My name is Anna (@petersilieundco) and on behalf of the whole Sewcialists blog team, I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone that has taken part in our Sewcialists survey! This survey will help us develop our platform to reach and represent as many different sewists as possible in the future, and we are thrilled that over 500 of you responded!
Let’s start with the interesting part: the results and some take-away messages!
Who are we?!
32% of us only sew, but the majority part of the Sewcialists community is a a very creative bunch:
Staying in touch:
We were of course very curious how YOU stay in touch with our blog! A large proportion connect directly via the blog. Also, as became clear in the open answer possibility: lots of you love that we also share everything via Instagram. However (unfortunately) the algorithm does not always work in our favour, which means that not all of you will see every post! I personally would recommend (especially if you like to follow more blogs) to use a blog-reader such as Bloglovin or the more “traditional” Feedly. This would be a great way for non-social-media users to keep in touch! (Concerning participation without social media: We are discussing possibilities!)
About the current Sewcialists content!
Easy question: What post format do you like most? Answer: No clear winner.
That inspires a lot of our community members:
But since inclusion is a very big topic for us, it is important to acknowledge, that not everyone is feeling included (yet):
Where to go in the future!?
So what can we change in the future? We got so many amazing responses, especially for our “Who we are” series, but also for theme months. So here are the answers as best condensed as possible, while not trying to miss out on any aspect:
The end (for now)
We are happy to announce that we have added a few new volunteers to our blog team. And if you are still interested in playing a more active role in the community, write us a short email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And lastly the dominant words in the open question at the end were: love, appreciate, enjoy, keep up (the good work) and really! So let me say: We all love your responses, really appreciate any and all of them, and hope that you enjoy our content in the future as well. Keep up the sewing!
I have to admit that it was a little gratifying to see that such a relatively large number of people commented about feeling too “average” sometimes making one feel a little left out. It’s sometimes very easy to feel that when you’re an average-sized straight white woman around here, what you have to say isn’t interesting. I’m sure that’s not the intent of the Who We Are series at all, but I can certainly see how the feeling exists, since I’ve felt that myself from time to time. (Which might also explain why someone like me doesn’t put herself out there as much.)
We’re definitely thinking about it! The goal of the Who We Are series was to consider viewpoints that aren’t already well represented in the blogosphere, so naturally we are starting by exploring the peripheries of what is “average” in the sewing blog world. I do feel like a lot of our contributors fall into the typical demographics of the sewing community, but perhaps that is not enough? What categories would you like to see in the Who We Are series that would highlight a story that isn’t told about “average” sewists? I”m all ears! 🙂
If I think of something, I’ll let you know. The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is how our sewing has changed through different life stages, for those of us who have been doing it for awhile. I know my sewing in my late 30s looks very different than it did a decade ago.
Fascinating!! Nice to know who we are reading with!! Love the diversity!
I was really pleased to see what a range of ages we have reading the blog – I think that’s so exciting! We did hear that people want more content from sewists over 50… so I hope we get some volunteers! (Will you write for us sometime? i think I’ve asked before, but we’d love to have you!)
Yes I would love to. I’ll send you something.
I’m one of the two under 25 . 😁
But it is fascinating to see how many different hobbies are besides sewing.
Are you?? We’d love to hear from you – would you shoot us an email at email@example.com? I’ve been on the lookout for younger sewists, but either a) they aren’t mentioning their age constantly and I miss it, b) they aren’t blogging and c) I’m too old at 36 and I”m out of the loop! 😉
If you wish I send you an email. I’m the little annoying sister of Anna the author of this article.
AHHHH! Then I know you from Instagram, I think! Anna did such a good job writing this, didn’t she? We love her!
Yes I’m the one sewing the vintage fashion one on instagram.
Anna is when she is doing something, always giving here best and very seriously (the blog boss from our boss 😉)
Sent an email.
Hope it arrives successful.
I’m fairly certain I’m the other one!! Young ‘uns unite! Unfortunately due to college I am not very active in sewing 🙁
Interesting results! I did have to giggle though – so many responses to include older sewers, and I had to increase the size of the chart to read it. Now that I think about it, the text on all posts is not the easiest for me to read very long.
Do you ever zoom in on a webpage? I find myself doing it all the time. It’s probably under the “view” toolbar at the top of your browser! I hope that helps! We’ll reformat the blog eventually (it’s on the long list of this to do!) and we’ll keep readability in mind! 😉
I click on my tools and increase the page size! :o) For google chrome browsers that’s the three dots in the right hand corner! Open and see Zoom and increase the percentage! On a Windows browser its the tool looking icon on the far right. Click and you’ll see Zoom there too! Hope this helps! I have only 1 good eye and it has a cataract that is needing removal!
Zooming – What works for me is holding ctrl (on windows) and using the wheel of the mouse.
I’m curious to hear why older sewists don’t feel included. With 25% of the readers of this blog being over 56 I wonder which percentage of the blogs in the Firehose belongs to sewists in this age category. Is there perhaps a connection between not feeling represented and not being as active on the internet as younger generations? If so, starting a blog is a great way to discover your peers as there are so many over 50 bloggers out there! I personally feel this ‘sewing for your age’ thing is a bit overrated, as apart from lowering the bust darts sewing a button down shirt is pretty much the same at 60 as it was when I was younger. But of course I’m really interested to hear other opinions, that’s what makes the online sewing community and this type of survey so interesting!
PREACH! I agree with you exactly – sometimes it takes joining in to find your crew. I’m so happy that we have a lot of readers over 50, but they definitely aren’t the ones emailing us to write posts… or, I think, in some cases, they are contributing posts and comments, but not stating their age every time? (Which of course is normal – but maybe readers are not noticing?) Would you be interested in writing a post expanding on your thoughts? i think it would be a fun topic!
I’m not a huge fan of the “identity stuff”–glad to see I’m not the only one here that feels that way! I always just click on the X in my feedly for those posts, but it’s kind of sad to see it be so many of the posts these days.
I’m only getting older (mid 30’s here) and I’m very interested in seeing how sewing has evolved for people as they go through life. I think this is something we can all relate to, because we are all getting older, no matter our faith/race/body size. And yes to more fitting posts! Especially if we look beyond the FBA and swayback to some of the more obscure adjustments like knock knees, major differences between one side and the other, forward neck/shoulders, tilted pelvis, dowager hump, etc. (I don’t have any of these, but I’m still curious and they aren’t done to death all over the blogosphere). OK, I take that back, I have the tilted pelvis, and would love to know how to adjust for that on pants, especially in combination with a belly (which if you have a tilted pelvis it looks like you have a belly no matter how skinny you are–or at least that’s my experience.)
Thanks for sticking with us for the posts you do enjoy! I realise the identity stuff is not for everyone, but I don’t know anyone else who is discussing it, so it’s important for me that we open that conversation. If it helps the basic schedule is 1 month of inspiration leading up to a theme month, 1 month of a theme month, and 1 month of Who We Are on Fridays and some other discussions etc! 🙂
Men didn’t get a look in on the identity list? Maybe this data came from a different poll that the one I responded to (which is likely I feel like there was a half dozen polls in the community in the past few months). We do have men who don’t identify with the queer community who sew – I think oftentimes we don’t see much of them in the community though and I’m not sure how to improve that.
Personally I do agree with comments about too much identity politics as well. I am a socialist on the political spectrum as well as a sewcialist in the sewing community. I do believe that too much focus on identity politics can have a negative impact, especially in non-political constructs, because it is very individualised. We work together best when we focus on our similarities but are open to the different perspectives of individuals. We have more in common than ‘just sewing’. I think Sewcialists is building a good balance of these, but this kind of thing takes time.
Hi Pritty!Thank you for recognising that we are trying to build a balance of identity discussions and community building – to my mind, the theme months bring us all together, and the discussion posts help us understand that other people’s experiences can be different that our own. There is plenty of the former in the sewing community, but very little of the latter. As a school teacher, I feel like it is a necessary part of the conversation!
I have to say I LOVE all the identity posts! I might not read them every time they appear, but I love knowing that yall are making an effort to be inclusive! In real life we are often not exposed to so many types of people, so the internet can connect us and help us learn from one another. I know considering different identities has definitely helped me be a kinder person and advocate for those who need it. Thanks!
Thanks Regan! I like knowing those posts are there too – and whether people just see the title or read the whole article, it’s important to me to plant that seed of wondering, “oh wait, I wonder how that person’s experience is different than my own?”
Some of my favorite posts are the ones positioned around identity and the ways in which not everyone feels well represented in mainstream contexts or in the current sewing community. I love finding out more about the barriers and challenges others are facing, and what — often relatively small — changes those of us in the mainstream can do to better accommodate our peers with less privilege. To be honest, I think that’s the most unique draw to the Sewcialists, and I would hate to see those posts disappear or be minimized in favor of other posts, particularly as there don’t seem to be a great deal of other outlets that are tackling issues of inclusivity on such a broad level as the Sewcialists.
On a similar note, I was a bit disappointed to see the number of responses reflecting “average” or “slim” people wanting a greater presence on the Sewcialists site. In my view, and as Gillian addressed above, “average” (or at least what is presented as average, whether it reflects average current bodies or not) is already well-represented. They are folks who can generally easily find other bodies/shapes/patterns specifically for them and have less difficulty imagining how a garment/pattern/whatever might work for their body/life/ability/physical representation because it’s already well represented and freely available. I guess I bristle a bit when it feels like “average”/slim people are trying to take over/have a bigger presence in one of the few spaces that recognizes and embraces that not everyone in the sewing community has an “average” or mainstream experience. Instead, I feel that those people who feel left out of this space because they are too “average” or too “slim,” might better spend the time reflecting on what it might be like for others who feel left out of nearly every space they encounter and how they can use their privilege to help break down the barriers that others have to deal with every day, in nearly every space, online or IRL.
Thanks Jen! Don’t worry – that identity discussions won’t go anywhere! Like you say, it is what makes us unique and something that isn’t happening enough else where. As for people wanting more “normal” representation… what I hear they say that is that we haven’t tapped into their experience yet, like maybe maternity sewing or sewing for kids, or sewing on a budget, or sewing when no one else around you sews, or whatever. I also interpret them as saying they want to feel valued and able to contribute, which of course I want for them too! Of course I might be totally reading more than they are saying, but thinking about it that way gives me a concrete place to start!