And first I’d like to thank…


Katy! For giving me a Liebster Award! The perfect antidote to being stuck in the plague house.  I am especially honored to receive this from Katy as her blog, Sleek Silhouette, is one of those that I always click on as soon as it appear in my blog reader. Katy is one of those people who really makes me want to up my game.  She has only been sewing a matter of months and is already producing work of amazing quality – check out her bombshell dress. She is a natural.


I had to look up the rules to the Liebster Award. The idea is to pass it on to blogs with less than 200 followers to raise awareness and get us seen. The other rules seem to vary but I am going to continue in the spirit it was awarded – answer ten questions, then award it to ten other blogs and ask them ten questions.

Here are the questions that Katy asked me, and my answers:

1. How did you get into sewing in the first place? I chose textiles as one of my options at school. Sadly, due to a personality clash with the teacher (sorry Mrs R, I admit I was a horrible attention seeking brat) I spent most lessons sitting in the corridor. Then in 2011 I bought a sewing machine on a whim and the obsession took hold.

2. What is your favourite part of sewing?  The beginning, when I have the idea and pick the fabric. Then those moments when you look up and realise hours have passed and you have been totally absorbed in what you are making. I’ve surprised myself by getting really into pressing. I don’t iron in real life but pressing is when what you are making starts to take on the shape and appearance of a real garment. And reading sewing blogs – does that count?

3. Have you tried designing your own clothes, is this something you’d like to try in the future? I think we all do this to a certain extent when we choose fabric, embellishments, adapt patterns, etc.. unless you are copying a real garment. As far as pattern drafting and the like, it is all a bit scary.  Katy has inspired me to have another go at making a block though.

4. What has been your favourite moment since starting your blog? Can I pick two? I actually started this blog a year or so ago when I first started sewing along with the Sew Weekly. I think I had been sewing for a couple of months. Then it stalled until I restarted this year, but getting my first followers back then totally blew my mind.  I still get a buzz when someone follows me or comments – someone out there is actually interested in what I have to say!  Secondly when I got my first Mathilde blouse featured in Tilly’s Makers Gallery. I had followed her blog since I started sewing, so she was like a sewing celebrity. Then she asked me for comments on it for this blog post. Tilly! Wanted my comments! God I sound really sad don’t I…

5. Is there anything challenging that you haven’t made yet but would like to ? I have a half-finished Anise jacket that I’m working up to finishing so  I think I will be investing in Karen’s new e-book on bound buttonholes to help me do them properly. I also want to do Gertie’s Butterick coat for next winter, and one day I will return to my bombshell dress.

6. What make are you most proud of? My blue geometric maxi dress, which was as close to self drafted as I have got.  My first Mathilde, because I get so many compliments when I wear it. Also my spotty Elisalex because I made the effort to do hand stitching for the first time and it was totally worth it.

blue b

7. What make are you most embarrassed by? Me and my mate Wanger have a saying that goes way back to our flat sharing days in our Rock Palace in South East London in our early 20’s – No Fear No Shame . I try to approach my sewing with the same attitude. I have learnt something from every project, even if it was a fail. Having said that, there is a particularly dodgy attempt at a green chiffon kaftan shoved at the back of my wardrobe awaiting refashioning.

8. What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for something you’ve made? I am always amazed when people ask me where I got something I made myself.  The biggie for me was when I was wearing my first Mathilde blouse in Harvey Nichols and was asked if I’d got it there. I realise they could have been being sarcastic, but I don’t care.

9. Do you have any aspirations for taking your sewing further, such as starting up a pattern label, opening a shop? I would love to be able to make a living out of this but I have no real plans.  However what I would really love to do is have a gin distillery and sell my own brand of Seamstress Gin.

10. Are you a perfectionist or a ‘get it done’ sewist?  I start out with the best intentions, but rapidly become a ‘get it done’ sewist.  There is just so much fabric out there to be used, so many patterns and so little time, especially when juggling work and children with sewing.  I really do want to try harder on making my insides presentable though. (Just think about how that sentence would sound to a non-sewist 🙂 )

Okay, now for my nominees.  This is really difficult, firstly because there are so many wonderful blogs to choose from.  I feel so fortunate to have discovered the online sewing community – who would have thought that so many kind, generous and interesting people are just a couple of clicks away? Secondly, which set of numbers do I use to calculate followers? I know that the number of followers I have on Bloglovin is different to the number that comes up on my WordPress dashboard. Does that mean it is just people who are following on Bloglovin?  And what about Twitter followers, or email subscribers.  I find it really hard to look at statistics without over analysing.  And I find it really hard to believe that some of the blogs I am nominating have less than 200 followers (you can stop yawning now). Anyway, based on Bloglovin’s statistics as they were the only ones I could find, I would like to nominate the following blogs, (who may or may not qualify or have already been nominated, so if you have received it before then feel free to do which ever part of the award suits) –

  1. Lynne at Ozzy Blackbeard- she has made some of my favourite versions of the Mathilde blouse, not to mention her fabulous green polka dot wrap dress.
    Next up is Good Purl Gone Bad – not just sewing, knitting too! I have recently started knitting again and she is an inspiration. And she is absolutely lovely.
    I am certain Kat has already had this award for her blog, Modern Vintage cupcakes, and probably has too many followers, but she totally deserves it so here it is again. Kat makes the most gorgeous wearable vintage-y clothes and has not let having a newborn knock her off her stride.
    Next is Loran at Loran’s World. Every week on the Sew Weekly I was totally blown away by her amazing creations. She is still at it, check out her Bowie inspired jacket.
    Kim-ing   never fails to entertain.  she is one of those people who can take a pattern that I wouldn’t necessarily look twice at and turn it into something stunning. Check out her amazing sparkly Deere and Doe coat,  and her Laurels 1 and 2.  I can’t wait to see 3 and 4.
    Another Brighton blogger, I have been reading Beebee’s Vintage Dress since I started sewing. Stevie has organised real life meet ups and sewalongs as well as documenting her own sewing.
    I forget how I discovered Miss Parayim but I love her writing and can identify with a lot of what she says. And check out this dress!
    My Spanish is mostly picked up from Dora the Explorer so I read Isa’s blog, Only Lola through google translate. Check out her own designs and patterns.
    Cuckoo Chanel’s blog always makes me smile. She is such fun and I love everything she does.
    And finally Marguerite Designs.   The super talented Diane is one of the first sewing bloggers I checked out after seeing her creations on the Sew Weekly community forum.  She also made supportive comments on my early attempts at clothes making, and provided the fabric for my second Mathilde blouse.

My questions, some of which I’ve nicked from Katy and others, and which my chosen bloggers are under no pressure to answer, are as follows:

1. What made you start sewing?
2. What is your favourite make?
3. ..and your least favourite make?
4. Which of your projects has taught you the most, and what did you learn?
5. What proportion of your garments actually get worn in real life?
6. What do you do with your sewing fails? Bin? Recycle? Refashion?
7. Do you have a tried and tested pattern that you keep coming back to?
8. What garment made by another sewing blogger do you wish that you’d made?
9. What would you be doing in your spare time if you weren’t sewing?
10.  What has been your favourite moment since starting your blog?

Phew! That was a long post. I apologise if I was rambling – we are averaging three hours sleep a night here while waiting for the youngest’s pox to clear, so the fact that I have managed to string a sentence together at all is a minor miracle. Thank you for your patience.

24 thoughts on “And first I’d like to thank…

  1. Katy

    You are so kind! I love your answers, that dress is gorgeous! and I can totally understand why someone thought your blouse was from Harvey Nicks, it’s so lovely. I’m going to take some inspiration from you and adopt ‘No fear No shame’. What a great way to live your life! I’m also pleased as I don’t know ANY of those blogs – I’m checking them out now!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers! With hindsight I wouldn’t necessarily recommend applying the No Fear No Shame approach to all aspects of life (but God we had fun 🙂 ) However I definitely think it is the only way to tackle sewing.

  2. babygreens

    Thank you! You are very kind. I’m looking forward to reading all your recommendations. Seamstress gin sounds like a winner to me 🙂 and thank you for a great blog and for your help and warm welcome here. Much appreciated.

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

    1. Taracat

      No worries, you’re welcome, and thank you for all your comments. And a bottle of that gin has your name on it if I ever get round to doing it.

  3. Diane Hudson

    Thanks so much! I’m honoured! So pleased to have this and great to see all these other blogs that I don’t know about. I had hoped to see you at the blogger meet up next Saturday, but there’s engineering works on my railway line and I can’t make it (boo!). Hope I catch up with you some other time.

  4. Kat H

    Oh, how lovely! Thank you so much, I’m flattered!! 😀

    Loved reading your answers, such a great way to find out more about you. (And I love the Seamstress Gin idea – brillilant!)

  5. Shar

    I found your blog after seeing your Mathilde in the Makers Gallery. (I just cut mine out last night and am a little worried about the tucks and all those buttons!). I love the No Fear, No Shame philosophy. I don’t drink gin, but if you come out with a tequila… Congrats on the award!

    1. The Amazing Taracat Post author

      Cheers! Maybe I should do a tequila as well, I did like a couple of shots back in the day. Ooh actually that’s bringing back a few disturbing memories of drinking it in the Outback in Covent Garden with my mate Wanger in the nineties, only snorting the salt then squeezing lemon in our eyes. Why? No idea.

  6. Lynne

    Thank you for nominating me! I’ll have to get thinking about who to pass it on to, and my question answers.. . But first I want to have a look a the blogs you’ve listed.

  7. Bec Stitches

    I love the awards, helps people find new blogs:) new follower here..
    loving your pattern choices.. I have the same taste, but am just slack hahaha.. I only just finished my Mathilde.. oops 🙂

  8. laurenvsthemachine

    Congratulations! I love your no fear attitude to photo’s as well!! You always look amazingly confident, like you’re having the best time of your life : ), whilst I’m yet to put up a photo of myself!

  9. Loran Watkins

    I’m finally getting round to emails and such so I apologize for the late THANK YOU for the Liebster!! What fun : ) I’ll get answers and nominees up soon. Keep up the good work and THANK YOU again!

  10. Pingback: Thank you…… | The Amazing Adventures of Taracat

  11. caftan loungewear

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!


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