A Blog Hop

Hi, I'm popping in today as I am honoured to have been nominated in the Blog Hop by Bianca from Vintage on Tap. Do you read Vintage on Tap?  It is a new to me blog, but already a firm favourite in my reader. I'm so glad Bianca contacted me. She is clearly a lady after my own heart with some Liberty makes (including a tie out of fabric that I have - the temptation to copy is very high!!), but more than that she has a great style. I particularly like her 'set up' blog posts and her philosophy of focussing on slower, quality sewing. Defnitely go and check out her blog. I know you'll like it.

The blog hop was started a while ago and I am ashamed to say that I don't know where it started but the idea is to answer 4 questions and then pass onto 2 other bloggers who will respond to the same questions in one weeks time. First to the questions:

1. Why do you write?
I started writing so that I could participate more in the sewing community. I think instagram has now removed a little the need to have a blog for this, but when I started Top Notch in 2012, it seemed like the only way to be able to connect with other sewers. At the time I didn't really know anyone else who sewed and so talking about sewing was all online.

Like most sewing blogs, mine documents my sewing journey and love that it reference of all my makes. I started right about the time of Me Made May 2012, which allowed me to document a lot of my earlier makes as I wore them.  The blog helps me remember what I made, what went wrong, what went right.  In a way it also helps me to identify what looks good and what doesn't.  I'm sure I never used to analyse my clothes in the same way as I do now. I defnitely never had so many photos! I wonder has it made me more creative in my clothing choices as well?

Oh and of course it is a place for me to document my obsession with Liberty of London  through my Library of Liberty!

2. What are you working on?

Currently I'm working on the Skippy Dress by Make it Perfect. A wonderfully casual dress that I'm making as a 'get outside and be active' kind of dress now that spring is here. 

I am also completely besotted with some patterns in a new Japanese release, Clean and Natural, which I can't wait to start on.

3. How does it differ from others of it’s genre?

Maybe it's all about the patterns,

I'm not sure my blog is that different from anyone elses, but I do like an interesting piece of fabric. I love Liberty of London fabric and I make a lot with it.  I look forward to each of their 6 monthly releases. There are not too many finished pieces that go by before a Liberty make will pop up. Liberty fabric makes me sew better - and no I wasn't paid to say that. It just does. I always sew better with it.  Even more I love to document the history and story of this fabric, so you will always see the story behind the fabric.
The Perils of Patterns.  Limited edition print of an original watercolor painting.
'The Perils of Patterns' by Vivienne Strauss. Available on Etsy
I think most of us have problems identifying their style, but we know it when we see it.  At the moment I find the style of Republique du Chiffon, Pauline Alice and some of the Named Patterns really work for my aesthetic.  I love stripes and drop waists! I wear my handmade clothes everyday, but I wouldn't say that I ever make basics, nor do I really want to.

4 How does your writing process work?

Nowadays I usually only post on finished makes unless it's something special. I used to post more but find that this routine is working for me better.  I try to provide as many details on the make as I think are ok and won't bore everyone and as a reminder to myself if I make the pattern again.   Once I've made something, I'm definitely in a rush to post about it! 

So now to the next blog hop..

I'm nominating Myra from My-Zee-Moo  and Jen from the Stitcher and Gatherer.  Having this blog has opened up a lot of great friendships, with people who I will probably unfortunately never meet in real life, people I know I will one day meet and now people who I've met in real life and who have become really good friends.

I now have a wonderful posse of Canberra gals  after a few stars aligned earlier in the year and we all met.  I mentioned last post that Myra, Jen and Amanda and I went up to Sydney on the bus together to Frocktails. All four of us stayed together in a little hotel room and for being able to put up with my constant nose blowing and snuffling I'm now sending the blog hop to Myra and Jen, two super talented sewers with their own unique style and approach to sewing.  You can read up on their answers next week.


  1. You are the Queen of Liberty I think! I love that you take a fabric with such historical roots and often make it into something so modern and cutting edge. The fabric often tends to end up in blouses and fit & flare dresses but I love seeing what you make with it. Tres chic.

  2. I do love blogs so much more that Instagram, but I agree with you about the sewing community. It really is amazing.

    I'm glad I'm part of a Canberra sewing posse. Love you girls to bits and pieces.

    Great questions and answers!

  3. Great post! I enjoy seeing what you've been making and reading about the process. It's good to see some not-so-common patterns being used :)

  4. I do love your use of prints! This is a lovely post - I agree Instagram has somewhat replaced the need for a blog, but I do love reading more details on a blog post. And sewing friends are the best, aren't they?! We are lucky to have such a lovely littke community.

  5. I love your use of interesting fabric. And as I have commented before I adore Liberty. I like your aesthetic and styling so it is a fashion and sewing blog for me - without a sniff of pretension.

  6. I don't think I realised you'd only started your blog around MMM2012. I love your liberty library & have even used it when trying to identify a print. Thanks for the links to some new blogs. Isn't it great when you become real life buddies with sewing friends?! And you're right, even those you don't meet are real friends too, hopefully one day we'll meet!

  7. Kathryn, you are one of those people that I know I will meet one day. We are so regularly (well as regular as you can get when it's a long internation flight) in Europe so it's just a matter of time before we hop across the channel and then we are defnitely catching up!!

  8. Thank you so much Janet for this and all your other comments on my blog. When I get to Canada we are catching up for sure !

  9. We sure are! I think if for no other reason blogs are still a great way to document a project for yourself. I like to read more detailed posts as well.

  10. Thanks Naomi. I agree re the patterns. It is nice to see a range of patterns being made up across the blogosphere x

  11. This year has been get out into the community IRL for me and it's been great. Long live the Canberra posse.

  12. Thanks Mel. I would be very happy to be the Queen of Liberty! In fact I must be due for another Liberty make!

  13. Would absolutely love that! I am getting used to the fact you are going to be making Summer clothes now and in Canada I am making Winter!

  14. I was such a fan-girl being able to meet you in real life - eeee! You definitely are the key-holder to the Library of Liberty, and you make me want to sew more with their fabrics. Love your style, lovely lady :)