With in-person meet-ups impossible for most of us at the moment, I’ve compiled a list of some online sewing events. These are a chance to chat to others in the sewing community or to join in with a live sew-along.
I wanted to pop on the blog to send best wishes to everyone who is being affected by Coronavirus, whether through sickness or risk of sickness, impact on your income or business, or stress at the ongoing uncertainty.
It might sound a bit frivolous, but I also wanted to share a save the date for SewBrum 2020.
This year’s meet-up (which will be the seventh!) will take place on Saturday 24th October 2020. It will be an opportunity to get together in person later this year, and to support independent shops in Birmingham. It’s also a free event so can be a cheap day out (dependent on your travel arrangements). Plus, as a free event, if your plans change nearer the date you can cancel your registration at any time (spaces aren’t limited).
If you haven’t attended before, SewBrum is a free-to-attend meet-up of people who love to sew in Birmingham, UK. Everyone is welcome. We will start the day in Birmingham city centre and then travel to Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley Village, by bus.
Logo by illustrator and sewist Maike Plenzke.
The Sewing Weekender 2019 takes place in Cambridge this weekend! I’ve been out this morning to collect the hire van which I’ll use to transport the contents of the goodie bags (plus irons, ironing boards, and decorations) to our venue.
Before I set off I wanted to share the contents of the goodie bags with our attendees (and anyone else who is interested in having a snoop!). I’ve filmed a vlog which you can watch below or on my YouTube Channel.
Thank you again to our sponsors. A full list of sponsors & contributions to the goodie bags is provided below:
Afternoon Patterns – Patterns & pin badges
Avid Seamstress – 10% discount code & ‘I’m an Avid Seamstress’ pencil
Beyond Measure – 10% discount code
Closet Case Patterns – 20% discount code
CocoWawa – 20% discount code
Crafty Sew & So – 15% discount code & badge
DP Studio – 10% discount code, patterns & pattern catalogues
Escape & Create – 15% discount code
Experimental Space – Coasters
Fehr Trade – 20% discount code & woven zipper pull
Guthrie & Ghani – 10% discount code off fabric ordered online
I Am Patterns – Buy-one-get-one-free code
Janome – Pen, tape measure, coaster & flyers
Like Sew Amazing – 15% discount code
Maven Patterns – 10% discount code & buttons
Named – 20% discount code
Pavillion & Batsford – ‘Mend & Patch’ booklet & catalogue of craft titles
Pink Coat Club – Stickers & discount code
Pound Fabrics – Flyer
Sew Essential – 15% discount code
Sew Hayley Jane – 10% discount code & magazine
Sew Me Something – PDF bag pattern download code
Sew Me Sunshine – Woven label & 10% discount code
Spoonflower – Fabric bases sample book, London shopping guide & stickers
Village Haberdashery – £5 gift voucher
Last weekend was the Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud meet-up, organised by myself and Carmen Bouchard.
Back in 2014, I attended a Paris meet-up organised by Carmen, and this January I decided it was time for another large meet-up in Paris. Carmen agreed to organise it with me and took on the tasks of arranging our meals, as well as recommending lots of great shops and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent (thanks Carmen!).
Around 50 of us met near the Sacré-Cœur on Saturday morning to visit Montmartre’s fabric shops. We had lots of attendees joining us from the UK and France, but also from Belgium, Germany, Canada and America. Phil was roped into taking a group photo in front of the Sacré-Cœur before departing to do his own thing for the day.
We split into smaller groups as people moved to find lunch and explore further afield, but almost everyone made it to the dp Studio pop-up shop. By coincidence, the pattern company were holding a pop-up to sell their patterns and leftover fabric from previous samples and collections for one day only on the Saturday. The fabric was priced at €5 per metre (although they were generous at rounding down) and we all enjoyed a good rummage. I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to try one of their patterns for the first time, and picked the Le 600 Blouse which is well represented on Instagram.
By this point we were well into the afternoon. Paris’ fabric shops are open quite late (until around 7pm) so lots of the group visited one more shop before heading back to hotels to drop off fabric and prepare for dinner. Carmen had arranged a three-course meal, plus musical accompaniment, for us, after which everyone was ready to fall into bed.
On Sunday, a group of us met for brunch before visiting the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, located in the building where the couture house was based in Paris and where Yves Saint Laurent worked. Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the last women standing travelled slightly out of town (by metro and bus) to visit Bennytex Fabric Warehouse. Bennytex made us very welcome, staying open until we finished shopping, and giving each of us a small coffee on arrival and a free metre or so of jersey fabric before we left.
Thanks so much to everyone who joined us over the weekend. As always, it was lovely to catch-up with old friends and to meet new ones. As someone who has never lived outside of Birmingham, it’s brilliant to be part of an international community online and – sometimes – in person.
I’ve published a short vlog with some footage of the weekend, and of my purchases, which you can view here:
The SewBrum meet-up will be returning for a sixth year on Saturday 05th October 2019.
SewBrum is a free-to-attend meet-up of people who love to sew in Birmingham, UK. Everyone is welcome.
Sign-up is now open (to give us an idea of numbers): Sign Up Here
As in previous years, we’ll start the day in Birmingham city centre and then travel to Guthrie & Ghani in Moseley Village, by bus.
I hope you can join us x
Logo by illustrator and sewist Maike Plenzke.
Carmen and I are organising an international meet-up in Paris over the weekend of the 18th – 19th May 2019.
On Saturday 18th, we’ll be touring Paris’ fabric shops and ending the day with a group dinner / drinks. On Sunday 19th, we’ll be starting the day with brunch, visiting the exhibition “Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient” at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent, and heading out of town to visit the Bennytex fabric warehouse (check out Annie Coton’s blog post, it sounds amazing).
Sign-up is now open (to give us an idea of numbers to expect for planning purposes): Sign Up Here!
A quick note to say that everyone is very welcome, and you can attend as much or as little of the weekend as you like. I’m conscious that two reasons people sometimes don’t feel comfortable attending meet-ups are anxiety and mobility. If you would like to join us but have any concerns do get in touch with me and Carmen. I’m already thinking that we should have some group shopping trolleys ready as when I attended the previous Paris meet-up Carmen organised in 2014 I got carried away buying heavy wool fabrics and could barely carry them!
♥ What? ♥
A free-to-attend meet-up of people who love to sew, in Paris.
Following in the footsteps of the 2014 meet-up organised by Carmen, Paris Sewcial / Paris Coud will be a chance to get together with an international group of sewcialists and to explore Paris’ fabric shops.
♥ Itinerary ♥
The planned itinerary for Saturday 18th – Sunday 19th May is below. Attendees can feel free to dip in and out, attending one or both days, or parts of the day.
Saturday 18th May
10:30 – 11:00: Meet in Montmartre
We’ll be meeting in Square Louise-Michel, located below the Sacré-Cœur and in the heart of the Montmartre fabric shopping district.
Multiple metro stops including Anvers, Abbesses, Pigalle, and Château Rouge are located within ten minutes’ walk from the square.
11:00 – 17:00: Explore Paris’ Fabric Shops
We’ll spend the day exploring Paris’ numerous fabric shops. A map will be provided to help attendees navigate the city, and we’ll visit the shops as a group, or number of smaller groups, dependent on the number of attendees.
17:00: Dinner / Drinks
We’ll carry on the conversations over a group dinner / drinks (location tbc dependent on number of attendees).
Sunday 19th May
11:00 – 12:30: Brunch in Montmartre
We’ll start the day by returning to Montmartre for brunch and chatter.
13:00 – 15:00: Visit to Musée Yves Saint Laurent
At 13:00 we’ll visit “Yves Saint Laurent: Dreams of the Orient” at the Musée Yves Saint Laurent. It isn’t possible to book a tour on Sundays, so we’ll be joining the queue outside the museum. A visit to the exhibition takes approximately 90 minutes. It’s also the perfect opportunity for a stroll past the Eiffel Tower, which is located 15 minutes walk from the museum.
15:00 – 18:00: Visit to Bennytex
Those willing to join us in a trip outside of the city centre on the hunt for fabric will catch the bus to Bennytex fabric warehouse. The journey is approximately one hour each way by public transport. For more info about shopping at Bennytex see Annie Coton’s blog post.
We’ll start the journey back from Bennytex at approximately 17:00, with attendees back in the city centre for 18:00.
I was lucky enough to attend the Paris meet-up organised by Carmen back in 2014. Inspired by that event, Carmen and I have decided that it’s time for another Paris meet-up, so we’re organising one over the weekend of the 18-19 May 2019.
We’ll be touring Paris’ fabric shops on Saturday 18th, with a to-be-confirmed activity on Sunday 19th for those who can stay for the full weekend. Further details to follow, once we’ve finalised our plans.
At this point we wanted to share the date, so that those of you who can make it can start planning.
We hope you can join us.
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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:
♥ 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
♥ 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:
The SewBrum meet-up will be returning for a fifth year on Saturday 27 October!
Sign-up is now open (to give us an idea of numbers to expect): Sign Up Here!
I really hope that lots of you can make it again this year x
♥ What? ♥
A (free-to-attend) meet-up of people who love to sew. Everyone is welcome, just sign-up using the form above/below to give us an idea of numbers.
♥ Itinerary ♥
The planned itinerary for Saturday 27th October is below. Attendees can feel free to dip in and out, or only attend for part of the day.
10:00 – 11:00: Meet at John Lewis Cafe & Haberdashery
We’ll be meeting in John Lewis Cafe (The Place to Eat), where we’ll be able to drink tea and/or eat brunch while everyone arrives. We’ll also be able to shop in the Haberdashery, which is located on the same floor as the cafe (4th floor).
P.S. If you’re arriving by train, John Lewis is located in the same building as New Street Station – and the other stations (Moor Street and Snow Hill) are only a 10-15 minute walk.
P.P.S John Lewis opens at 9am for anyone arriving early.
11:00 – 13:00: Birmingham Rag Market & Fabric Shops
13:00 – 13:30: Reconvene and travel to Moseley Village (Guthrie & Ghani) by bus
The journey between the city centre and Moseley only takes 15 minutes by bus, and buses are every 5-10 minutes.
13:30 – 17:00: Guthrie & Ghani / Lunch
At Guthrie & Ghani we’ll have time in the shop which sells a wide range of sewing and knitting supplies, and we’ll have use of the studio above the shop where we will be able to natter, compare purchases, hold a pattern & fabric swap, and take part in a charity raffle.
Attendees can also grab lunch at one of the nearby pubs or cafes. The Village and The Dark Horse bar/restaurant are both a couple of minutes walk from Guthrie & Ghani, and there are lots of other options available within Moseley Village.
♥ Sign-Up Form ♥
If you’re planning to attend the 2018 meet-up let us know by filling in the Sign Up Form.
Everyone will be welcome. Hope you can make it x
Logo by illustrator and sewist Maike Plenzke.