Let me set the scene. Imagine a gathering of one hundred sewing enthusiasts. Bring them together in the wonderful setting of Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. Provide them with a smashing Janome sewing machine to use, should they desire, or allow them to bring their own and throw in several overockers, irons and ironing boards, and inspiring guest speakers.
Provide lunch, tea and coffee breaks, evening meal suggestions and accommodation arrangements and breakfast the following day. Not forgetting some incredible sponsorship which allowed the event to take place (and provide a fabulous goody bag – eek)!
Plus a great deal more… There you have it – the perfect weekend.
I was very lucky to have been able to grab a ticket when they went up for sale in May. I bought a ‘bring your own machine’ ticket and also booked one night’s accommodation at the college. I was lucky enough to attend last year also, so had a good idea of what a great weekend I had in store!
After the initial arrival and settling in, a well timed tea/coffee break was the perfect opportunity to gather together and catch up with old friends and new. Due to the increased ticket numbers this year there were two large separate sewing rooms in use.
My sewing project was New Look 6446, which I had recently purchased from Sewessential. I clearly did more chatting than sewing and barely made any progress on it all weekend, but it will of course feature on the blog some time soon – when I have finished it!
Lots of excited sewing and chat followed and took us through until lunchtime when we all headed up to The Dome dining room.
Saturday afternoon gave us the opportunity to listen to two inspiring talks from Sheona from Sewisfaction and Frances from The Maker’s Atelier. These fabulous women gave us all an insight into their businesses and how they were created. Rather disappointingly my pictures of all the speakers this weekend are not the best, so I hope that you might be able to grab a glimpse of these on other blogs/vlogs on this event.
More sewing and chat followed, more chat than sewing in my case, a further tea and coffee break, and finally at 6pm day one came to an end.
That evening we all gathered to head on out for an evening meal and some drinks. This gave us the opportunity to catch up with those that may not have been sewing in the same room, and it was a great evening spent with some lovely ladies.
After a comfortable night in the College accommodation, we all met for breakfast at 9am. Following this were more wonderful talks, this time from Harriet from The Clothing Care Co. who talked about how to care for your clothes – do check out her new book here, and Karen from Did You Make That who gave any aspiring authors amongst us some valuable tips!
Throughout the weekend there was a fabric and pattern swap table available to dip in and out of, and 2hr workshops were being hosted by Spoonflower where I understand they were teaching about designing your own fabric and the basics of a seamless repeat. Unfortunately these classes were all full so I didn’t get a chance to take part in this one but those that attended looked like they were having a great time.
More tea and coffee was provided to keep us all going, some frantic last minute sewing took place, and all too soon the weekend came to a close at lunchtime, rounded off with the usual group photograph- this year taken indoors due to the rain.
Aside from all the wonderful things mentioned above, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed, the most precious part of the weekend was soaking up the company of so many fabulous women. It was so lovely to catch up with sewing friends that I have already met before, those that I hadn’t met but felt like I already ‘knew’ thanks to Instagram! and a whole host of other lovely ladies.
Without the kind and generous sponsors, this weekend would be a very different affair, so at risk of missing anyone I will try to list them below.
Janome, Spoonflower, Pound Fabrics, Minerva Crafts, Sew Me Sunshine, Cotton Reel Studio, Clothspot, Sewisfaction, The Village Haberdashery, The Draper’s Daughter, Fabrics Galore, Sew Over It, WeaverDee, Sew Essential, Remnant Kings, Cocowawa Crafts, Dragonfly Fabrics, Fabricate, Monaluna, Sewbox, Pavilion Books, Prym, Crafty Sew and So, Love Sewing, Stof and Stil, Pink Coat Club, and Simply Sewing,
I cannot thank Charlotte, Rachel and Kate enough for the incredible amount of hard work and thoughtfulness that has gone into the planning of this weekend. I couldn’t be more grateful. I loved it.
For more pics and links to The Sewing Weekender do search the #sewingweekender tag over on Instagram and don’t forget to subscribe to The Fold Line and English Girl at Home to keep up to date with plans for (hopefully) next year’s event (fingers crossed).
Take care, and I’ll be back soon,