Wednesday 2 November 2011

A Meeting of Minds: UK Discussion-Forum Needs YOU!

Exciting announcement time!! Currently underway are plans for an awesome creative meet-up, the like of which may never have been witnessed in the UK before! And we need YOU to help make it the most fantastic, useful, engaging, thought-provoking, joy-inducing event it can be….

Tilly and I are planning to organise a discussion forum for people who make their own clothes. The online creative community is such an enriching and wonderful entity, but sometimes it’s good to talk face-to-face. We’ve loved chatting to people at the IRL sewing meet-ups that we’ve attended, but it can be difficult to discuss anything in depth when there is lovely fabric competing for our attention!

What would happen if the creative clothing DIY community in UK had the opportunity to meet en masse to talk? What would come from being able to have more in-depth discussions over a participant-directed range of topics and a larger scale than previous crafting meet-ups have achieved? Let’s find out!

Tilly and I are passionate about creating an event that is as democratic and user-led as possible. We are in the early stages of discussion about how to arrange and organise this, but we are certain that everybody should get the opportunity to shape the content of the discussion/s by submitting topics and everybody will get an opportunity to contribute to those discussions once underway. So, in this spirit, now is the perfect time to ask you for your input...

When will it be?
Spring 2012, date TBC, but probably a Saturday day time.

Where will it be?
London. We’re not trying to be metro-centric, it's just the easiest place to get to for most people.

Who is it aimed at?
Anyone who makes their own clothes - sewers, knitters, crocheters, refashioners... You don’t have to have to be a blogger or even read blogs regularly, but topics on blogging may feature.

How much will it cost to attend?
We're aiming to make it free to attend, although can't promise anything. We've got a few ideas about venues and potential sponsors, but if you have any thoughts or contacts we'd love to know.

Who will the speakers be?
You! Everyone! The idea behind the event is to involve everyone in the discussion, to share ideas as a group, rather than have "expert" panellists.

What will the topics of discussion be?
What do you want to discuss? We'd like you to help programme the event. Tell us what you want to discuss, and we'll pick the most popular issues. Just as some ideas to get you thinking, topics could include:
- What role does sewing/knitting play in your life?
- Is making your own clothes a passing trend or here to stay?
- What impact does making your own clothes have on the world?
- What draws you to read a blog/blog post?
- What's the future, where do you want this movement to go?

Will I get to learn about hemming techniques, bound buttonholes etc
No. This won't be a practical workshop, it will be all about thinking, talking, discussing.

Sounds like a genius idea! How can I help make this happen?
Why thank you! Please tell us:
1) Whether you think you'll attend, so we can get an idea of numbers for venues;
2) What burning issues you would like to discuss (remember: this is not about practical techniques);
3) If you have any genius ideas about venues, sponsors, anything else we may not have thought of that would make this event amazing...

Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

Zoe + Tilly xxx


House of Pinheiro said...

What a great idea., you too... I really want to attend and contribute. I am current taking an MBA in creative business and there many topics worth discussions. I will make a list and send to you. Xx

Elisalex said...

Count me in! Will keep my thinking cap on re locations etc. Wonderful idea!

Tracy said...

An amazing idea - I'd love to contribute and help in any way I can. I am no sewing expert and only blog intermittently but I do live in London. Perhaps those of us who do live here can contribute by offering a room to someone who is travelling?

Jo Campbell said...

Love this idea but unfortunately it is just too far away for me to attend. Will look forward to hearing more about it though - maybe compiling a collection of the talks presented, etc. and making that available afterwards to those who couldn't attend might be an idea.

Anonymous said...

Very cool idea! I would definitely be in.

Clare said...

I would also be interested in coming - am a v occasional blogger from outside London though and not clued up on venues. One possible topic for discussion: What role should / do schools play in getting children and teenagers involved in the making of their own clothes? (and how best to encourage young people to get making / refashioning so they choose these over relying on fast fashion?)Hope that makes sense!

charlotte said...

oh wow, this is amazing. I would love to attend but I am not to confident in my skills to be much other help. Along side talks, workshops would be good. Recycling and moderfying patterns are always good topics. Although I live in Devon, London is a fine place to meet. Can not wait!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a wonderful idea - count me in. Potentially Tabatha as well


Anonymous said...

I live in London and sew my own stuff and would love to attend. I've only just got a blog up and working, but I've been lurking on a load of sewing ones for a while and I'd love to meet up with a lot of people and talk about sewing. :-)

Vintage Girl said...

Oh what a wonderful idea! You ladies are so smart! It's so true that meeting with like minded folks helps the creative process and brings forth great ideas. My best to all of you. I live in U.S. so I'll be meeting you.

Kat said...

Sounds like a great idea, I would do my best to come :)

Tilly said...

Tilly here! Some great ideas coming in.

House of Pinheiro - would love to hear your topic ideas!

Tracy - that's such a nice thought to invite people to stay. Doubt there are many sewing blogger axe murderers.

Jo - maybe we could ask someone to film it and create a video of highlights? No doubt there will be many people blogging about it too!

Clare - that's a good suggestion. How do we spread the sewing love to all?

Looking forward to reading more suggestions... x

(Erm... today's word verification is "tent slag".)

Daisyroots said...

This sounds like a great idea! I'm afraid I'm not a blogger but I love reading everyones blogs. Ive been so inspired by peoples creativity and learnt a lot of my sewing skills straight from the internet. The web is great but it cant beat real life!

As well as discussing sewing skills and know how I would love to hear peoples opinions on consumerism, handmade products v mass production etc..... Ways in which craft can be valued again and kept alive within a culture where mass production seems to rule these days (all the topics Zoe likes to discuss on her blog).

I think its these which spurred me on in my creative endeavours with clothing and reminded me of how important these skills are within our society.Sorry! I'm rambling on now!x

Catherine said...

Ooh I'd love to join in, but too far away, I'm afraid! I was going to suggest same subjects as Clare ref schools & education(I remember someone on here, maybe it was even you Zoe, once saying something along the lines of needing to do with sewing/crafting something similar to what Jamie Oliver has done with school meals). And raising the profile of refashioning/altering/even mending so that it is seen as 'real sewing'. Also, we are all becoming more aware of the cost of fast fashion etc but what about where all the fabrics/notions/other supplies etc come from, do we know enough (I don't)? Also, about achieving that balance between creativity and consuming/wanting more, whether you 'need' it or not ie making more 'stuff' when there's already a lot of stuff in the world. Sorry, I am not being very eloquent - I totally have baby brain.x

The Old Fashioned Way said...

I think this is a brilliant idea and if im back home in London in spring i will be there with bells on!
I think the idea about schools and getting kids involved is great too.

threadless said...

What a splendid idea, If I'm able to make the day you choose i would love to attend.

Scruffybadger said...

Sounds a great idea - certainly interested in coming if the date works out. Networking is just so rewarding :-)

Anonymous said...

How about combining two things and having it somewhere near Birmingham around the time of the Sewing for Pleasure show? That way you might get lots of other people involved who wouldn't necessarily have gone to London specifically for it?

Just an idea!

Anonymous said...

Owsame idea!!!!!
I have to said What a creative mind????
And forget to count me in..
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