Sewing Weekender 2017

The Sewing Weekender 2017 happened on Saturday 5th to Sunday 6th August at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge. I had so much fun, despite coming down with the lurgy and feeling like a zombie most of the time! I want to say a huge thank you to Charlotte and The Foldline’s Rachel and Kate for organising such a fantastic weekend. I had such a great time and learned some new skills as well.


I met Bianca on Friday and we went on a supermarket sweep style shopping spree around the fabric shops in Birmingham and then made our way down to Cambridge. We then went for dinner organised by Rudy with some lovely sewing ladies, sadly we were too late for the punting, but the photos looked fun.

I arranged to go a day early so that I could do Park Run with my running inspiration Emma.! We did one a few months ago when she was up in Birmingham for a food festival and she paced me to my first PR – woot woot! This time she worked her magic again and had me (cruelly, mwahaha!) running nonstop for 30 minutes; up to that point my longest nonstop run had been 24 minutes. The course was mostly flat and the support there was very vocal and I came close to another PR (only 34 seconds off the pace!) Thanks Emma!


Then it was time for some sewing. This year’s Sewing Weekender was different to last year. There were two embroidery workshops running all day on the Saturday and two talks and then on the Sunday there was one workshop and two further talks.

Elle did a machine embroidery workshop, which kept her extremely busy, with the Rolls Royce of Janome embroidery machines. The possibilities on that machine are staggering. Elle made everyone a beautiful Sewing Weekender badge for which we each chose a design, I am going to frame mine. Elisalex did a hand embroidery workshop, which I had a go at. I haven’t done that much hand stitching apart from some embroidery in primary school; more recently I tried to do some cross stitch and let’s just say it didn’t end well and leave it at that.


In the end I spent the whole morning doing the hand embroidery workshop, it was so relaxing. I was so absorbed and focussed that I kind of forgot to talk to people, sorry about that! Elisalex had so many different coloured flosses including Tardis blue and Dalek red, so I was in heaven.  I practised the chain stitch, back stitch and satin stitch. Elisalex was very positive about my frankly wonky uneven stitches, so I decided to use it as the back pocket of my Closet Case Files Ginger Jeans. I carried on with the embroidery into the afternoon. Portia Lawrie gave a really interesting talk about refashioning, the garments that she shared with us were beautiful, such creativity. Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher, gave the second talk about working as a costumer, which was so interesting. I love hearing about all of the different styles of sewing and techniques.  After listening to her talk I finally threaded up my machine and started work on my Gingers.

The pocket stay foxed me on my toile and this time was no different – I have finally printed out the instructions instead of working from my iPad – thank goodness Fiona doubling up as one of the lovely prefects, was able to help me figure it out. I switched it up so that I can see the ‘good side’ of the fabric when I put my hands in my pocket and I understitched them as well, so that the lining does not peek out when I am wearing them, I hope it works. Unfortunately, my machine is still out of commission, so I haven’t made any more progress wth them. So, instead I carried on with  the hand embroidery and now both pockets are originals by me. I have enjoyed it so much, that I am considering sacking off knitting this autumn and trying an embroidery sampler kit instead. I am open to any suggestions on beginner friendly patterns.


DSC00307There was a huge fabric and pattern swap this year, which I contributed to but stayed strong and took nothing from, for a change! My stash is out of control, it now takes up more than half of my wardrobe, so I definitely do not need more.

The generous sponsors provided refreshments throughout the day, the sewing machines and everyone got an excellent goodie bag, which included patterns, magazines, fabric and discount codes, which will keep me busy for quite some time, thank you so much.

On Sunday we got to listen to a thought provoking and timely talk from Melissa about clothing and movement. I have just bought one of her kits, which I am extremely nervous about sewing up, but I got some great fabric for making a toile on my Friday shopping spree, so I will eventually have a go. The second and final talk was from Elena about mindfulness and sewing.

Once again, it was an excellent weekend of sewing and chatting with likeminded sewing people, which was just what I needed.

Thanks again to Charlotte, Rachel and Kate and everyone who helped me out over the weekend, it was great seeing you all.