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…

Zoe 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!

Zoe 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 discussions 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 the discussion forum 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!

Tilly + Zoe