Yes, it’s time for another post about everybody’s favourite two words sandwiching a conjunction.
It looks like SFSE has been busy appealing to public opinion. Their forum banner points out that the Stitch & Bitch Cafe has been online since 1998, with links to sample pages of their guestbook from those years.
If you click on the links, you’ll be taken to pages containing guestbook entries from the twilight of the guestbook cgi script, including such comments as (this is a selection of the first couple of mentions on a few pages; then I got tired of looking):
Yea, the Friday Night Stich and Bitch at SFSE was great. Fun to see everyone’s cool creations — and inspiring! I want to get on a “sewing tear” as Leigh put it… (1999)
I had a great time at the stich and bitch on Friday night. It was a lot of fun. What fabulous clothes everyone is sewing! Since you all were raving so much about Mood Fabrics, I decided to check it out on Saturday morning… (1999)
If your looking for sewing buddies why haven’t I seen you at our Stitch& Bitch nites. Thats when every one sews together and shares their tip, comments, and feelings. We all get a lot sewn too. We always post an announcement about this night. (2000)
As always Elyssa, great stitch and bitch night last Friday. I am really inspired by all of the creative women who hang out at SFSE. I can’t wait until the next one! (2000)
HI I am in search of a Stitch&Bitch group on the North East side of Detroit or at Wayne StateU, any suggestions? (2000)
(It doesn’t look like anyone answered the person who posed that question about a group in Detroit. And that first 2000 quotation above was posted by “Elissa”.)
In Deb Stoller’s cancellation proceeding against the CAFE trademark, she’s seeking to prove that “stitch and bitch” is a generic term to describe a gathering where one, uh… crafts and chats (“when every one sews together and shares their tip, comments, and feelings”?). So I’m sure that someone, on Deb’s behalf, is rooting through the Wayback Machine and the archive snapshots graciously restored by SFSE to see how much hay can be made of the use of “stitch and bitch” by SFSE customers, and by the company itself, and what witnesses are still around. One wonders whether all those customer e-mail addresses in those old guestbook entries are still valid, and how those people might feel if they’re bothered now, six years later (by implicated parties, by interested parties, by spammers).
But I’d be cautious about concluding that loose treatment of “stitch and bitch” on a guestbook is determinative of the phrase’s generic status, or that this would be a sufficient basis on its own to cancel the CAFE trademark. We’ll see what arguments are made. But if I were SFSE’s lawyer, I’d be wondering why they kept posting stuff on their website without running it by me first.