One of my 2017 highlights was launching the #FabricShoppingonTour Project, whose aim is to create a repository of locally-validated fabric shops in as many cities around the world as there are sewists.
How am I going to achieve this goal?
The approach is two-fold. I am cataloguing existing guides written by fellow sewists and already published (no commercial directories allowed, only genuine sewing people), with the link to the original blog and the year it was published. This is a great way to discover new sewing bloggers and maybe meet new sewist in your city and gain an IRL friend in the process.
However, what I am most excited about is creating purpose-made local guides for places where I could not find any blog posts about. Sure, loads of people have written about Paris, London or New York, but how about Oslo, or Split in Croatia, or Buenos Aires? My first ports of call were my friends from around the world across the sewing community, who very kindly obliged with the first few instalments, but I will continue to contact sewists around the world that I know live in exciting places. And of course, I am always accepting volunteers.
So, what’s new in the Directory since the beginning of December?
The directory started pretty small, with only 17 places included and 29 links. But very excitedly, in December we had our first four purpose written local guides:
- Melanie Sews | Fabric Shops and Haberdasheries in Bristol
- Susan Young Sewing | Visiting fabric shops in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire
- Irina Condor |Fabric Shopping in Cluj, Romania
- Wearologie | Fabric shopping in Geneva
Please check them out, these four ladies put an amazing amount of work into preparing the most comprehensive guides for the cities or regions they live in and the results are awesome. A special shout out to Coralie from Wearologie, who also hand-illustrated an image of each shop in Geneva! Wow!
So what happened since?
The sewing community was awesome as you would expect, and I had loads of messages and emails from people sending me links to their own blogs, or other blogs and also offering to write a guide for the city they live in. So I now have updated the Alphabetic Index guide with an additional 22 links and 15 new places (new cities are marked in pink and new links in green). Many many thanks to Helen and Caroline for giving me a shout out on Episode 22 of Love to Sew podcast (I squealed with delight when I heard it, so very excited to be mentioned), it really helped to spread the word.
January additions (#FabricShoppingOnTour guides in bold):
A huge thanks to everyone who got in touch. I won’t even attempt to list you all, for fear of missing someone, but I hope I did manage to reply to you all to acknowledge your contributions and thank you in person (many apologies if I missed anyone – but more importantly, please let me know if you sent me a link and I didn’t include it).
We also have two new purpose-written local guides this month, by Sue from Fadanista, who lives in Perth, Australia and Melanie from Melanie Sews, who lives in Bristol. Perth is a city on my bucket list so I am very excited to be able to include it in our directory. Please check Sue’s wonderful post on her blog. This is Mel’s second contribution, after having written the guide for Bristol. She is back with a South Gloucestershire guide.
Thank you to Audrey from Skirt Fixation who emailed me about the Oliver + S project, which is quite similar to this one. As this is not a competition, I have already listed a few of the guides they produced, which are great. However, what I also found out was that they have created a Sewing Translator app to help sewists shop without things getting lost in translation. Please also check out the Sewing Translator (browser version), available in 14 languages!
We have a few local guides in progress for February, but I’ll keep them as a surprise for now. Many thanks again to the contributors that are already working on them.
If you want to get involved, but feel it’s too much work, Alison from the Brisbane Spolettes had a fantastic idea for more people to join in writing a local guide for one city, so the task is not as onerous. So, if you know several sewists in your city and you would like to join forces, this could be a great project to tackle together.
Please continue to get in touch with any links that you might have come across and of course, to request new cities to include. My plan is to contact sewists in the cities I visited on my travels (my best guess as to where to start) and ask them to contribute. Thank goodness for the local sewing hashtags that Love to Sew started, this will make life much easier. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s yet another fab initiative from Helen & Caroline, aiming to help people in the same city, region or country connect online and even make friends in real life.
If you want to get in touch about the project, please drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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