The Guardian Fashion Bloggers Network – Let’s Do It

The Guardian

One of the things I’ve always loved about having a blog is the control. I decide when and why to hit ‘publish’.Β It’s ironic, then, that my first blog post with The Guardian Fashion Bloggers’ Network was brought forward at the last-minute. I found myself going live four days earlier than expected. Just as I was watching Bob The Builder as research for my day job. ‘Can we blog it? Yes, we can!’

So, where did this adventure begin? In December, I read an advert on The Guardian’s website, calling for fashion bloggers, Β and hurriedly replied. (For international readers, The Guardian is one of the UK’s leading broadsheet newspapers, founded in 1821. Its website receives about 78 million unique browsers a month. Gulp.)Β I forgot all about the application form and so, it seemed, had The Guardian. Except, they hadn’t. As I celebrated Christmas, they were sifting through over 400 applications.

Fast forward to January. I was in a Bath restaurant, having lunch with two children’s authors and a colleague. As I left to catch the train back to London, I checked emails on my phone. ‘Oh,’ I whispered. ‘The Guardian wants me to blog for them.’

New York Sewing Bloggers

I still didn’t really believe it. Two months after that I was holed up alone in a New York hotel room, having just met up with Oonaballoona, Lladybird and Ginger Makes. I was checking emails again. ‘Oh,’ I whispered to the empty room. ‘They want me to write my first post. It’s really happening.’

Yes, it’s really happening. Along with a collection of other fantastic bloggers, I am going to be blogging once a week at The Guardian. I can’t tell you how excited I am about my blogging compatriates. You are going to love reading their entries. I shan’t say too much at this stage, as each blogger is being revealed in turn over at The Guardian, but the debate is going to be immense. We all come from a variety of backgrounds, none of them particularly mainstream fashion, and we all have something to say. My USP? Do you really need to ask?

For long-term readers of Didyoumakethat, you may find some of the initial blog posts at The Guardian relatively familiar reading. In part, this is because I need to build up a back profile of posts to achieve presence. In part, this is because I want to engage new readers with lots of the knowledge we already have. So, please be patient. After that? Oh boy, I really think it’s gonna be good! I have no idea how Guardian readers might react to me but I have plans. It’s creatively invigorating to embrace a whole new audience, that’s for sure.

Here’s the deal. This opportunity isn’t just mine. It’s ours. We created this platform together and now a national newspaper wants to help us talk to even more people about the extremely special creative world we share. I think that means we’re all really good at what we do. I think that means you need to pat yourself on the back. Go on, do it. It’s the very least you deserve.

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94 Responses to The Guardian Fashion Bloggers Network – Let’s Do It

  1. powell2317 says:

    Massive congratulations. I can’t wait to read your posts.

  2. Robin says:

    oh congratulations!! we are going mainstream baby!

    • Without bloggers like you, this never would have happened.

      • LinB says:

        Oh, goody, the Sewing Bloggers Mutual Admiration Society has its first chapter meeting, and it will be covered in print! I feel as if I am looking in on the birth of something very, very special. Congratulations, you brilliant thing, you.

      • Robin says:

        oh, no Karen, I wouldn’t go that far! My situation was so different. I have every reason to beleive you will do very well! If you are curious, please feel free to email me.

  3. Heather Lou says:

    CONGRATULATIONS! This is thrilling. I am thrilled for you. Chuffed, even. (That’s British for thrilled, right?)

  4. zora read says:

    This is fantastic news, congratulations Karen, having read a lot of your blog I know that anything you write will be thoughtful, thought provoking and interesting.

  5. Christine says:

    So pleased about this. As a regular Guardian reader I will be on the case. I love your blog as it is interesting and thought provoking and well yes, fun.

  6. Huge, huge congratulations Karen – you’re gonna be great :)!

  7. JacqC says:

    Well done Karen, this is amazing and you totally deserve it πŸ™‚

  8. Meredith P says:

    Just recently found you (along with other UK Bloggers through the GBSB). So thrilled for you! Look forward to your Guardian posts. Brilliant! (You guys say that too, right? πŸ˜‰ )

  9. Yours was the first sewing blog I read, having come unstuck at the instructions for attaching the pockets on Simplicity 2591. You encouraged me to keep trying and opened me up to a whole community! I feel like I owe you a lot, and I’m so fucking GLAD others will experience your writing and wit and knowledge too. Raising a glass to you, baby!

  10. Clair McL. says:

    Massive congratulations!! Can’t wait to read it!

  11. ClaireE says:

    I’m looking forward to other instalments!

  12. Lelie says:

    That is very cool! Good luck with the project.

  13. CONGRATULATIONS!!! So proud of you!!! Hugs, Katherine

  14. whoo hooo! they have found a great writer to promote sewing, you! congrats

  15. LLADYBIRD says:

    This is the coolest thing ever!! I’m so excited for you, Karen – and I can’t BELIEVE you didn’t spill the beans that night (or maybe you did while I was in the bathroom freaking out over the decor? This has happened before, ha!). Anyway, well done! I’m so happy I have enough platform in which to lurk your writings πŸ™‚

  16. Wow congratulations! That’s great news for you.

  17. That is wonderful! Congratulations. Yours is definitely one of (if not THE) most well written sewing blogs out there with a great variety of content: skills, theory and musings. Lots of topics to attract new readers. Can’t wait to read your articles!

  18. Karen says:

    Well, they could not have chosen a better contributor than you!! Congratulations a million times over! How do I get these issues of the Guardian in the States??

  19. Carolyn says:

    Congratulations! This is such wonderful news and I’m so happy for you! Will we be able to see them online?

  20. Thea says:

    Congratulations!! I was sooo excited earlier when I checked the guardian, expecting to see boring news, and went OH MY GOD IT’S KAREN THIS IS AWESOME! I kept that tab to last as a treat πŸ˜‰

  21. Linda Oldham Burns says:

    Well done!!

  22. Good news (quite literally!) for your regular readers here and The Guardian. I look forward to checking out your content in both locations. Well done!

  23. Roxy says:

    Oh wow! Congratulations!

  24. Gjeometry says:

    Awesomesauce with pickles on top!!! That is too kewl! And, to think, I can say, I totally KNOW Karen who writes for the Guardian. (Well, at least through our wordpress blogs and twitter). πŸ™‚

  25. CGCouture says:

    Go you! What a fantastic opportunity! So happy for you! πŸ™‚

  26. This is so great! I’m so happy that they picked a sewist to be one of the writers, and I’m sure you’ll do a great job! Good for you for applying, and massive congrats!!

  27. Bridget says:

    Wow! That’s fantastic! Congrats and I look forward to reading your posts!

  28. Lene Bolton says:

    Congratulations Karen – nobody deserves it better than you. I love reading your sewing blog – and now there is more! I feel so happy for you. Well done!

  29. Pat says:

    I’m so happy for you. I can’t speak for others that read your blog, but what makes your blog special to me is that you have a knack for engaging your readers. You write thought provoking blogs, you can laugh at yourself and you never have a superior attitude. That makes for a great blog.

  30. Sewer From Across The Pond says:

    Sincere congratulations. I hope they’re paying you and the other bloggers. Once a week is a big commitment. If not, I imagine you’ve justified it to yourself as an opportunity for exposure, blah, blah, blah, but it is not a good thing when work goes uncompensated by big corporations. It also seems to happen much more with women in the blogosphere.

    Good luck.

  31. Jen (NY) says:

    I guess I’ll start reading the Guardian now!

  32. macstabby says:

    Congrats! So happy for you!

  33. maddie says:

    Congratulations on this accomplishment Karen. I’ll pat myself on the back if you do the same – you definitely deserve the recognition. I can’t wait to see what is to come of you. There is no need to explain your rhyme or reason for your post topics. We trust you πŸ™‚

  34. oonaballoona says:

    yahoo, yay, and HELLZ YEAH!!!! like jen in NY, i’ll start reading the guardian now :)))

  35. OMG – how incredibly exciting and wonderful – you are going to be a national superstar blogger. I am so pleased for you. And a bit envious too. Enjoy this wonderful opportunity.

  36. Tiffany says:

    What a great opportunity for you to share your knowledge. I am very excited for you. They are lucky to have you. You are going to be very, very busy.

  37. Anne-Marie says:

    Congratulations Karen, I’m so pleased for you. It’s a well-deserved honour for you to be chosen as a Guardian blogger.

  38. Pingback: this whole creative thing | tingledfangers

  39. Congratulations, that’s really wonderful and I shall look forward to seeing all of those Guardian posts, too.

  40. This is so amazing and great! I love that what was once a skill possessed by most (women) but probably not much raved about, is yet again becoming a used skill. Making clothes, house articles, gifts – you name it. And your blog – and now Guardian entries – shows us all that it is worth raving about it this time round.

  41. Debi says:

    I am so excited about this!! I love the Guardian!! Reading your weekly posts is going to be so much fun!

  42. This is fantastic! I now won’t turn to the Guardian just for news. As i mentioned at the meet-up I love your writing style. Very very happy for you!

  43. Katy says:

    Congratulations! That’s so exciting, I can’t wait to get reading! πŸ™‚

  44. Janice A. says:

    Fabulous news – I enjoy your writing as well as your sewing.


  45. I may read the newspaper again! How exciting!!

  46. joelleharris says:

    Congratulations! Very exciting!

  47. Sarah says:

    Congratulations you must be so excited ( and a little nervous too I guess)! But you’ll ace it! I can’t wait to read your first post! Lots of luck and congrats once more πŸ™‚

  48. Maureen says:

    It made me very happy to see a familiar face during my morning read of the Guardian…yay!

  49. This is great news! Really excited to see your posts

  50. What a brilliant opportunity to spread the ‘sewing gospel’. Good luck!

  51. Amazing! I’m so proud of you karen! πŸ™‚

  52. Shelly says:

    Wow, how exciting for you! Congratulations and good luck Karen. Being able to share our craft with even more people is a fabulous opportunity.

  53. Roobeedoo says:

    Woo hoo! Karen for Prime Minister! πŸ˜‰
    Fantabulous news indeed πŸ˜€

  54. Well done Karen! I absolutely love your blog and the fact that, through it, you introduced me to the joys of Walthamstow fabric shopping – good luck!

  55. Miriana says:

    Congratulation Karen, this is fantastic news! I’m glad I’ll get to read more of your lovely, interesting, entertaining and witty posts!

  56. Oh my Bl**dy God!! That’s so phantastique!!! GO you. I just want to pinch myself, it is so exciting being part of a growing interest in something. We are the Vanguard. I don’t even know what that means, I take it it doesn’t mean guarding vans, but it sounds great!

  57. Oh wow, go you! Well done! This is so exciting for you. I’m sure you’ll do the sewing blogosphere proud.

  58. Congratulations to you! I think your last paragraph is so generous.

  59. Too cool!!!!! You must be bouncing around with glee. Thrilled for you.

  60. ZoSews says:

    Congratulations! Thats very exciting!!

  61. fabulous news. Congratulations, my dear. You deserve every bit of the honour.
    And I can say I know you, well, virtually, long before the rest of the world did. πŸ˜‰

  62. lovelucie1 says:

    Oh my word!! Congratulations. Absolute proof that if you are good enough you will get the recognition you deserve.

  63. Tessa says:

    Very, very well done. I’m really delighted for you. Your blog brings me so much pleasure, help and inspiration, and I’m very happy that even more people will get to read your wise, funny and entertaining words! Oh, and I’m currently sitting at work in my first ever ‘completely made by me with no help from anyone else’ skirt (a Hollyburn), which in itself is quite exciting, but then one of my colleagues complimented me on it which was even more exciting and so then I had the wonderful moment where I said ‘Why thank you, I made it myself’ – which has made my day. And I wouldn’t have done this were it not for your blog, so thank you.

  64. Mary says:

    Great news! Although I live across the Pond, The Guardian is one of my first reads of the day. How interesting is it that their coverage of US news is better and more thorough than most mainline US news sites–and surprisingly (tongue in cheek) some of us really do like to read about what is going on in the UK, Europe and beyond. Now I will have an even better reason to read it…you! Congratulations.

  65. LinB says:

    Yay! I don’t think I can express my joy for you any more succinctly than that.

  66. Congratulations! And you’ll be guest judging on The Great British Sewing Bee when? ; ) All the best!!

  67. emily says:

    How exciting Karen! Congratulations, I look forward to reading them!

  68. Emma says:

    Oh my GAWD! How utterly thrilling. That’s YOU that is. I’m dancing about with glee on your behalf.

  69. lemur178 says:

    So pleased for you, this is wonderful news! I also really hope your lovely, dynamic positivity and entertaining writing style will encourage the snarkiest commenters to feel foolish and go away, or at least learn to evolve from feeling obliged to express what they don’t like in dismissive tones. I noticed one today already creeping out to have a go at certain types of sewing blogs… it’s exactly that kind of snark that puts people off sewing in the first place, not the blogs!

  70. Tilly says:

    Karen, I know I’ve said it already, but this is absolutely FANTASTIC news! Having DIY fashion represented on the Guardian fashion blogs is wonderful, and you are the perfect person to write it. Hooray!

    (And when I said, “Never read Guardian comments,” I should have taken my own advice hahaha!) xxx

  71. Sheree says:

    The Guardian couldn’t have made a better choice. Well done – you really deserve it.

  72. Tasia says:

    Congratulations Karen!! This is wonderful news!

  73. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations! Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading when I picked up sewing again recently. Your writing is great and your topics interesting. You deserve the honour. Good luck!!

  74. Nice one Karen! About time sewing got seriously represented on the Guardian πŸ™‚

  75. Wow! How cool is that??!! Congratulations and here’s to fabulous things through your Guardian posts!

  76. gingermakes says:

    This is SO COOL! I’m so stoked for you!!!!!!

  77. missmarys says:

    So happy for you. Creativity and the process come out of all of us in in so many different ways. I just created another MissMary shopper for a friend’s Charity and the inspiration for it came from all places Besty Johnson’s purse.

  78. Seonaid says:

    Hurray! Huge congratulations! I’m so looking forward to reading your posts.

  79. Portia says:

    Congratulations! I love the way you write and am not in the least bit surprised they snapped you up!

  80. Trisha says:

    Congratulations! How exciting, and what a great story! So very, very happy for you!!!

  81. elise says:

    Just saw this posted on A Sewing Odyssey – Congratulations! How fabulous. Really looking forward to reading! Best of luck!

  82. Velosewer says:

    Congratulations on being chosen by the Guardian. Enjoy the experience!

  83. Clare says:

    Congratulations and good luck on this exciting opportunity. You’re going to be a great ambassador for us! πŸ™‚ xx

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