A Liebster Blog Award - Thank you Nakisha

I would like to thank Nakisha of www.sewcraftychemist.blogspot.com  for nomimating me for a Liebster award this year. 

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to collect two, as I was awarded one last year as well, but as far as I am aware there is no "rule"to say you can't.

The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to recognise and promote newer and smaller blogs with less than 200 followers.

There are a few conditions that are attached:

Thank the person who gave you the award, linking back to that person’s blog

Copy and paste the Liebster award to your own profile

Answer the 5 question your nominator asked

Pick 5 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed (they have to have under 200 followers)

Ask them 5 questions

Let your nominees know they have been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog

I talk more about the Liebster award when I was nominated the first time - you can find that here (and all sorts of things about me, for those of you, who, like me, love finding out about the person behind the blog). 

While I now do not normally accept blog awards, I was quite thrilled when Nakisha nominated me, as she could have chosen anyone else from the 127 blogs that she follows.  And, reflecting on my blogging attempts over the past twelve months, I can see that I blogging has helped to motivate me to improve my sewing skills and try new things.  And I hope blogging does the same for you as well.


Nakisha's questions are:

      How did you start sewing?
      What do you enjoy most about blogging?
      Stash Containment: Do you (fabric) stash and if so, how is it contained?
      Are you a planner or do you sew whatever strikes your fancy?
      Are you a "selfish seamstress" or do you sew for others?

Well, this is going to be unashamedly about me! And, unlike most of my posts, not very visual.

 1.  How did you start sewing?

I started sewing when I was five years old. I was alone at home while my mother was visiting the farmer who lived behind our fields. It was safe to leave children at home for a while in those days, especially in country Shropshire (which is where we then lived). And I was a very grown up sort of child. I was sitting close the the Aga stove, warming my back. I decided I wanted to make my doll a dress. So I went upstairs and found my best red wool dress, and happily cut that out into a two pieces, and cut armhole shapes and a neck shape on both front and back pieces. Then I handstitched, with big stitches the pieces together. I put the dress on my doll. When my mother arrived home, I happily showed her my creation.

I am not sure that she was entirely pleased at the demise of my best wool dress, but she did praise my new creation none the less!

2. What do you enjoy most about blogging?

Communicating. I love to communicate with other sewers. Communication is a two way process, so I make sure I always read and reply to your comments, and perhaps even address them in a new blog post. I make sure that I keep in touch with bloggers who regularly comment on my blog, as this is a sewing community. In the real world, if someone spoke to me, I would answer back, so I do the same here. A blog is a conversation with you, it's part of a vibrant world of interconnected blogging you's, all sewing and sharing your sewing - what a wonderful world :)

3.  Stash Containment:  Do you (fabric) stash, and if so, how is it contained?

Yes, I fabric stash. I am an incorrigible fabric stasher. I did intend to stash bust this year, but after seeing a book recently about Yves St Laurent - who had a huge stash all around him, that was that. I think I should start a proud card carrying stashers badge for my blog! And invite some of you unrepentant ones to join me!

Seriously, I started stashing as a way to deal with frustration when I couldn't sew. Harmless enough, and the dreams of sewing can keep you going. Now I sew, but I still stash - fabrics that I can't easily get, basics that I will need one day, and fabrics that suit me. In that respect I am fairly disciplined. But I do have a lot of stash that I want to use, with no guilt. That will take a twenty year plan I think. Luckily I like planning too.

It is contained mostly in plastic containers:

I also hang some of my stash, and have a nice cupboard to store stash - long ago outgrown.  I catalogue my stash so I know what I have.  For those of you who want to know more about my stash, read this post.

4.  Are you a planner or do you sew whatever strikes  your fancy?

I'm a planner but also like to sew things that strike my fancy, or that I can design.  During my blog life I have remained fairly disciplined in that I planned to master pants (still working on that one) and wanted to learn to sew knits.  Strange, I can sew wedding dresses (more on that later) but had not learnt to sew pants or knits!

I also wanted to build up a wardrobe of very useful basics first - cotton pants and skirts for hot, humid weather, transitional skirts and pants, and cold weather skirts and pants, along with little tops or shirts.  I've nearly finished this project, then I can add some colour and more fashionable items.  I trained as an image consultant during a past life so I stay fairly focused on the basic concepts of building a good basic wardrobe.

For dreams and ideas, I hoard patterns. Whether I will ever make them up, remains to be seen!

5. Are you a "selfish seamstress"or do you sew for others?

I have to say I am a "selfish seamstress" at the moment, but not through choice.  Unfortunately I married John too late in my life to be able to have children.  This is an area of sadness in my life, but at least we have each other.  I can care for him at least.  And as he does much good in his work, that means I am also caring for the wider community, in a sense.

I have sewn for others - it happened by accident.  My original career was nursing -during our training we lived in.  I spent many hours helping my nursing friends choose dresses, nail polish etc for their nights out with the boys.  I didn't seem to be one of those girls that did boys and parties, but I enjoyed dressing others for them!

As life progresses, I always worked as a Registered Nurse, but also developed a creative life - this filled my emotional needs (my father was a creative - an engineer who solved problems such as how to make the machinery to manufacture rocket combustion chambers - answer, the artists 'lost wax technique).  I acted, did public radio, and eventually got a job in PR.  I did an Arts degree, majoring in drama and screen studies.  (later I did a Psychology degree).  When you do drama, and people find out you can sew, well, guess who it is that helps out with designing and making costumes.  Then you get asked to make dresses for special occasions, and eventually I made wedding dresses for people:

This was a simple lace dress, underlined with silk crepe.  The young lady was getting married in the country, it was going to be hot, her dress style was Natural, and she needed an off white as she had red hair and warm skin colouring.  For reasons of privacy I have not shown this ladies face.

Of course, my first attempts at this sort of work were very stressful, and there were plenty of sleepless nights.  And occasionally remaking something at my cost if I made a mistake. But over time I learnt the fabrics and learnt exactly what to do.  And became excellent at fitting dress muslins. As you can see in the dress above, it fits perfectly, no lumps, bumps, skims and flatters.  I used to muslin more than once if need be - I didn't care how many muslins I made, so long as I got the fit right for the ladies (over the undergarments they were going to wear, of course).

But can I sew trousers and knits well yet?  Trousers yes (fit is another matter), knits still need practice.And fitting yourself is just so not easy.  Fitting other people is.

Well, I think that is quite enough about me for one day - by now you have all probably snoozed off.  So, we will move onto the more interesting part of the blog - the bit about you.

It's now my turn to nominated 5 blogs for the Liebster award.  These are not in any sort of order at all, you all have wonderful blogs, all different, and all quite beautiful.  I think I have chosen you all because of your very pretty blogs - but yours are such a visual delight :)

Lisa at www.pieceworktreasures.blogspot.com

Jessica at http://sterlingthimble.blogspot.com.au/

Lovenicky at http://lovenicky-froufrou.blogspot.com.au/

Dawn (The Winter Queen) : http://dawn-whitham-holloway.blogspot.co.uk/

Annie : http://enantiomerproject.blogspot.com.au

I was going to write a little about each of these blogs and bloggers, but then I thought, the best thing to do is to encourage you to visit these blogs and see for yourself how beautiful they are - and the garments showcased in them. As not all of you have follow bars on your blog, I am assuming you are all under 200 followers. 


And your five questions, ladies are:

1.  Why did you start sewing?

2. Have you been sewing for long?

3.  Why did you start sewing?

4. Why did you start blogging?

5. What are your sewing goals both short and long term?

Thank you everyone, wherever you are, for being part of the blog world.  You all deserve an award - blogging takes time and effort, but our lives are all enriched by your sewing blogs - all part of a wonderful, global sewing world.

Sarah Liz 


  1. I truly enjoyed reading this post. You and I sound a lot alike! Congratulations on your second nomination. =)

    1. Thank you Li - yes quite a few things in common, I think!

  2. Congratulations on your blog award, Sarah Liz. I really enjoyed reading your answers and learning more about your background. You can sew at a very high level, doing wedding dresses. There is much to learn from reading your sewing journey, and I like how you persevere. My aim is to increase my stash as I have never had more than 2-3 pieces in there, feeling guilt if I buy more fabric before I finish what I have. Those days are over!!

    1. Thank you Patricia, though I am having a chuckle about sewing at high level - not with knits! Still, we all have to learn. And yes, if you want more fabrics, do have them - we all have to overcome our feelings of guilt or I should use what I have - I've relaxed the should/ought tape and now enjoy what I have and do more. Sometimes ladies do not always say my needs and happiness are also important.

  3. Congratulations on the Liebster #2. It just shows how much we like reading your blog!

  4. This was A JOY to read SarahLiz!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing! I always think of you when I muslin :-)

    1. Thank you Nakisha - like you, I also often think of you and other sewers, and how they would go about something :)

  5. Congratulations! I enjoyed reading your answers!

  6. Thanks to Nakisha for nominating you. This was a most excellent read!

  7. A most enjoyable read. Congratulations on your award.

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  9. You have such an interesting background. So nice to read a little about your life.

    1. Thank you Rhonda - it is lovely finding out a little about fellow sewers - I've enjoyed finding out about you as well over the last year.

  10. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better! The wedding dress you made is beautiful. You must handle stress well, to make a wedding dress for someone else!! And thank you so much for graciously nominating my blog for the Liebster Award! The way you bring the sewing community together, as a true 'community', comes across in all you do... and it's much appreciated by this 'new' person to the garment sewing world! Thank you Sarah Liz!

    1. Thank you Lisa - yes, sometimes I handle stress well, and other times, no! At least I didn't have to deliver on the day - I would be hopeless with wedding cakes - I would be so scared of dropping the thing - that sort of stress I would not handle! I do enjoy community building on the internet, you are right, and encouraging people to sew garments .

  11. Fascinating answers to the questions you were given. Thank you for sharing so much :)x

  12. I enjoyed reading your answers Sarah! and laughed when I read about your best wool dress! So funny! but it started a lovely lifelong hobby so what a good thing :) I always try to "return the compliment" by visiting my commenter's blogs too; but I just do not have time to return to a blog to see if my comments have been answered like I see you are doing above, sorry :)

    1. I'm glad you liked the story Carolyn. I think you have so many comments now that it would be hard to answer them all in any case. I often see that you are visiting everyone - it's hard to do everything in the blog world, and sew as well :)


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