Friday 21 May 2021: Each year a different garment is championed. The whole ‘thing’ started over 5 years ago, one dark January night, when Suzy, Sarah and Monika were chatting on DM discussing people´s “Make 9” posts for the coming year.
Sewalong: Monika said many sewers were talking of making a shirt dress….the three of them decided they wanted to make a shirtdress and thought they could create a sewalong. Then they had this joint brainwave to run it as challenge on Instagram. First of all, they were new to running challenges, but they gave it some thought and agreed it was a great idea.
Inclusive: Suzy, Sarah and Monika felt is was really important that the challenge be very inclusive (hence why they don´t want to make it seem like they’re are gearing it towards one group or other) and over the years their launch graphics have featured plus size models, people of colour, over 50s, men and this year their model is Sarah´s sister-in-law.
Prizes: The next thing they wanted was for this challenge to be non-competitive, so the prizes are awarded using a random selector app. Suzy, Sarah and Monika simply want to get people sewing and not to feel they aren´t good enough to enter their project for this challenge.
The other important aspect of the challenge is they try to enable participants. They provide blog posts on pattern suggestions, but also technique blog posts.
For instance, the first year with shirtdresses they provided blog posts on buttonholes and another on collars. This year they are posting tips for sundresses.
Sponsors: Most years there are lots of great prizes and discounts on patterns, fabric and even printing. Sponsors are really generous and support us year after year. The exception was last year, when we were all in pandemic shock and lock down, hence low-key loungewear seemed more appropriate and we cancelled all the prizes.
Friendship: It is wonderful how this team of three have become such great friends, outside the sphere of sewing too, despite the miles between us and the age difference.
Suzy says, ‘Sarah and Monika are two of the most supportive, creative and funny women I know. When we prepare and run the challenge, we make a great team. Sarah is an absolute whizz with the graphics, with the teasers, launch photo, prize graphics, discount graphics, there is a lot to design, Monika guides us through the technical side so that we can work together with an interactive spreadsheet and new ways to record the winners, both Sarah and Monika put content on their blogs and my particular role is to get in touch with sponsors.’
You can read all the details about Sew Together for Summer on Sarah’s blog www.sewsarahsmith.com’