Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Response to "Are Sewing Bloggers Cultural Leaders?"

An interesting question posted by Tilly on her blog here relating to a paper she is writing.  The questions were as follows:

  • What does the online sewing community mean to you? Why do you participate?
  • What are your favourite examples of projects initiated by sewing bloggers that capture this spirit of collaboration, creativity and innovation?
  • Who are the “leaders” in the sewing blogosphere? Is everyone / can anyone be a leader?
  • Are you involved in any other network of makers, whether online or offline? What makes sewing blogs unique?
1) The online sewing community means a place to gather inspiration and learn from other people who are making the same journey I am, though they are often much further along.  There is something comforting about knowing that I am part of a community of like-minded people.  I participate because my participation along with the participation of others means that the community exists.  A community cannot exist without the people in it to give it form and direction.  I believe that we as people naturally form communities from the people we come into contact with and those communities often influence how we think.  The online sewing community has boundaries indeterminate and a scope that might never be measured and it influences how I think because I can see that anything I want to try is possible, whether it be a sewing project that is currently beyond my skills or making my passion my living as Tasia over at sewaholic has done.  It influences how I act because it has inspired me to finally try this sewing clothes thing I've always kindof wanted to try and to explore my personal style in a way I never thought of before as a concept independent of what limited clothing might be available in my size at stores.

2) I don't know if I could choose only a few examples of projects, not because there aren't amazing works being created out there in the world, but because I've been reading so many posts from so many blogs I can't remember them all or keep them straight at the moment.  So to substitute, I can link to some blogs that I enjoy reading and I am sure have some of these very creative works on them:
Ali at wardrobe reimagined
Tasia at sewaholic

Zoe at So Zo

3) I don't know about leaders.  I think the leaders change because those who know a particular skill are so open about sharing their knowledge that they serve as leaders until other skills are explained by others and so on.  Leadership is a fluid thing as knowledge and teaching are shared freely among the participants.  Ideas and inspiration come from all corners so no one person is directing the style.  Each person builds off what others have done.

4) This online community has inspired me to try and start a small crafting circle among my friends because in-person interaction is something there is really no substitute for.  Sewing blogs are unique in that they can pull in comment and interaction from so many people you could never get together in one place at the same time.  Off-line crafting groups provide the intimacy of physical closeness that can make the activity more fun.  Both have distinct value that together can make crafting of any kind an even more rewarding experience than either alone as an outlet.

Well, I hope my musings have some value to you Tilly.  In case you couldn't tell from my answer to #1 I am a political philosophy and theory junkie so the nature of a society and how that instinctive drive intersects all avenues of our life (especially the political world in how we form political opinions and interactions) is of interest to me.  Good luck on your paper.


  1. Hi Erin,

    Thanks so much for your sweet comment on my blog. And thanks so much for including me as someone who you feel is making a contribution to our sewing community! I wish you all the best with your own projects and endeavours

    Zoe xxx

  2. Erin, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. I really like your point that leadership is fluid as skills are passed on between people. I find that so inspiring. Let's keep sharing our skills, spreading the love, and get everyone making stuff!