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.
photo credit: sprinkling flowers via photopin (license) photo credit: free motion into the night via photopin (license)