Sew Together For summer

Sew Together For summer

You’re all winners!

I could end this post there. But I won’t! It is quite a lengthy one, so stick the kettle on or, y’know, pour yourself a glass of wine!

At any rate, any of the 400+ completed shirtdresses are totally deserving of a prize, or a gift. As you’re probably aware, the recipients of the sponsored #sewtogetherforsummer gifts were entirely chosen at random in order to ensure that everyone who entered had a fair chance of receiving something irrespective of sewing skill – this Challenge was always about inclusivity and participation; about upping your own sewing game, meeting new sewists, sharing knowledge and encouraging others. To put it simply, it was about being part of our wonderful online sewing community. And you all stepped up and proved without a doubt the power of that community – what a vibrant, talented and supportive group of people you all are – thank you all so much!


On Saturday 24th June, I (@sewsarahsmith on Insta) met up with my co-hosts Suzy (@sewing_in_spain) and Monika (@rocco.sienna) in Bristol to spend the day and to select the giftees. We’d talked online via Instagram for over a year and almost daily since January when the idea for #sewtogetherforsummer was born. I admit it, I was a bit nervous. The relationship we’d developed online felt incredibly special but meeting face to face was fantastic! They were both exactly as delightful as I thought they would be! From the very first second they burst out of the car to greet me outside Bristol train station, it was like a meeting between old friends. A reunion rather than a first meet. Sewing people really are the best and I feel incredibly fortunate – what a team!


First things first, we hit FabricLand – that place is great for a bargain – followed by a fabulous guided tour of Bristol before stopping off for lunch at the River Station, a great restaurant, err, stationed down by the river! Prosecco was poured (or Appletizer in Monika’s case!) and three fabulous courses eaten. The conversation and the laughter never faulted – I think we were probably more exuberant than a Hen Party taking place on a table behind us!


Then down to the business of selecting the winners!!

Sew Together For summer

Once we’d established internet connection, we began to pick the winners! Using an online number generator, we checked off each of the randomly generated numbers against our list of entrants. Then after  checking their Instagram feed to ensure compliance, we wrote down each picked name on pink card, folded them and put them in a hat with pictures of the gifts and selected the final combinations. Amid much laughter … it felt such a joyous thing to do.  I think the waiters in the restaurant were rather bemused!

I talk a little about #sewtogetherforsummer 2018 and the potential for a #sewtogetherforwinter challenge together with a personal message from each of us at the end of this post but now, without any further ado, here is the list of the 17 amazing sewists and the gifts they will receive:-

 *   T H E  G I F T E E S   *


* Hattie @hattie_van_der_krohn receives the £100 fabric bundle from Minerva Crafts


* Nic @shecouldsewshedid receives her pattern of choice from Megan Nielsen

Marianne @mariannes_makes receives two patterns (PDF if outside the UK) from Sew House Seven

* Isa @isaribeiro1 also receives two patterns (PDF if outside the UK) from Sew House Seven

* Dawn @dawn_doniquedesigns receives a pack of French Fancies Pattern Weights from Oh Sew Quaint


* Meg @meg_huckstep receives a £30 gift voucher from Beyond Measure

* Nina @nina_loves_sewing receives two sewing patterns of choice from Sew Me Something

* Anna @ompeleomaonnesi receives one pattern from Sew Over It

* Judith @judithcreations receives the Makers Workbook from Creative-Industry


* Jessie @jessiehuenmade receives a £30 voucher to spend online at Sewisfaction

* Elaine @laineemakes receives a copy of The Tunic Bible

* Jennifer @jenniferhbabey receives a £30 voucher to spend at Cotton Reel Studio

* Jess @jessamyb receives a copy of the Blackwood Cardigan from Helen’s Closet


* Hayley @stringsews recieves a £30 voucher to spend at from Adam Ross Fabrics

* Sue @acolourfulcanvas receives the Tapton Skirt and Fulwood Dress patterns from Wendy Ward

* Jenny @craftysewandsewindorset receives a medium sized subscription box from Sew Hayley Jane

* Marta @cosmia receives from a dress length of fabric from Suzy’s local shop tejidosarcoiris

CONGRATULATIONS to all of you!!!! We’ve also announced the winners across our Instagram feeds – can you please direct message myself, Suzy or Monika over on Instagram with your contact details (postal address and email) if you haven’t already done so so we can arrange to get your gifts sent to you! 

Thanks again to all our generous sponsors for supporting this event!!!

And also to Diane of Dream Cut Sew for her contribution to the buttonhole post and to Helen of Helen’s Closet for her Indie Shirtdress roundup.

So what happens next?! There have been lots of enquiries on our Instagram feeds as to whether #sewtogetherforsummer will be back next year. Yes it will! We’ve got a pretty good idea of the garment of choice but we’re keeping schtum for now! We’ve also been asked whether there will be a #sewtogetherforwinter challenge too – all I can say for at the moment is … watch this space!

And on that note, I’ll leave you with a personal message about what the Challenge has meant personally from each of us:-


SarahSewing has always been, for me, a way of connecting both with myself and, thanks to the power of social media, others. It is so (sew?!) much more than stitching together pieces of fabric – it’s self-care, it’s about learning to accept failure and allowing yourself to accept compliments. I’m still learning. #sewtogetherforsummer was my way of trying to put back in to our community, and to each individual sewist, at least some of all that I have gained. As a woman, a working class northern lass, I grew up with the sense of women competing against each other – but not here. Amongst our sewing community I feel I have found my tribe. I’ve made friends for life. Sewing is not about being the best, of trying to better others, but only ever about besting yourself. These were the sentiments upon which the #sewtogether Challenge(s) are built and, given your response, I know this resonated with so many of you! The uniqueness and originality you all showed in your Makes really showcased and highlighted the importance of diversity in any community. It has proved any experience, sewing included, really is ‘Better Together’. 

Sew together for summer

Suzy “Personally, #sewtogetherforsummer has been an amazing experience. I live quite far from most of the sewing action, and Instagram has allowed me to feel a part of the sewing community, so I saw that this challenge was a way of giving something back and having fun along the way. However, I think I´ve probably got more out of the challenge than I put in! Working with Monika and Sarah has been a joy, and I think we made a great team. Seeing all the gorgeous shirtdresses was hugely enjoyable, and I particularly loved the diversity and how sewists stamp their personality on their makes…so inspiring. I´ve also found talented people to follow and made more sewing friends. It´s impossible to describe the satisfaction at seeing less experienced sewists blossom, challenge themselves and then feel so happy with what they achieved. But, above all, the most important aspect for me has been the sheer energy given off by all these amazing people sewing together, supporting and encouraging each other. In a time of uncertainty, what could be better?”


Monika  “I’m so glad we decided to run #sewtogetherforsummer. I was genuinely overjoyed to see people from different parts of the world not just making their own shirtdresses but also encouraging and advising others. I often feel that we are defined by our jobs, marital status and nationality so I’m always encouraging everyone to have a hobby they feel passionate about (get sewing people!!!). To see beginners and experienced sewists challenging themselves felt pretty epic!
I loved working with Sarah and Suzy; having 3 different outlooks made for a friendlier challenge and we had such a good laugh along the way!
The internet and social media often gets a bad reputation but our friendly sewing community has proved that you can find genuine friendship and encouragement along the way, here’s to #sewtogetherforsummer2018!”

Until next time, sewing friends x

Sew Sarah smith

Liked this post? You can Follow me on Instagram HERE – All links to follow this blog found under the Comments section below! Xxx





33 thoughts on “Announcing the Giftees of #sewtogetherforsummer 2017 plus our meet up in Bristol!

  1. Anna-Jo says:

    Well done everyone! I really wanted to take part but spent ages deciding on a pattern, then when I bought the thing the designer was having website issues and I didn’t receive the pattern for weeks. It’s printed, but not traced out yet. Maybe next year I’ll manage it…


  2. What a lovely post and brilliant challenge to bring the community together. Although I didn’t get a chance to enter this time, I am so glad that this is running next year with a possibility of something later this year. Very exciting. Well done to all three of you amazing ladies and a huge well done to the winners and those taking part. Xxx


  3. What a great wrap up post! Thanks again to you three lovely ladies for being the hostess{es} with the mostess! It was a lot of fun, it was motivating, and…I won a wonderful memento of the experience. Thank YOU!

    And #sewtogetherforwinter? That would be awesome!


  4. Monika says:

    If only we could get over 400 sponsors to gift every participant! so many talented sewists around the world! Fab post as always Mxxx


  5. Thanks Helene! That’s such a lovely comment – sewing people really are so kind xxxx


  6. Hélène says:

    What a fabulous round-up, Sarah! Looks like you three beautiful ladies clad in shirtdresses had much fun in Bristol. I can totally relate to what you wrote about meeting sewing friends – this community is simply awesome and I am so proud to be part of it. Looking forward to your next friendly challenge. Congrats to the winners and to you and your wonderful co-hosts!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Awww Kathy! Thanks! Such a lovely thing to say thank you!!! And I love the #shirtdresssisters tag!!! That’s all of us eh! 👊🏻 I reeeeeaallly want a glass of wine but like a total plonker forgot to get any in!!! Ah well, there’s a,ways tomorrow! Here’s to all our future sewing adventures eh xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sewdainty says:

    Dear Sarah, What a wonderful blog post. You have beautifully summed up what the sewing community is all about, yourself, Suzy and Monika have wonderfully supported us all with encouraging and positive comments, and reading helpful and caring comments from fellow sewists on others entries has been simply heartwarming. Congratulations to all the winners, and many thanks to the generous sponsors, but most of all sending all three of you #shirtdresssisters a huge huge hug and enjoy a little glass of something nice tonight (even though it’s a school night) Ha! XXX

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Aw that’s brill Emma! You certainly rock a Shirtdress! I think I need a wee rest before planning the next week but it’s so great to hear you’re up for it!!! 👊🏻😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh Elaine what an absolutely lovely comment! Thank you so much, I’m overjoyed you feel this way! Congrats on your gift, I’m so pleased for you – keep sewing lovely xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s so great. Lovely words ladies and thanks so much for organising. It’s been so inspirational, I have two more shirt dresses planned!! Definite yes please to #sewtogetherforwinter!!! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kalimak says:

    Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. LaineeMakes says:

    Hello Sarah, Suzy and Monica, thank you so much for creating and running this challenge and thank you for the lovely surprise of a present. I wasn’t expecting anything and really was happy just to be involved. I read your messages above and agree that this sewing malarkey is about much much more than the dress. It’s restorative, it’s empowering and it’s inspiring. Joining this community has woken up a spark in me that had got lost and I’m extremely happy to be a part of it. ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hahaha you’re an amazing sewist!!!! And thank you xx


  15. kalimak says:

    Congratulations to the winners! And thank you again for a wonderful time 😊 Somehow I ended up with three dresses by the end of the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you so much Kathleen and no worries, we didn’t want anybody to feel pressured to join in! Thanks for reading, I always appreciate your lovely comments! Xx


  17. Congratulations to the sewists who posted their lovely makes online! I’ve enjoyed seeing all those beautiful shirt dresses. I did sew one myself but didn’t actually participate this year in the competition. I don’t know that I was quite ready (for whatever reason I have no idea!) but I’ve been getting more excited about participating in a challenge throughout every one. Thank you for hosting and doing all the work that went into organizing and writing about this challenge. Even as a spectator it’s been so enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh that’s wonderful!! I have one Judith and really love it!!! Thank you so much!!!! Xx


  19. An absolute winner then hey!!! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Judith Dee says:

    I truly enjoyed this challenge! Shirtdresses are my favorite to wear 😆😆. Thank you for organizing and thank you for this gift I’m about to receive! I’ve been thinking about getting a planner for my sewing! The maker’s book will be a perfect addition to my sewing room! Can’t wait for the next challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh that’s quite alright! My shirtdress has turned out to be my favourite and I get so many comments. I’m really happy I joined in and made it!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks Linda! Only wish we could gift to more people – hopefully next year we will!!! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Lovely job organizing ladies! And Congratulations to the winners!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. 😂😂you have no idea how worried we were that some ‘obvious’ names would get picked!! We did squeal in delight at a couple though I can assure you!! Ah hum, maybe next time eh Wendy!!! 😂😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  25. WendyStitch says:

    Such a great challenge. You should all feel really proud of yourselves. Well done to all the winners. Obviously I am RAGING about not winning anything and will be declaring the whole thing a fix! 😉 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Heheheh! The three musketeers!! 😆That’s us alright!!! Thanks Diane and thanks for all your support and contribution! And now over to you, eh!!! 👊🏻😘😘


  27. Thanks Amanda!!! Exactly, we all got as much out of it as we put in. It’s been a win win! Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Diane G says:

    Congratulations on organising such a wonderful community sewing sewing event that reached out to all sewing levels. Here’s to the three Musketeers! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  29. ISewALot says:

    Great post Sarah and what a lovely experience the challenge has been for all involved including yourselves. I am so glad to hear that you are planning to run it again next year and potentially another later in the year. You are all AMAZING!!!! xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  30. craftysewandsewindorset says:

    Double win, inspired to sew a great shirt dress and got a prize!! 🤗🤗


  31. I’m so pleased for you Jenny!! Thank you ☺️And well done to you!!!! Xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  32. craftysewandsewindorset says:

    Thank you so much 😊 made my day to be picked out. Well done for organising such a great sew along xx

    Liked by 1 person

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