It's National Sewing Month again and time to celebrate our love of sewing. One way is to introduce new people to sewing, try out new things or make new sewing friends and connections. (Or win great prizes – don't forget to enter the BIG giveaway running the whole of September!)
Our sewing chat group decided they would love to run a ‘Sewing Swap'. This was new to me, not something I've ever participated in before, let alone organised, so we had a survey about how it should run and what sort of things should be swapped. The votes are all in and counted, and I'm delighted to announce the first ever So Sew Easy Sewing SWAP will be running this month.
What is a Sewing Swap?
In a nutshell, in a sewing swap, everyone who signs up to take part sews an item from a pre-agreed list of swap items and then sends it in the mail, as a gift to their swap partner. In return, they also receive a parcel in the mail with an item someone has sewn for them.
What are we going to swap?
The top items voted for in the chat group survey were:
- Zipper Pouches
- Simple Tote Bags
- Pin Cushions
- Mug Rugs
- Pot Holders
All should be fairly small and light to send. Here are a few ideas from the So Sew Easy site to get you started:
Or check out some of these Pinterest boards for more ideas and inspiration:
So there is no pattern that you have to follow. No one item that you have to make. Pick something from the list of suggested items that you would like to sew and you think your swap partner would like to receive. It's a simple as that.
If you are new to sewing and need some help, there is a really good Craftsy class on how to sew a zipper pouch, and the pattern is included, and the class is FREE. You should be able to get good results with this and these bags are always useful.
What about other goodies?
The huge majority of the voters said it would be nice to give and receive a small sewing gift in their parcel too. If you have fabric you won't use, but know someone else would love, send it where it will be loved. If you have buttons you don't need – send them to someone who might just think they are perfect!
To make this accessible to all, we are setting the limit at $5 for the sewing extras.
Items should be new and unused, and something that another sewer might be able to use, such as a couple of fat quarters, or some small sewing tool or notion, buttons, trims, ribbon, or other sewing accessories. A pattern could also be sent so long as it wasn't to fit a certain clothing size, such as a bag pattern for example. Include these extras in your parcel – maximum value $5 please.
The details of the Sewing Swap
1. Who can participate? Anyone anywhere can take part. You'll be matched with a sewing partner in your own country as far as possible. That might not always be possible if you are the only one in your country who registers! If that's the case, then do be aware that you might be asked to send your swap item to another sewer overseas, and you'll be receiving your item from overseas as well, which will increase your postage costs.
2. What level of sewing skills do we need? Everyone is invited to take part. The projects have been chosen so that they are accessible to everyone. Just do your very best work as you would for a friend and so long as you are happy with what you've made, then your recipient will be too. If you are participating, please do keep this in mind and be delighted with whatever you receive, even if its from a beginner sewer who is just starting out. We were all there at the beginning.
3. What about smokers? There were some concerns in the chat group where some people who were highly sensitive to cigarette smoke had taken part in swaps before and then received items from smokers. Everyone asked for smoking and non-smoking homes to be matched up separately. It's going to make it rather more complicated to arrange but we will do our very best to match you with someone suitable. Again, with some limited geography involved, it might not always be possible to get you an exact match in all countries.
4. What are the dates? You can sign up at any time from today until the end of the day (my time) on Sunday 13th September. You can pick your item and start sewing right away. Then when all of the swappers details are collected, we'll start to make up the matches and send you your partner's name and address. Please send your sewn item and additional mystery sewing gift no later than 30th September.
5. Do you need any Swap Angels? A swap angel is a kind-hearted person who volunteers to make additional items in case there are some members who drop out. Yes, if you have the time and resources to make additional items for members whose partner drops out, it would be very much appreciated.
6. What about drop outs? We all hope that won't happen. We don't want for any of us to take part, send out our carefully sewn item and then never hear anything back from our swap partner. But please be prepared for disappointment and keep a realistic expectation, and allow that these things can happen. Sadly in the event you don't get your item, I won't be able to personally make up a lot of spares and promise to send to everyone, but we will try to match you with a sewing angel if we can.
As much as we all have good intentions, sometimes life just gets in the way. We sign up to something in the excitement of the moment, then forget all about it, or miss the deadline or just don't complete on our intentions for a multitude of reasons.
Please understand that if you sign up to the swap, someone out there is sewing something just for you. They are putting all their care into that item, and carefully selecting some items from their stash as a mystery gift they think you would like. Don't let your partner down! Imagine how disappointed they would be waiting day after day for the postman and their parcel never arrives 🙁
So please ONLY sign up if you DO intend to fulfill your swap obligation. Thank you.
How to Sign Up
There's a form ready and waiting for your details. You will obviously need to include your real name and full address in order that your partner can send you a parcel, and a working email address so we can contact you. Your details will only be shared with me, anyone who helps me to sort out all of the partners, and with your chosen partner. Your details won't go any further – promise. If you get junk mail it didn't come from me!
- Please only sign up if you commit to completing the swap
- Sign up to the event page on Facebook here so we can share our parcels later (optional)
- Sew one item from the suggested items list above
- Include an additional sewing related mystery gift to the value of $5
- Send your parcel direct to your swap partner no later than 30th September (this year!)
- Have fun and enjoy it
- Share your pictures of the items you receive over in the event group. Don't share what you are sending or you'll spoil the surprise.
Have a great National Sewing Month.
If You'd Like To Support Our SiteIf you want to help us continue to bring you a wide selection of free sewing patterns and projects, please consider buying us a coffee. We'd really, really appreciate it.
photo credit: sprinkling flowers via photopin (license) photo credit: free motion into the night via photopin (license)
I’ll certainly check bak to see if you do another swap! Great idea. I do ATC card swaps and love it!
Deby if you need someone to help if someone drops out let me know – I am a member for the FB page already. Thanks!
Thanks for the offer Corynne.
I’d like to sign up for the swap. I just saw the post & sent a request to your facebook page. Is it too late? I can have project made & sent by Sept. 30th.
All of the swap buddies have now been sent out Kristin so I don’t have anyone left to buddy you with right now. But inevitably some people will pull out or not deliver, so may I keep you in reserve and be in touch if I need someone to help out?
Yes, please! Is there a project for October?
Nothing planned as yet, this one has been a lot of work! But maybe something again in the future. You’ll hear about it here 🙂
Kristen i would love to sway with you if you want! I am just now seeing the info about the swap so I was too late as well. We wont be official but I can get it out by the 30th. Just let me know !!
Sure! That’d be great!
Hi, Deby. Ive signed up for the swap.Recd my partnerbuddy.i Think I have signed up to the groupon facebook, but I’m a bit confused by chat groups, swap groups, events, etc.I think I made a post, but can’t find it? Can you help me navigate my way? I wld like to keep up with the swap page.thanks….I know you are really buy. Thanks for organising…I am excited to be taking part.
I know it can be a bit complicated! So yes, we have the main site here, the So Sew Easy blog, but its hard for us to chat here, so we have the Facebook Chat group here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/soseweasychat/. This is where all the off-site action happens! People share their sewing projects, ask and answer questions and chat about anything sewing related. When we have an event, such as the Conference Tote bag sew-along or this Sewing Swap event, those are co-ordinated through the chat group page and are like a sub-page within the group where you can chat separately to the main group about the event topic and it helps to keep things all together. So you know when you get your parcel, you can share some pictures on the event page and those in the event will see it but it won’t be on the main chat group wall, where it an already be pretty busy. I hope that explains it.
Sounds like a great swap – I’ve just signed up for it. I couldn’t join your Facebook page though. Thanks for organising it 🙂
That’s OK, the Facebook chat group is optional. You should hear soon with your swap partner if you haven’t already.
I would LOVE to participate but will have to pass at this time. We’re currently living in a country where the postal system is less than reliable (we’ve quit sending or receiving parcels of any kind or size). But I will look forward to seeing what everyone makes and gets on the facebook page! What fun!
Can young teenage girls participate?
Absolutely Paula, everyone is welcome.
How do I join the sewing chat?
If you go here – and click on Join, then I’ll approve you as soon as I can. I like to check everyones profile first to make sure they are genuine, and not a spammer! https://www.facebook.com/groups/soseweasychat/
Sounds so fun….I can’t wait!
Looking forward to the swap! 🙂 FB event page isn’t working though.. at least not when I tried. Thank you!
Are you a member of the sewing chat group Milena? Its an event within the chat group so you may need to be a member before you can join the event.
oh ok.. i sent a request. Can i still do swap then? I signed up for it 🙂
Absolutely you can. You don’t have to sign up to the chat group, that’s just an optional extra to share our mystery parcels when they arrive.
Still not working at 2:55… The way my computer attendance on holiday weekends work, I hope to get back to it, but who knows? If I get busy in the sewing room, sometimes I don’t surface for days except to potty and wander by the fridge for finger food.
When you say its not working, can you give me more details to try to track down the problem you are having. What happens when you click the link? Do you get an error? Or a message?
Love it, I’m in! Hope someone is willing to ship to the UAE as I doubt someone else will sign up from here 😉
I sure don’t want to make more work for you Deby, but maybe as a suggestion if another swap is organised: it would be nice to have a questionnaire that people could fill such as favourite color, any particular passions other than sewing… That could help with the item and fabric choice 🙂 With no obligation to take it into consideration of course.
Can’t wait to get started 🙂
form does not appear
There are lots of others already signed up Anita so I know the form is working OK. When you say the form doesn’t show up, can you be more specific? What happens when you click the link to go to the sign up page?
It opens a new page – have you got a pop up blocker on? (Sorry if I’m teaching granny to suck eggs)