As we head into the new year, my goals is to put my money where my mouth is: to shop for patterns and fabrics that support the ideals I believe in.
For me, that means:
- Buying or testing patterns from companies that use models and testers representing a range of ages, sizes and ethnicities
- Participating in online challenges that are inclusive (We here at the Sewcialists aim to run challenges where sewists of all genders, sizes, abilities, and budgets will be able to participate, and I hope for the same from others!)
- Supporting free or low-cost patterns that are accessible to everyone, but also paying for good drafting and high quality when I can
- Refusing to buy fabrics that appropriate other cultures, or are labelled things like “Navajo”, “Aztec” or even “tribal”, unless people from those cultures were actually involved in design or creation! (Buying and wearing traditional fabrics from authentic sources is a-ok in my book, but I know we all draw the line in different places on this topic.)
- Shopping online or in person from stores in my own country (If you are a Canadian like me, I recently posted a list of online shops in Canada!)
- Buying and sewing in an environmentally friendly way when possible
…and perhaps most importantly, letting stores, companies, designers and organisers know why I am choosing to support them! Personally, I think positive feedback is even more effective than negative. (As a teacher, I’m always trying to “catch a child being good” instead of nagging them about the same flaw over and over, and I swear it works just as well on adults!) Cheering on the good we see in the world puts everyone in a better mindset, and is an easy way to reward those who take the time to consider inclusivity.
At this point in the sewing community, we have a lot of options. Want activewear/jeans/t-shirts/etc? There are tons to chose from, and many of them are great! First off, I’d always suggest going with a company that drafts for your body type and size, or buying the best quality fabric you can afford, but beyond that, it can be hard to choose. Why not take a look at shops and ask yourself, “Does this represent the sewing community in all its glorious diversity?” If it does, support them!
How do you put your money where your mouth is? Please leave suggestions below, including stores, pattern companies, and sewing challenges that you feel are inclusive and worthy of support!