Why “All Chests Welcome”?

Now that we’ve announced our August theme month, “All Chests Welcome”, I wanted to hop on and explain how this topic reflects the evolution of the sewing community!

Logo for Lingerie Sewing Month with two vintage drawings of a woman, one a close-up, the other an image of the woman wearing a bra, underwear, and a robe.

Back in 2015, Sewcialists hosted Lingerie Month. I’d just started sewing bras myself, and the theme month focused on making bras, panties, robes, and lingerie. It was all based on the assumptions that a) sewists are women and b) women wear bras. That seems so arcane now, but five years ago I swear it seemed normal.

Amazingly, some of those posts still get heavy traffic today! In particular:

Curvy Sewing Collective logo for Lingerie Month, a red background with a brown heart inside which it reads, Lingerie Month

A year later in 2016, I’d put Sewcialists on hiatus and moved over to be an editor at the Curvy Sewing Collective. One of the first things I did there was co-host a Lingerie Month specifically aimed at plus-size women. CSC did an update on some of the pattern suggestions in 2017, which is worth checking out if you want to sew bras and underwear for larger bodies. Sadly, the pattern choices for plus-size sewists are still very limited.

Looking back, it seems like another era, but it was just a few short years ago! By excluding the voices of trans, non-binary, and male sewists, we carelessly implied that they were not welcome or valid. We blithely assumed that people with boobs want to wear bras, thereby upholding gender norms. This time, we pledge to do better and truly show that “All Chests Are Welcome!”

Gillian is cofounder of the Sewcialists. She loves cats, bright colours, and sewing!