The winners of #sewtogetherforsummer 2018!

Hi All!

A massive thank you to all who took part in this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer challenge; an astonishing 450+ dresses were completed and submitted by the deadline date. Once again, myself @SewSarahSmith, Suzy @Sewing_in_Spain and Monika @rocco.sienna were absolutely delighted with your boundless enthusiasm and creativity!

Whilst checking the entries to put in the Prize Hat for drawing the winners, it became clear that particular pattern companies and certain wrap dress patterns were extremely popular for this years’ Challenge. So, before we jump into revealing the winning entries later on in this post, I thought it might be interesting to analyse what those favourites are… Read More

Sewtogetherforsummer

My #sewtogetherforsummer Wrap Dress: the Appleton by Cashmerette

Sewtogetherforsummer

Hi!

So I’ve sewn the first of my #sewtogetherforsummer wrap dresses; the Appleton by Cashmerette. I’m kicking myself for not trying this pattern sooner as it’s such a simple and quick sew yet is brilliantly drafted to ensure a really great fit.

I’ve sewn a few wrap dresses in my time (see McCalls 7119 here and here,  New Look 6301 and McCalls 6884 for example). I think one of the key reasons for wanting to make this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer challenge about the wrap dress stems from the fact that I’ve really struggled to find a traditional wrap dress pattern that does a passable job of fitting and flattering my bust line straight out of the envelope.

I can safely say that search is over.

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To get the right fit, the Appleton requires a light to medium weight jersey with 50% crossways stretch. I fell upon this viscose and spandex blend fabric from Sew Essential; it’s on the lighter side of medium, has lovely drape and movement and handles beautifully. It’s black, with a grey and mushroom coloured floral motif – teeny but not too ditzy – that I thought would transition well day-to-evening depending on what footwear I was wearing! (I also love that you can purchase the fabric in increments of 1/2 a metre!)

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Sew Essential also stock a paper copy of the pattern too, in case you don’t fancy tracing out the PDF!

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The Appleton is your classic wrap dress with a low cut V wrap neckline; built-in waist ties and sleeve length options. It comes with different cup sizes – Yey! I cut a size 12 and the C/D cup. There is no seperate bodice piece; it’s simply front, back, bands and sleeve.

The amount of negative ease built into this dress at the bust means a lot of redrafting issues become moot; for example a 40” bust size has a finished measurement under 33” – the stretch in the fabric aiding the fit, together with the neck/front band and built in waist ties you’re ensured a snap finish at the bust…it really is secure!

In fact the only thing I did was to take a little out of the length and cut the sleeve so it fit just above my elbow.

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Dissolvable wash away wonder tape

 

You can get quite a different look with the dress depending on where you wrap the ties, at Empire height or at your natural waist. My only gripe really is I find that the hole to feed the ties through sits a tad high on me so that the ties start to wrap most naturally under the chest. Next time I’d contemplate moving the hole down a smidge. Oh and I like to use dissolvable double sided Wonder Tape to hold those seams nicely in place when it comes to finishing that hole at the side seam where the tie threads through!

 

There’s not much else I can say; it really is that easy to put together!

So that’s the traditional wrap dress made … I now find myself obsessing about the By Hand London ‘Orsola’ which wraps at the back and can be made in a woven. If you’re quick, we’ve still got a discount running on that pattern, plus others!

And did you see the dresses my #sewtogetherforsummer co-hosts have made? It was Monika’s ‘Orsola’ that got me craving the pattern…

And Suzy has made a gorgeous Sew Over It ‘Eve’ Dress…

I’ll be back very soon with our Burda and Big Four Wrap Dress Pattern Picks to inspire you; you can also read Helen of Helen’s Closet pick of the best Indie wrap dress patterns here.

Until next time, happpy Sewing!

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Sewcialise with me on Instagram here xx

The #sewtogetherforsummer 2018 Sponsored Gifts!

We are so incredibly thankful for the time, support and gifts sponsored by our #sewtogetherforsummer 2018 backers. Want to know what goodies they’ve offered? Then read on!

There’s an incredible 55 separate Gift packages being offered from a range of companies representing the diversity and vibrancy of our sewing community; from the large to the start up, the niche and the independents! We hope you agree they’re offering an awesome range of sewing goodness! You might want to grab yourself a hot drink, or a glass of wine, as this is a loooong list! (click on any graphic or links for more info!)

In no particular order: Read More

All Sewn Up : Jan-Feb … a bit of a ‘Life Lately’

Hello sewing friends, thanks for dropping by. I could do with a chat!

Although fully intending to, I haven’t written one of these ‘All Sewn Up’ diary style blog posts in a while. My life has been subject to some…flux…lately and I found myself unable to find the words with which to contextualise my sewing, so I dropped them for a while whilst I tried to process what was going on… Read More

Sew Together For summer

Announcing the Giftees of #sewtogetherforsummer 2017 plus our meet up in Bristol!

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!

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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!

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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   *

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

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* 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

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* 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

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

* Elaine @laineemakes receives a copy of The Tunic Bible thetunicbible.com

* 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

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* 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:-

Sewsarahsmith

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?”

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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

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