs. Don't be afraid to check it out, she writes about it all in both English and Estonian. Talented girl!

Mabel Makes is written by the beautiful Stephanie who compliments her garments with soft, vintage-looking photos. She recently started blogging, but already has up a lot of her knit and sewn projects.

Home Ec is another new blog. I sometimes skip over blogs that don't show the final garments worn on the sewist, but Stephanie takes beautiful pics of her clean and sharp clothes that make me want to make them up myself (and on a NYC rooftop no less)!

Now, as I understand it, each Liebster Award giver gets to ask 11 questions of her 11 nominees, and has to answer 11 in return. From these lovely ladies, I would love to know:

  1. A bit about you - where are you from and do you have a favorite local sewing store? Can I come visit? (Ok, you don't have to answer that last part.)
  2. How do you choose your fabrics? Do you go with what catches your eye? Have something in mind when you go? Or shop for certain fabric weights or colors?
  3. Are you a cautious, measure-twice-cut-once type of sewist or are you the throw-it-up-on-the-dress-form, make-it-up-as-you-go type of girl?
  4. What is your favorite thing you've ever made (show me!).
  5. What was the most DISASTROUS thing you've ever made and why? (You don't have to, but of course we'd all like to see that as well!)
  6. Do you primarily sew special garments for your wardrobe (dresses, jackets...) or do you try to make everything yourself (underwear, t-shirts...)? How's that going?
  7. Would you say you've found your personal style? Or do your tastes constantly evolve so that what you made last year doesn't work for you any more? Any tips on that front?
  8. What decade other than now most closely inspires your (current) personal style?
  9. Have you ever sewn for others? Did they appreciate it? Did it fit?
  10. What is your day job/day-to-day life like? Are you an all-around creative or is this your artistic outlet?
  11. I know all your friends are telling you to get into the sewing business. Do you ever have aspirations to start your own handmade-related venture? 

Can't wait to hear from you all!

And, if you just can't get enough, here are some more blogs that made my list and have already received Liebster Awards:
The Garment Farmer
Not Your Average Average
La Petite Josette
Laika Doll
Catherine Daze's Blog
Ms. Modiste
Momita's Blog

And, hold on, because now you're about to learn a whole lot more about me:

From Ruffles Gazebo:

1. What is your favourite part about sewing/creating, what is your least favourite part?
I love being able to have any sort of fashion I want and have it FIT. I am also quite drawn to the process of creating, whether the finished garment works out or not. Right now I am seriously struggling to perfect my fit, and that has been exhausting to say the least.

2. Is there a good amount of resources where you live? If not, what places do you use online that you use/love?
I love the resources that exist in the San Francisco Bay Area. I love Stone Mountain and Daughter for its local staff and selection of high-quality fabrics at good prices, and around the bay you can find everything else from locally-made yarn to discount fabrics (all with incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff). My mom also finds some great resources in her home in Santa Cruz County, but when even she had trouble getting a double zip zipper, I knew I was blessed with all I had up here!

3. What inspires you to create?
Sometimes I see a beautiful garment I want to re-create. Other times I wake up from an evening nap and just HAVE to make something. More recently, I have been really forcing myself not to buy RTW clothes, so I have to make things if I want to have it.

4. How does sewing or handmade things influence your daily life?
Day-to-day wise, sewing is a hobby. Everyone's gotta have something to do after work, whether it's raising kids, playing sports, knocking back a few beers, or being in a rock band. Mine is sewing (though I do enjoy the occasional sport and the more than occasional beer). On a more personal level, sewing allows me to create exactly what I want to wear (if I get it right!) and define my own style, without having to rely on cheap garments and fast fashion.

5. What is your favourite self-made garment/object/thing
That's a hard one! I think my truly favorite but hardly ever worn would be my artsy-fartsy Holiday Drape Dress. On a more practical level, I have recently loved the pants I've been making (here's my first pair) because they are soo comfy, even if I'm still working on the fit.

6. What is your favourite hand made thing by someone else? Pick if you can!
On the pants theme, I am currently loving Sunni's trouser. On the beauty scale, anything by the young and incredibly talented Esther from the Sticks is AMAZING. That girl is going places!

7. If you get someone else to make something for you, what would it be?
I would truly love to have someone make me a custom pair of shoes. Or a leather purse.

8. What is your blogging goal for the year?
My blogging goal has been to increase my interactions with the sewing community this year. I have already made some progress on that front (look for upcoming updates!), and the Liebster Award is another fun way to do that.

9. If a web designer came along and offered to spice up your blog for free, what would you ask him to do?
I am planning on changing my blog layout from a three column design to a two column design so that my photos fit better, and I would also love to spruce up the color scheme. I will probably do this myself with my basic html skills when I make the time.

10. What is your favourite food?
I love good food, but deep down I'm a carb girl. Fresh cooked bread all the way!

11. If you could learn to make anything what would it be? eg. Bikes, furniture, home made beauty products, veggie patches, silversmithing
I currently am very seriously looking in to how to make shoes! I am very excited about the prospect and can't wait to have the same control over that as I do over my handmade clothes. I would also love to make furniture...

From Thread Theory:

1. If you could choose anything (absolutely anything!) as a career, what would it be?
I currently work with a company that helps non-profits do better work by doing evaluations and strategic planning. I thoroughly believe that if everyone in some small way held a job that worked to make the world a better place instead of make a quick buck, we'd be in a lot better of a position. However, if we ever got to that point and everyone was a small business owner, I think I would love to do something a bit crafty. Sewing is great, and I also love me some home design! Of course, I'm a nerd at heart, so it would have to stay true to that as well.

2. What garment would you most like to add to your wardrobe?
As some of you know, I've been desperately trying to make a decent bra. So far, the quest continues...

3.  Where do you like to shop for fabric?
As I said above, there are plenty of good places around, and I most often find myself getting material at  Stone Mountain and Daughter and random notions and things at Discount Fabrics.

4. What movie most inspires you to sew?
Hmmm... My boyfriend makes documentaries, so I do end up watching a bit of film, but I am generally not inspired by costuming. However, I did become enthralled with shawl collar sweaters after seeing a great one in There Will Be Blood. Weird, I know.

5. What are three key things that you would add to your dream sewing studio?
A cutting matt would be nice. Actually, while we're at it, a cutting table would also be nice - I currently sew, sleep and live in a 350 sq ft studio, so there's not much table room to cut. And then? If we're really dreaming then I'd love an embroidery machine!

6. Are you a PDF or a paper pattern person?  Why do you prefer one over the other?
I like PDF patterns when I decide that I. MUST. HAVE. A. PATTERN. RIGHT. NOW and can download it quickly from the internet. However, paper patterns are always easier to work with and store away for later use.

7.  Other than sewing, what most preoccupies your time?
My day job, as I said earlier, is working with non-profits. I also like to drink good beer with friends, travel if I get the chance, and do a little home decorating!

8. What type of garment interests you the most as a sewing project: Something that highlights an unusual fabric or something with a basic fabric and unusual details?
Some day, I will make my own wedding dress. Some day...

9. Do you have sewing buddies?  If so, who/what are they (friends – in person/online, pets, family)?
I am developing a few sewing friends here and there on the webs and a bit in real life. I mostly sew alone with NPR on, so you could say that Ira Glass and I are good sewing buddies. 

10.  Do you have sewers in your family history?  What type of projects did they mostly sew?
My mom taught me to sew and allowed me to use her sewing machines. I tried to teach her how to knit, but that didn't go over so well. She has made all sorts of things, but the most memorable is that she made a lot of my baby clothes

11. If you could pick any new subject to spend a year learning, what would it be?
I always regretted not learning music. It would be kick ass to play the fiddle!

From Sunny Sewing:

1. What drew you to sewing?
For something that I spend so much time on, I wish I knew. Quite honestly, it just sort of happened. I learned from my mom, took sewing classes here and there, and got a sewing machine my last year of college, but I'm not really sure how it became such a full-on addiction. Having some time on my hands and such an encouraging community definitely help. You are all enablers!

2. What is is your most favorite thing you've made thus far?

I talked a bit about this in Thread Theory's question, so I'll pick another favorite. A recent fave that gets tons of compliments is my Winter Swing Jacket. Interestingly enough, it's made out of the same fabric as my other favorite, the Holiday Drape Dress.

3. How many hours a week do you sew?
Sometimes I barely get any, and sometimes - god - probably up to twenty? Usually something in the middle is a good balance. Too little and I feel antsy, too much and I'm probably holed up in my room, which can't be too healthy either.

4. What is your favorite pattern company to sew from?
I used to buy very few patterns and just Frankenpattern whatever I came up with, taking my inspiration from RTW. I now also own several patterns from the Big 4, but by far my favorite have been the indie pattern designers. They are the more expensive, but they are often exceptionally well done. You can also usually interact with the maker!

5. Who do you like to sew for most?
Myself! Hands down! You all know what happens when you knit a boyfriend a sweater...

6. Roughly how much fabric do you have stashed? Some, a lot, or I'm buried!
I think a non-sewist would say that I have a lot, but compared to other sewists I know I would say I have some. I have one small closet-length shelf that holds all my fabric and yarns, although it probably is enough to make more than 30 garments!

7. What do you like to do besides sewing? Other hobbies?
As I mentioned before, friends (and beer), traveling, being homey. I should also mention that I once was a very serious runner, but that has waned a bit with some knee injuries over the last few years and the demands of a 9 to 5.

8. Who inspired you to start sewing or who inspires you now?
My current biggest inspiration are other sewists. There's always a new idea, a new pattern, and a new way to make it!

9. What made you want to start a sewing blog?
I originally started my blog in 2007 to document the things I made as a sort of personal journey. I knew they wouldn't last forever, and I wanted to have pictures of my projects and notes on how I made them. Since then, I have discovered an entire community and blogging has become so much more than that. Sometimes I worry that it even takes up as much time as sewing!

10. What sewing item are you dreaming of getting, regardless of cost?
Fabric, fabric, fabric. I am pretty happy with most of my sewing tools, having inherited a large assortment of things (including my serger) from an old neighbor. But who doesn't dream of always buying more fabric?! That and, like I said above, and embroidery machine would be dreamy.

11. Tell me something about you that most people who read your blog do not know!
Some people who follow my blog closely know this, but I am fluent in Spanish and have lived in Mexico City. Incidentally, while I was there my Senora let me borrow her sewing machine and I made dresses out of embroidered folk dresses. You can read all about it at my Mexico diary/blog. It was fun to write because I actually got to do some writing there, if you know what I mean.

Whew! OK guys, thanks for playing! See you again soon!


  1. Thanks for the award! I'm Dutch btw, not Norwegian :) But I lived in Norway for 6 months last year so I can see where that comes from. Love to discover new blogs through this award!

  2. Thanks so much for playing along Meg! I loved reading your answers :) and laughed at a few of them! (kindly of course)

    take care!

  3. Thanks for including me Meg!! Great way to find new blogs to feed my addiction.

  4. Congratulations on a well deserved award and thank you for all the links to the lovely sewing blogs. I am always keeping my eye out for more to follow :D xXx

  5. Aww, thank you so much for featuring me! It's quite an honor.

  6. Thanks Meg, I'm honored to be included! I didn't really know how this works before, but now that I've seen your post it looks like a great idea. I'm looking forward to checking out some of these blogs!

  7. Wow, thank you (: I've been quietly following your blog and this was a very nice surprise!

  8. Hi Meg, I was searching for your contact info, but couldn't find it. i wanted to ask if you wanted to be listed on as a creator. My email is Contact me if interested:) Thanks! ps this liebster award is great!

  9. Congrats on your award! I just found out about your blog through another blogger's site. I am excited to follow it now through bloglovin! And, I also love the way you added all the blogs you nominated, with the polaroid and the taped name inset. What software did you use to create this?

  10. Thanks! The software I used was the free photoshop alternative GIMP, but photoshop would work great, too!


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