More good news to be shared, and some things I missed last time…
More Inclusive Models
One comment I’ve heard over and over from people at the Sewcialists is that it’s hard to find sewing patterns that are androgynous or suit non-binary folks. For example, most sewing patterns aimed at women are very feminine, enhancing either bust, waist or hips, or using flowy or body-con fabrics that emphasise the figure. One pattern line that has always had a more androgynous look is Grainline Studio, and I love that their model for the new Yates Coat continues that trend!
Acknowledging Sewists of All Kinds
Melissa from Fehr Trade included a wonderful paragraph from her book in a tutorial last month. The post was demonstrating how any pattern could be used as the base for the modifications outlined in her book, so that the book can be a learning tool for anyone.
“The included blocks are designed for women in the sizes shown in these size charts, but if you’re not a woman or your body doesn’t match any of the measurements in the size charts, using your own block means that these designs could work for children, men, disabled people, trans people and non-binary folks, those who prefer modest clothing and those whose measurements are beyond the size range here. There really is no limit: if you’ve got a body, you can exercise, and if you can sew, you can make activewear.”
I loved this message so much! Exercise IS for everyone, and sewing is for people of all ages, sizes, genders, and needs. It’s powerful to see a designer being so thoughtfully inclusive, and I’d love to see it more!
Maternity Sewing is More Integrated
I remember a few years back, when a friend of mine was pregnant, she wanted to sew herself some nice maternity clothes. At that time, one of the only options was Megan Neilson’s few maternity patterns for Simplicity. We sewed one of the dresses, and it came out with Big-4 amounts of ease instead of the RTW-ish amount of ease I expect from indies!
Now, there are more and more maternity patterns being brought out by Indie companies as additions to their normal line. I imagine that it’s helpful for pregnant people to be able to pick from pattern designers you trust and sew something that matches your personal style!
- Megan Neilson Maternity
- Deer and Doe Givre Maternity Dress
- Tilly and the Buttons Maternity Bundle
- Patterns for Pirates has several maternity add-ons
- Seamstress Erin and Paprika Patterns are collaborating on maternity patterns, which are in development!
Of course, not every sewist can or wants to be a parent, or is in that stage of life – but I’m glad at least that pattern choices are now more easily accessible.
Sewists Going Pro!
Do you follow Well Sewn Style? Mary Alice burst onto the blogging scene just a year or two ago, making really fashionable clothing for herself as a plus-size woman. I find her such an inspiration to dress boldly and with a sense of fun and flirtation! Mary Alice launched her own RTW collection last year, and just released her 2018 Warm Weather collection. She is expanding from plus-sizes to size-inclusive (size 0-28), and committing to environmentally -friendly production and paying a fair wage to people sewing her line!
Another good friend of mine who has made sewing into a career is Sewcialists co-founder Leila Breton! Leila runs Curvy Custom Bride, doing custom gowns and alterations in the Indianapolis area. The shopping experience can be filled with so much pressure to conform to beauty norms and gender stereotypes, so I like knowing that there are badass business women out there like Mary Alice and Leila, creating an inclusive space for everyone!
It’s only been 9 months since I restarted the Sewcialists, but the community is growing quickly! We get hundreds of new followers every week on Instagram, and there were 125 participants in February’s #sewstripes theme month. Best of all, there is an incredible team of more than 50 sewists behind the scenes helping to keep it all rolling. I literally could not do it without them!
Meanwhile, we’ve had some really unique and eye-opening discussions through our #WhoWeAre series, including recent posts on mental health, infertility, the German sewing community, and sustainable sewing. There is more great stuff coming up, including more about LGTBQ identities, race, and size. If you aren’t already following us on Instagram or WordPress, please join the conversations!
And finally, some personal good news…
I’ve loved many things about my three years teaching English as a Second Language in tiny rural communities, but not the commute! Starting in April, I’m transferring to teach ESL in my own city! The schools will be much more diverse, and I’m looking forward to the new challenge – plus 2 hours more time to sew every day!
Has any other good news in sewing caught your eye? Please share below if it has!