Blog Redesign: Introducing the Sewing Blog-O-Matic 3000

It’s been a little while since I posted anything. It’s not because I don’t have any new finished objects. I do, including the 50th stash-busting project of 2014. Before I write about that though, I wanted to mention the changes I’ve recently made on the blog. It was quite a bit of work and involved plenty of things I knew nothing about, so it took me much longer than I had originally planned. Now I realize why someone might want to hire a professional to do web design. Even with templates and plug-ins and all the modern options that make adding or subtracting website features relatively easy, I still felt like I was struggling as I worked through it. Big thanks go out to my sister, Auntie Laura, since she is much more versed in web design than I’ll ever be, and she’s open to random midnight texting (from family at least, I wouldn’t think she’d be too happy if I put that out as a general invitation).

I really love how things ended up looking. I’ve got some few things I’ll probably change up (and I’m not sure my links to old projects still work, so I may have to slog through fixing them at some point), but the major pieces of my site are just how I want them. I’m feeling like the new look captures my personality and what I’ve done in the background has set me up to more easily change things in the future if I choose to. Most of the visible changes are purely cosmetic to readers, but I did add a couple of new pages. There’s now a contact page in case you feel like e-mailing me. The other page I’ve added I’m calling the Sewing Blog-O-Matic 3000.

When I first started reading sewing blogs, I noticed that there are some that are much easier to find than others. Search engines tend to skim off the same few as the top choices, and after the first few pages, the search terms don’t seem to be quite as relevant. Quite a few of the blogs I initially started reading I found via sidebar links from other blogs. Since starting this blog, I’ve wanted to do the sidebar link thing too, but have had to acknowledge that it has its limitations. The most common setup for sidebar blog links when there are many in the list, seems to favor blogs with frequent postings since they usually go to the top when there is a new post. I’ve seen index type pages with multiple blog links and while those are fun, they too have their limitations; for me, it is rather overwhelming to see that many potential links at once. Putting things in alphabetical order would be a reasonable way to organize a bunch of links, but this tends to favor blogs that start with letters towards the beginning of the alphabet. With those points in mind, the Sewing Blog-O-Matic 3000 is set up to give a limited number of links at once and in random order. I’m trying to keep the categories fairly general for now, but could change this later if it makes sense to get more specific to allow for some filtering.

I’ve loaded some of the blogs I’m aware of into the directory, though I do have more than a few yet to add. Please don’t feel bad if you know I read your blog, but you don’t see it in my list yet. I’m certainly not done with it. My goal is to collect as many sewing and/or sewing/knitting blogs as I can find, whether I find them personally interesting or relevant to myself or not. I don’t plan to add just knitting or general (non-sewing) crafting blogs to the directory for now. I think I’d find myself completely overwhelmed if I tried to do that and I would really rather keep the focus on sewing as much as possible. When you have a chance, please take at least a quick peek and see if you can find a new blog to two to add to your reader.

Another question I asked myself when setting up this directory was whether I was going to limit it to only absolutely non-commercial blogs or add blogs that were affiliated with businesses. I ended up deciding not to discriminate against sewing blogs that are connected with businesses, especially since so many sewing bloggers are either selling ad space, teaching classes, or offering patterns for sale. What I don’t want to see happen for this particular directory is for it to be overcome by stores/websites that offer sewing supplies first and foremost with sewing blogging being tacked on as a marketing afterthought, if at all. Thus, I’m keeping the ability to add sites to the directory under my own manual control and it will probably take me some time to get as many added as I’d like to have.

If you’re a sewing blogger, of whatever genre, and you’d like to make sure I add your blog to my public list for others to discover, please use the form on the Contact Me page to get me your information. In the message section, I’ll need 1) The name of your blog, 2) The website address, 3) Whether your consider yourself a sewing blog, quilting blog, sewing/knitting, and what type of garments/projects you mainly like to blog about (men’s, women’s, kid’s, home, etc). It’s okay to have more than one focus, but I have to have at least one, so if you don’t give me that information I’ll have to make something up.

That’s all I have for now. This is the culmination of an idea I’ve been thinking about for about a year and-a-half, so it’s about time I’ve finally finished it up. Next up in my blogging plans, it will be back to showing off finished sewn objects.

8 Comments

  1. SunGold

    This is a wonderful idea! I love that you’ve curated sewing blogs for us because my first order of business every morning is to read inspirational sewing blogs. Having them gathered here is a gift!

    You deserve big kudos for this, and probably a big fabric gift coupon or something similar. In this case, you get my sincere thank you!

    Reply
  2. Sylvie

    Great idea! I’ve been meaning to add a list to my blog of other blogs I follow. You’ve inspired me to move forward on it!

    Reply
  3. Nancy

    I love the new look but the font is too small for easy reading. Can you make it a little larger?

    Reply
    1. Cari (Post author)

      Ok. I messed around with it a little (a lot) and got the font bigger. I have a horrible time gauging whether things are easily readable, especially when I’m reading something I’ve written, so if you could let me know if it’s better, or could still be improved, that would be very helpful. Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply
      1. Nancy

        Much clearer! It may just be the font you used because many of the other blogs I read have fonts about the same size as what you had used originally. Weird how that happens. I look forward to reading more of your sewing adventures, especially since we have picked some of the same patterns from time to time.

        Reply
  4. EmSewCrazy`

    Wow! I like the changes I see and I’m off to try the Blog-O-Matic after I comment! What a fabulous idea! I can’t wait to see how it works. I hear you on the overwhelmingness of things… sounds like a fun solution.

    Reply
  5. Lynn

    I love your new background.

    My blog is general interest but I am thinking about starting a separate sewing blog. I hesitate because I’m afraid I would only post something on it once every month or three but if I do I’ll let you know.

    Reply
  6. Auntie Laura

    Thanks for the disclaimer about the midnight texting. I love the cherries. Reminds me of a piece of fabric in my stash…

    Reply

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