A Saturday “Sew In”

Oh, So Many Sewing Machines

When we planned the day, I thought it would be a cold winter day and we’d all have nothing better to do than to spend a day sewing with friends.  Instead yesterday was 60+ degrees and would have been a great day for outdoor activities.  Oh, well.

I’ve heard of but never participated in a “Sew In”, so I made it up. Should have googled it but didn’t.  The first step was to invite 9 or 10 Philadelphia sewing colleagues for a day of sewing at my kitchen table.   Seven were able to participate, which was just right.  With the leaves in it, the dining room table seemed large until we put six sewing machines on it.

While most cut, sewed, clipped, pressed and chatted about sewing, two of us worked on making a paper tape double.  All were so busy that we barely stopped to eat lunch or snacks.

Just look at this group of serious sewists

Val made a fabric vase.  I must say, her satin stitching skills are amazing.  Noile dutifully and beautifully sewed a corduroy jacket for her husband.  Pat joined for fellowship and to get advice on a project.  Karen tackled three t-shirts – maybe four.   Andrea made great progress on a houndstooth jacket which is going to look terrific on her.  Lee constructed a dozen squares for a quilt that will be gifted to one of her sisters.  Mimi sewed and brought projects to obtain advice.  She and I wrapped each other in paper tape for what will eventually be a fitting double.  At the end of the day I was able to squeeze in some time to put together a fur vest for my DD and a matching one for my GD.

Really, that's my shape?

Fabric, Notion and Magazine Exchange

Each person came with machine and bags of supplies in hand but that didn’t stop each of us from bringing stacks of extra fabric, sewing notions, patterns and magazines we no longer needed.  The pile was embarrassingly large but one sewist’s trash was another’s treasure.  The items were nearly all taken at the end of the day.

The Requisite Sewing Space Tour

The day wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the host’s sewing space and stash. A view of the stash was missing since our home is for sale so most of the yardage is offsite in a storage bin.  Wouldn’t want to scare off a prospective buyer with all of those bins of fabric.  Here’s mine – a corner of our living space but with windows that any sewist would die for.

Planning a “Sew In”

To make it easier for you, here’s how to plan a day such as this:

  • Select a day by putting out feelers with several others who sew.  When you have a date, run with it.
  • Invite slightly more sewists than you will be able to accommodate, assuming that some will not be able to participate.  For example, my table could handle 6 sewing machines and there was room for more hand-sewers or to make a double.  
  • In the invitation, confirm the date, time, location, directions, parking and what you’ll supply. While I love to cook, it made more sense to not worry about food when we were all trying to enjoy a day of sewing.  The refrigerator and coffee pot were stocked with drinks, my friends brought snacks and we walked around the corner for lunch.
  • Send a reminder several days ahead of time.  

Checklist for the Host:

  • Table for sewing.  If scratching is an issue, use placemats, towels or a table cloth for under the machines.
  • Power strip
  • Place for cutting.  Two cutting mats on the coffee table worked well, since our condo’s living room and dining area are adjoined.
  • Ironing board and iron

What to Bring and What to Work on:

I’m hoping one of my friends will post about this and I’ll add their links to this post.

In Summary:

This was a terrific day (except for the parking tickets – darn).  All commented that it was a day of fellowship and fun, and there was more sewing than on most Saturdays.

Give it a try.  You’ll be glad you did.

8 thoughts on “A Saturday “Sew In”

  1. Annette’s sew-n was lots of fun, even though I was one of the unfortunates to get a parking ticket. : ( My quilting inspiration carried over to the next day and I finished the blocks made from 10″ squares. Sewing with friends is a great experience and I hope more people (maybe even me) will arrange a Sew-In.

  2. Sounds like so much fun! Iwas a part of a sewing group that met through meetupdotcom. It was great sharing with other sewist from beginner to advanced. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I instruct evening basic and expanded-basic sewing classes at a local technology center and I have been granted permission to hold a Sew-in! Not knowing where to start, even though I had rampant ideas running through my head, I headed to the internet and found your blog! How excited I am–even if this ‘is’ April 2013! Your Sew-in mirrored what I hope to accomplish and the aura I hope to provide, except mine will be set in a classroom not a cozy home :o). You provided so many great ideas, I’m just thrilled! Thank you so much!. I hope you’ve continued holding Sew-in’s. You have a natural knack it appears! Let’s keep on “sewin’ like the wind………” V

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