We love to sew, and we know you do too. As much as we treasure sewing in quiet moments, with our thoughts and the hum of the machine, sometimes it’s just nice to sew with friends. We wish every town had a Stitch Cleveland, but if yours is lacking we want to help you find, form or broaden your own Sewing Circle! Visit the forum where you can navigate by region and post about your preferences for a group.

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A sewing bee from Grandma Moses.

Irene has an active Sewing Circle where everyone brings equipment (sewing machines, ironing boards, sergers, etc.) for a full day of fun! She writes, “I absolutely treasure our gatherings and find it so therapeutic to talk to women with similar ideals.” Irene helped brainstorm a list of questions for you to ask/answer as you join or form a Sewing Circle. If you don’t find an immediate connection in the forum you might make some email/blog connections through a Sewing Circle forum post. If you’re lucky, you might even find a fabric-based Mason-Dixon friendship.

Sewing Circle Considerations

Type of Gathering

  • Are you interested in a group for hand sewing only, or would you like to bring your sewing machine? Are you looking for a group where you can bring a variety of hand crafts (knitting, mending, etc.)?
  • What is your ideal group size? Would you like one sewing buddy to work with, or a whole new circle of friends?
  • Schedule: Will you meet once a month? Once a week? Every other week? Irene’s group meets every month, and then she also gets together with one friend for a shorter period of time.
  • What times work best for you? Mornings? Evenings? One weekend day a month?
  • Consider skill levels. Does everyone feel comfortable teaching new skills if necessary, or should people all bring something within their skill level?
  • Would your group benefit from an “Organizer”? Do you want one person to coordinate the schedule/logistics/emails?

Meeting Place

  • Will the group meet in different homes? If you’re using sewing machines, which homes can accommodate all of the notions, machines, cutting tables and sewists?
  • If you’re working on hand sewing and other hand crafts, are you open to meeting in a public space like a coffee shop?
  • Consider childcare scenarios. Should kids stay home, or is the group open to sewing/play time for adults and children?

Meeting Logistics

  • Equipment: Irene writes, “It’s nice to have enough and not too much of things. For example, we always have just one serger, but two ironing stations. We also have one cutting table with two mats and one table without mats for pattern tracing. Each person knows what they need to bring and we’re not overloaded with equipment.”
  • Consider the type of projects. Space is an important issue; quilts might be a challenge but smaller items like bags and clothing usually work well. If you have a short meeting Irene suggests cutting patterns as a good use of time!
  • Organizing and scheduling for food is important if you will sew for an extended period of time. (Irene’s Sewing Circle is an entire day… They find this makes the setting up/hauling effort more worthwhile.)

Once you’ve considered what you want in a Sewing Circle, visit the forum where you can navigate by region and post about your preferences. Be sure to mention the type of gathering you’re looking for in your post.  PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR TOWN/AREA IN THE SUBJECT LINE.