To go alongside my craft kit I would like to develop an app to encourage users to complete their piece and regularly spend time developing their skills . As most people now use social networks and smart phones to connect to their friends and family I feel an app would help in engaging a young audience. In addition Social media has been held partially responsible in the recent rise in younger generations taking up needlepoint. ““TV is a catalyst that kicks it off, then social media takes off afterwards and it gets its own momentum,” said Catriona Marshall, chief executive of Hobbycraft. She said young adults were increasingly being inspired to have a go at traditional crafts such as sewing, knitting or crochet by seeing items they wanted on social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest.” (Bulter, 2016: Online)
This suggests that by combining technology with traditional craft it has a much wider appear and no longer seems an outdated pastime. Video calls and social networks could be utilised to create contemporary sewing circles where users gather together, online, to share skills, bond and exchange ideas. Much like sewing circles where women would make protest banners or quilts, I feel this would encourage people to finish their piece as it becomes a social activity. They are also able create highly personalised pieces which represent themselves and their social group. The Craft Council’s ‘Consuming Craft’ report explains how consumers are increasingly looking for items which represent themselves “With craft seen as the most ‘personal’ category compared to design, art and luxury goods, there is a clear indication that craft could be benefiting from this trend. Social media tools play a significant part in the shaping and communication of individual identity, and may therefore become a more influential driver in craft consumption and retailing.” (Hargreaves McIntyre, )
Also as crafting becomes associated with spending times with friends and family I would hope this would help user to form a sentimental attachment with their piece. This, combined with the time and effort they have put into creating it their piece, should mean each individually made square has a longevity as the maker has a personal connection to it.
I would like my app to be split up into a number of sections:-
How To …
- Learn basic stitches.
- Applique guides.
- Learn how to dye fabric.
- Tips on how to design your sample.
Community (social network)…
- Share your progress.
- Ask opinions from your peers.
- Offer advice to others.
- Ask questions.
Virtual sewing circle …
- Video sewing circle – An online video call with either your chosen friends and family or match with other app users of a similar ability (share skills and learn together)
- Work together online with your friends at an agreed time. A modern ‘stitch and bitch’ group from the comfort of your own home.
- Live or prerecorded video tutorials
- Ask experts questions and get answers in real time with visual answers.
Along with this other sections could include examples of work, suggestions on how to create your own message and regular reminders to keep up with your piece and your new skils.
Bulter, S (2016) Hobbycraft sales and profits rise amid art and craft boom. The Guardian [Online] 23rd June 2016 [Date Accessed 30th April 2017] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/23/hobbycraft-sales-and-profits-rise-amid-art-and-craft-boom
Hargreaves McIntyre, M (2010) Consuming Craft. The Craft Council [Online] [Date Accessed 29th April 2017] http://www.craftscouncil.org.uk/content/files/consuming_craft_full_report.pdf
Kay, K. The Guardian (2017) A stitch in time saves stress down the line [Online] [Date Accessed 30th April 2017] https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/29/stitch-in-time-saves-stress-sewing-knitting