This sewing community can be a wonderful place.
We can share the love of fabrics, the latest pattern inspirations and generally boost each other in our favored creative outlet. As I tentatively start organising classes again in these strange covid times I realise how very much community and like minded company means to us. Keeping to the safe confines of small groups and finding new ways to keep in touch with everyone has been, personally, challenging.
Bringing together like minded people to sew or take their first steps towards a sewing machine is why I teach. I love to see someone develop their own sewing vocabulary. Let’s face it, if you’ve been to any of my classes you’ll know that the official language can be replaced with the occasional wrangle of words/sign language when the right word won’t leave the tip of my tongue. Though, if I’m honest, I get just as much joy from hearing your alternatives too. String (thread), sticky stuff (interfacing, before your mind goes to the gutter) Wang ( not sitting flat, to ‘wang’ out) are just a few that stick in my mind.
Bringing a group of people together to learn or refresh their skills naturally gathers those of a like mind. They might not all have the same political views but they do have a common interest. This seams to bridge many gaps. I realise that it’s the community side of things that we’ve all missed whilst we’ve been in lock-down. The occasional zoom call has kept us in touch but it’s not quite the same as being in the same room. Feeling the fabric, watching the wry grin arrive as someone has got the better of a technique they’ve struggled with. Demonstrating how something works by being able to turn it in our hands and see something happen. I’ve done a few mini videos when that’s happened as some techniques can be difficult to describe.
The random conversations that come up. Yes they can happen on zoom but that time is somehow more precious. We try to make the most of it rather than the odd five minutes of random chat you take when unpicking something. Company when something goes awry. Nobody likes it when a project hits a hiccup, when you’re in familiar/class company you automatically have that support circle there. Someone will always have been there before or have a helpful hint for next time. Sometimes it’s just to tell you to make a cuppa, have a biscuit and take 5 minutes.
The feeling of community is strong amongst sewists. We’re generally a supportive lot. Being separated during lockdown has magnified how important it is to everybody. Having that connection. Being able to bounce ideas around and talking the same language makes us feel part of something. We can connect with people from across the globe like they were next door because of that common thread. Joining classes in person isn’t so easy at the moment but one day, soon I hope, we can gather again to feel the fabrics and share the thoughts and ideas of new projects. Oh the idea of shopping in company. The Norwich Sewcials will I fear sadly miss this years fabric lock-in. Though I’ve found that Whats-app groups can be a place of complete enabling for online loveliness.
I suppose what I’m saying in a Very round about way is that although sewing can be an isolated hobby/skill we don’t need to feel alone. There are many forums and groups both on instagram or facebook and when the real world returns, in person groups are out there.
You’re not on your own, your tribe is waiting for you to say hello.