Sometimes I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment. I burnt out on running the Sewcialist blog in 2015, then almost immediately joined the Curvy Sewing Collective as an editor. I burnt out on that, and began dreaming of starting the Sewcialists again! Why, Gillian, why?
The thing is, I believe passionately in the sewing community. I don’t want to be just a participant, I want to facilitator who makes is easier for other people to join and find joy in sewing!
I feel lucky as a blogger who loves my day job that I’m not searching for fame or fortune through sewing. I don’t feel pressure to build up my own brand, but I do wonder “How can I give back? What’s my role here?” I’m not a technically proficient sewist, nor am I interested in doing complex tutorials or creating a product. What I can offer though, is the skills I use daily in the classroom: creating a safe space, facilitating discussion, and organising people!
I think the strength of the sewing community is our positivity and passion. Our weakness, perhaps, is that sometimes we stay in our own silos. I’m really inspired by projects like the Curvy Sewing Collective and Sew Sew Def that actively seek to bring different people together. I myself only bring one perspective to the table (white, female, cis-gendered, straight, somewhere between straight and plus-sized, English-speaking, under 40), but I dream that as a group blog where anyone can write a post, the Sewcialists could bring together more voices. Lofty, over-ambitious, sure… but be the change you want to see, right?
On the other hand… Sewcialist challenges are FUN! None of your serious, skill-building competitions here. Red October! Scraptember! Viking Sheildmaiden Month! Oonapallooza! Those were all off-hand suggestions by someone on social media that ended up coming to life. For most theme months, you can just adapt something you were already planning to sew, or find inspiration to finally use a pattern or fabric from your stash. I honestly don’t have the second challenge theme picked – so maybe you’ll be the one to come up with the idea!?
I’m always nervous when I launch a new project… so I’d be grateful if you’d go follow the Sewcialist blog and Instagram! The first challenge is in August, and will be announced soon – though if you look on the blog, you’ll figure it out first!