We all suffer from slumpy inspiration from time to time. Generally for me a crash comes when I’m short on free time. Without time to get lost in my sewing projects or take photographs or just to sit and be I fall into a cycle of work, eat, watch telly, sleep, repeat.
But thankfully there is still inspiration to be found in my RSS reader. I’ve been revamping my list of blogs to read recently, and felt it was high time to share a few of my favourite reads. I love a good mixture, and the 200+ blogs in my reader include sewing, fashion, lifestyle, interior design, science, and grumpy cat. Because everyone loves grumpy cat. Honestly I could have picked twenty favourites for this post, but I thought I stick to a more buzzworthy five.
Just one look at Elena’s colourful, happy blog lifts my soul. Good blog design is really tricky to get right, not to mention having a really cohesive visual style, and she has really nailed it. And of course she is a wonderful sewer. I found one of her recent posts on sewing a capsule wardrobe particularly inspiring, not least because she appears to share my love of Coco and the Ultimate Trousers. One of the first projects I featured on this blog, aside from the beginnings of my Coco army, was Elena’s easy foldover clutch, which was such a success that I wore it out to my hen party. And if anyone can inspire me to overcome my fear and try making a shirt, it’s her!
Not a sewing blog per se – Maria Van Nguyen (formerly Vanilla Scented) is a super-talented fashion student from Norway studying at Parson’s in New York. Her blog is a mix of stark, minimal interiors, behind the scenes snaps of Parsons and New York life and (my favourite) magazine-worthy images of the clothes that she has designed as part of her course. I love her as a fashion blogger because while she does obviously have an eye on current trends, her own style is evolving almost entirely independently. She is a designer discovering her voice. and it is beautiful to watch. Plus she shares my fetish for grey wool fabric, and regularly whips up the sort of garments that I one day hope to be skilled enough to replicate.
I think most people will be familiar with Cat’s beautiful, mid-century, vintage clothing, great outdoors-filled blog. She is a London lawyer who lives with her boyfriend ‘The Texan’ and a new squeedorable kitty called Chutney, and who fits in creating the most amazingly photographed content around what (based on the experience of one of my best friends, also a lawyer for a London firm) can only be the most hectic work/life schedule imaginable. Take Courage is one of those blogs to get lost in; whether she is making, baking or taking outfit photographs Cat’s photographs are a source of endless inspiration for me. Plus her latest posts have been a bit like a Stephen Cartwright illustration, only with a hidden ginger kitten in ever picture rather than a yellow duck. Such a cute kitty.
Not your Nana’s sewing indeed. This is the newest blog find for me in this list; I think I first discovered Ada Spragg (aka Sophie, writing under the name of her Great Nanna) via Instagram and promptly lost a good few hours to browsing through her back catalogue of posts. Not only does this lady have mad sewing skillz, but her style is really interesting. For someone who wears as much grey as I do (not because I hate colour, but because I really love grey!) there is something fascinating and entrancing about really colourful outfits. Like this one. Which she made using SCUBA, one of my current fabric obsessions (see here and here). Sewers like Sophie are also inspiring me to think more about my sewing plan. At the moment I work on a very ad hoc basis, without giving a lot of thought to whether the finished items will all work together. What I want to start doing is making a coherent plan for each season, like this. Checked culottes and all.
Finally, sometimes we all need a happy place to escape to. One day in the future I would love to have a little home overlooking the cliffs somewhere like Pembrokeshire or North Cornwall, where I can spend my days roaming the cliff paths, surfing, and sitting at my sewing machine, which is located in the perfect window alcove overlooking the sea. But for now when I want to retreat to somewhere tranquil Sarah’s beautiful beach cottage in Australia is my bolthole of choice. It’s a homely, cosy place where you can find delicious recipes, beautiful interiors inspiration and seaside views. A holiday cottage for the soul. Since swapping city life in London for beach life in Sydney, stylist and photographer Sarah has been documenting the renovation and restoration of her cottage, and I just love her clean, cosy style. If my home one day looks like this, I will be a very happy bunny indeed.