I’ve been thinking a lot lately about sharing… sharing our love of handcrafts. In January, I made my annual call to my dear friend Alice on her birthday. Alice is one of my sewing mentors. What a wealth of knowledge she has accumulated over her 86 years. There was a time when I spent one pleasure-filled day a week at Alice’s studio, happily mingling with other sewers, sharing successes and pondering challenges on our particular projects at the time. I learned so much there! And met so many wonderful people (I was going to say women, but indeed there was the occasional man, too) who all shared my enthusiasm for dressmaking and tailoring. All the techniques I had learned in classes, books and in my own sewing room seemed to come together in that room and make sense! What a joy to be part of such a community. I miss it to this day.
I am fortunate to work in an environment where fabric (my first love) and sewing are the business of the day! Most of our staff are well-experienced garment sewers and many engage in other handcrafts as well — knitting, stitching, handbags, beading, fabric painting… You can see that this is a very creative place to be! I count myself lucky to be in such surroundings every day. If I have a question about how a particular fabric will work for a type of garment, we have a group “think.” Sometimes a beautiful fabric comes into the warehouse and we are not sure how our customers would use it in garment construction. My question: What’s your vision? It’s so much fun to hear the different responses and the answers open my mind to so many possibilities that had not been there before the question was posed.
All of us in the creative arts need this kind of community. How lucky for us that these opportunities exist online. On Friday, we had a busy day at the warehouse with lots of visitors. As I worked around the room with our various customers, I was struck by the wide range of age and experience of those present. All were happily coming in and out of their own reverie to interact with one another (strangers, all) and exclaim over the selections of another customer or offer an opinion on the choices available. One of the customers was new to SBDF and told me she found us through Pattern Review. We talked about the importance of online communities and she shared with me her view that part of the joy of handcrafting is the cross-generational aspect — the ability to learn from others more experienced and in turn to teach others. So true — a kindred spirit!
I’ve spent the weekend working on our community at SBDF. As most of you know from our previous post, our Savvy Sewer Salon has recently been upgraded to a sleeker look with more options for users. We have active sew-alongs right now and more coming a little later in the spring. We invite all of you to register in the Salon and participate in whatever way works best for you. If you’re a lurker, that’s just fine. If you like posing questions to sewers who may have different experience than yours, that’s just fine. If you enjoy sharing your progress on a particular project, great. If you would like to coordinate a sew along or do a book review or tell an experience you’ve had with a particular technique, great! We just want to encourage all of you to join us in the Salon as often as you can. The greater the group, the greater the camaraderie.
If you are on Facebook, there’s a new face there too! (I’ve learned it’s a sign of spring when all the cyber highways start making road repairs!) We’re new to Facebook this year, but our public profile page is growing. We post Fabric Facts each week with interesting tidbits about particular fabrics we have in stock. We post announcements of Sew Alongs and other upcoming events. We post photos of life around the warehouse or customer projects. You can post your photos there too — fan photos. We’d love to have you visit the page often and post to the wall. What are you looking for on our Facebook page? Let us know.
So this weekend, I decided it was time to Twitter. We’re just getting started, but we’ll do our best to keep new and interesting info coming your way. We hope to use Twitter to notify you of updates or little tweets about our daily accomplishments at SBDF. Come follow us on Twitter!
We hope that all of our customers and followers will find a venue that suits their needs for communal sewing talk! Join us in whatever way/s work for you!