english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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The Sewing Weekender 2018 Wrap-Up

The Sewing Weekender 2018

Ahh, I love a good meet-up. I’ve just booked my train ticket to Leeds for Sew Up North this weekend, and before too long passes and the memory fades, I wanted to blog a few thoughts and a few photos from the Sewing Weekender.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The third Sewing Weekender took place during August at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. It was the largest Weekender yet, with 100 attendees (including 5 speakers & experts, 3 organisers – that’s me, Kate and Rachel – and 92 attendees). 24 of our attendees had attended before, and it was lovely to see a mix of good friends and familiar faces, but also to meet some friends in person for the first time, and to know that different people are managing to get hold of tickets, given that they sold out in no time yet again this year.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

To squeeze in one hundred attendees we were split across two rooms, coming together for tea and coffee breaks, and for lunch in the College dining room on Saturday. As in previous years, attendees worked on a sewing project (or two) of their choice. I’m always impressed that attendees manage to finish projects during the weekend. I think I’m quite a slow sewer, and am sure I would be slower than ever when there is so much opportunity to procrastinate talking, drinking tea, listing to talks, and attending workshops.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

I’m also always impressed by how beautifully dressed our attendees are. Being surrounded by 100 sewists is a great opportunity to see a range of patterns made-up and ‘in the flesh’ (The Closet Case Patterns Jenny Overalls were a favourite this year). In previous years I have planned but failed to make an outfit specifically for the Weekender, but this year I was determined to, and I managed it! We had a warm, but intermittently wet, weekend, and the V9253 dress I made was ideal for swanning about the College.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

When you organise an event, I find that you can never believe quite how quickly it speeds by, after such a long lead time preparing for it. I’ve been really lucky to work with Kate & Rachel (of The Fold Line), who make organising the Weekender very easy for me! One of my main tasks is receiving all of the lovely goodie bag booty from our sponsors, and hiring a big van to drive it, plus irons, ironing boards, and decorations, down to Cambridge. Setting up takes the three of us an age, but this year attendees pitched in when it was time to pack up, and with everyone boxing up a Janome sewing machine each, we were packed up in no time!

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

Our speakers were, yet again, total pros, giving insights into caring for your me-made (and RTW) garments (Harriet), the history of sewing pattern magazines and the development of the Maker’s Atelier magazine (Frances), setting up and running a fabric shop (Sheona), and practical advice on getting a book deal (Karen).

One of the many amazing things about the sewing community, is being part of a community of people (and mostly women) who are doing so many interesting and inspiring things. From sharing beautiful sewing projects and blog posts, publishing great podcasts/vlogs/newsletters, and organising events, through to making the commitment to start businesses, develop patterns, and write books. One of the other amazing things about this community, is that despite its members being busy, smart, and ambitious, they are also nice as pie. I’ll leave you with pictures of some exceedingly friendly faces, and hope to see you at a meet-up soon.

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

The Sewing Weekender 2018

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The Sewing Weekender 2018 Attendee Vlogs & Blog Posts

The Sewing Weekender 2018

It’s already been two weeks since the Sewing Weekender. I’ve finally finished editing the photos, and will post some pictures and thoughts later this week, but lots of attendees were quicker than me.

Links to the blog posts and vlogs I’ve spotted are below:

Blog Posts

♥ Adelle at Button & Pip
♥ Ann at SewWatts
♥ Karen at Did You Make That?
♥ Kathy at Sew Dainty
♥ Laura at Fabric Magpie
♥ Lucy at Sew Essential
♥ Melissa at FehrTrade
♥ Nina at Tales of the Sewing City
♥ Sarah at Crafty Sarah Sews

Vlogs

 Adelle at Button & Pip:

♥ Charlotte at English Girl at Home (me!):

♥ Harriet at The Little Dressmaker:

♥ Jen at Gingerthread Girl:

♥ Kealy at Voice of a Creative:

♥ Sarah at Like Sew Amazing:


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The Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

The Sewing Weekender takes place this weekend! The final decorations are currently being hung in the venue, balloons inflated, and attendees will be arriving (or breakfasting for those who arrived yesterday) soon.

When they arrive at the venue, attendees will find the following goodie bags awaiting them, thanks to our lovely sponsors. Sewing Weekender totes (designed by Kate & Rachel) containing:

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing patterns courtesy of Crafty Sew & So, Simplicity, & Simply Sewing.

TSewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Additional sewing patterns have also been dotted around the goodie bags, including patterns from Colette in 30 goodie bags.

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Stof and Stil have sent every attendee one metre of fabric, a bag, catalogue and postcards:

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Attendees have plenty to read on the journey home, with magazines from Love Sewing (featuring the lovely Karen Ball, who is one of our speakers) and Sew Today:

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Discount codes have been provided courtesy of CocoWawa CraftsPink Coat Club, Weaver Dee, & Sew Essential:

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sew Me Sunshine have created sew-in tags for attendees to add to their Weekender projects (plus provided a discount code):

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Prym have provided attendees with handy thread cutters:

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Pavilion have provided a shibori project from their recent release about Indigo dyeing:

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Phew, time to put on my frock and get ready for arrival time!

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags

Sewing Weekender 2018 Goodie Bags


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The Sewing Weekender 2018 (Plus Vlog)

sewing weekender banner

The Sewing Weekender will be returning for a third year!

What:A sewing weekend break in Cambridge, UK

When:Saturday 25th – Sunday 26th August 2018

Tickets will go on sale on the morning of Thursday 31st May at 7am (BST). Full information on The Fold Line: https://thefoldline.com/the-sewing-weekender/

I’ve finally vlogged about last year’s event, including clips of attendees, of our lovely speakers and prefects, and of the preparations before everyone arrives on Saturday morning (at speed!).

As in previous years, our venue, Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, will be transformed into a sewing room for the weekend. Attendees can get stuck into a sewing project, chat to friends, drink plenty of tea, and participate in talks and workshops from fellow sewing bloggers and independent business owners.

The key differences this year, are that we have increased capacity (by hiring an additional room) and that we’ll be having lunch on Saturday in the College canteen. We are hoping that lots of you will want to join us again this year, and that the additional tickets will mean less people end up disappointed at not being able to buy a ticket (last year, the tickets went on sale as I boarded the train to work, and were sold out before I got off the train, 20 minutes later). We’ve decided to include lunch, because last year the heavens opened exactly when we all left the College to walk into town for lunch and we got drenched! It also makes it much easier to sit down for lunch as a group.

One thing I wanted to note before tickets go on sale on Thursday, is that the tickets are more expensive this year. Ever since the first Sewing Weekender two years ago, we’ve kept ticket prices as low as possible (we pay ourselves very little for our time). The increased cost of tickets is due to increased costs of organising the event, plus the fact that we are reliant on sponsorship to keep ticket prices down. I always think it’s difficult to estimate the actual cost of an event unless you are involved in organising something similar, and I thought it was worth stating that this increase to the ticket price isn’t about us benefiting from the event’s previous popularity (which I think would be justified, as a lot of work goes into the preparation), it’s about us realistically covering costs.

If you’re considering attending and want more information, you can read: my wrap-up of the 2017 event / attendee reviews of the 2017 event / my wrap-up of the 2016 eventattendee reviews of the 2016 event


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The Sewing Weekender 2017 Attendee Blog Posts & Vlogs

The Sewing Weekender 2017

I finally blogged a few thoughts on, and photos from, the The Sewing Weekender yesterday, but lots of attendees were much quicker. I really enjoyed reading/watching these and wanted to share. Enjoy!

Blog Posts

♥ Ann at SewWatts.

♥ Beth at The Purple Stitcher.

♥ Elena at Randomly Happy blogged about using mindfulness to blog with more joy, following her talk on the subject at the Weekender.

♥ Elle at Sew Positivity.

♥ Emily at Self Assembly Required.

♥ Emma at Crafty Clyde.

♥ Jen at Ginger Thread Girl.

♥ Kathy at Sew Dainty.

♥ Melissa at Fehr Trade. Melissa also blogged a top made with Stoff and Stil fabric from the Weekender goodie bag.

♥ Sarah at Like Sew Amazing.

♥ Victoria at Sew My Own.

Vlogs

♥  Harriet at Hobbling Handmade:

♥ Jen at Ginger Thread Girl:

♥  Sarah at Like Sew Amazing:


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The Sewing Weekender 2017 Wrap-Up

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The second Sewing Weekender, sewing holiday, took place at the start of August. As is always the way with organising events, when we started planning it seemed ages away, but it was here before we knew it and over in a flash.

The Sewing Weekender 2017

Kate, Rachel & I arrived at our venue, Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, on Friday afternoon and were kept busy until the evening setting up sewing machines, overlockers, and irons, stuffing goodie bags, and inflating balloons!

The Sewing Weekender 2017

We were joined on Saturday morning by fifty-one attendees and six prefects/speakers, for the sewing (tea drinking, fabric stroking, nattering, fabric swapping) to commence.

Over the course of the Weekender we had:

♥ Two embroidery workshops (hand-embroidery with Elisalex de Castro Peake, and machine embroidery with Elle Harris).

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥  More time for sewing, more machines, overlockers and irons than at last year’s event.

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ Even more sponsors & overflowing goodie bags.

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ Embroidered badges for every attendee (thanks to Elle Harris‘ machine embroidery workshop).

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ A mini sewing bee! Elizabeth and Susan both finished a garment during the weekend, so were set a timed challenge by Melissa and Fiona, using supplies from the swap – and completed that too!

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ Inspirational talks from our amazing prefects/speakers.

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ Two lovely golden ticket competition winners, Barbara and Vicky thanks to Sew Now Magazine and Minerva Crafts.

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ Two sewists wearing the same fabric (Rachel and Emily)!

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ A litter of of cat owners – mostly sporting cat prints (Rachel, Sarah, Bianca, Amy, Harriet, Elena, & Melissa).

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ Speedy sewists who managed to complete garments during the weekend, including Elizabeth and Emma.

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ A stroll through Cambridge in the sun (as well as one particular lunch break in torrential rain…).

The Sewing Weekender 2017

♥ And lots of lovely sewists!

The Sewing Weekender 2017

There’s a great atmosphere at the Weekender, and it’s the same atmosphere at sewing meet-ups small and large (as well as online): welcoming, inspiring and full of fun. Assuming people do keep wanting to come, there’s never going to be enough tickets for everyone to attend the Sewing Weekender (this year tickets sold out in less than twenty minutes), but I’d highly recommend getting to a meet-up in person as often as you can.


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The Sewing Weekender 2017

Sewing Weekender banner

The Sewing Weekender will be returning for a second year!

What: A sewing weekend break in Cambridge, sponsored by (Birmingham-based) Adam Ross Fabrics.

When: Saturday 05th – Sunday 06th August 2017

Our venue, Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, will be transformed into a sewing room for the weekend; bring along a sewing project, or two, and sew while chatting to friends and drinking plenty of tea.

Over the weekend, we’ll have a series of informal talks and hands-on workshops from fellow sewing bloggers and independent business owners.

Tickets will go on sale on the morning of Thursday 25th May. Tickets to the event will cost £65; optional accommodation will cost an additional £95 (single room) or £145 (twin room).

Full details here.

Read my thoughts on last year’s Sewing Weekender here, and those of attendees here.