The Sewing Weekender is exactly what you imagine, a weekend full of sewing. But it offers even more and I’ve come home energised and even more excited about sewing!!
The Sewing Weekender is organised by Kate & Rachel from ‘The Foldline’ and Charlotte from ‘English Girl at Home’. The weekend is held at the Murray Edward College at Cambridge University from Saturday to Sunday afternoon. There are two ticket options: 1. Use of a sewing machine provided by Janome or 2. You can bring along your own machine. I choose to bring along my own machine because that way I would be more comfortable and also not getting in the way of anybody else.
There were 100 tickets available this year, double previous years, and it was a mad rush one Thursday morning to grab a ticket before they sold out! I’ve been very jealous in previous years of all the amazing sewing stories that happen during the weekend. I just couldn’t believe that this year I managed to get a ticket!
So my preparations for the weekend began: choosing my projects to make during the weekend, getting the fabric and cutting out my pattern prices, and also looking through my stash for fabric and patterns to add to the swap table. My sewing buddy, Vicki @sewlittlesparrow and I set off Saturday morning bright and early at 7am from our homes in the midlands to Cambridge, on our sewing pilgrimage to the holy weekend.
Murray Andrews College is a ladies only college and the halls are full of beautiful artwork and sculptures. As we arrived we entered one of the two sewing rooms in a fit of excitement and waiting for us were the goodie bags!!. I parked my machine up at the sewing space, Vicki as one neighbour and Jenny from @wardrobearchitect the other side of me. After a short introduction from Rachel it was ‘Go,Go,Go’ on the Sewing front.
I totally admit I was a little overwhelmed at this point of the whole situation. It’s not very often you are sat in a room with 49 other sewers all excited to get on with projects. I was so flustered that I messed up winding up my bobbin 3 times!! After 15 mins of untangling my machine and declaring to the other ladies I could actually sew I managed to make a start!!!
I choose the make the top and trousers from the New Look 6459 Pattern. I choose to make the top from this bicycle seersucker that I got from my local shop- Sew Me Me and the trousers in some navy polyester suiting from Barry’s Fabrics in Birmingham. I hacked the back of the top, changing the button to ties.
Along with sewing time, the weekend also included talks from some members of the sewing community. Shonea from Sewisfaction spoke about her business and how it has come along I just 1 year. Frances Tobin from The Maker’s Atelier gave an insight to the history of sewing patterns. Another activity on offer were workshops from SpoonFlower on creating your own printed fabrics. I didn’t get chance to do this as I was just so busy sewing.
A great part also to the weekend was the swaps table. People were able to bring along unwanted fabric and patterns, put them on the table and then have a look and take what you liked. There was just so much!!!
After the first day of sewing it was a quick change to go out for dinner. We went to a local pub and it was a great opportunity to really get to chat to each other. We all exchanged Instagram handles and giggled in excitement of photos that we had seen of each other. Finding out about everyone sewing story too was great. I’m determined to start making underwear after speaking to Alice @alicesophie01
We nipped over the road and joined a table of more inspirational ladies. It was like getting together with old friends, we all had a common interest of sewing and there wasn’t a quiet moment.
Sunday was a day of finishing projects. There were 2 further talks from Karen – ‘Did you make that’ giving an insight on how to get a book deal and Harriet aka ‘Thelittledressmaker’ who spoke about caring for your clothes. I picked up her new book ‘The little book of Stains’ that’s going straight into my book shelf and I think I’ll be getting lots of use from it.
I managed to finish both the top and trousers that I brought with me. Having so many lovely helpful ladies around me helped me no end, including fitting and hemming my trousers!! Thank you Angela @fabricoverload. I didn’t get a full photo of my outfit there but managed to get one at home.
As 1 o’clock approached and people began to pack away it became a little subdued. We were coming to the end of the most magical weekend. But we were going home with new friends and most of us, new outfits.
A big thank you needs to go to the organisers: Kate, Rachel and Emma. Their hard work meant that the weekend truly lived up to all expectations. I had just the best weekend.
Also thank you to all the sponsors and all the gifts in the goodie bag. I added my Sew Me Sunshine label to my make as a perfect reminder of a fantastic event.