The #smyly2018 challenge is a social media challenge which first started on January 2018. The abbreviation came from the first letters of the phrase Sewing Makes You Love Yourself and it aimed to start a conversation in the sewing community on how sewing affects our mental health and body image. The hosts of this challenge, Hattie van der Krohn, Athina Kakou and Lisa Kisch, invited everyone to create a garment that makes them feel beautiful and share their own sewing story on social media in January and February 2018.
The response was completely overwhelming. Smyly took the sewing community by a storm and had an impact that we could never imagine. Dozens of people came on board and spoke very openly about how sewing has helped them overcome mental health issues and/or also look at their bodies in a different way. Every day we were tagged by sewists all around the world who were sharing their own experience. There were stories that made us cry, stories that make us think, stories that were beyond inspiring. And it turns out that sewing is indeed very therapeutic, even in the most difficult times.
Leading the way to this conversation were our ambassadors, the lovely seamstresses who joined us in this effort, shared their stories first and invited more people to join. We are very grateful for all of them and their stories are worth taking a look at:
Alex @Sew Happy
Amanda @I Sew a Lot
Brooke @ Retro Novella
Emily Maust @Pins and Waxprints
Harriet @Hobbling Handmades
Helen @Helen’s Closet
Jen @Gingerthread girl
Judith @Judith Dee’s world
Sarah @Like Sew Amazing
Samantha @Sew by the seaside
Suzanna @Sea salt and stithes
Nikki and Rachel @The stitch sisters
If you also want to take a look at other participants’ stories, you can search the hashtag #smyly2018 on Instagram, where you can find every single post. Here are our personal sewing stories:
This social media challenge was very kindly sponsored by some amazing companies, who offered their products as prizes to the lucky winners. We owe a big thank you to all of them for their support and love.
Smyly is happening again next year, but you shouldn’t wait until then to share your own story. Help us keep it alive by joining us in this effort, invite more people to speak openly about mental health and body image and how sewing has helped them with those. We would love to hear!
Athina and Hattie