Do You Belong To A Sewing Group?

Do you have a sewing group, club, or ‘Stitch ‘n’ Bitch’ night? That is, do you get together in real life with others who sew, and chat while you sew?

sewing club, stitch & bitch

(source – don’t these women look strangely alike? Must be brunette to join this club…)

A reader emailed to ask us if we know of any local sewing meetup groups in Vancouver. And while I go to a great local knitting group, I don’t actually go to any sewing meetups. I’d imagine they are less popular than knitting groups, because sewing is less portable than knitting. Even if there was a group to meet with, it would be more work to get myself there along with my machine. And if it wasn’t BYO-machine, then I’d have to make sure I prepared hand-sewing in time for each group meeting. (Not as easy as knitting, which is so easy to pack in a purse!)

I often talk to people that don’t sew, and explain that the internet is our version of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. We get together on each others’ blogs, we comment and share, tweet and re-tweet. The online sewing world has replaced the real-life local community gathering. Or has it?

Does anyone out there have a regular sewing night? Colette Patterns recently posted about having a needlework night at the studio, to which I thought ‘lucky Portlanders!’ I hear of sewing bloggers in Australia getting together to sew which sounds like a ton of fun.

Do you have a sewing meetup group? Where do you meet, at a fabric shop or at someone’s house? How often do you go, if you have one? And Vancouver locals, do you know of any local sewing meetups?

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91 Responses to Do You Belong To A Sewing Group?

  1. Annabel Vita July 15, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    I have a stitch’n’bitch club I go to! People do all sorts of different types of handiwork. I actually took up embroidery specifically so I’d have something portable.

    I think a sewing club wouldn’t have to be all about the actual physical sewing though – a lot of our stitch club is chatting about other things while our hands do stuff, the other bit is asking each other advice on what we’re making. So a sewing club could be more like bringing bits along to ask advice if you’re stuck, or pinning each other into your muslins, you know?

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

      Good point! It doesn’t have to be all about sewing productivity, but a chance to meet and chat with others. I like the idea of having help with pinning muslins!

  2. Rachel July 15, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    I think that’s why I still enjoy taking classes – it’s one of the few places you get a group of people sewing together! I feel like sewing studios could work something like the wools stores that have open knitting nights (although most of those are cafes as well, so they make money off drinks and snacks). Most sewing really isn’t super portable, though, which definitely makes it harder to meet other local sewers.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:13 pm #

      I agree – the portability makes it hard! Classes are a great way to meet others that are close to your skill level, too.

  3. char July 15, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    I would love soemthing like this near me, I have been wishing for years that I had the time to open up the sewing shop I’d love and run evening classes in there, as well as more social evenings.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Wouldn’t that be lovely? I’d love a fabric store that also did social evenings, where it was comfortable to hang out with other sewers.

  4. Sabs July 15, 2013 at 6:56 am #

    I go to a fortnightly class. It started as lessons but as we’re all doing our own thing now with input from the teacher, it feels more like a club. It’s nice to chat about sewing related things which I can’t do with others in my day to day life. I love it!

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Oh for sure! I bet it’s nice to chat with others who care as much about sewing. Kind of like my knitting group, we can all talk about the latest pattern collection or new yarn colours!

  5. Carley July 15, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    About the picture, Tasia, don’t you know that “blondes have more fun”? They obviously don’t need a sewing club! LOL!

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Haha! Perhaps, or maybe they’re all related? Who knows!

  6. Roisin July 15, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    I used to be a member of a craft club, with fortnightly meetings where people could bring their own projects to work on, or there would be workshops. I certainly liked the social aspect but found that as I became more interested in dressmaking and far less interested in the other, more portable crafts that were popular with the other members (for example, I have absolutely zero interest in scrapbooking or needle felting) it became less interesting for me to go. I’ve lapsed my membership now, reasoning that it is time back to sew for myself! I found as well, that as the group became bigger the politics of it all started to stress me out, which is not what I want in a hobby that I do for fun!

    That said, it is really nice to get together with other seamstresses and I am lucky in that one of my best friends in the area also loves to sew, so we ocassionally get together at her house or mine and have a little sewing bee. The last time we did, she was working on a Cambie dress! Of course also I interact online and in real life with lots of other seamstresses too, at meet-ups and parties as well.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

      I have zero interest in scrapbooking either, yawn! Give me something I can wear or use. I wouldn’t want the politics of a group to stress me out either and I don’t like the idea of coordinating the group either.. so yeah, perhaps that’s why I’m not part of one! That is wonderful that your best friend lives nearby AND loves to sew, how perfect!

  7. louize July 15, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    I have a Wednesday evening sewing evening with a group of friends, it started off as me teaching them to sew, and has evolved into them working on individual projects and me helping them out. I have 2 sewing machines, so my friends use those, it is only a small group, but a lovely excuse to spend an evening together sewing, catching up on each others news (and eating as there is always quiche or soup and cheese on the program too!).

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      Nice! That sounds like a great way to spend an evening.

  8. Katy July 15, 2013 at 7:32 am #

    Every Wednesday night I head to Grey’s Fabric and Notions in Boston for Crafty Foxes sewing club. It’s free and open to all. Sarah has machines in the shop for sewists to use and the box wine is always flowing. Sometimes we are very diligent and sew, other times we just share stories from our week. I’m really not sure how I would survive without that wonderful group of ladies.

    • johanna@projects by me July 15, 2013 at 11:39 am #

      I wish I had this too!! I would be glad only to know some other dress-making interested people near where I live, to meet-up and discuss and help ech other out. Anyone interested? I live in Sweden, Karlstad/Hammarö.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

      Crafty Foxes, love it! That sounds wonderful and very welcoming.

  9. cristina July 15, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    Oh! how I wish I had! That must be so funny!

  10. Diane @ Vintage Zest July 15, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    I used to go to a weekly class last year when I first started learning how to sew. Although it wasn’t a sewing group per se, a lot of the ladies had been there for YEARS and used it as their weekly or even biweekly group. The sewing group I belong to now is over Facebook so we have challenges, but no weekly interaction. (http://vintagezest.blogspot.com/2013/07/pencil-skirt-challenge-roundup.html) I’d love to belong to one, but I would need to know more sewists in my area.

  11. Nikki July 15, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    I think sewing groups would be so much fun, even if we did have to haul our machines and ironing boards. It would need to be a whole day event to make that effort worth it, maybe, haha! Someone at my church hinted around at me starting one once and I didn’t do it because I felt like what they really wanted was a sewing class, where I would be the only one who came knowing how to sew and them learning from me. That didn’t sound like fun to me and while I’d be thrilled to have sewing buddies and to help and helped by them, I prefer teaching others to sew one on one.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      I would not like that either, on a casual sewing group night, I don’t want to teach and be responsible for everyone learning something. That would take away the relaxing part of a group sewing night for me! I suppose each group will have its own dynamic but I agree, I’d want it to be more of a collaboration than a group teaching session. (Unless I had structured it as a group learning environment and that was clearly its purpose!)

  12. Patricia July 15, 2013 at 7:41 am #

    Haha.. I still remember that picture on the cover of a needle book from my childhood! Is that product still available or is it vintage?

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      I have no idea! I just searched ‘sewing club’ and picked an image that seemed suitable.

  13. M July 15, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    I used to go to weekly classes which was sorta like a stitching club but I had to stop going unfortunately. I really liked the camaraderie and skills learned. I wish I could join one again but you’re right, the internet has become my stitching club!

    M

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

      I think that’s the case for a lot of people!

  14. Anthea July 15, 2013 at 8:04 am #

    I have monthly sewing classes where I meet other sewing enthusiasts. And last week I met up with another to spend our sunday afternoon sewing. It was so much fun. It’s so good to socialize when you’re sewing, talking about stuff other friends don’t care about.

  15. Miss Lulu July 15, 2013 at 8:08 am #

    I belong to a sewing group that was formed on meetup.com by the owner of a sewing school years ago. The sewing school closed down but the group kept going. We’ve formed really good friendships with the fabric stores in town and hold regular meetings where we do different things. Once a month we have a sewing party where we bring our sewing machines, whatever we’re working on and some wine and snacks. We also have a once monthly meeting for just handwork and meet at another store where there isn’t enough space for machines. The sewing community here is great! Austin has a really DIY culture and so there are more sewists here than probably is normal. It’s so great to have such a pool of talent and all such nice ladies (and gents).

    • Theresa July 15, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      You are in Austin Texas?! I am pretty new here, but I would love to know more (if that’s okay? You didn’t mention if it was a closed/private group)

    • Tessa July 16, 2013 at 6:23 am #

      I’d love to know more about your meet up. I’m in Austin. I have no real in-person friends that sew really, and I’d love to join a group. I work/teach at Northwest Sewing Center also, so I could probably hook up a meeting there from time to time.

    • Miss Lulu July 16, 2013 at 11:53 am #

      Oh yay! We always love getting new members. We’re at http://www.meetup.com/sewingwithstyle Our next sewing party is actually this Saturday although I think we may be full up. Put yourselves on the waiting list though as we always have a few last minute dropouts.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Sounds like you have a really great, consistent group to meet with! Gents, you say? Are there men in your sewing group? Not that there’s any reason not to, I’m just surprised and pleased that there might be! There’s one man in our knitting group that comes now and then and he’s very very good.

      • Miss Lulu July 17, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

        Yes, we have three guys, one of whom has been a regular for a couple of years and is really good. He makes most of his own clothes and also sews for his wife and has done for many years. The other two guys are relatively new and we’ve only seen them a couple of times. They are both beginners but very ambitious and learning fast.

  16. Kat S July 15, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    I’m trying to start a social mending night in Vancouver — one evening every couple of months where people get together, share expertise, and repair clothes. If anyone in the GVRD is interesting, send me an email! ksiddle at gmail dot com

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      Sounds interesting! Have you had a lot of interest so far? I like the idea of encouraging mending clothing instead of tossing it, then again I really dislike mending and alterations, and tend to put it off forever in favour of new and exciting projects.

      • Kat S July 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

        Not much, but I’ve just started working on it. I’m also not _that_ fond of mending on its own, which is another reason to gather and be social about it! I’ll send you an update when I have something figured out.

  17. Debbie July 15, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    I would love something like that. Somewhere to share ideas, get help and generally have a great time while doing something you enjoy.

    We have a sewing meet-up planned in Toronto in August, I think I will see (if we live close enough to each other) whether anyone would be keen to start soemthing like this. Or perhaps there is an I just haven’t heard about it!!

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      Nice! A sewing meetup sounds like fun, I’ve seen many on other blogs and everyone seems to enjoy them!

  18. Carol July 15, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    I don’t belong to any group, but I don’t see why it would be any more difficult for garment sewers to transport their project than it is for quilters, and they have groups where they get together about once a month I think.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

      Good point, quilting can be even more cumbersome if the quilt is all assembled, I’d imagine! I know very little about quilting but I can see that quilts are big. :)

  19. Patricia July 15, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Yes, and it’s wonderful. We have American Sewing Guild – Philadelphia Chapter… I’m on the board and we are very active. I also lead a Couture Sewing Group in my home, once a month, in my home. We meet from 1pm – 3ish pm… So I have to say I go to three meetings a month for my sewing group. We plan picnic once a year, a Fashion Show yearly, an Educational Event and a guest Speaker yearly, and we have SEW-In Days couple times a year.

    • Tasia July 17, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      A sewing picnic! And fashion show! Sounds like a great and well-organized group. Wonder if there is a Canadian Sewing Guild? There are guild meetings but they’re in the suburbs, I guess it would be a lot to dream of to have a sewing group within cycling distance from me eh? Glad you have a great sewing support network locally!

  20. Susie July 15, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    When I lived in Santa Barbara we had a very active Knit Group. We had a ravelry group we chatted on, met once a week at a coffee house that was very nice to us, shared patterns, showed off yarn and needles, did special events together, and even attended Stitches West twice as a group. It was great and survived a great purpose as a breakup survival for me in a small town. We all scattered a bit and I have moved back to my hometown of Los Angeles. It was MUCH harder to find a group of like minded individuals down here. I tried a few and ended up going once and never going back. I have a Knit Club now but due to busy schedules we try to meet once a month. It is mostly a drink and eat candy and cheese club. I think half the girls do not knit but the conversation is unbeatable. I would LOVE a sewing group tho. Swoon.

  21. Leigh July 15, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    I belong to American Sewing Guild in Portland, OR. The group is a national group, so there’s chapters all over the US. Here is a link to the national organization: http://www.asg.org/

    If you want to ‘try us out,’ anyone is welcome to come to a couple meetings before joining.

    We have quarterly meetings where the Guild brings in speakers (free to members – Peggy Sagers was a recent one for our chapter) and then usually there is a class in the afternoon (for a fee).

    There are also Neighborhood Groups and Special Interest Groups (free to members, attend as many as you want). I lead a Neighborhood group and we don’t usually sew – we always have show and tell of finished projects & help for works in progress, then we have some sort of presentation: dyeing, a particular technique like a bound buttonhole, or how to sew with leather. We have a sewing ornament exchange at our December meeting, and get mini classes together for how to put in a zip, or making beaded buttons, or a small landscape quilt. At one meeting we all brought our machines and made those Koos scarfs. We did a handsewing project of a felt pincushion.

    Usually there is a sew in for charity at some point during the year – we’ve done dog and cat beds for the shelters, fleece mittens for the women’s shelter, car seat blankets for the hospital to give away to needy families that get free carseats, throw-sized quilts for the hospice, all kinds of things.

    We have a fashion group that meets at a restaurant for show and tell, one for pattern making software, one for sergers. There’s a lot going on at our chapter. http://columbiariversewing.org/

    We even have a couple of beach retreats every year. I usually have to STOP going to meetings so I can get some actual sewing done!

  22. Lori July 15, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    I belong to a quilt club through my local quilt shop. I love fashion sewing first but do quilt and it is so fun to socialize with others who enjoy sewing.

  23. Chantal July 15, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    I wish there was something like that where I live (Vernon, BC). I belong to a stitch ‘n’ bitch with some amazing people who do all kinds of needle crafts, but none of them sew clothing. A sewing cafe type place with lessons would be so great! Maybe as sewing grows in popularity they will start popping up like yarn stores did when knitting caught on. I can only hope!

  24. Denise July 15, 2013 at 11:10 am #

    I wanted to form a sewing group on Vancouver, but got stuck on a place to hold it. I live in the suburbs, but I think the city itself would be a better place to be (way better transit options). For a few years, I did a sewing group with fellow teachers during the last week of school, when the students were gone, and report cards were done. It was more teaching than a group of fellow sewists getting together to share–which is what I’m looking for now.

  25. Genie July 15, 2013 at 11:24 am #

    I started a charity sewing group in 2001 at my local church. It has evolved to include knitters and crocheters as well, but I am truly a sewist. The group has about 15 active members with up to 50 women who have dropped in on one workshop or another. Luckily we have use of the church hall and a closet to store our ever-growing stash of fabric, notions and machines. Between donations and thrift shops, we have a dozen sewing machines and four sergers! Meeting an average of three times a week, we have taught each other SO MANY things! We have created over 14,000 items that have gone to charity, but also many of us have morphed into the alteration business here in our community. We just love collaborating on projects. The friendships that have been created are priceless and we feel lucky to have the time (most of us are retired) and talent to produce so many wonderful items to be given to those who need them. I would suggest this venue to anyone who wants to get a group together.

  26. Leslie Albers July 15, 2013 at 11:32 am #

    I am a member of a group in Victoria that has been meeting once a month for over 15 years ( or maybe even longer). I am a “new” member ( 3 years in) and 2 more have joined since I did. I feel very privileged to be invited in to this group of elite sewers. Every month the group meets to show projects to the group , ask for advice or share information. One night I told the group about your blog when I showed off my Sewaholic Jacket. One of the members then started stocking your patterns in her store. If you are not modelling your garment, it will be passed around for all to see. This part can be rather daunting but it has made me into an even more careful sewer. These women are topstitch experts- blows me away! Some will come with some of their fabric and pattern stashes to give away which is always great. I am a high school textiles teacher so my students have benefited from some amazing donations to our program. I find these meetings so inspiring. It’s a very talented, smart and fun group and like I said I sometimes pinch myself that they invited me in.

    • Lisa Leighton March 25, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

      Hi Leslie.

      I am interested in your response, which I’ve just seen (March 2014). Are you in Victoria, BC? If you are, maybe you can help me. I’m a volunteer costume designer with Langham Court Theatre, and we are desperately seeking sewers! We have at least two big shows coming up next season, and we need the kind of talented, creative people you talked about in your group. Perhaps you and/or some of them might be interested, if we’re both in the same Victoria.
      Easy to respond: costumeguild@langhamtheatre.ca
      Thanks!
      Lisa

  27. Jane in Denver July 15, 2013 at 11:48 am #

    YES! YES! YES!

    I am in a sewing group: Denver Sewing Collective. It is awesome! I love all the AMAZING people I’ve met in the past 3 years. (And, yes, we have a few men in the group.)

    It is run by the brilliant Jill Case (who also writes the Sew News blog). We meet in the most unusual of places: a car dealership. Omera Ford has a wonderful meeting room we use on the 2nd Thursday each month.

    Some members bring their machines, some bring patterns to cut out, some bring handiwork. Some just talk a lot – that’d be me. :)

    I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have fellow sewists to chat with about any issues I may have or if something isn’t fitting right to have people with “the eye” to tell me honestly what needs to be done.

    There are so many different levels of sewing in the group & interests. There is always someone to chat about whatever you need. We also do other activities as a group: fabric store tours, art museum exhibits (the Dior show was great!). And a spin-off group began called Sew-n-Sudz where you wear your creations and meet for a cocktail.

    I wish there were more groups in every city. I cannot imagine my life without these fabulous people. If there isn’t one in your city, start one. You won’t be disappointed.

  28. Rachel July 15, 2013 at 12:01 pm #

    I go to a regular meet up, we get together once a month for a social sewing day. As great as the online community is, the in person meet ups are amazing, especially for getting advice from others and particularly assistance with fitting things (there is only so much help that a boyfriend can be, even with the best of intentions).
    We just started up our group after a shopping meet up last year and it’s great. Anyone in Melbourne is now than welcome to join us. I highly recommend it to everyone else. Although we are lucky that we found a good space to use.

  29. Sassy T July 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Yes my former tutor holds a sewing group for four in her studio, when she is available I absolutely love it. We have coffee and biscuits and chatter. She has a super huge cutting table too. She is considering doing workshops for beginners.

  30. Amy W July 15, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    I actually starting a sewing group this summer at my church. There are about 20 ladies in the group. We have our 3rd meeting this Saturday. We meet for 2 hours late morning at the church. I provide iron, ironing board, books to look at, and community use tools (cutting mat, scissor sharpener). The ages range from early 20s to about 60 with a wide range of experience. I set it up as a “you need to know what you are doing” group not a “learn to sew group”. It has been really great. People bring their machines if they need it, some might be cutting fabric or hand-sewing.

    It has been really a wonderful time of sewing and socializing. The more experienced ladies are very open to helping the younger ones. It was originally going to be a summer only group, but I decided to keep it going after August and meet once a month. We also have one cross-stitcher in the group. It’s been a really good motivator for me to work on my sewing projects. I even found a lady in the group to help me with garment fitting.

    If you’re thinking about starting a group, just do it. Even a small group of 2 or 3 is fine. It will grow.

  31. Janet July 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    No sewing meet ups for me….I live in Toronto and so far my sewing community is online. I do have a couple of friends that are very interested in my work. One is an avid quilter, the other knits and crochets – but it isn’t the same. They are also pretty old school…if you know what I mean. I have signed up for a adult sewing camp at The Make Den. I am looking forward to being in a community of sewists.

  32. Isidore July 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    I belong to two sewing groups in Denver. One is called the Denver Sewing Collective, and they meet once a month for 3 hours where you can bring a project to get help with. I talk too much to get anything done there – but people will often bring pattern magazines or books and such to share, and seeing what everyone else is doing is fun.
    http://www.meetup.com/denversewingcollective-com/

    The other is called Sew n Sudz, and they meet up at a bar once a month. There’s a different theme every month and you’re supposed to wear something you’ve sewn to match the theme and bring the pattern to show off. Last month’s theme was sundresses, and someone wore a Londsdale. Hopefully she doesn’t get mad at me for posting this :)
    http://www.meetup.com/Sew-N-Sudz-in-Arvada-CO/photos/15760942/253060232/

  33. Barbara July 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm #

    I belong to a sewing group and I love it! We have a facebook group where we chat about fashion, fabric, show off our latest projects, ask each other for advice, share info on fabric sales and such…and then we get together every once in a while to have a fabric swap or rent a church basement somewhere to meet up for a sewing day and it’s always such fun to get away and geek out with people who understand and are passionate about sewing. Whenever we meet I get mega inspired by everyone’s input and energy :)

  34. Stephanie July 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    I belong to a small group of friends who all quilt, or knit, or do garment sewing (or all of the above). We get together every week or so for a few afternoon hours. We’re all either retired or self-employed, so have schedule flexibility. Some times we get a lot of hand-work done, other times is more “sit and chat and eat cookies.” which is nice, too.

    My mom belongs to a hand-work group in Maine that’s been meeting weekly for gosh, I think it’s close to 30 years now. Her group inspired me to find some friends to meet up with here. I hope my group can keep going for another decade or two, at least.

  35. Stephanie July 15, 2013 at 1:53 pm #

    I go to a craft night at a hackerspace in Dublin called Tog. It’s a group of mainly knitters, sewists and needleworkers but people can work on anything crafty that takes their fancy. It’s nice to meet up with like minded people :)
    I do really appreciate the online sewing community though because I haven’t found anyone quite as crazy about sewing and knitting in real life as I have online!

  36. Cathi July 15, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    In my dream fabric store that I’ll build after I win the lottery the whole 2nd floor is full of sewing machines etc for classes and sewing meet-ups! Mostly because it often feels like I’m the only one in town who sews. I know it’s not true but some days it sure feels that way.
    Just need that pesky lottery win now.

    • Karla July 15, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

      I love you dream Cathi!! I live in Topeka, Ks and have yet to find a sewing group, Unfortunately we don’t even have a really nice fabric. I guess I need to start buying lottery tickets

  37. thecuriouskiwi July 15, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I am part of a Wellington Sewing Bloggers group, we have only just started sewing together one Sunday a month but before that we just met for chats and coffee, high tea, yum cha etc…there are 21 of us now
    http://thecuriouskiwi.wordpress.com/wellington-sewing-bloggers-network/

    I like that we are now sewing together but it’s great we just met up to learn more about each other at first, we now have a level of friendship that might not have otherwise developed (and “knowing” each other through our blogs helps heaps too!) We also have a closed Facebook group which is great for sharing photos of what we are working on for some quick advice and also fabric sales alerts! ;) We all work in the city too so we also meet up regularly for lunch.

    Having the support of some local sewists who are also great friends is the best thing that’s even happened me and my sewing! ;)

  38. Jayne July 15, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I run a very specific sewing group every week of the school term. I’m a costume designer & I have a team of Mums & students who come in to help make costumes for their chidlren’s school production.
    Apart from actually having a specific goal, it is a real social group. There have been life long friendships forged over the 15 years I have been doing it.
    It’s also a chance to learn new skills. Some Mums arrive for their first Saturday & say ‘I can barely sew on a button but I wanted to be involved’. We start them on the easy things & next thing you know they’ve mastered sewing a skirt with a waistband using the sewing machine & overlocker. And before you know it they’ve bought a sewing machine & overlocker of their own, because they want to sew at home too.
    One Mum started her own business sewing bags & cushions after 4 years of costume workshop & one year we made a huge appliqué quilt to commemorate 20 years of school musicals with a square for every show made by one or two Mums It’s such a joy to be a part of.

    • Jayne July 15, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

      Melbourne Australia.

  39. Sue July 15, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    My local fabric store in the USA has a space for classes in the store, to which people bring their own machines. This is a Jo-Ann’s store. Does anyone know if that space w/ tables and chairs is ever available to schedule just for a group of friends to gather? However, in the new location there are only a few tables and chairs and no room for cutting or pressing.

  40. Julie Culshaw July 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    We began a sewing guild here in Halifax, NS about 16 years ago. After seeing how US guilds worked, we kind of followed that model as there really wasn’t anything in Canada to follow.
    About 14 of us met once a month for the first year. We didn’t sew at the meetings, but just met to talk. Then we began getting a speaker every second month. Then we grew in numbers and really went big when we risked having a weekend with Sandra Betzina in 1998. That event grew our membership to close to 100 and it really took off.
    Our first meetings were held in a local school classroom which we rented for $2 per evening. Now we meet in a church hall at $50 per evening, we have our own lending library, our own kitchen equipment to make tea and coffee. A president, secretary, treasurer, librarian, all positions that are elected.
    And we offer classes, quite a few classes that are offered by members, outside experts on all manner of topics from bra-making to zipper insertion to fitting to sewing with knits.
    All you have to do is get a small group together and meet and then move forward. It works.

  41. Margaret R July 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I belong to a sewing group that meets very other week during the day. There are about ten of us. Then I do a group in the evening every two weeks and there are usually six or seven of us. I also go to a block of the month club meeting once a month. I also belong to a modern quilt guild that meets once a month. I really enjoy going to all of these. Sometimes I take hand work but mostly I take my machine and a project or two. It is fun to see all of the show and tell projects. Lots of inspiration and you learn a lot from other sewers.

  42. Stitchin' July 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    I used to go to a group that met every other week in the evening at a sewing store. The format was bring your own project, but if the group leader had an interest in something you were expected to do it (like working fabric with special paints for fabric designs). I was more interested in getting my sewing on, not picking up another fiber or craft. I didn’t want to buy more notions, either. I eventually stopped going because in the time it takes to pack everything up, get set up, etc. I can knock a few more steps off the construction instead. Plus I felt that if I didn’t show interest in the non-sewing topics, I wasn’t playing ball.

  43. Michelle July 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    In addition to Colette Pattern’s needlework nights, Portland also has a sewing studio (Modern Domestic) which schedules Friday night social sew times. You pay for studio-use time; I’ve only done it a couple times though. And my quilt guild organizes monthly Sew Days, many of us (sometimes 30+) cart our machines, extension cords, cutting mats, irons, etc. to a rented classroom space and chat and sew and wander around looking at projects. Generally people are quilting, but sometimes people bring non-quilt projects too. And I’m lucky to have a friend who regularly invites several of us over to her home for sew nights. Again, we cart our machines and crowd around the dining table. Sometimes people bring handwork instead. Getting together to sew with others is just as fun, inspiring and helpful as getting together to knit with people – though a tinge more complicated and with heavier bags.

  44. Sharon July 15, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

    I am a member of the Australian Sewing Guild http://www.aussew.org.au/
    and as part of this I sew with lovely ladies 3 times a month on Saturdays and we have a great time sharing knowledge, assisting each other with fitting and techniquqes it is such a wonderful environment! Once you have your kit together it doesn’t take long to get organised each time you go!

  45. FitzandMolly July 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

    I would love to join a sewing group, but my vintage machine is mounted in a cabinet, and I could just see myself lugging a table into the room… I learn best by a hands-on approach, and know I would benefit from other more experienced sewists.

  46. Liz July 15, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

    My friends and I have a fairly informal sewing club… we all get together at someone’s house for a night or day of sewing and/or crafting once every few months. Everyone brings their machines, projects, food and wine. There is much laughing (and cursing)- the more experienced sewers help out the beginners and it’s great fun all around. Usually everyone brings their own project, but more recently we’ve started doing charity projects- the last one was kennel blankets for shelter dogs. You can check out a couple of blog posts about our sewing nights here (http://www.questsofquirkiness.com/2013/01/28/epic-saturday-sewathon/) and here (http://humblehomespun.com/2012/10/15/sewing-night-results/).

  47. Liz July 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    Would love to find a sewing group in Adelaide, Australia, but googling hasn’t found anything yet – all the groups seem to be over on the East Coast =[

    • Ask Sarah January 13, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

      I am starting a new group if you are still interested!!! Just email me

  48. LSV July 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm #

    I was visiting the Washington area last week and (naturally) checked out a fabric store – G Street Fabrics (Centerville I think it was). While I was there all these ladies came in and were having a grand time, talking about fabrics and patterns – so I asked, and it was a guild, must be like what was mentioned above. I was invited to attend/sit in, but had to get my sister from the airport – it sounded so fabulous, I was very jealous, but can’t justify driving 8 hours

  49. Adeline July 16, 2013 at 12:15 am #

    I’ll love to attend a sewing club as I think it will be so much fun to just sit around chat and sew and learn new things from each other. Which I guess that is why I still attends informal classes at my teacher’s place where we will just talk about everything from sewing machines to holidays. It’s kinda sad that I know of so many crocheting/knitting communities in Singapore but none for the sewers. Would be interesting though.. Talk, Sew and Munch on cakes. It’s even more limiting when not all close girlfriends are into sewing or else that would really be fun. So I take comfort in this online community where I know everyone is sewing in the comfort of their own space somewhere out in different parts of the world. :) imagine how that would pan out on a world map!

  50. nellie July 16, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Yes! I started one earlier in the year via Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/The-Queens-Sewing-Social/) and we have met twice in Queens, NY. The most difficult part is finding space (that’s not someone’s home) and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. We were lucky to find a local historical society to host us, but with the lack of community space– it is hard to meet.

    It’s been a great way to meet other sewists in my area!

  51. Melissa July 16, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    I was wondering about local sewing groups in Vancouver as well. I know there is the VMQG which I’ve heard it great, but I was hoping for more garment (or accessories) sewing. I had thought about taking classes at the local sewing shop as a way to get more involved in my community of sewists, but that does end up getting pretty pricey after a few classes. If anyone knows of or is planning on starting something up, I’d love to know about it!

    • Vivienne July 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

      Timely topic – myself and Ms”http://symondezyn.wordpress.com/” have just been talking about doing this. I think it would be great to meet for a simple Dressew rampage followed by a coffee or a cocktail, even just a small group would be fun.

      • Melissa July 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

        Ooh that does sound fun! Will you keep me in the loop if/when you decide to meet up? My contact info is in my profile. Mmmm, Dressew.. I haven’t been there in ages!

  52. Laura July 16, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

    I’m going to my first American Sewing Guild meeting this Saturday – have never been and am really looking forward to it. It’s a 3 hr “open sew”. Have no idea yet what project to bring – but I’ll figure something out! Really like the idea of a social group to also learn from and get inspired!

    • Nisha Williams July 17, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      You are going to love the ASG! I am saving my pennies to attend the national convention next year.

  53. Nisha Williams July 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Yes, I’m a member of a Sewing Group. Guild rather. It is the best thing I’ve done. I was gifted a sewing maching a few years ago and immediately took a few beginner classes. Though I got the basics down, I didn’t learn about fit and fabric like I should have and became frustrated. I stopped sewing.

    Earlier this year I got the itch again and found the American Sewing Guild. I found a local group and through that group I attend the monthly meetings. The guild provides EXCELLENT resources. That’s how I found this blog! :) And there are video classes that are free as well.

    I’m taking private classes from one of the members. It’s the best move I’ve made yet. When I took my initial classes I felt like I found my passion I just didn’t know how to stoke the fire. Now I have a great group of women that are extremely passionate about sewing and they keep the fire blazing for my passion all the time.

  54. dixie July 18, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

    I go to group here in Austin thru meetup.com. We have lots of regular meetings, some to show off what we’ve made, others are sewing parties and sometimes we have fun workshops. It’s the best and if you’re in Austin you totally need to come! *hinthint* http://www.meetup.com/sewingwithstyle/

    What’s great is there’s always a bunch of friends who can offer you sewing advice and if you ever have a sewing questions someone will know the answer.

  55. neroli July 20, 2013 at 3:06 am #

    I started a sewing group a few years ago with a group of women who were meeting at a local school for night classes. The NZ govt withdrew funding for community classes but we enjoyed our night out sewing so much we decided we wanted to keep it going. We found some local rooms, with lots of tables, we could hire for the relatively paltry sum of $10/night. We used to always bring our machines but now we mostly bring things to cut out, patterns to trace, muslins we are fitting, items we are having difficulty with or just want some input into. We swap patterns and ideas, and there is active discussion on techniques, cooking, life… We are a diverse group, sharing a love of sewing, which is all part of the fun. I think we would all be pretty disappointed if the “sewing circle” were to be broken.

  56. Laura After Midnight July 21, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    I do!
    I host a sewing group in my own home to teach beginners… it’s mostly alternative sewing because most of my attendees are Steampunk Goths!!
    So far we have sewn up Victorian Waistcoats (adapted to fit ladies!), Bustle Skirts, Corsets and Waspies, Mini Top Hats and are now moving on to Circle Skirts and 50s Summer Dresses (made from Skull fabric of course lol!!)
    I love it, I do charge a nominal fee as I am teaching rather than having friends round however; most have been coming for over a year now which is lovely. I also think I have my first Gentleman sewer coming this week, which is brilliant!
    I can’t recommend hosting/attending a sewing group/club enough! It’s lovely to be able to chat sewing for a couple hours a week- I am a freelance costumier so life can be pretty lonely- and assist people in creating clothes they can’t afford to buy, or want to develop themselves. It’s great fun!!
    If you’re in Bristol, UK come along!! xxx

  57. Susan July 23, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    Not sure if anyone in the other comments has mentioned Brown Owls. I just happen to chance upon them and have joined a local Brown Owl group. We meet once a month at a local café. We each bring what ever we happen to be working on at that time. One of the group members brings her spinning wheel along and does a bit of spinning and knitting.
    I believe the Brown Owls was started by “Meet Me at Mikes” and there are groups all around the world. You can even join as a convener and start your own group.
    It’s a totally awesome way to enjoy some time with other crafty people and have a chat.
    High recommended by me.

  58. Katherine July 25, 2013 at 11:01 am #

    I live in Vancouver as well, I am not in a sewing group but wish I was. I have only one friend who sews, that’s it. Both of us have the room to host a sewing group, but lack other members! I bet if you wanted to start one, Spool of Thread would likely have the availability to rent out their space.

  59. Lisa Bunnage August 23, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    Sewing Club in Coquitlam starting up September 13th!!! Let me know if you’d like more information. It’s a Starbucks chat and gab session, not actual sewing. I’ll be bringing along some of my projects to show (hits AND misses).

  60. Lisa Bunnage August 23, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    Sewing Club correct link attached this time :)

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