Sewists, dressmakers, home sewers, seamstresses, tailors, makers, whatever you call yourself, as a breed we tend to be a solitary bunch. A free afternoon, an empty Sunday, let’s face it even a Saturday night doesn’t bring dread, infact it brings uninterrupted joy at the opportunity to sit down and start that project, or pick up one where you left off or finally finish what you’ve been working on for months.
Sounds heavenly, so what’s the problem? Well great things happen when creative people come together, you borrow ideas, you share tips, creativity multiplies and new things are made. In 2019 it’s easy to find other makers online, infact, that’s where I started, sharing drawings on Instagram and following other illustrators, but there is only so much connection you can get from a like, comment, or thumbs up. There is an amazing, inspiring online community that motivates me and encourages me, and I get all that from scrolling on my screen, so imagine what could happen when you meet in real life.
So here’s my six reasons why I think you should find your local sewing social cafe or meet up to sewcialise.
Speak To Someone Who Get’s It
Your friends and family no longer have to feign interest when you show them new patterns, talk about the fabric or when you show them the perfectly matched seam in your crotch trousers that no one will ever see. They won’t care, but we do! We know when to celebrate those tiny victories, or berate the frustrations, we can appreciate a good stroke of a fabric or a perfect Hong Kong finish. So save the ears of your loved ones and find someone who will listen and better still, talk back.
As the late Steve Jobs was quoted, ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal’, well join the greats and get together to borrow ideas, perhaps someone is working on a pattern that introduces you to a new pattern company, or perhaps someone used a fabric you’ve never come across, or maybe you see two patterns hacked together and you think ‘hey, maybe I can give that a go too’. Inspiration strikes anywhere, and next time it might just come from the person sitting next to you at a sewing cafe.
With an ever growing list of commitments and a mammoth to-do list, if you want to get something done, you need to put it in your bullet journal write it down and segregate time for it. The benefits of a sewing cafe are that all the distractions are left at home, there are no chores to be done, or demands from family and you can simply make time for your hobby and that pile of unfinished objects might begin to get done.
Maybe you work from your kitchen table, or bedroom floor or the tiny table in the corner of your living room and maybe you need space for your project. Sewing cafes provide space, so you don’t have to re-organise your furniture every time you want to start a project, cutting tables makes cutting out a project a dream and not having to switch plugs every time you want to use your overlocker makes the whole process a joy.
Creative people tend to be multi-taskers, they describe themself as a dressmakers-surface pattern designers or a crocheter-knitter-embroiderer, whatever the hyphen someone could introduce you to a new skill or help you polish up where you want to improve. Swap your skills to complete your project in half the time.
Start A New Project Together
Great things happen when you work together, perhaps you’re looking to start a new project or you have a great idea but need the encouragement of a comrade to help it come to fruition, well, this is exactly the kind of place where new friendships are made and new collaborations happen.
If you’re local to me, I’m in south Manchester, there is a new sewcial cafe opened every sunday in Altrincham, a chance to use the space and meet other like-minded people. Every second Sunday of the Month, The Sewcial Cafe are hosting meetups with an emphasis on meeting local makers and learning new skills, the series of meetups are designed to inspire, motivate and celebrate what you love about making. But if not, here’s a link to The Fold Line’s listings for sewists meetups. If you know of any other meetup locally, please let me know. I’d love to meet in person, find out about what you’re working on and what you have planned for your next project. Looking forward to meeting some of you over the coming months, the next meet up at Sew Creative is a Stash Swap on the 10th Feb from 2-4pm
Claire & co.