Dear readers – this post comes to you two weeks before the sixth (!!!) anniversary of Making the Flame. Back in 2014, I saw a lack of plus size sewing bloggers as well as pervasive body negativity in the comment sections of blogs written by (then) conventionally attractive bloggers. Already passionately body positive, I thought I would start a body positive sewing blog and people would read it and feel encouraged and we we’d all live happily ever after.
This year I’ve blogged, but haven’t really sewn. Only one post in 2019 was a Fresh Positivity (new garment) post. In my personal world, I had a challenging pregnancy and then a much beloved child (my first). It was a process that inspired me to scrutinize every aspect of my life, including and especially Making the Flame and my sewing ambitions. In these almost six years, while my focus has remained the same, the sewing landscape has changed. My fellow Millenials and their photo- and social media-savvy have raised the visual bar to incredible (to me) heights and leading bloggers are now stupendously diverse, with different sizes, races, genders, ages, health, and lifestyles well represented. Instagram (<3) is the new sewing neighborhood, and we all communicate in hashtags. At the same time, my sewing evolved from a tool to start a clothing line (my original ambition) to a gift to be shared with others via teaching. And that’s where I’ve been for the past several months – trying to create paid sewing instruction opportunities here in Georgia and/or online, and wondering how I fit into a community that now features the body positivity it once lacked. What is the point of Making the Flame now?
Starting in 2020, content will revolve around three themes: sewing instruction, cultural conversations, and real-life body positivity. Under the topic of sewing instruction, I’ll be publishing sewing tutorials and patterns of my own creation, to be used together or separately, as well as announcements about sewing classes I’ll be teaching virtually and in person. Cultural conversations are something I’ve been wanting to have for a very long time! I’ve been dying to do a podcast, and maybe that will happen in the future, but for now my plan is to reach out to sewers from different backgrounds for interviews and blog contributions. Then there’s real life body positivity – still my number one love – which will be the inspiration behind series like Seeds of a Wardrobe, theme months like BoPoMarch (YESSSSSSS I’m doing it again in 2020!), and hopefully collaboration and conversation with body positive peers from outside the sewing community as well as in it.
These are different paths, kind of related but strong enough to stand alone, and I suspect that they will force a fracture/pivot in 2021. But for now, 2020 brings year six of a Making the Flame that is more varied than it has been. With the new/adjusted focuses, there will be growing pains; I know some are here for the new garment posts and have no interest in body positivity, some are here for the body positivity and don’t really like the things I make. Cultural awareness has become a sensitive point for many here in the US, so some might leave out of concern things will get political. Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. And still others may dislike the invasion of tutorials and patterns into a previously neutral space. Maybe my new students will appreciate the resource. I don’t know. There’s lots of maybes. They only thing I am sure of is that I will continue to do my best to challenge accepted “truths”, share my off the wall ideas, sew, and more importantly than all of that – continue the conversation with whoever deems me worthy of their time.
Thank you for being here, for reading this, and I hope to see you again.