If I could describe my perfect weekend, it would probably be a couple of days spent sewing and chatting with a group of wonderful sewists, perhaps with an embroidery workshop thrown in and maybe a few inspiring talks given by some wonderful creative women.
This pretty much sums up the weekend of August 5th and 6th.
Tickets for The Sewing Weekender went on sale back in May, and sold out in minutes. I was hugely disappointed, I mean REALLY disappointed to have just missed out on getting a ticket, and although there were two chances of a ‘golden ticket’, I was unlucky there too. Sad times. Unbelievably though, out of the blue a week before the event, I was given the chance to attend due to one of the attendee’s being unable to come. Phew! – so glad that I had put my details on the wait list.
The venue was Murray Edwards College in Cambridge, and we arrived to a room full of sewing machines, overlockers and ironing boards. Thoughtful gifts from the event’s sponsors were waiting for everyone in the biggest goody bag you could imagine. Dreamy.
It’s up to you how much or how little sewing you actually achieve.. I took two projects with me, and only managed to complete one – a Colette Patterns Sorbetto top. I expect I will write a little blog post about that sometime soon.
Throughout the day, you were welcome to attend two embroidery workshops. The pefectly wonderful Elle from Sew Positivity was getting all fancy with a snazzy Janome Memory Craft Embroidery machine, and we all had great fun choosing which sewing related design to pick for our cute badges.
Elisalex from By Hand London, was super sweet and encouraging with her hand embroidery workshop. My hand embroidery skills are fairly dodgy and I learned how to chain stitch and started a hoop project that I will continue and finish another day.
At any point you were able to dip into the fabric and pattern swap. Spoilt for choice, I only chose one length of fabric, but I managed to grab some really great patterns – not that I need any more of either, but well, you know…
On Saturday, guest speakers were Portia Lawrie, who gave a great talk about refashioning. Definitely food for thought. I was particularly excited to meet Portia, as I had admired her refashioned jacket so much that won her the Dressmaker of the year title. I was also so so happy to finally meet the adorable Harriet from Hobbling Handmades , and it was great for the 3 of us to get together since we were all finalists in the Dressmaker of the Year competition, with Portia going on to win!
Also speaking was the sweet Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher. Fiona is a theatre Costume Supervisor and gave us a glimpse into her duties at work. Totally fascinating, I really enjoyed this talk. What a high pressure but rewarding career she has.
Lots of sewing, chatting and tea drinking saw us through to the end of a great day at 6pm. Most of us had accommodation in the College overnight, so after a tiring day it was so lovely not to have to go far to reach our rooms. The rooms were basic, but comfortable.
The evening consisted of a walk into town and a pub meal.
On Sunday we were treated to more sewing time and guest speakers. This time we enjoyed Melissa Fehr talking about sewing for movement, and not necessarily garments for exercise, but how our bodies move and what our clothes need to do to accommodate daily movements that we make. Something else I have previously given little thought to, but was an interesting discussion.
The final speaker was Elena Rosa Brown, who chose to talk about mindfulness and generally taking the time to be kind to yourself enabling you to get the best out of your sewing times. Difficult to summarise, I was totally blown away with every word of this talk, and could identify with so much of what Elena had to say. What a beauty she is and her talk was a totally unexpected highlight of my weekend!!
After more sewing, tea, biscuits and chatting it was time to unplug the machines and call it a day. Although I could not stay late, the day rounded off with a little early afternoon walk through Cambridge, a perfect end to a perfect weekend!
Oh, and you are probably wondering what the goody bag looked like.. well here you go..
Thank the organisers and sponsors. I am certainly going home with considerably more than I came with, and I am so grateful for their generous gifts. If I may I would like to mention the sponsors below:
Adam Ross Fabrics, Janome, CocoWawa Crafts, Sew Hayley Jane, Plush Addict, Sew Now Magazine, Bloomsbury Square Fabrics, Sew Over It, The Village Haberdashery, Beyond Measure, Cotton Reel Studio, Remnant Kings, Minerva Crafts, Sew Essential, Fabric Punk, Suzy Magazine, Merchant and Mills, Tilly and the Buttons, Fabric Godmother, Fabrics Galore, The Makers Atelier, Stoff and Stil, The Draper’s Daughter, Simplicity, Jenni Smith
Finally the most important thing to say is that this whole thing would not be possible without an unbelievable amount of work and thoughtfulness that has been put in by the incredible Kate and Rachel from The Fold Line, and the wonderful Charlotte from English Girl at Home. Thank you also to all the prefects and speakers who made it all so wonderful and last but not least, thank you to all the wonderful sewing friends who I met and whose company I thoroughly enjoyed all weekend. Let’s do it again.
Take care, I’ll be back soon,