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

Burda and Big 4 : Our #sewtogetherforsummer Wrap Dress Pattern Picks! (Plus a Wildcard and a Freebie!)

Hello again!!

Looking for some more #sewtogetherforsummer 2018 wrap dress inspiration? We’ve got loads for you today! Firstly, have you seen Helen from Helen’s Closet’s fabulousIndie Darling’ Wrap Dress blog post?She’s chosen some amazing patterns from a whole host of Indie designers which are bound to inspire you! Here we bring you our top Burda magazine and Big 4 Pattern Picks plus we’ve thrown in a Wildcard and a bonus Freebie at the end for good measure!

(Pssst, click on the images or their titles to find out more!)

Starting with Burda… Read More

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

#sewtogetherforsummer 2018! Sewing a Wrap Dress for summer? We’ve got you covered!

It seems strange that I’m actually typing this up as the last of the recent snows finally melts away but snow be damned; it’s officially spring and I’m getting tired of sewing Winter Warmers so let’s talk about … sewing together for Summer!

Myself @sewsarahsmith, Suzy @sewing_in_spain and Monika @rocco.sienna have been putting out little teasers across our Instagram feeds recently and we’re so happy to finally be able to share:

Thinking of sewing a Wrap Dress for Summer? Good, we’ve got you covered!

The #sewtogetherforsummer Instagram Sewing Challenge is back!

2018 brings you a host of pattern and fabric discounts (see below) and a HUGE array of sponsored gifts!

We’re running the Challenge on exactly the same principles as before; again the aim is to encourage sewists of all levels to take part; to share your knowledge with others or taking the opportunity to learn new skills and techniques, i.e. to sewcialise and to make yourself a great wrap dress into the bargain!

The ‘rules’ (for want of a better word) are:

  1. Pick a wrap dress pattern. That’s any pattern in any fabric (woven or knit). Perhaps you’ve got the pattern or fabric in your stash already or use the discount codes given below to go shopping!
  2. Follow us on Instagram; that’s myself, Sarah @sewsarahsmith, Monika @rocco.sienna and Suzy @sewing_in_spain to make sure you don’t miss anything as we’ll be sharing hosting responsibilities;
  3. post your newly sewn dress to Instagram with the hashtag #sewtogetherforsummer Please also tag your post with our three Instagram @ to make sure that no entry gets missed! We want to see every single one!
  4. before the Closing Date of 21st June 2018
  5. Thats it!

Participating in the Challenge gives you:

  • Discounts on several major Indie wrap dress sewing patterns;
  • Fabric discounts;
  • Support;
  • Inspiration;
  • the opportunity to potentially share in the huge pile of sponsored sewing gifts! (You can read the full list HERE!) As last year, the lucky recipients will be entirely chosen at random, this is not a competition;
  • and by no means least, a beautiful wrap dress!

So why the Wrap Dress?

It’s an iconic and classic garment that’s been reinterpreted again and again; there’s such a diverse and fantastic range of wrap dress sewing patterns out there (and we’ve got loads of pattern and fabric inspo coming your way!) But that doesn’t mean sewing a wrap dress is without its challenges; getting a good fit at the crossover front (or back!), choosing the right style for your shape, potential issues working with knits or fine floaty wovens; doing an FBA/SBA on a Wrap Bodice piece etc … but we can conquer any issues by sewing it together!

So, for the Challenge, what constitutes a wrap dress?

A wrap dress should have a front or back closure formed by wrapping one side over the other and knotting the attached ties or fastening buttons. It should not have a zip. We will also accept faux wrap dresses which cross at the front and are slipped over the head.

We will not accept dresses that cross on the skirt but not the bodice.

Yes, the Kielo counts! In fact we’ve got a discount code for it!

Your Discount Codes: please be mindful of the expiry dates, so you don’t miss out! (Click on the graphics for direct links)

Watch this space – there’s lots planned – see HERE for the details of our Sponsors and the full list of gifts!Helen of Helen’s Closet has picked her top Indie wrap dress patterns, Caroline of Blackbird Fabrics will be discussing fabrics; we’ll be looking at wrap dress patterns from Burda and The Big 4 Pattern houses, sharing resources and running a wrap dress Q&A ‘hints and tips’ session over on Instagram – we’d love your input – so as to collate and share the feedback here.

So, you in? Good, let’s ‘sew together!’

Sewcialise with me on Instagram here x

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!

Sewtogetherforsummer

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!

Sewtogetherforsummer

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   *

#sewtogetherforsummer

* 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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