“Kill your darlings” is common writing advice, meaning ditch anything superfluous that you are too emotionally attached to… and Tribute Month/Sew Style Hero is the darling that I decided to let go!
Tribute Month, when we sew something in tribute to a sewist we admire, was one the last of the original Sewcialists theme months before I went on hiatus in 2015, and the first theme month in 2017 when I restarted the site. I dreamed that August’s annual Tribute Month would be something people would look forward to every year, like Me Made May.
I adore the idea of taking inspiration from the style, colours palette, or techniques or a certain sewist, and interpreting it for your own wardrobe. Tribute Month inspired some of my own favourite outfits, and was a chance to let sewists know how much I admire them! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
The thing is… not everyone loved this theme as much as me. Was it intimidating to copy someone else? Was is too hard to pick? Was it just not how other people got their inspiration? In 2018 we decided to change the name to “Sew Style Hero” in case the very-Hunger-Games-era “Tribute Month” title was throwing people off. Maybe we made it worse!? Naming someone your “hero” could be even more intimidating!
Sew Style Hero wasn’t a flop, but it wasn’t catching on as a yearly event the way I had hoped. I decided to let my darling go, and in 2019 we hosted Over/Under theme month instead.
Looking back, I’m a little sad that Tribute Month/Sew Style Hero isn’t part of our annual rotation any more… but it’s also ok, because every month is Tribute Month in my sewing room! I love nothing more than pinning a picture or saving an image on Instagram, and figuring out how I could make something similar myself. I’m so inspired by how other sewists play with fabric, dress their unique bodies, and create a “look”.
Did you participate in any of the Tribute Month or Sew Style Hero theme months? Do you think we should bring it back again, or keep doing new theme months every time? I’d love to know your thoughts!
Gillian is co-founder of the Sewcialists. She is an ESL teacher, cat-lover, and maker of colourful clothing! She blogs at https://craftingarainbow.com/ and is @craftingarainbow on Instagram.
I think this is a great idea and I’m sorry I missed it in it’s original iteration. I love your blog please keep sharing your wonderful ideas.
I love the idea of this and I often sew things because I’ve been inspired by other bloggers, but I sew so slowly that I can never fit in with any theme month at all. I just enjoy seeing what other people do with them.
I love seeing how people interpret theme months too! There are always some amazing surprises!
I imagine it may have flopped because there’s so much bitterness over the way certain internet-savvy sewists are lionized already. I think any of us that read sewing blogs or look at Instagram or whatever are inspired by other sewists all the time. I mean, raise your hand if you’ve never at least looked at a particular pattern or fabric after seeing how someone else handled it. I’ve done it hundreds, maybe thousands, of times. But it still feels weird to put hours of work into a garment & say, “This is my tribute to random person X.” Kinda. Sorta.
I like having new challenges…even though I don’t always have it together to actually sew to them.
I’m not the most participatory of sewists – but I love to see what you come up with (your ideas are so clever!). I do sew, indirectly, influenced by the many bloggers I follow. The wealth of information is continual – how could I not be influenced??! And I know I’ve made things because blogger x made something similar and it looked fantastic and I thought it might work on me. I’m just not quite as specific about it as G. Still, pls bring on all the themes. I definitely participate by reading and loving those posts. Also – do you have to kill your darlings? That seems so 2019! This is your Sewcialists team platform and, I say, you do all the themes your heart desires.
Well, all I can say about the August theme month is that it is RIGHT UP YOUR ALLEY! Well, more specifically, it’s about a topic on which you are a font of wisdom! 😉
I too have loved Tribute Month – even if I’ve viewed/enjoyed & not participated! Please keep it (all) going!
I love the idea and love all the striped dresses
Love that striped 2017 maxi dress! Very cool and inspiring.