My Coat is Finished (or Rethinking the Social Network)

Remember the Lady Grey coat? Ah yes, I finally got around to getting some photos.

I’d love to be able to document some of my sewing projects but it’s a huge amount of work to get them photographed properly. I admire bloggers who seem to have personal paparazzi following them around. Ha.

Joining the sew-along was a fun excuse to set project goals. I’m terrible with self-imposed goals. It was also an attempt to cultivate a bit of interactivity. I wanted to try out blogging as community. I realize I’m terribly late to that game but I have an ongoing argument with myself about blog- and social networking.

My blogs of the past became more like detailed records of my own process that I could come back to later–they just happened to be online for the benefit of all to see. I can be a pretty extreme introvert so for the longest time I wanted to believe I could write it, publish it, and leave it. No comments, no network. But I’m a writer and well, writers need an audience that reads, right? In this medium, one starts to wonder if static, un-commented information will ever be useful information.

I also have serious phases with subjects so I have a hard time keeping up with any one blog sector. (But confess an ongoing weakness for a certain Antique Rose discussion forum–I can get completely immersed in the minutiae of rose-growing.)

Specialized blogging communities, such as the online sewing community, thrive on online friendships, communication between blogs, participation in sewing boards, etc. While I enjoy and learn so much from the thousands of sewing blogs, and am genuinely thankful for the revival of sewing as craft, most of the best blogs are really a part of a blogging community. Otherwise, a specialty blog is a little pedantic in its details.

But I digress. In the end, I found that the sew-along moved too fast for my personal pace. I wasn’t able to sew or keep up with comments fast enough. Considered thought and conversation on the host blog ended up in the techno-ether of “older/previous comments” and lots of questions went unanswered. What is that “space” that scrolls off the screen? Facebook purgatory?

All this said, I finished the coat in November but haven’t gotten around to wearing it yet. So far, I’ve developed this strange habit of not wearing the things I sew–not that I don’t like them, but after hours of working on some projects they can lose their freshness. I can only see details, not silhouettes. I hope I can “see” the whole of this coat again because I think it’s quite lovely and unusual compared to my other jackets.