Social Sewing

Summer vacation as a teacher is pretty awesome – two whole months to sew, and only leave the house when you want! I’ve been trying to make sure I use that time to connect with local sewists, not just retreat into my delightfully introverted bubble.

First, I hung out Robin, aka. @memaderobin , who I met at Pattern Review weekend. She lives just 30 minutes away in Waterloo, so we met up for a sewing date at Spool and Spindle! Turns out she is not the kind of sewist who needs any handholding – after just a year of sewing, she was hacking her own design for a swim bolero! It’s so fun to see other people work, and Robin has an amazing brain for sewing. She is also lots of fun! Thanks Robin!

Next, I went to an ESL summer school and taught my friend’s class how to sew! The students were Grade 6-8, and OH MY GOSH they learned fast! A few had sewn before at school in their home countries, and pretty much everyone had a mom or grandma who sews… but every single one of them turned out a simple drawstring bag in no time! I gave them a little lesson on the machine, and they helped each other sew in pairs. We finished so quickly that at least half of them made a second bag with no help from me. They decorated the white fabric with Sharpies, and they looked much cooler than my sample above! It was neat to see how excited they were and how easy that thought sewing was by the end. Thanks for having me in, Cecilie!

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This Saturday, I joined the Toronto Sewciaists for a sewing day! Hilary hosted us again in her condo’s party room, and we had a marvelous time. We fondled fabric, drooled over Hilary’s handmade sandals, caught up with Liz, watch Lea quilt, and I got to be the first person to tour Kristin’s renovated home! As much as I loved the sewing, what fed my soul was being surrounded by smart, driven, kind and creative women. I’m not always sure where I fit in socially in school staffrooms, but sewists, you are my people. (Then I slept 15 hours the next day, because being social is exhausting!)

And now, I’ve got one more sewing event coming up! Some Ottawa sewists founded the Ottawa Garment Guild this past year, and they seem like an incredible organisation, with monthly meetings, guest speakers, and fit clinics! I asked if there was any chance of meeting some of theme while I’m in Ottawa next week, and LOOK! We are having a picnic! If you live anywhere in the Ottawa area (I’m looking at you, Montreal and Kingston sewists!) I would love to meet you for an afternoon of basking in the sun and talking sewing!

Have you done any social sewing this summer? If nothing else, I recommend reaching out to someone you know and Skyping them! TanitIsis and I had a great hour-long chat online and I got to video-meet her whole family and all her cats. I hope you get to connect with some inspiring sewists this summer too!


6 thoughts on “Social Sewing

  1. It sure was fun to chat with you! I’m just starting my vacation and I’m definitely hoping to catch up with EVERYONE, which may be a lot for two weeks. 😂 I’m definite jealous of all your meet ups!

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  2. Penny, the owner of Gala Fabrics in downtown Victoria, BC hosts a sewists meet up on the first Sunday of every month and I’ve been going to it for three years. I think I might have had to miss one 🙂 I look forward to it all month long! The composition of the group changes – some people wander away for a while and then meander back again but generally it’s a core group of us that are almost always there. We go around the circle giving each person an opportunity to share what they’ve been making, thinking about making, reading, doing online – just whatever sewing related they want to talk about. We have a couple of retired home-ec teachers who come intermittently and when they’re all in attendance it’s LIVELY 🙂

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    1. That sound INCREDIBLE!!!! I love the idea of going around the circle sharing what projects are on your mind. And to see the same sewing people regularly? it sounds like a dream come true! One day I’m going to have to organise something like that closer to me!

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  3. Haha, I had to laugh at the long sleep after socializing – I’m that way too! I just had three days of spontanously running into and meeting so many of my people, but now I am totally retreating into my own bubble to compensate. I cut out a pair of running tights yesterday, and tomorrow I want to cut out everything else…. a Nenuphar jacket, two Melliot shirts, the lining for a pencil skirt refashion… all the things! Teacher summer holidays are the best. I think you have a few more weeks on me though – I’ll be back at work in two weeks time!

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  4. I am sew glad you had a great time with the Toronto Sewcialists! Next time! Hoping to contact you sometime down the road to meet at the Spool and Spindle as both my daughters are attending Guelph University next year! I hope you are having a well deserved relaxing summer.

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