Saturday, August 29, 2020

Caftans and Cocktails with a Twist Contributor Round-up

 Well, that's a wrap on Caftans and Cocktails with a Twist!

Originally conceived of as an escape from the pandemic stress, this summer event shifted focus and became something completely different, with a "twist" that focused on anti-racism education and resource-sharing (while still trying to have a bit of fun) to make sure these efforts weren't lost as the news cycle moved on. 

Loni and I recruited a group of fabulous folks to share caftans, cocktails and anti-racism resources each Saturday all summer. It's been a fun and informative summer, and I wanted to summarize all of the anti-racism resources and ideas that our amazing contributors shared in one place so they don't get lost in folks' feeds.

Thank you to everyone who joined me and Loni these past few months, whether as a contributor or as a participant. If you want to relive the summer fun, check out the hashtag #caftansandcocktails2020 and scroll through all the fabulous caftans!

Way back in June, we kicked it off with Loni sharing this Ibrahim X. Kendi Ted Talk that lays out what it means to be anti-racists, versus just "not a racist." She also shared a stunner of a floral caftan. Read more on her blog!

It’s the single most powerful anti-racism educational piece I’ve come across in the last several weeks. His message further transformed the notions of “racist” and “anti-racist” for me.  And that was just the first few minutes.


Next, Ambika joined us to share her beautiful lace-accented caftan as well as an approach to financially supporting BIPOC-lead organizations focused on activities that align with your passions and interests... this message really struck a chord with me! Please read the caption in her post, above, for details and a list of organizations focused on different topics, many local to the Seattle area.

I would bet that for every pastime that exists, there is a BIPOC-led organization working to provide access and/or advocate for BIPOC who might otherwise fail to experience all of the wonderful privileges you and I may take for granted. 


Alex went next and shared an elegant black linen caftan-like dress as well as an amazing compilation of resources for allies, and highlighted an analogy on white privilege that spoke to her. Again, read the caption in her post for more information on these ideas:

Imagine your privilege is a heavy boot that keeps you from feeling when you’re stepping on someone’s feet or they’re stepping on yours, while oppressed people have only sandals. If someone one says, “ouch! You’re stepping on my toes,” how do you react?


Loni and I each joined Paulette for a chat on her fabulous #MakerHappyHourLive series (part 1 here, part 2 here), where we talked about anything and everything!

...we discuss the shit show that is 2020 and how beer and cocktails are getting us through it!


Jenn joined us next with a fabulous colorblocked Goddess Dress caftan and shared an interview she did with Lynn, the pattern designer behind Iviye Patterns. Read the interview here on the Sew and Tell Patterns blog

I think it's imperative that new PDF pattern companies enter the space and know their target market. The space is wide open for women (and men) of color. I, personally, don't believe that we should ask for others to include us. Let's build it, get support, and make it happen for ourselves.


We were joined by new sewist and teacher/librarian Cassidy, who shared a stunning black and white caftan as well as a list of resources and actions related to systemic racism in schools, both for parents and non-parents

As a teacher, I want people to be more aware about systemic racism in schools - from segregation along district lines, to deficit thinking, and the school to prison pipeline. These actions and resources for everybody, even those without children in school because schools are often the very first place a child experiences racism. 


Rose wowed us next with a killer wax print caftan and a blog post accounting of the anti-racism resources she's consumed, actions she's taken, and those she plans to take going forward!

 For me, the next step is monitoring agencies and individuals who state they are doing something positive to eliminate racism. If they don’t, I’m going to sew myself a battle outfit, post a photo with a different finger up and make a lot of noise. 


Last but not least, Becca shared her gorgeous green monstera caftan, as well as an in-depth list of resources to learn about systemic racism and its roots in Canada.

For me part of the work I want to do is begin to fill these knowledge gaps since I think the only way that we can ‘fix’ or create a new system is to fully understand the roots of the old one and the motivations behind how it operates. This means listening, hearing, and acknowledging the lived experience of BIPOC people in Canada. 

Again, a huge THANK YOU to all of our contributors, as well as to Seamwork and Finch Fabrics who sponsored giveaways for the event.  

And special thanks to my co-host Loni for coming up with the idea, helping to tweak it to incorporate anti-racism learning and action into the summer-long event, and keeping the ball rolling and the cocktails coming every Saturday!