I always thought I’d be sad when it came time to end the Sewcialists… but it feels right. What a relief!
I’ve loved organising the Sewcialists – we have had the most amazing volunteer crew behind the scenes. Right from the start in 2013 it was a team effort, with different friends taking on various types of social media or running a theme month here and there. Since the reboot in 2017, we have had a rotating cast of volunteer editors every six months or so, plus incredible copy editors making us look good. I’m so honoured that people put their time into this project.
Looking back, I’m astonished that Sewcialists kept going this long. Anne, Chloe and Becky kept it going for a good six months without me after my concussion in October 2018… and I was in and out while recovering. I returned to work full time and started climbing out of depression in November 2019, just four months before COVID hit. This time last year, we didn’t know if it was fair or possible for volunteers to continue running such a labour intensive project. We’ve had some major bumps behind the scenes over the years, and considered closing more than once. I am incredibly proud that we kept going and striving for excellence.
At this point though, I’m an HR manager, consumed with getting other people to write about sewing instead of actually having the energy to sew myself. I also spend too much time with a knot in my stomach wondering if we’ve said things right and protected our community’s safety. You might have noticed I came back to blogging in February – that coincided exactly with deciding to end Sewcialists! Getting my sewjo back has felt great.
If I’m honest, I’ve also taken pride in being some kind of leader in the sewing community, and I’m a little nervous about what comes next. Who am I when I just sew? I’ve realised that I’m more comfortable promoting a community than I am promoting myself, which is why Sewcialists has 40K+ following on Instagram and I have stayed at 2.5K for years. I’m trying to decide what success will look like for me next.
That said, I do have a “next project” in mind… and when that idea came together, it made me feel more comfortable about closing Sewcialists. I don’t know if I’ll ever do this next idea, but I’ve got an Instagram account waiting in case I do. It’s something smaller scale, with no blog component, but still focusing on bringing people together and celebrating the ways that our sewing and identity are intertwined. Time will tell if I get the itch to make it happen… or equally likely, that I eventually bring Sewcialists back in a third incarnation!
What are your tips for starting a new phase of life? I’ve run sewing communities (Sewcialists, and two years at Curvy Sewing Collective) for 8 of the ten years I’ve been sewing garments. How long should I wait before diving into something new? How do I figure out a new life balance? I’m all ears, and you are also full of great advice.