I like to think of the Sewcialists, the Curvy Sewing Collective, Sew Queer and Chronically Sewn as a family, all with a specific mission: highlighting voices that may not always be heard in the mainstream sewing community. Curvy Sewing Collective is the wise big sister, with the most experience, then Sewcialists is the sassy middle sister, and now youngsters Sew Queer and Chronically Sewn have come along blazing their own path!
What is even more exciting is wondering, “What community is going to find their voice next?”
The Curvy Sewing Collective came onto the scene in 2014 when a group of bloggers reached out to Colette Patterns and suggested a plus-size blog tour to celebrate Colette’s new larger size range. The blog tour was so popular that the website was soon born, and from there they’ve created a booming community of 100 000 blog readers and a Facebook group with 17 000 members. They have tons of fitting resources, pattern comparisons, and years of posts showing plus-size women of all ages looking fabulous in me-made clothes! Since then, more and more pattern designers have increased their size range, and it’s fair to say the CSC has been a huge part of that. You’ve heard form plenty of CSC alumni here on the Sewcialists, including Tanya, Meg, and Jessica!
In fact, it was being an editor at the Curvy Sewing Collective that inspired me to relaunch the Sewcialists! We’d originally started in 2013, but it wasn’t until I relaunched the site in 2017 that we came to have an explicit focus on identity, intersectionality, and inclusion. We hope that by listening to each other, we can better understand how size, age, gender, orientation, ethnicity, ability, and other factors shape how we experience the sewing world. So far, you’ve been fabulously supportive of our frank discussions and fun theme months, because our community is growing exponentially!
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Are you following the #sewyourpride challenge? There are some amazing makes (and lovely words) popping up in the tag. There are many highlights in our stories, too! . Regrann from @sewqueer – So excited to announce the first ever #sewqueer challenge, to celebrate #pride month! Pride is about a lot of things: celebration, love, community, resistance, rebellion, survival, and affirmation. For #sewyourpride, post about the thing you've made that you're most proud of, and tell us a little about what that pride means to you. Tag with #sewyourpride and #sewqueer and follow the tags to see your fellow queer sewists' makes! #sewyourpride is a challenge, not a competition; there are no winners or prizes but a ton of community joy and celebration. So excited to see what you all share! 🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈🌈 . #sewing #sewcialists #queer #queerfashion #pridemonth #gay #trans #bisexual #lesbian #lgbtqia #iwantalltherainbows – #regrann
New on the scene is Sew Queer, led by the talented Shannon from Rare Device, who has also contributed to the CSC and the Sewcialists! She wrote a post for us in winter, and at the time, I remember her saying, “I’ve also go an idea for an LGBTQ+ hashtag I want to start.” I’m so glad she made it happen because #sewqueer has now been used 1250 times! Right from the beginning though, it was more than a hashtag — Shannon runs a @sewqueer account where she reposts community photos and digs into what it means to be a queer sewist.
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Hi everyone. It's Andie from @sewprettyinpink There are so many sewing people with chronic illnesses (mental and physical) that might generate questions specific to that person's illness. Such as where do I find an ergonomic seam ripper? What is the best fabric for sensitive skin? How do I balance self-care with sewing? And so many more. I created this inclusive space for chronically ill sewists to ask those questions. We'll also provide inspirational posts and be doing sewalongs. If you want to be featured here, tag your posts with #chronicallysewn or @chronicallysewn #sewcialists #sewing
And finally, a new community that started after I originally drafted this post: Chronically Sewn. And guess what? It’s run by another Curvy Sewing Collective Editor and Sewcialist contributor, Andie from Sew Pretty In Pink! Chronically Sewn is an Instagram account that highlights sewists who are chronically impacted by mental or physical illness. It’s something that I identify with, and I’m so grateful that Andie is building community for makers who can’t always craft as prolifically as they may want because of their health!
Now, reading through this, I hope you don’t get the idea that the Curvy Sewing Collective/Sewcialists/Sew Queer/Chronically Sewn family is some kind of exclusive club. Instead, I see it as proof that we are a supportive community where anything can happen!
All it takes is someone with an idea, and anything is possible. That’s how all four communities started, and that how our next great community will probably start too!
(Let me be clear, too — none of these websites are *just* for some people, and not for others. It’s always fascinating to join in conversation with people are both similar and different to ourselves!)
So, which community might find their voice next? I’ve got some ideas, and I hope you’ll share yours in the comments!
- Male sewists (or people who identify as male/sew menswear/like androgenous style etc)
- Young sewists (teens and early twenties? Show us how to use social media innovatively, you youngsters!)
- Senior sewists (sewists of a certain age have skills, passion and style to share, and we hear often that you don’t feel represented in the typical blogosphere!)
- Ecosewists (there are lots of individual challenges and themes, but no umbrella website that I’m aware of?)
I could go on all night! But here’s what I really want to say: If you are the next community organiser, we are here to help. Email us or join our Sewcialists Blog Team on Facebook and we’ll share our skills and experience, and help you build a community. I’m sure the Curvy Sewing Collective, Sew Queer and Chronically Sewn organisers would do the same. Ideas take off quickly in the sewing community, so all you need is a clear voice, passion, and the grit to make it happen!
So, who is going to be our next sibling site? Please share below your ideas for what community you’d like to find their voice, and let us know if you have the kernel of an idea which we could help you develop!
Dear Reader: Our goal is to build community and make everyone feel welcome. We support crafting as an inclusive and welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, genders, orientations and sizes. Regarding sewing challenge themes, we ask that you take each challenge as you see it fitting in your life, and express your involvement how you like, at the given time. Our challenges are for the pure enjoyment of participation and the love of community. Extended Mission Page Here.