Where did SewBeds come from? You know when you have an idea, but you're too nervous to do anything about it? For a long time, that was SewBeds. But we'll get to that.
“Being made so welcome by my “tribe” making new friends with the same passion and enthusiasm for the craft of sewing is something that is very special The encouragement and support is wonderful along with the space to sew at a table each at your own pace Try on makes for fitting and see how they look in a full length mirror As well as the sample rail fabric and pattern swop and the yummy cakes 🍰 All in all it’s the perfect get together ❤️” - Penny
I have been sewing since I was a little girl. Strange patchwork creations and many, MANY cushion covers, bags, all sorts of things for my bedroom but I didn't start dressmaking until a road traffic accident in April 2013 kept me housebound for some weeks. My talented mum (who has been dressmaking since she was at school, made her wedding dress in 1980 and mine in 2012 and so much in between!) had been keen to teach me how to use dressmaking patterns since I first learnt to use a machine. I never had the patience to allow her. Until the combination of being unable to leave the house and watching the first series of the Great British Sewing Bee meant I finally cracked. "Mum, it's time. Please can you teach me to use a dress pattern?"
I don't know quite whether she skipped to her car and sped up the M11 with glee (mum lives in North Essex where I grew up) but she was pleased to teach me. At the start. I am not the best pupil (insert hand over face emoji here...) But, she did teach me, and I made shockingly bright turquoise pencil skirt with six darts, a kick pleat, waistband and zip. I know. Hardly a simple first make! It reminded me of those PanAm air stewardesses in the Leonardo DiCaprio film, 'Catch Me If You Can'. It was my first wearable toile. I have NEVER looked back.
"Friendly, advice, ideas, stash, cake, experience, support, gadgets, makes, ironing board! (I don’t get mine out often!) Love it!" - Lisa
My next make was the Butterick 4443 A line dress with princess seams. I loved it. I think in the end I made 5 or 6 of them. The first one I made using a silky poly fabric, navy with white polka dots. I wore it to my friend's wedding in August of that year and it was wonderful. I wore it to another wedding the next year and the seams fell apart during the reception. It was a real learning curve! So the next one was made with trusty cotton poplin. That baby is still going ;-)
"An enjoyable day dedicated to sewing, sharing advice, swapping patterns, material and cake! Friendly atmosphere and a great way to see what other people are making." - Jo
I am waffling. Long story short I was hooked, and got the Tilly and The Buttons Love at First Stitch book for my birthday that year. It was a while before I had time to start tracing patterns from it, or the patience to be honest (I was running a pub with my husband by this point) so I dived into the big 4 patterns with gusto. Mixed success. Fitting woes, of course.
"If it wasn’t for the sewing community we wouldn’t have found each other 😊 sewing is quite solitary so sewing days are the perfect ways get out and meet people who love the same thing. Clothes rail was the best idea." - Georgina
But all this time my only sewing friend was my mum, who was 90 minutes away. And it wasn't until I discovered Instagram in 2015 that I realised the online sewing community existed. And all of a sudden sewing IS COOL! And I wasn't the only one in my 20's who loved it! But there was no way of meeting up with like minded dressmakers locally. There were quilting workshops, sewing lessons, but nothing that really ticked the box I wanted. Just inexpensive sewing time with others in a no fuss, no pressure, friendly atmosphere.
"Plenty of room to lay out fabric. Great to be able to see other peoples makes on clothes rail and maybe being able to try them on. Ample Space to use overlocker and machines and lovely to meet and make new sewing friends." - Tricia
Having run a pub for three years, event planning is my bag. I love organising, and knew the perfect venue was right on my doorstep. But would anyone come?
"I like Sewing with people. But I don't get much Sewing done but lots of nattering! 😂" - Rudy
So lots of instaskulking followed, and I finally plucked up the courage to reply to Georgina's (@sewinthegarden) story one day. She was at Wrest Park, and that's not too far from where I live. I was so nervous! What if she doesn't reply? What if she thinks I'm weird? She did reply. And I'm not sure whether she thinks I'm weird but she's now one of my dearest friends and I wouldn't be without her. (Turns out she used to sit next to my husband in Maths at middle school. Such a small world!!) I asked whether she would be interested in a Bedfordshire sewing meet up if I planned one, and the rest is SewBeds history.
"I really liked getting together with like minded people for a social sew. Chatting to others about what they were sewing (and wearing!) led me to buy new patterns and push myself with new projects. I made several new friends. The swaps helped me clear some of my stash and the clothes rail was just brilliant as a ‘try before you buy’ (and gave me massive top stitch envy!) Plus... CAKE!" - Sophie
"Don’t change anything- it all works. Though maybe more cake ... 🤗" - Kate