Good morning readers! Welcome to 2016!
We completed our first full year as a collective blog in 2015, and as to be expected, we had some ups and downs in that respect. One area where we felt like we had some room for improvement was to increase the participation from the curvy sewing community. Many of us had fun sewing along as part of the Wrapalong Wrap Dress Sewalong a while back, but the Season of Separates from earlier this past year fell a little flat. Among the CSC editors, we had some internal discussion about which topics, themes, or sewalongs would most engage our fellow curvy sewist.
After brainstorming quite a few ideas, we decided to post a poll to ask you all what topics you wanted to read about and sew along to in the coming year. Over 400 of you responded with your top 4 choices, and here are the results:
Sorted by vote, here are your top 10 picks for 2016:
- SWAP (Sewing with a Plan)/Capsule Wardrobe – 207 votes (50.6%)
- Pattern Hacks – 179 votes (43.8%)
- Bra-making and Lingerie – 157 votes (38.4%)
- Shirtmaking – 144 votes (35.2%)
- Knits – 142 votes (34.7%)
- Jeans – 123 (30.1%)
- BurdaStyle de-mystified – 113 (27.6%)
- Vintage – 105 (25.7%)
- Outerwear – 95 (23.2%)
- Activewear – 89 (21.8%)
Now, we’re certainly not going to try to have “theme months” or challenges around everything on this list, but we are going to take these numbers to heart and for the topics that had a lot of interest but didn’t make the cut for a dedicated month, series, or challenge, we’ll be looking at recruiting guest bloggers and writing our own posts throughout the year. So, you’ll still get to read about them, but it’ll be in a less-focused manner. Overall, I think you’re going to see a lot more variety of content from the CSC in coming months.
So let’s talk about our current plans for the four most popular topics. These are the topics that we’ll be focusing on at various points in 2016.
Bra-making and Lingerie
No, bra-making and lingerie wasn’t the top vote-getter, but there was a LOT of interest in it, based on our poll numbers. As readers, you included a lot of comments and suggestions for this topic area, which led us to believe that there will be a lot of interest in it. “Bra-making and lingerie” will be the first focus area that you’ll be seeing from us in 2016, and we’ve already got a lot of planning and research in progress for this topic area. I’m really excited about this, and I hope that you will be, too!
SWAP (Sewing with a Plan)/Capsule Wardrobe
Over 50% of you voted for doing a SWAP (Sewing with a Plan)/Capsule Wardrobe as one of your top choices. We don’t want to bore everyone to tears who has already read/done the Wardrobe Architect or any of the other many wardrobe planning challenges, so our SWAP will focus on interactivity and encouragement. We expect this challenge to run over multiple months; we’ll do a few planning and inspiration posts at the beginning and then periodic “checkpoint” posts to encourage people to stick to their plans. Ideally, there will be a community component for participants–either through Instagram or Facebook–so that we can share our progress and cheer each other on.
When patterns don’t fit out of the envelope and require a lot of fitting adjustments, as they often do for curvy sewists, it makes sense that you’d want to “fit once, sew many times”. With that in mind, it’s understandable why “Pattern Hacks” came in second place in our poll. Among the editors, we’ve been kicking around the best way to share more pattern hacks with our readers.
Let me ask you–would a month dedicated to tutorials and show-and-tell around pattern hacks get tedious? That’s our fear, so we’re leaning towards turning “Pattern Hacks” into a regular series. The post count would be the same by the end of the year as if it were a dedicated month, but the posts would be more spread out. Or, would you prefer a dedicated month?
I think that shirtmaking, as a theme, is pretty self-explanatory. This will likely be another “dedicated month,” similar to the upcoming bra-making/lingerie month. Expect a few posts on shirt styles, some pattern reviews of curve-friendly shirt patterns, and some tutorials to help you improve the fit of woven button-down shirts.
We had a box for “Other, fill-in-the-blank” on our survey form, and we received quite a few interesting post suggestions there, too:
- Many of you commented that you wanted to read about sewing for specific shapes–often shapes such as “apple”, that don’t get as much attention as say, “hourglass” or “pear”. I think you’ll be happy to discover that we’ve had a guest post series in the works for a while that comprehensively covers sewing for different shapes. Expect to see the first post in this series very soon.
- Two of you (independently, as far as we know) suggested a new series along the lines of “Same pattern, different bodies” where multiple sewists with different body shapes make up the same pattern and share their alterations and how the final garment looks on their bodies. We loved this idea and think that the side-by-side comparisons could be eye-opening.
- We received a lot of requests to address specific fitting issues, such as a swayback, high hip, full tummy, etc. We’ll try to post more about fit in 2016, knowing that most of our readers are like us–we don’t typically fit patterns straight out of the envelope.
- While not one of the top-vote getters, we had a lot of interest around BurdaStyle in the comments that we received. We’d like to do a short series around the “BurdaSytle de-mystified” theme, even if we’re not dedicating a month’s worth of posts to it.
What do you think of the polling results and our plans for them? Are you looking forward to sewing along with the CSC on these topics in 2016?