Sewcialists are a sewing blog for everyone! They run 4 fun theme months and every Tuesday morning their Australian editor, Chloe Read updates us on their current challenges, in case you missed them on Instagram. The Sewcialists team continue to host discussions about diversity, and feature posts by our community! Sew Organised Style supports their work and you’ll hear more from the Sewcialists on their Sewcialists Tuesday podcast. Sewcialists state that ‘Black Lives Matter, now and always. We are easing back into our regular content, but we promise to focus on amplifying the voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour for the long term. This is not a fad or a phase — no one is free until everyone is free.’
If you don’t aleady know the story behind Renee’s online name, have a listen in and hear how she chose Miss Celie’s Pants. Many people know Renee through her sewing blog. She’s been blogging her sewing journey since 2008!
Renee’s love of Baltimore is infectious.
Renee’s grandmother sewed and her Grandfather was a tailor back in Grenada. When she asked her mother that she wanted to sew her own clothes after sewing commercial patterns in Germany, one of their church friends taught Renee how to sew.
Did you first meet Renee through Pattern Review? She’s been a member since 2002 and has been a moderator for Pattern Review as well.
Sewcialists are a recent find for Renee. Renee is an experienced maker who is willing to provide information to other makers who rely on their fellow makers for good advice.
Renee encourages people to follow the Sewcialists especially if you want to hear voices different to the voices you often hear in the sewing community.
Tuesday 24 November 2020: Gabby talks about fitting for yourself and the checklist she uses as she goes.
- Know what you’re looking for. 2: Have your checklist. 3: Write everything down accurately so you can make those corrections. These are just a few of the suggestions that Gabby talks about.
You can read the Fit Model post Gabby wrote for the Sewcialists. There are many posts Gabby has written for Sewcialists this year that you should refer too.
When you put the garment on you can check the fit of each part of the garment and make notes about where you need to work on the pattern for a better fit. As you’re dressing, the unusual sizing or construction issues.
Make sure you check the garment again for any fit issues. There’s more from Gabby so listen in.
Tuesday 17 November 2020: The Sewcialists have a couple of new volunteer editors. Christopher is one of the new volunteer editor team members. He researches cell biology.
‘Hey y’all! My name’s Chris and I currently live in San Diego, California.
I’ve been sewing for about 2 years, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it! I primarily started with menswear, but now I just make whatever I feel like.
Currently, I’m attempting to work with lace and learning what it means to create for others. So far, sewing has been a great resource for me to take the time and reflect on myself and the world around me. Oftentimes, it brings up more questions than not. What clothes make me the happiest (more masculine, more feminine, a bit of both)? How can I use sewing as medium to express my views as a queer Chicanx person in a world that doesn’t seem to care about the lives of BIPOCs?
While I can’t say I’ve found the answers for myself just yet, I invite you to join me in cultivating a more inclusive environment! While here at the Sewcialists, I hope to be able to give back to the sewing community that’s helped me continue to grow so much. You can also find me on Instagram @imthatbrujastitch.’
Tuesday 10 November 2020: Gabby makes the topic of grading patterns so much more real as she discusses the grading basis and background of standard body measurements. ASTM body measurement standards are the basis for pattern grading.
Have you heard of ‘jump grading‘? Gabby talks about grading issues for both the home sewist and for independent pattern designers. You’ll have a few ‘a ha’ moments as you hear Gabby share her knowledge with you in this podcast.
An easy checklist is to 1: understand your measurements. 2: understand your measurements; and 3: understand your measurements.
There will be more about grading patterns in podcasts to come.
Tuesday 3 November 2020: Gabby is back discussing her research of pdf patterns and her subsequent Wishlist articles she has posted on Sewcialists blog with suggestions from the sewing community.
Dear Gabby originally asked for PDF pattern community feedback and gave us her pdf pattern wish list. Gabby then wrote a follow up post with the community feedback she received about PDF patterns. The sewing community wrote in about their particular experiences with PDF patterns in addition to those Gabby and many other sewists had experienced.
In this podcast Gabby talks through her Wishlist for a better PDF pattern experience. PDF patterns are the Wild West of sewing patterns.
PDF pattern Wishlist – not printing in colour; minimise paper waste; minimise cutting and taping; offer copyshop format printing; are there different size layers you can turn on and off as you need various sizes. More thought and work by designers with PDF patterns will make using PDF patterns are better experience. Take a listen and you’ll hear the full discussion with Gabby.
Here’s the link to Tissuni patterns.
Tuesday 27 October 2020: Chloe talks about 3 more posts that have come from the sewing community. Alibobs has written about how she has sewn for the various stages of her breast cancer journey. Gillian has written an inspiring post about tees for next months sewing challenge. On Friday there’s another Textile of the World you should read.
Tuesday 20 October 2020: There is so much to catch up on with Chloe this week. Textiles of the World is running and the posts are well researched. The November midi-challenge (10 days) has been set with prepping posts to help you find that favourite tee pattern.
You’ll also see a lovely post checking in with those of you who have used #sewtheprecious.
Keep an eye out for the series about the Social Justice Academy – stories initiated by Emilia.
You’ll also see a lovely post checking in with those of you who have used #sewtheprecious.
Tuesday 6 October 2020: Chloe Read is back to update us about this month’s Textiles of the World posts you should read and maybe contribute to. Chloe also discusses how you can also have your say in the November theme month.
Tuesday 15 September 2020: Gabby Brown is the fit specialist in the Sewcialists team. When there’s a fitting question from the sewing community, Gabby will research the question to provide the various answers.
Gabby is a technical fashion designer, fit specialist, and prolific googler. She lives in Denver, raises tiny littles, reads, embroiders, makes, experiments, fails, learns, tries again. See her on instagram @ladygrift.
In her first podcast Gabby gives us her sewing industry background and we then discuss true fit and aesthetics aspects when preparing your own clothes. Home sewers have a super power that ready to wear (rtw) doesn’t. Our super power is we have the skills to make our clothes fit our needs and lifestyles. It’s that simple and on Sewcialists, Gabby provides the research and resources to manage your sewing conundrums.
Tuesday, 8 September 2020: Donna Bowman is conducting research into making masks. Her research is global and inclusive, as you’ll hear on her podcast for this week’s Sewcialists Tuesday episode. Here’s a link to Donna’s mask making research and this is a link to Donna’s profile. Get involved and be part of her research.
Tuesday 1 September 2020: In Part 2, Emilia tells us their view on sewing pattern terminology that is gender non-conforming. Emilia shares their tips on where to find sewing patterns that suit your gender identity.
Friday 28 August 2020: Chloe Read filed her first solo podcast to talk about ‘All Chests Welcome’ theme month. There were many planned blog posts but through engagement with the sewing community on Instagram, more thought provoking topics were discovered. Make sure you go to Sewcialists to stay up to date with these blog posts that have been published and those that are about to hit the press.
Tuesday 25 August 2020: In part 1 of Emilia’s podcast there are so many topics they can cover and we focus on their journey before they started living their truth. At the end of our recording Emilia called part 1, ‘Getting your pronouns right’.
Binders are a small thing you can make to help overcome dysphoria that impedes you to function.
Tuesday 18 August 2020: In part 2, Anne discusses the issues around masks and ppe as this is now an issue we’re facing in many Australian states. The initial blog post published in April was about what it’s like sewing masks and making PPE was definitely a moment in time when our Northern hemisphere sewists were making masks by the hundreds. The mask making requirements in Australia and New Zealand have been required of us as we’re being required to wear masks since July.
Anne discusses how sewists were feeling when they starting to sew masks and scrubs as they were dealing with protecting the community in their countries. You should read this post because the editorial team discussed their approach to making masks at that point in time.
Another great post on masks was published in April – A Scientist’s thoughts on DIY masks. This is still an informative post for makers of masks. This post is not medical advice. Always defer to information from the health authorities, and make an informed decision that is right for you.
Yes, Anne or Anniebeeknits, is more of a knitter than a sewist yet she volunteers her time for the Sewcialists.
Tuesday 4 August 2020: On the Sewcialists ‘Who we are’ series, Whitney wrote about her historical sewing journey and the challenges she has faced. Whitney sews historical clothing and she researches the significance of these pieces as well as the techniques and styling used.
Tuesday 28 July: Claire Emerson recently wrote about her apprentice tailor experience for Sewcialists as part of their Who we are series. Claire is a qualified Saville Row tailor now for 14 years and when she started, she had never threaded a sewing machine.
The apprentice journey is long and you build your skills up with practice and under the guidance of an experienced tailor like Claire. As an apprentice, you learn the techniques of your particular tailor and in reality, the skills you learn have been developed over generations. It’s a worthwhile skill to dedicate your life to.
Tuesday 21 July 2020: Chloe Read is back to update us on the Vintage Sewing series that has come about because of the call out for the Who we are series. Get ready for the August theme month – All chest welcome. You’ll also be pleased to know Sewcialists have a comment policy that ensure sharing sewing journeys are managed safely on Sewcialists social media.
Tuesday 14 July 2020: Monserratt Lopez wrote her story – Fat, mindful and happier than ever – June. Monserratt’s story was a follow up story to Gillian’s story – Sewing tips for gaining weight series.
She’s learnt about sewing for her body from the Curvy Sewing Collective. Monserratt can take a pattern and grade it to suit her body and it’s thanks for the resources on the Curvy Sewing Collective that she’s be able to get her sewing skills honed to do this.
Tuesday 30 June 2020: Chloe announces the next theme month coming up in August. You’ll love the exclusiveness of this next theme month. She also discusses how supportive the Sewcialists team is behind the scenes. Thanks to all the contributors that put their hand us for the Vintage blog posts.
Tuesday 23 June 2020: Chloe discusses the various responses from the sewing community about the blog post ‘How do you motivate yourself when you lose your sewjo?’ There a call out for contributions from the sewing community about their ‘vintage collections‘. Have a read of this story for the full details before you email sewcialists. Their ‘who we are’ series is fascinating. There will be a blog post about the copy writing team behind the Sewcialists. They do so much work to make each blog post readable for the whole community.
Tuesday 16 June 2020: 1,941 people attended Sewing Weekender online last week. They came from 37 countries. 23,610UK pounds were raised for NHS Charities Together, Mind Charity, Black Lives Matter and the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. Charlotte, Kate and Rachel of the Fold Line, took their local Sewing Weekender and made it available to everyone who wanted to be part of this sewing get-together. Chloe also updates us on the way Sewcialists is growing their sewing community engagement to continue to be inclusive. Buttonholes and zippers is published as part of their ‘Ask the Sewcialists’ series. Shannon also known as @rare.device on Instagram and the founder of the @sewqueer community posted about Queer Sewing and rethinking the future.
Tuesday 9 June 2020: Chloe updates us on Gillian’s celebrations of the relaunch of Sewcialists 3 years ago. Did you know that for the first year of Sewcialists, Gillian ran this group on her own. Jacinta wrote a great article about spending your money where it counts. Her minority and ally spreadsheet provides over 350 businesses in the sewing community that support black lives matter. Monseratt Lopez writes her story ‘Fat, mindful and happy’ as part of their series on sewing for a changing body. Carolyn of Diary of a sewing fanatic updates her article about Making while black in white crafting spaces. The Interview with Michelle Morris of Sewn Magazine is reshared.
Tuesday 2 June 2020: This week we discuss some of the posts that caused some discussion and how there will be future posts about what’s happening in the community right now. Also Charlotte launches the details about Sewing Weekender. Make sure you take the TNT poll, written by Chloe Read. Say hello to the Fat Sewing Club, from Fatbobbingirl. Reshared: My crafting, like my feminism is intersectional by jasikaistrycurious Gillian celebrates 3 years since the Sewcialists relaunched.
Tuesday 26 May 2020: Not only does Chloe updates us on their 3 blog posts this week, but we have a robust discussion on using the word ‘flattering’. Make sure you read their revisit of denim by Kerry. Here’s a link to the TNT poll by Chloe. There’s an update about sustainable sewing by Kate.
Wednesday 20 May 2020: Here’s the regular weekly blog post update from Chloe Read, the Australian editor of Sewcialists. This is a bumper blog post week to come. Gillian writes about previous Tribute month and Sew Style Hero themes. Sew Brave is a great blog post by Emery Allard Smith. Charlotte writes about Me Made May.
Tuesday 19 May 2020: There was so much feedback last week on their questions of the day that today’s podcast Chloe Read tells us what happened. Tomorrow’s podcast will cover the bumper number of blog posts going up this week.
Tuesday 12 May 2020: This week Chloe Read is managing the Sewcialists instagram account. Have you wondered what it would be like to be a female apprentice at a Saville Row tailor? They’ve reloaded their #menswearforeveryone theme month. Stay up to date with Kerry’s post about their previous Giving challange theme month as well.
This week Chloe is running their instagram account so you should follow #sewcialistsquestionsoftheday and give her your views. There’s a new question everyday this week.
Tuesday 5 May 2020: This week Chloe Read updates us about their blog posts about previous theme months and a very interesting post about sewing for Carnival with an interesting side note about being Shadow banded on Instagram. Chloe wrote and revisited this article on using stripes – Are stripes the most versatile print. There’s an updated blog post about their previous sew over and under theme month.
Tuesday 28 April 2020: Keep an eye out for the coming theme month post on Friday. We do delve into last week’s blog post by Gillian about sewing tips for gaining weight. From your feedback, this series will continue to be developed by bloggers like yourselves. Join into their sewing conversations. Sewcialists are having another look at their theme months in May. Here’s the link to Eleonora’s article about her #stayhome and sew in Italy right now. There are two views about sewing for protection to read by Joanne and Jami.
Tuesday 21 April 2020: Chloe discussed the feedback generated from last week’s PPE blog post. The comments were quite extensive and demonstrated the kindness and thoughtfulness within the sewing community for those of use sewing for the community as we continue to face covid-19. Did you contribute to the sewing secrets discussion? This week’s posts cover how Sonja and Lauren after studying sewing at university changed their sewing practices. Gillian posts her sewing strategies to accommodate gaining weight. Next Chloe’s latest blog post update us on their May initiatives.
Tuesday 14 April 2020: This week keep an eye out for a new pattern line with Leila from Muna and Broad patterns; the latest community call out (your sewing secrets); global research on masks and an award winning Kimono maker.
Tuesday 7 April 2020: Chloe Read, their Aussie representative gives us an insider view on how this sewing group operates. The nuts and bolts behind their ongoing work is due to their dedication to the sewing community
Tuesday 31 March 2020: We meet Chloe Read, their Australian editor of the Sewcialists editing team.