The Sewing Weekender Rocked my World (again)

Holy guacamole. So… The Sewing Weekender happened then…! And, man did it live up to the hype.

Since jammily nabbing myself a ticket back in May, I have been so desperately looking forward to it. For me it was the perfect opportunity to get a much needed break from the baby (who has been totally busting my balls)… and back to my old sewing self.

The last 5 months have definitely not been what I had imagined motherhood to look like. And it hasn’t been a pretty picture. The baby has screamed more than I can explain. And basically crushed my spirit. But dramatics aside, things are improving now. But it has been so intensely hard. So you can imagine how much I needed this weekend!

Anyway, back to the event itself. Organised by the lovely Kate and Rachel (The Fold Line) and Charlotte (English Girl at Home), The Sewing Weekender is a weekend sewing getaway. Tickets sold out in a heartbeat, and I’m pretty sure many would have given their vital organs to get hold one!

So on Saturday 5th August, we set up camp at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge. Long tables stretched down the room – sewing stations kitted out with Janome sewing machines and our hotly anticipated goody bags (I will be vlogging the unpacking of mine – watch this space!).

I rocked up to my seat with an offering of sweets. It helped to get people to like me 😉

I arrived on Saturday morning literally squealing with excitement. And one long arm and calloused hand from carrying my sewing machine in! We all had our own projects to work on over the weekend, but I managed to pretty much talk solidly for the whole of Saturday morning! I think it was midday before I even threaded my machine. Oh well. I was way too distracted by sewing friends 🙂

The afternoon kicked off with a couple of talks from The Sewing Weekender prefects Portia Lawrie, Makery and Fiona Parker, Diary of a Chainstitcher.

Portia talked about the benefits of refashioning clothes often destined for the charity shop. I already knew a little about her Refashioners campaign, but she really inspired me to get involved. She showed us some of the garments made from the last round of Refashioners, which was themed around using old jeans. This year’s theme is suits… and I might just take a stab at making something!

Then we had the lovely Fiona talk to us about her day job as a Costume Supervisor. It was really fascinating to hear about the shows she has worked on. And she must have the dream job when it comes to the part where she has to go fabric shopping!

And while all of this was going on, we had the opportunity to get involved with embroidery workshops with Elle Harris, Sew Positivity (machine embroidery) and Elisalex de Castro Peake, By Hand London (hand embroidery). I didn’t actually make it to the workshops after basically talking too much in the other room! My bad!

Gorgeous Elle from Sew Positivity in her lemons dress, beavering away on the Janome embroidery machine

After the talks, we continued with more sewing (well, I only managed a little) into the early evening. And after a quick dash home, change of clothes and a few baby duties, I headed back for dinner and a couple of wines!

Sunday was another day of sewing and talks. We listened to Melissa Fehr, Fehr Trade and Elena Rosa Brown, Randomly Happy.

Melissa talked about sewing for activewear and how we can all think about making our garments practical for the movements of our day-to-day lives. And gussets. She talked about those too *does childish snigger*. But really, she was super knowledgeable with tips on construction of garments for different types of movement, and the best fabrics to use.

Melissa giving her talk. Note the cat leggings!

Elena gave us her tips on using mindfulness in our sewing. I’m pretty sure her talk struck a chord with everyone in the room. Thinking about how we end up getting bogged down and stressed out trying to churn out finished projects – and sometimes forgetting to actually enjoy the process. Remember to breathe people!

We then ended the day with a little photowalk into Cambridge, or for me it was more chatting away to all of my lovely sewing friends!

Just a few from the photowalk in Cambridge

The whole weekend ran perfectly, and I loved EVERY SECOND.

Being honest, my highlight of the weekend was 100% the lovely sewing people I spent my time chatting away to. Some old pals and some new friends. Everyone was so warm, friendly, positive, encouraging and utterly inspiring. There really is something magical about meeting likeminded sewing-mad people. They are the best kind of people!

So thank you to Kate, Rachel and Charlotte for organising this incredible event. And for showing this new mum the path back to dressmaking, and my old happy sewing self. Now cue more photos!

How cute is Harriet from Hobbling Handmades?! I want to keep her please. In a non-stalker kind of way. Obvs.

One of my new besties, the gorgeous Vicky, SewVee

These girls though! My lovely sewing neighbours (from left) Rach, Rach Against the Sewing Machine, Sandy and Jodie, Buttons Bows and Pearls

Sue Young (Susan Young Sewing), Megan (Pigeon Wishes) and Jenny (Jenny Stitched)

Cleo twinnies! Rach and Ruth

1 fabric, 2 ways... Gorgeousness! Rachel (The Fold Line) and Emily (Self Assembly Required)

My lovely sewing friends Jill and Jade

Well hello ladies! From left - Sarah (Like Sew Amazing), Amy (Almond Rock & Editor of Love Sewing Mag), Fiona (Diary of a Chainstitcher), Rachel (The Fold Line) and Melissa (Fehr Trade)

This lady was life and soul of the weekend. Lovely Sarah from Like Sew Amazing with her flamingo (named by me as Barry - you're welcome)

So I took just a few selfies...! Clockwise from top left - Sarah (Like Sew Amazing) and Vicky (SewVee), Rach (Rach Against the Sewing Machine), Hayley Jane (Sew Hayley Jane), Emily (Self Assembly Required), Jenny (Jenny Stitched), Georgia (Ginger Stitch) and Claire (the_pear_shaped_stitcher)

Grabbed these lovelies for a quick pic - Kate (The Fold Line), Bianca (Sleepless in Bavaria) and my muse, Elena (Randomly Happy)

This is my lovely new friend Stef (Stef Makes). She was my next-door-sewing-neighbour and I miss her already! I can't believe this is the only photo I have of her... I thought we had a selfie together. Anyway, she's the nuts and I love her. Her blog is bloody ace too.

Pinny McPinFace

Jodie (Buttons, Bows and Pearls)... think she was getting a little bit weirded out by me hovering with my camera. Sorry for that 😉

Oh these ladies...!!!! Love love love. Sarah (Like Sew Amazing) and Vicky (SewVee)


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