Hello, dear Curvy Sewing Collective readers! It’s been about two years since I wrapped up my time as an editor here and relaunched the Sewcialists… and lately I’ve been thinking about everything I learned here. CSC really has changed a lot of things, from my personal self-image to my role in the sewing community!
1. I’m happy in my skin. When I started sewing clothes in 2011, I wore about a US size 14… then 16… and now 18 or 20! It’s thanks to the CSC that I never felt bad about my body along the way. Within this community we get to see fabulous, stylish and talented women of all ages and sizes looking great, and that’s pretty special.
2. Everyone deserves a voice. As far as I know, CSC was the first niche community that focused on an underrepresented demographic. Now we’ve got @sewqueer, @chronicallysewn, @sewover50 and lots of hashtags bringing sewists together. I think the original editors of the Curvy Sewing Collective set the tone for all of that with posts like Mary’s “How we talk about size“, which made it clear that everyone was valued and included, and negativity would not be tolerated!
3. Learn to lead. Nowadays I coordinate the Sewcialists, which is run by a team very much like the CSC editors. We use essentially the same methods of organisation, have a similar format, and rely on the same community authors for content. (Heck, 5 out of 7 Sewcialists editors are currently curvy, and many of us met while writing here!) Quite a lot of people have been a CSC editor or contributor at some point, and along the way we learn how to organise, schedule, brainstorm and plan.I like to imagine that one day Sewcialists will offer the same mentoring to people who have a dream project of their own – a chance to learn some practical skills to make it happen!
4. It takes so much work. From the outside, it might seem like a well-established site like CSC just rolls along automatically… but oh my goodness, there is a LOT going on behind the scenes! There are daily discussions about every little detail, from whether there are enough posts ready for the next week to what needs to be planned for a theme month to which hosting plan we need to upgrade to – and that’s not even mentioning keeping up with the Facebook group! It really is a labour of love from the editors, some of whom have been doing this for nearly 5 years. If you do anything after reading this point, let it be to thank the team behind the scenes – and maybe to offer to write a post to support this great community!
5. Finally, my favourite lesson: The sewing community is AWESOME! I mean, where else would literally hundreds of people come together to share pictures of themselves, and be cheered on by thousands of friendly strangers? I think the CSC is proof that together we can make a difference! It’s no accident that the plus size community has more pattern options now than ever before – it’s the power of standing together and showing the world that we want and deserve to be dressed fabulously!
I’d love to hear what you have learned from the Curvy Sewing Collective – either from a certain post, from the community in general, or from the friends you’ve made here! Please let us know in the comments!