2020 Updates to Company of Broderers

The Company of Broderers has been around for 3 seasons now! For those who’ve joined us, I hope it has been a fun and fulfilling experience for you to learn and help with a variety of crafting projects. Here is a recap of what we’ve done so far:

History of Projects/Events:

  • 2017
    • 5 sets of 20 scarves for The Order of the Rose
    • 8 corsets for Tilly’s wedding
    • Crochet snoods for Harvest ball
    • Bring your own project night
  • 2018
    • 4 levels of importance scarves for The Order of the Rose
    • Introduction to Sewing Class
    • Mummified Fairies
  • 2019
    • LOVEcraft night – crochet Cthulhu
    • 1 shire banner and 3 company banners for Terrasylvae 20th Birthday
    • Plush dragons
    • Gypsy skirts
    • Coupon classes: face, body, clothing
    • Potion bottles

As with all things, once in a while it’s good to take a step back and assess how we’re doing. With changes coming to my family, I’ve been talking with some of our most regular attendees to get ideas of how to approach our next season. To help illustrate what has been discussed, I’ve created a chart for anyone interested to see what “problems” we have faced as our group grows, and what “solutions” we have brainstormed to improve everyone’s overall experience.

Problem: Miren, for the most part, has been the single host/planner of events, but will need time off in 2020. Multiple members have expressed a desire to host occasional events, but not the whole season. Solution: In 2020, we will begin opening up event planning to volunteers within the group. Miren will continue to facilitate as Guild Leader, but others can volunteer to lead out individual month activities.
Problem: The activities, particularly sewing projects, take longer than the 2-3 hours available in a single evening. This causes projects to be extended over multiple months, or to be sent home half-finished. Our attendance may be affected by these time consuming and more advanced projects.Solution: We are going to test-drive a new event format in 2020. Each month we will do a different craft or sewing project, but they need to be ones that can be finished in a single evening. Likewise, sewing will not be the only type of events we hold. We will open up to a wider variety of crafts, both modern and medieval, to help expand interest in the group.
Problem: When shire or company leaders need a project from the Broderers, not everyone feels comfortable to participate in the project. Using advanced sewing assignments as our monthly events draws people away if they don’t have the skills needed to help.Solution: Specific assignments asked of Broderers will no longer be used as monthly events. Instead, when an assignment is requested, a committee of volunteers from within the group will be selected and work on the project at alternative meeting times.
Problem: There is no set system to teach particular skills needed for many of the crafts. Because we are a “guild” and not a company in Terrasylvae, we do not have ranks or a path of improvement to help people learn, particularly in the art of sewing. This can cause members to become frustrated or shy away from particular events because they don’t feel capable of completing that month’s project.Solution: (2 Parts) The short term solution is in the 2020 season we will take a step back from more challenging projects. Because we are going to try sticking with projects that can be done in 2-3 hours, these will NOT be very advanced, no matter the type of craft. We’re hoping this can boost attendance in our group and bring in a wider variety of interests into the craft possibilities.

The long term solution is that we can create a path of improvement if there is enough interest in learning the art of sewing. Even though we bring in alternative crafts, Broderers are officially seamstresses. A ranking system could be put together to be implemented in 2021. It would most likely be a self-motivated program similar to the ROR program that was tested in Order of the Rose 2019 season. An outline is already in the works, but feedback will be needed from the majority of members of the group before it is set in motion.