Mean Girlzzz: How dissenting women are silenced in the online sewing community

Mean Girls

From a young age, women are taught to suppress their voices. Women who offer opinions in the public sphere or voice dissent risk being labelled “shrill”, “nagging”, or “bitchy”. It is disappointing, but not surprising, when men try to silence women with dated stereotypes. What is truly upsetting is when women join in, and become complicit in their own oppression. Yet I believe this is what is happening in some pockets of the online sewing community.

We have internalised misogynist stereotypes about women, to our downfall. Some women in the online sewing community feel unable to criticise or be honest about their experiences with patterns, lest they be perceived as damaging friendships or being “mean girls”. These stereotypes are perpetuated with faux feminist campaigns that are so anti-women they would make 70s Germaine Greer weep.* Continue reading “Mean Girlzzz: How dissenting women are silenced in the online sewing community”

Indie Pattern Companies or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Big 4, Part II

Welcome back. In Part I, I discussed drafting errors, grafts and crotches in indie patterns. In Part II, I finally utilise my psyc degree for completely useless purposes and share sordid stories of brand loyalty. For those with visual difficulties, there is a GIF at the end of the post.

Indie pattern company lovers: I get the hype, I really do. Being a member of several online communities that have an inclination to cult-like behaviour, I have seen and participated in many trends which were little more than clever marketing campaigns. I have seen knitting lovers fight for the right to purchase $100+ skeins of yarn. On buy swap sell groups, brand lovers will line up to purchase a stained $200 dress, or bid each other upwards of $1000 for a jacket that cost $300 retail. I’ve even sold crotch-stained tights to a diehard Gorman lover.* I’VE SEEN SOME SHIT GUYS.**

Gorman puffer jacket in fern print
Gorman puffer jacket. Height of fashion, or some shit a farmer would wear in the rain?

Continue reading “Indie Pattern Companies or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Big 4, Part II”

Indie Pattern Companies or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Big 4, Part I

Warning: this is a long post, as I coalesce thoughts that I’ve had for a long time into words. I’m sharing this in two parts, as it ended up much longer than I expected. Bear with me – or not! 

A man riding a nuclear bomb. From Dr Strangelove.
My feels writing this post.

Indie sewing patterns: you either love them or you….love them. In the online sewing community, there seems to be little choice: the narrative is one of the Nasty Big 4 Corporations (McCall’s, Simplicity, Vogue and Butterick, alternately known as McVoguerick) wielding their industrial might to crush the little guy, indie pattern companies. They are the hero of this story, the hard-working small business owners come good. For a long while now, I’ve suspected that the success of indie pattern companies is built more on hype than good drafting, and the release of Colette Pattern’s Rue dress has brought these thoughts to a head.

Continue reading “Indie Pattern Companies or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Big 4, Part I”