Behind the Scenes on our WordPress Ad!

The Sewcialists blog is featured in WordPress’s “Do Anything with WordPress” campaign!

What’s it like when 15 film crew members invade your house for a day? Pretty bizarre, and a lot of fun! I’ve never had any experience of film or production before, so I thought I’d take you along for the ride!

First, how did we get picked as a “changemaker”? Lucky for us, there is a sewist working at WordPress, to whom I am forever grateful! (THANK YOU! This was such a fun opportunity!) She’d heard me on a podcast, and follows the website, and suggested us to the team. WordPress reached out to us by email, and my first thoughts was “Spam!” — but nope, this turned out to be real!

I did a few video chats with the production team beforehand, so that we could talk about the process and they could ask me the sort of interview questions they asked on the day. You can read a transcript of some of those answers in this article here! I read through a bunch of our old posts in preparation, dating back to our founding in 2013, and had pages of notes —you might not know this about me, but I go totally blank when I’m nervous and forget everything but my name!

Then, the day of filming. Crew members flew in from all over North America, and only a few were sourced locally from Toronto, Canada. I was so impressed with everyone’s professionalism and ability to instantly work with a crew made of strangers! Seriously, their social skills impressed me as much as their technical skills. It took a while to get everyone set up, with crew members working out of my kitchen, living room, den and stairway. They rearranged my sewing room a bit — which by the way, I’d had professionally cleaned because I live by #sewdontclean!

My sewing room has never looked this clean… Note that the images in this post are screenshots from the ad, which is obviously property of WordPress.

Then for the part I was nervous about — the interview! The director sat beside the camera and asked me a bunch of questions about our goals, how we started, what role we fill in the sewing world, and so on. The wonderful part was that they had a rough idea what kind of answers I’d give based on our previous video chats, so if I got stuck, they could prompt me with my own past statements! Can you just imagine if job interviews were like that?

Sewing away as if there weren’t a camera crew hovering around me.

After that, the rest way easy. They filmed me snipping, ironing, cutting fabric, showing off my makes, and many failed attempts to get my cats hanging out in the sewing room! We recorded sound clips of the whirring machine and scissor snips, and I got a chance to chat with the crew.

It felt really important to show that this is a community that extends beyond any single sewing room, so we gathered at a local sewing shop with as many local sewists as we could pull together.

After a dinner break, we moved to Spool and Spindle in Waterloo, a beautiful little local fabric shop where I’ve taught in the past that graciously hosted us for a meet-up! The staff were so kind to open up on a night they are normally closed, and we all enjoyed petting the pretty fabrics. We couldn’t publicise the meet-up, so pretty much everyone you see in the video are friends with my sister or me. My mom is there in the turquoise tunic beside me at the end, and you might recognise my sister from her post on sewing for T1 Diabetes. It means a lot to me that all those friends and family came out to support, and also that the communal nature of the Sewcialists is represented in the ad. This is not a one-woman show!

Me and Mom and friends!

And that was that! I want to thank the WordPress team and the film crew for being so supportive, kind and accommodating from start to finish. I’m proud to see Sewcialists grouped with other people and organizations trying to make the world a more inclusive place, and I hope that watching our ad helps at least a few people see craft in a new way!

Most of all, I want to thank YOU, the Sewcialists community, who have helped us grow over the years and made the sewing community such a supportive and inclusive place! This is a celebration of all of us!