Member since 11/13/07
Date: 9/16/10 5:21 PM
(I wasn't sure where to post this, so I picked here as there is lots of daily activity)
So I have decided to do an in-person project runway in my city (Ottawa, Ont) to meet more people. I read on the boards here that someone heard of one in her town that was run by a local fabric store so I thought I'd try running one! I have never been very good at making friends but I started a bookclub 1.5 years ago and I've meet some people there and have a lot of fun so I thought I'd try a club for sewing. I am a planner and an organizer so this is something I'd really enjoy and am confident I will be good at. I was hoping for any feedback for running it.., I am sure I am forgetting/overlooking things..
My goal is to finialize how I want to run it by oct/nov so I can start advertising it to start in either jan/feb.
It will be like project runway in the sense that once a month we all have the same challenge to complete and then we meet together to show/compare/compete and especially socialize.
My #1 reason for the club - to socialize and meet some new people who share a hobbie and #2 to encourage each other to sew in a fun way!
Things I am thinking:
-each month you get a challenge. The challenge will not be to make something for the runway but something you can wear. (If the person really wears runway-type clothes then they are welcome to make it) challenges will probably be more simple then on project runway...not sure
-it doesn't have to be designed, using a pattern is fine
-you go home and have the month to sew something up (instead of a day!)
-people will not be eliminated, ever
-since I am looking to meet people I was thinking of making it ages 18-35. (I'm 26) If someone older asked I would probably allow them in though. I'm not sure if there will be enough interest with this age range though...
-there probably wont be a "you have 20min to shop for fabric thing - as we all probably have stashes to use! lol and we have different tastes/budgets and don't shop at the same stores
-I will advertise on facebook, group meetup (I think that's what it is called) and post flyers near fabric stores. I'll also talk to them about posting it IN their store...
How the meeting may run ---I think that each meeting we will first show off/model (or show a photo of the person wearing the garmet) one at a time and ohh and ahh each other. Comments would only be allowed to be positive at this time (no critisism, even constructive as not everyone wants it) then...? chit chat about the process of sewing our garment and wahtever we want? Then judging/winning. Then if people would like CC they could ask for it individually after the winner is announced. Then new challenge is given at the end for the following meeting.
Things I'm not sure about:
-Where to meet? We will not be meeting at personal homes (I live in a small apt and I don't want strangers in my home, plus it needs to be on the bus route so members can come without having to rely on others) So I'm not sure where to have it. I don't want to rent out a room somewhere ($$) so the only thing I can think of is a public food court? I know of one that is somewhat empty on weeknights but I would love a better location idea...
-there will probably be no prizes, I am not made of $$. lol And I'm not comfortable to asking for donations from anyone, not sure what "winning" will get you, perhaps just a congradulations?
-which brings up judging - how would I do that? Would we vote or draw etc?
-should we take turns bringing refreshments/snacks?
-not sure if we should take turns picking the challenges...I think it'd be better if people gave me their suggestions so I could tweak it so it will work for most everyone. ie some people may sew primarily for their daughter, themselves, friends etc so I want challenges that allow them to sew for whom they usually sew for. Also not everyone wears dresses so I probably won't have a challenge for it...but I don't want to be controling as that's no fun for others.
-How many people should I let join?
And of course I would recommend Pattern Review to everybody!!
I am really excited and would love any suggestions/critisisms (sp?) on my ideas!!
Member since 7/11/06
Date: 9/16/10 6:55 PM
My advice: don't overthink the concept and make a lot of rules, but keep an open mind as to what others may be interested in doing - competitions, show-and-tell, teaching each other new techniques or what have you. Make the calendar together. And there may already be sewing clubs you could join to meet people?
Meetings could take place at a school, church or library. At least in this part of the world, they often have some kind of gathering place one can borrow or rent cheaply.
Edited to clean up some of my deplorable spelling.
-- Edited on 9/16/10 6:57 PM --
Member since 5/17/05
Date: 9/17/10 2:37 AM
At the community college where I took fashion design courses for fun they had a Project Runway-esque event. It was actually part of a larger event to help rise money for AIDS awareness in the community, but one of the professors in the schools fashion program ran the Project Runway part of it. Are there any fashion design schools in Ottawa that you might be able to partner up with in doing this? Maybe you can even see about using one of their workrooms for your meetings, or even get ahold of a local fabric store to use their space or get to sponsor prizes?
I'm finally a blogger!
Member since 4/8/02
Date: 9/17/10 2:01 PM
Do you have a city's art center? They might be interested.
Why the age restrictions?
"What you WANT is irrelevant, what you've CHOSEN is at hand." --Mr. Spock
Member since 9/2/03
In reply to MapleCandy3
Date: 9/17/10 2:22 PM
What an interesting idea!!!! As of January,2011, I'll be the Group Leader of my ASG neighborhood group. I think a monthly challenge is a great idea! I'm going to incorporate it, if you don't mind. By the way, if I lived near you, I'd be interested & I'm 55, well past your age cut off. You may be surprised that older woman may be interested & be fun people, too.
Member since 12/15/02
In reply to MapleCandy3
Date: 9/17/10 3:57 PM
I think first thing is age limits. You could really learn alot from some of us older more experience sewers. But I think it's a great idea to bring people together locally with like interests. I would keep a small group. And maybe take turns bringing stuff like cake and drinks. Problem is that if people are judging other people's work you may have some issues one person's suggestions is another person's criticism. Unlike a quilting group where everyone is working together on something.
-- Edited on 9/17/10 4:00 PM --
Member since 6/4/07
Date: 9/17/10 4:18 PM
I agree with not limiting the age group. I belong to 4 sewing groups and 90% of the women are over 50 or at least 45. While it's nice to see young women sewing, even at sewing expos most women are older. I learned to sew from my elders, so consider no age limitation.
Member since 11/13/07
Date: 9/17/10 7:49 PM
chelsy - hey go for it - I certainly didn't come up with the idea!
First, thank you everyone for all your input, lots of stuff to ponder.
Vibekeinyork - I TOTALLY overthink things! You should have seen me planning my bookclub, I was just so excited I considered everything you can imagine lol There is one sewing club in Ottawa but it's for quilters, unfortunately for me.
The reason I wanted the age limit was because I'm 26 and the main reason I am starting the group is to meet some people and hopefully some friends. I know I can have older friends, but I was hoping for some people my own age. My only concern (like people have mentioned) is that most sewers are older so I'm not sure I would get enough younger people interested...if someone over the age limit asked to join, I think I would allow them in. I'll seriously consider no age limits though. It'd be great to have some people more knowledgable in sewing!
I'm also going to look into all the suggestions for a meeting place, I think renting a room is deffinitely better then a food court
I wonder if I should start posting the groups online and ask for interested people to give me their input? So by Jan I'll know what people want?...
British Columbia CANADA
Member since 8/24/02
In reply to MapleCandy3
Date: 9/18/10 2:21 PM
Maple, I think that if you are doing this strictly to meet people within a certain age range to make friends, you are doing it for the wrong reasons.
Also there is nothing at all wrong with having much older or younger friends. You may be amazed at the connections you can make with a woman 30+ years older than you. One of my very good friends (who also sews) has daughters my age. She is my friend, not her daughters. We can have conversations with each other that we cannot have with our own family members.
My new boss (62) was just telling me about a friend of hers who is 87.
I think the concept in general sounds great. I would look into spaces that you could eventually use for workshops or Speed Sewing sessions. In my community I think of churches for inexpensive rental space. I know my local United Church has 3 rooms that range from the size of a gym to large enough to hold about 15 people, plus a small board room. They have a great kitchen, coffee makers and big tea pots for refreshments. Part of the Church's service to the community is to make the rooms available for community groups at a very reasonable fee.
I would suggest that your group charge a small fee per meeting ($5.00), this would cover refreshments, rental and any copying or other expenses.
Or you could check with local sewing shops to see if you could rent space from them. Or have them sponsor the group. It would be a win win situation. You would have space and the shop would have new customers.
Proud parent of a Dwight International School Honour Roll Student
District of Columbia USA
Member since 5/10/06
Date: 9/18/10 6:26 PM
If your goal is to meet like-minded people in your age group, you might do better to create a Project Runway viewing party group than a challenge group. As others have pointed out, there are just not that many people in your age group who sew. At 36 I am outside your cutoff age, and at the sewing club I go to I am generally the youngest there, often by 20 years.
You should also check out the BurdaStyle website--many cities have BurdaStyle meetup groups. If yours doesn't, you can start one. That will give you exposure on the BS website, which tends to attract the youngest sewing crowd.
2007: purchased 115+, sewed 105+
So close to parity, yet so far
Trying again in 2008
Yards purchased: 133
Yards sewn: Somewhere around 95
2009? I give up