Getting My Non-Sewing Friends Together for a Holiday Sewing Party

Last Thursday night I had the time of my life. I invited about a dozen women over to my house to learn how to sew The Fox Says Brr ornament by Stephanie Woodson from Stitch Modern Holidays magazine.

Before the sewing began.


 Pure chaotic crafting joy.
  Could my friend be any more entranced by sewing?
  The little foxes!

Not only did none of them sew, but most of them insisted that they could not, would not, sew. I just said, "Well, we'll have lots of good food, and you can always try to sew."

I know that they showed up for the good food and the company, but they stayed for the sewing. Once I put needle and thread in their hands, they were hooked. Old skills from childhood were suddenly rekindled, and it was like seeing ducks take to water.

I started the group out slowly, with only the expectation that they would cut out the pieces of the fox–body, head, tail, ear–and do some hand sewing, while I handled the machine work. But each one watched raptly as I stitched pieces together, and a couple pushed me aside to do the machine work themselves.

There is something so magical about gathering a group of friends to sew. It's a natural conduit for good conversation, and I felt good that I was part of reviving that instinctive need we all have to make and create. The urge gets stomped out early, all too often, and I heard more than one story of an early traumatic sewing  experience that led to the "I don't sew!" declarations.

In fact, the one friend who was the most insistent ended up being the last to go. And all of them finished their ornaments!

I think that the next time I get them together, we will all move on to making a simple gathered skirt. They didn't believe me when I said that it would be so much easier than sewing that tiny fox ornament. After all, a gathered skirt is just two rectangles.

We have a new book coming out soon that is just exactly the type of book I would use to introduce my novice friends to sewing garments. It's called Simply Sewn by Michiyo Ito, and the clothes are relaxed and elegantly simple in inimitable Japanese style. You can pre-order it as a gift for a friend or yourself from the Sew Daily Shop.

Have you tried to teach non-sewing friends how to sew? I would love to hear about it. Do tell!

Happy stitching!




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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

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