#MayWeRemindYou: Tribute Month and Sew Style Hero!

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!

Graphics from past tribute theme months: Tribute August 2014, Tribute Month 2017, and Sew Style Hero 2018.

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.

Two shots of Gillian, in 2014, wearing a striped knit dress in coral, teal, and grey, with pops of purple and black. The dress has cap slevees and a scoop neck, and a knee length a-line skirt.
My 2014 Tribute Month Dress, in tribute to my friend Alessa from Farben Freude!

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?

Gillian in her "Oonabaloona dress"  -- a maxi dress with mutlicoloured vertical stripes and a dramatic, voluminous shape.
Inspired by Marcy from Oonaballoona in 2017. This Tribute Month project turned out to be my all-time favourite dress, and I never would have been so adventurous if I wasn’t imitating Marcy!

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!

Two images, showing Gillian and her inspiration Pauline. Both wear dresses in black and white vertical stripes, with a fitted upper sleeve and then a voluminous lower sleeve including a section cut on the bias to change the stripe direction.
Yes, I made ANOTHER striped dress in 2018! This one is a total rip of of Pauline from SewUThinkYouCan, and I always feel amazing in this dress!

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.

Gillian wears another Oonaballoona tribute look, featuring a floral lace top and capri-length wide-legged trousers.
Just to prove I don’t only sew stripes, here’s a second outfit in tribute to Marcy from Oonaballona, which is a remake of a very specific lace tee and jeans look she made!

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.