Colette

Sewing Chatter: How do you throw your own sewing party?

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We’ve had a blast celebrating with Cotton+Steel this week, and all of their colorful fabric got us in the mood for a sewing party!

Wallis and Katie whipped up a sewing playlist and we all started talking about our sewing spaces at home—what we listen to and eat or drink while we sew, and how we make our sewing spaces feel fun and engaging.

Music is a big part of our sewing space here in the studio, and most of us listen to music at home as well. Haley’s got a stellar combination for a fun night of sewing, “wine and Stevie Nicks have that magical power to transform any space into my personal sewing studio.”

Sarai keeps a beverage nearby (tea in the winter) and listens to music or podcasts to make sewing more relaxing.

Anna makes a pot of coffee, turns on all the lights to make the space as bright as possible, and puts on an upbeat playlist. Her motto is “grab a chocolate bar and get to it!”.

Speaking of snacks, Katie said she often forgets to eat while sewing, so she keeps her sewing space stocked with bowls of grapes and cheese to munch on while she plays her music (loud, so nobody can hear her sing along).

Sometimes your sewing space itself can boost creativity. Delaney’s sewing space has a bookcase covered in chalkboard paint so she can quickly draw and reference sketches on the fly! Taylor sews in a small space, and she preps for projects by cleaning her apartment first, so her mind and environment are free of distractions.

Join the discussion below to share your best sewing party tips, and click here to listen to the mix we’ve been playing all morning. Wallis picked songs by powerful women for this Sewing Party playlist, because sewing makes her feel independent and empowered, “sewing taught me that I don’t need to conform to anyone’s expectations of who I need to be.” Rock on, Wallis!

So what about you and your sewing space? How do you create the ideal environment for a personal sewing party?

  • Is sewing more fun solo or do you invite some pals over for stitching?
  • Do you prefer silence to focus, or do you catch up on your favorite podcast or TV show while sewing?
  • Do you surround yourself with snacks or somehow forget to eat (and drink, and sleep…) when sewing?
  • How do you decorate your space to encourage creativity?
  • What music do you listen to while you sew? We want recommendations!

Meg Stively   —   Communications Manager

Meg is here to help you. She's the smiling face behind our customer service and social media. Keeping in touch with our family of stockists, and shipping your orders all across the world, she loves seeing what you're making with our patterns.

Comments 34

Heide

Several times a year, my sisters and I plan a “Sewing Camp”. We block out the weekend, get out the sewing machines and have at it! And yes, we have a good supply of ready to go food (who wants to stop to cook!) and a list of music to play. We all usually prefer 40′ and 50’s Big Band and there is usually a bit of Bing Crosby singing about snow and Perry Como singing about home……
August is the perfect month for a sewing party!

Akram Taghavi-Burris akramsideas.com

I don’t know many people near me that sew. Thus, I’m left to sew alone, but that gives me time to listen to old radio shows while I sew ;)

Tai bohemenoire.wordpress.com

I have a Pandora playlist that I love to listen to while sewing, its full of indie bands like the head and the heart, of monsters and men, bon Iver, iron and wine, the strokes, the luminers, Mumford and sons… mixed with some old favorites like pearl Jam , Foo Fighters and the arctic Monkeys!!

Orange

That sounds like my dream playlist!

Hannah surfjewels.tumblr.com

I don’t have a lot of space, so have to moves things aside to get sewing. I always sew on my own, I don’t know other people who sew, it’s a shame as a sewing party sounds like fun.

Sometimes I just sew with my own thoughts, other times I listen to music. At the moment I go to Cold Play or Adele.

Rhonda

I can totally relate Hannah. I sew alone mostly are I have a pack and unpack. Though I have a few friends but I find that I can complete tasks better when am alone

Tracy duckbucket.blogspot.com

Always wanted to have a sewing party, but don’t know many people other than me who sew. But I’ll share the movie that gets me in the mood: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416220/. A huge part of the plot involves hand embroidery, and it’s just kind of an all-around great sewing movie. :)

Ruth Bowler

Is the movie Kamakaze?

PinhouseP pinhouseplaymate.blogspot.no

I am a solitary stitcher, I know two other gals that sew, but they never have time to get together. I have my own sewing room in our basement, and I love that room. I usually listen to music when I’m down there, I’m a lover of rock and these days I have a major Rival Sons crush :)

Ginger

I don’t know anyone near me that sews. I wish I did, a sewing party would be fun. I usually sew after the children are asleep so I listen to craftsy classes or you tube.

Linda

Audiobooks all the way! Although i moved my machine into the living room to watch the Tour De Fance with hubby in the evenings, which was fun. I also love to have a clean space in which to work!

Dalia thelittlecave.wordpress.com

I love listening to Audiobooks too. Do you sometimes get the association between a garment and a book too? “This is my “Mill on the Floss”-Dress.” :-P

A Crafty Scrivener

Yes! I listened to the Outlander series recently and associate garments I made with that book! And I was listening to Harry Potter while making ‘Christmas in July’ outfits for us which made them a little Hogwart-ish :-)

Deborah Morrison

Yep, I made two tops inspired by Through the Looking Glass. My aunt creates and sells fabulous necklaces based on characters from Outlander.

Hannah surfjewels.tumblr.com

That sounds like a nice idea, I love reading and keep thinking I might try an audio book, just wonder if I will get distracted by thinking about something else?! I like the idea that you associate a book with a certain make though :).

Milly maerchenmilly.com

It just depends on your personality! Audible has lots of promotions if you want to try it out for free; the audiobooks there are pretty high quality (no narrators with a monotone!). I find it difficult to concentrate on an audiobook (the number of characters/subplots I can keep track of by reading is far greater than when I listen to the same text, for some reason) but my boyfriend loves them.

If you like the idea, you could try podcasts. I can listen to podcasts without an issue — they’re shorter, and generally focused on one idea or two.

Dalia thelittlecave.wordpress.com

My Sewing-Party is only for myself and I, a little time out I get on weekends when my son and husband go for a walk.

I usually listen to audio books, sewing-related podcasts (hello, Seamwork-Radio) or watch TV-Shows that don’t need focussed attention, though I prefer those when handsewing or embroidering. Sometimes this comes together perfectly, like last week I was copying sewing patterns from a magazine on my floor while watching “The great British Sewing Bee”, I felt like I was actually there! :-P
The good thing about that is, that I do not go berserk when I need to use the seamripper, because I might miss what’s going on.

Shannon

I threw a Christmas stocking sewing party, and it was great fun. Friends who had never sewn before came by to give it a shot. The only snag was that I only have one machine, so that was a bit of a bottleneck. But otherwise, lots of tea and chatting and applique and hand-sewing.

There is almost always something playing in the background while I’m sewing. When I’m at the machine or concentrating on something complicated, I don’t notice it at all, but when I’m pinning or ironing (especially the full yardage right after I wash it), it’s nice to have some entertainment.

I sometimes put on a reality show, but either it’s something I don’t really love, or I’m missing details I want to see. I prefer to run shows and movies that I have seen before and already love. Right now I’m re-watching all the Dr. Who that’s up on Netflix. This way, I won’t get bored with something I really don’t like but also won’t worry about missing plot points while I’m focusing on work.

SaSa paisleypirouette.blogspot.de

I am living in south germany near swiss border. We are five women who had known via internet. Now we would meet for a sewing bee all couple of months at one of us. The host would provide food to make sandwiches and drinks. So we would meet, install our machines and begin to sew. It is such a joy for all of us and without the internet we wouldn’t have met and would have had to sew all alone.

kay

I can have my own party, just for myself??? :) I’m jumping on this idea. Thank you!

Judy B.

I like to sew alone so I can get “in the zone” and new ideas can peculate. Sometimes, I listen to music, usually blues or jazz on the radio or Pandora or listen to books. I always have water and tea by my side and will stop for snacks when I need a break. Oh dear, you’ve asked about how I decorate my space. Yes, I do have some pictures and sayings hanging up, but, truth be told, it looks like a craft store exploded in the room!

Ana thelostapron.com

I love sewing with others. I ask a few women to come over with their machines. I have had Apron Making Parties. I cut several out and have them choose as they arrive. See how I did it here

Deborah Morrison

Wow, I thought I was the only one who didn’t have sewing friends. Any working moms in the Tucson area out there who would like to be sewing friends? Any one know any sites for finding sewing friends?

Robin

Sorry, not me, but try starting a group on meetup.com.

Shannon Applegate

I also, don’t know anyone who sews. You’d think from the internet that they are everywhere! I would LOVE to have some sewing friends, to sew together and to talk sewing with.

Liesbet liesbet-costermans(facebook)

I always listen to the radio. Most of the time to Radio1 in Belgium. But when I don’t like the program I play a CD with My favorit Music. The marble Sound(a Belgian group) or old time Music, so I can sing along?

Rhonda

I recently started having two other women come learn from me. I don’t know everything there is though, but sharing the little I know can be fun. Considering how small my space is, i have to move and clean before and after. I love making dresses, music in the background or Tv helps. For me a clean and neat space helps me focus. I just love to sew

Carol

I have both kinds of parties. Each has its own merits. Sewing alone can mean listening to music or bike watching a TV show. I sew in room next to the kitchen so snacks are close. I sometimes have friends over or sew at their home. I am fortunate to have lots of sewing buddies courtesy of an organization called the American Sewing Guild. They have chapters in most states. Go to asg.org for more info.

Melanie

I tend to sew alone as it’s my “me” time… when I say alone, my partner is often in the room. I’ve been catching up on podcasts lately but I have been known to play jazz classics streaming radio. Loudly.

You can’t beat an afternoon sewing, singing along to the Andrews Sisters :)

(http://www.radiotunes.com/jazzclassics)

My sewing space (spread across our living room and “workshop”) is setup really well but i try to clean it up before/after I sew so I’m not twitching about thread everywhere while i work. My sewing desk is by the window and I have lots of plants (& the pinterest interior essential, a fiddle leaf fig) so my space is nice and green and bright. I also have a pinboard to organise my swatches/plans because I’ve found lately it’s helped me organise my thoughts. Otherwise I stare at my patterns/fabric far too long and make rash decisions!

Now all I can think about is skipping work for the week to sew……

Brenna

Still haven’t moved my sewing machine, so I end up sewing on my parents’ dining room table. I lay down a table cloth so my ‘workspace’ can be picked up and moved when its dinner time!
If my brother’s around I get to listen to all the new EDM & rap music and occasionally he’ll feed me snacks in exchange for shortening his pants and putting buttons back on (which is more than my father does for his mending).

Laural

I’ve gotten in the habit of sewing in the evenings in the living room while my hubby watches his Mets game. I LOVE baseball season – distracted hubby means more sewing time for me! ;) Plus, I’ve actually gotten into following the games (I’m not much of a sports person). It’s bonding time – we each get to do what we love, in the same room together. Otherwise, by myself I love listening to podcasts and geeking out on sewing/textile subjects. The downside to my setup is I have to shuffle around my sewing gear (there’s not enough room for a permanent sewing ‘corner’).

Dora M Costa

I wish I had sewing friends nearby to have sewing parties. In the 80s my group of friends had what we termed “Stitch -n- Bitch. We had a great time. Then, in the 90s I had another group that I hosted, we made beaded earrings and drank sherry. We laughed and cried and had a blast.

Milly maerchenmilly.com

My boyfriend just purchased a 700 square foot condo, so my sewing space is limited: I have to keep all sewing-related things downstairs in the condo’s storage unit. There’s no space for me to let a project sit on a table anymore, so I have to factor in clean-up time, too.

Here’s my sewing routine, after all the materials have been washed/pressed and cut out:

1. Go to the storage unit and haul my poor little Singer Talent to the condo. Bless her heart (motor?), I’m going to have to replace her soon. I set her up on the kitchen table; we decided a large-ish kitchen table was essential — it provides a tabletop for sewing, board games, extra kitchen space, etc.
2. Make a beverage: a pot of tea in my thermal carafe, or a gin and tonic. Pour a cup of tea.
3. Turn on Netflix with my headphones (my boyfriend is often playing video games in the same room, so I wouldn’t be able to hear it otherwise).
4. Start sewing as I watch Netflix. Video game gunshots punctuate the show’s dialogue. I forget my gin and tonic until the ice is half-melted; if it’s tea, I forget it until it’s lukewarm.
5. Drink sips of my not-ideal-temperature beverage.
6. Continue sewing and watching Netflix.
7. Around the time I should stop and clean up, I keep sewing.
8. Realize I should have stopped fifteen minutes ago, but now I’m not at a good stopping point.
9. Reach a good stopping point, no matter how long it takes. The ice in my gin and tonic is completely melted by now. My tea is like ice.
10. Clean up while drinking my watery G&T or icy tea. If I’m lucky, my boyfriend is still playing video games and cannot comment on my poor time management skills.

On the plus side, space constrictions + my own nitpicky tendencies have inspired me to focus on creating a small amount of well-made, hand-detailed garments. Coming this fall: a Camden cape with a hand-quilted lining (so I can give my poor Singer a break).

Becca

I sew at least once a week with my friend Jennifer. Sometimes we prep and cut fabric at her house, with it’s huge dining room table. Other times we sew in my my sewing room which is set up with at least two machines at all times. We usually play movies we love in the background because it’s so easy to lose track of time. After a movie we take a snack and stretch brake.

What makes this work is that in addition to enjoying sewing together we each have tools and skills the other one does not. Jennifer is a wiz a knits, and I’m fearless with silk. She has the perfect table for laying out fabric, and I have all the space to store our rolls of fabric.

Most of our get together’s involve the theme of “I need it now” .. such as Halloween costumes, prom dresses, and play costumes.

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