Oh, the things that happen on Twitter! One minute you are applying to a certain online sewing match, the next you are planning your own all-fun, all-inclusive sewing challenge! No winner, no loser, no judges… just a challenge, a time frame, and some inspiring sewists from around the world!
Allow me to present: the SEWCIAL BEE!
Here’s the deal:
- At a set time, my dear sister Anne indulged us with a challenge: This time, to sew a top to wear with a favourite scarf! (Anne is a knitter, not a sewer, and even released her own triangle shawl pattern this spring!)
- We all had 24 hours to sew something and post pics to our Flickr group. (SInce eating and sleeping and caring for kids *may* be important to some sewists, we all limited ourself to just 4 hours of sewing within that 24 period!)
- Wait and see what awesome things were made! (Wanna see how each one of us answered the challenge? Click over to our Flickr group!)
And that’s it! It sounds dull when I type it out, but wow, it was fun! Adrenaline was pumping, tweets were flying back and forth, design choices were being made with advice from Instagram… it truly felt like a collaborative challenge! We all sewed from our stash, and it was the perfect motivation to make something a little new, a little different. I loved it!
Here’s how it all went down!
3pm: Read the challenge. Reread it, wake up my husband and read it to him. Pull out my massive collection of scarves and shawls. (It’s cold in Canada, what can I say?) Eeek! Which to choose?
3:15: Ok, I’ve narrowed it down to 4 scarf choices… Too bad I already made and blogged a top designed specifically to go with my favourite shawl!
3:25: Ok, picked a scarf! I bought this one in japan at a folk festival on a remote island, so I want to make something to pick up on that hippie vibe… The print is pretty crazy, so I pull out monocromatic knits. Coral or teal? Ask Instagram!
3:45: Look through my patterns, poke through Pinterest… Eeek! Why is it taking so long to decide what to make? (Ok, it’s partly because I came home from the gym just minutes before the challenge started, and I’m still eating and trying to stop my hands from shaking! :P)
OK, finally decided: It’s going to be a Mission Maxi! I just made one the day before, so I should be able to knock this out in no time… (famous last words!)
4:00: One hour in, and I’m just starting to cut? Yikes! My arms are totally wobbly post-gym, and cutting this cheep jersey is a nightmare! It’s a tissue-weight burnout print, so I’m lining it with a coffee-brown knit to a) make it opaque and b) bring out the contrast in the burnout areas! Both fabrics stick to themselves and each other like velcro though… this is gong to take a while!
4:30: All cut out. Use spray glue (for quilting) to glue the upper bodice of the teal and brown layers together. Check in on everyone else’s program on Twitter! Start sewing!
5:00: Ask Instagram – contrast or matching binding? Cut out contrast binding, fight to iron a fold… decide to use matching binding instead!
6:30: Time to live on the edge! It’s high-low hem time! (‘cause there’s nothing like taking a finished item and free-hand cutting a new hem!)
6:55: 5 minutes left and I’m DONE! Remember when I thought this was going to be a quick make? The way the jersey clung to itself really slowed things down! 3h55m!
Voila! My Sewcial Bee dress, completed! It’s exactly what I would want to wear to a music festival in the summer, and works well with my shawl, as per the challenge!
So, would you like to join the Sewcial Bee next time? We did this round with just a handful of people who happened to be on Twitter as we discussed it, but we had so much fun that we’d like to do it again. Maybe August 10th? There’ll be a new challenge and a time frame that’s hopefully flexible enough to work for everyone. (And if it doesn’t work for you, you could always choose your own day and sew it later!) We’ll post more info in August!