The Sewing Weekender 2017

HOORAY! Three months from now I’ll be attending the Sewing Weekender for my second year, and I could not be more excited even if I tried!

Last year tickets for this event sold out in less than 20 minutes and I was really (I mean REALLY) gutted I just missed out on getting my hands on one. After being sad for a few days I got incredibly lucky… I won a golden ticket (like Charlie)! However, I wasn’t going to take any chances this year. The tickets went on sale yesterday morning so I was up at 7am with my laptop, phone, and bank card at the ready. I got through and I entered my bank details like my life depended on it. When I saw a confirmation email coming in from Eventbrite I totally did a little happy dance!

I’ve spent the whole of yesterday reminiscing about last years Sewing Weekender and I realized I never shared the review I wrote for Sew Now magazine. In case you haven’t seen it, I have posted it below.

This article was published in 2017 in issue 12 of Sew Now magazine. All photos are made by Charlotte from English Girl at Home. 

*** You know those people who hate mornings, never can get out of bed on time and don’t really start functioning after 11am? Yeah, that’s me. However, on the 5th of August when my alarm went off at 5.30am I didn’t even snooze once! It was time for the most anticipated sewing weekend of the year, the Sewing Weekender! Organized by the Foldline (Kate & Rachel) and English Girl at Home (Charlotte), this weekend at the Murray Edwards College in Cambridge is the place to be for just about every stitcher in the UK. Tickets sold out in 20 minutes and after missing out I thought I had to enjoy the weekend via Instagram from my sofa again just like last year, but I got extremely lucky… I won one of the two golden tickets, thanks to Sew Now Magazine! I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for anything in my life.

I arrived early on the Saturday morning and at the time I didn’t know anyone. This changed the minute I walked into a room with 50 other sewing enthusiasts, looking at brand new Janome sewing machines, amazing goodie bags and everything we needed to sew our projects. We all squealed with excitement and it didn’t take long before we were all discussing our plans for the weekend with a nice cuppa tea. I brought fabric to make the Eve dress from Sew Over It and even though there was lots of sewing chat going on between cutting, stitching and ironing, I did get about half way before lunch. What started as a nice walk into the town center ended with being completely drenched in a torrential rainstorm. At least we were all in it together!

We made our way back to the college after a quick lunch and then Portia Lawrie from Makery told us more about refashioning your unloved clothes. Apart from it being good for the environment (which is a big thing for me), refashioning also teaches you new construction techniques and it makes you think outside the box. She was really inspiring and I’ll definitely be joining the Refashioners challenge this year. Next up was Fiona Parker from Diary of a Chainstitcher to tell us about her job as a costume supervisor. From meeting with designers to sourcing costumes and buying fabric, she sure has every seamstresses dream job! She even brought one of her costume bibles for us to have a look through.

Left: Me, working on my Eve dress – Middle: Amazing embroidered patches made by Elle from Sew Positivity – Right: Me (+baby bump) and Vicky from Sewvee, who also won a golden ticket for the Sewing Weekender.

There were multiple workshops going on during the day too, but I was having too much fun stitching up my Eve dress to attend any. We put down our sewing projects at 6pm and headed down to a pub near by the college and we all had a lovely meal and drinks together. This was a great way to get to know each other better and chat without the buzzing noise of machines working overtime. It’s amazing to see how quickly you get on with like-minded people. We all agreed on the evening; sewing pals are the best pals! I returned to my room late in the evening and spend the night dreaming about everything that had happened.

After having breakfast together on the Sunday morning (it turns out that it’s never too early for sewing natter) we started the day with a talk from Melissa Fehr, from Fehr Trade. She told us about sewing for movement, not for standing still and straight whilst looking into a mirror. It’s something that sounds simple, but I don’t think about this enough. I’ve picked up some great tips and I’m already looking forward to her book release in 2018. After Melissa we listened to Elenor from Randomly Happy. She made us think about mindfulness and how to incorporate this in our hobby. I loved how she is focusing more on the process of making a garment instead of rushing into finishing a project. Her top tip; breathe whilst your sewing, I know I forget doing this sometimes!

I continued working on my dress for the rest of the morning and then sadly, it was time to say goodbye to everyone. Kate, Rachel, Charlotte and the sponsors did such an incredible job on putting this amazing event together, it couldn’t have been more fun, well maybe only if the weekend had lasted longer! ***

I’m super duper excited that I am going to be a part of this years event as well, the 25th and 26th of August cannot come around quick enough for me! Now it’s time for me to plan and prepare for the project that I am going to bring…

The photos in this post are made by Charlotte from English Girl at Home.

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