Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Batteries not included…


My little big world of sewing blogs is gradually shrinking: and I am wholly admitting my contribution in that reduction. I cannot deny it…. I have been sewing but not photographing, posing nor posting. Life, life, stuff, more stuff, technical stuff and ………….whatever……

Some of my blog-feed sewing posts are from people who have been blogging for 10 (this is totally admirable) and more years but the posting rate is slowing/sporadic/stopped.  I mean, here I am only six years in and feeling that I’ve had enough. I love the clothes I make (mostly). I love the clothes you all make (always), otherwise I wouldn’t do it: do I need assurance and confirmation in the comments section of my blog? Simple answer is – No.

However, I really do appreciate your honest feedback, comments, encouragement and engagement.

Genuinely, thank you all for years and years of reading this sh*t*, supporting and pushing me to go further, try new things, test new skills, designs, fabrics, patterns and techniques.

Would I be the sewer I am now without your contribution? Absolutely and categorically – NO!  

How can I ever repay that? I am constantly reading and keeping up to date with your sewing exploits and although I may not comment, this only means I don’t have the wit and repartie readily available to do so. It most certainly does not mean I don’t appreciate or learn from your experiences.

So, just to show you that I have been busy sewing and not just wasting my time being a mother, wife, teacher, friend, daughter, sister, aunt, examiner, exam marker, blog reader, sewer …..


I bought some RTW black trousers way back and felt the need to make some  coordinating tops because I don’t really wear black much, so I started with monochrome ( left).  While I was Internet shopping for black/white/grey, of course I just happened to find colours and patterns and my self imposed discipline wavered and my finger slipped. I bought greens and flowers and blue and orange (centre-right).

I have silently joined and followed the Internet/Instagram bandwagon by sewing T-shirts, shirt dresses, camis and pants from popular Indie patterns. I do not have Instagram/Twitter etc etc. Should I? Am I the girl on the sidelines because I don’t have this social media stuff? Because, in reality, I can still cut and sew and wear my own clothes. I have made simple things that took 2 hrs from cut out to wear and a complicated dress that tooks 3 days.

On my bed, in front of your eyes includes – a Grainline Hemlock T (free down load), StyleArc pants, Bootstrap halter neck top, Burda peasant blouse, Vogue DKNY dress 1489 (OOP due to USA licensing regulations), downloadhacked Vogue/Atelier shirt dress, Pirate pencil skirt, Vogue culottes 9091, Ogden cami, good old Sorbetto top , Tessuti Fave Top and another T shirt hacked together from seeing a girl on the bus and whatever else I could make from leftover fabric.


If you ever have the chance to download a free PDF – take it! Save the virtual data and print out at your leisure. If you never print out or make the item – so what – nothing lost.

All in good time I will (hopefully) detail each of these items.


I’m sorry for the hiatus. I’m Internet free for the next five days, no re-charging points, no Wi-Fi or 4 G which also means no electricity and no sewing machine – gasp-gasp-gasp ! Just plenty of fresh air, good company and bracing Irish coastlines.

Perhaps knitting will fill the void…………….. don’t need batteries for that!

If you have a preference for a preview – let me know and I’ll move it to the top of the list.

Since I started sewing for “summer”, we’ve had nothing but rain – C’est la vie.

22 thoughts on “Batteries not included…

  1. Ruth, I found your post interesting. I don’t think anyone ever has to feel guilty or apologize for blogging or not blogging, commenting or not commenting. It’s a personal and entirely voluntary thing (and not a public service). Modes of communication are always in transition. It seems that many are transferring from the blog medium to the Instagram one, but that doesn’t suit everyone. I’m not interested in Instagram and I’ve never liked Facebook. I find the process and evolution of media interesting nevertheless. Happy sewing!

  2. As I was sewing this evening (yes, me too! Sewing but not blogging) I had a panic-filled moment as I realised we haven’t heard from your for a while and I made a note to email you and check! I hope you’re enjoying your hols. I think about you a lot these days with the frequent mention in the news of you-know-who!

    How is son? Back home yet? (My own is visiting Uni open days. How time flies!)

  3. whew, thank goodness you are back. I so enjoy sharing in your enthusiasm for sewing. It keeps me motivated and full of incredible ideas but I am still short on completion. So how do you push through with all the roles in your life ??

  4. I understand how life takes over a good blog, but I hate to see your slow-down. Nevertheless, I’m so grateful for all you add to this widespread sewing community. Thank you. You inspire and encourage me no end.

  5. Oh my goodness! Just a few minutes ago you popped into my head and I made a bee line to my blog roll to make sure you hadn’t been deleted …and found today’s post! It made me very happy to see it. I believe that sometimes we all need a beak even from things we enjoy. I hope to see more of your posts in the future, they have inspired me many times. Enjoy your holiday…you have been missed.

  6. You made me think of the tour we did in Ireland some years ago now. It was so lovely. Hope you enjoy your time away from being plugged in.
    If you have not made the Style Arc Barb pant yet, push it to the top of the pile along with the Tessuti free pattern download. Both would compliment each other nicely and I think you’ll enjoy having them for summer into fall wear.

  7. I so enjoy your posts and it’s always a special pleasure to see one from you in my feed.
    I totally get that life happens and I’m not alone with feeling this way! Don’t feel like you should apologise.
    Enjoy your break. Sew like mad when you’re back with electricity and you feel like it. Blog if and when it works for you.

  8. I love reading your blog and would be very sad if you stopped. Having said that I have slowed down myself, in part because I was finding there wasn’t time to both blog and sew! But, I have an urge every now and then to get back to it. After all it is only my blogging friends who can sympathise and advise when I am having fitting problems, or applaud when I manage some particularly difficult pattern matching.

    Before I start making any new pattern I look around for tips and images from the internet. It helps to understand what you are getting into! Some pattern companies (Merchant and Mills) seem particularly good a disguising how good their patterns are on real people. If everyone stopped blogging or posting on other social media it would be very sad.

  9. Ps would love to see the Atelier shirt dress hack. Another patter I’m thinking of buying

  10. I really enjoy your blog Ruth – thank you! Have a great break and only blog when it’s fun for you.

  11. I’m another that loves reading your blog and would be very disappointed if you ceased writing. However, I get how time consuming it must be on top of all your other roles, but yours is one I look forward to appearing. Like Jan, I’m very interested to see what you made from the Atelier shirt dress hack. Enjoy your break!

  12. Hi there Ruth, I feel exactly the same. I won’t post an ill kempt pic of myself – how could I ask anyone to endure that! So the garments go unblogged and I’m not really feeling the need to share. Let’s face it, if we’re sewing we can’t be blogging and vice versa eh?! Enjoy your beautiful country, we’ll hear from you when we hear from you!

  13. Please don’t stop blogging. Your work is always an inspiration. We who live is hot dry climates, fantasize about what it must be like to wear garments that are warm. Garments with layers….jackets….. Thanks.

  14. I love reading your blog, and the green top towards the right is gorgeous. I’m guessing it’s the Burda Peasant Blouse. Enjoy your hols!

  15. Don’t fret about posting less often. Of course, you are missed but your life is about your priorities, right? I’d love to see and read your tale on V1489, when you get back to posting.

  16. I love your posts — but I get what you are saying about priorities — but I am still a BIG fan and I had to unlurk to let you know..

  17. It happens to all of us – stuff, etc. – sew when you can, post when you can – but most importantly enjoy your time off. Even with the rain you say you are having, it will be lovely to have a change of scenery. I myself am off on holidays for two weeks and will not be able to sew (gasp!) or blog. I will be able to read blogs though. Always nice to get my “sewing fix” through reading about other projects, including your’s!

  18. Turbulent times. Perhaps they’re having an effect. Then there’s personal and professional stuff. I’m not surprised you’re needing a break, and I hope you have it and feel refreshed. I love your blog, the interesting and occasionally whacky things you make, and your zest for making. I hope you come back but if not, I and your other readers, have had huge enjoyment from your blog. Just so long as you get the same enjoyment writing it.

  19. I do not Instagram or Facebook either. Your blogs are so much fun and uplifting! I marvel at how “fast” everyone sews when I labor and agonize over every decision consequently a simple item takes
    days and often weeks to complete. Rest. Take a break. Whatever it takes. Everyone understands.
    You are an inspiration.

  20. Hi there Ruth, I always love it when one of your blog posts pops up in my feed – you are one of my favourite bloggers. But honestly, just blog when you are able and when you feel like it! It is absolutely fine to do that. Definitely keep on sewing!

  21. No instagram here either – and currently not much blog enthusiasm too. I think blogging (and anything else you do for any time) enthusiasm goes in waves. I enjoy your posts but don’t think it’s necessary to document everything we do. You have been astonishingly productive!
    Enjoy your WiFi free time, come back refreshed.

  22. I hear you…. I recently joined Instagram, and it will never be as fun as reading a blog post – but writing them is just hard. Mostly because taking pictures is such a pain!!

    Don’t you stop blogging at whatever rate you’re inspired to write/photograph at. I love seeing your makes!!

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