Sewing Indie Month

Sound the trumpets! Beat the drums! Release the flying acrobats! And don’t forget to don your party hats while revving up your sewing machines!

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It’s Sewing Indie Month!!!

What’s Sewing Indie Month? Oh, just this little online party I’ve been planning since last year. A little party with 21 independent sewing pattern designers and their best friends (that would be you!).

Sewing Indie Month is all about making new friends and sewing great garments. See, when you’re an independent sewing pattern designer sometimes you really wish you could ask your fellow designers’ advice, or even just commiserate about how little sleep you get when there’s an error in one of your patterns. That can seem weird and presumptuous though, asking a stranger, a competing business owner, to chat about certain things they’d rather keep private. But that’s the great thing about being an indie designer, your fellow designers aren’t your competition, they’re your allies.

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With that in mind, I gathered a group of 21 independent sewing pattern designers so we could all chat and share our favorite sewing tips and techniques. Not only have the other pattern makers and I lined up great conversations between some of your favorite designers (and hopefully a whole bunch you’ve never heard of before!), but we also have 21 tutorials to share with you. Any of us could have hosted a pattern giveaway on our own, but that would have meant that only a few people got goodies. Instead, we decided to give back to the online sewing community by making some really great tutorials that everyone can benefit from. Check out the Sewing Indie calendar to see who’s posting when. You can also keep up with Sewing Indie Month by following the hashtag #SewingIndie on Twitter and Instagram.

Of course though, what’s a sewing party without some prizes? That’s where you come in! It’s time for a great big sewalong! With over $1,000 in prizes! Because we were all so busy getting our posts together for Sewing Indie Month, we decided to enlist the help of four of your favorite bloggers, who are each heading up a sewalong category.

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For an Indie Love Affair sew up a garment or outfit using patterns from two or more designers. Wanett of Sown Brooklyn, who’s known for having had the occasional dalliance and full blown love affair with indie patterns, will inspire you and share some great tutorials to help you along the way.

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Who better than vintage lover extraordinaire Laura of Lilacs and Lace to lead the Dressed to the Nines category? She’ll give you the fancy dressing bug while sharing great tips and techniques for making your special garments even more special. For Dressed to the Nines sew some fancy garments for those occasions when you want to look dapper or glamorous.

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Sometimes though, you come home at the end of a long day and just want to relax. Jenny of Cashmerette, who has made many a gorgeous yet casual outfit, will make you love to sew those casual garments that every wardrobe needs. She’ll help ease your knit fabric fears while showing you a few quick finishing methods for those days when you can’t wait to head out the door in your latest make. For the Everyday Casual sewalong category stitch up clothing that you’ll love to wear on a daily basis.

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Where’s the fun in sewing if you can’t customize your projects? Rhonda of Rhonda’s Creative Life will share her fabulous pattern drafting and hacking skills as she leads you through ideas and methods for hacking up your patterns to make garments that are unique to your style. And if you need even more inspiration all you have to do is check out her extensive blog archive that’s chock full of clever and imaginative pattern drafting tutorials. Let your creativity loose for the Pattern Hacking category by modifying a pattern beyond fit changes.

Can’t wait to get sewing? Take a look at the sewalong rules first.

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You’ll notice that the sewalong runs a little bit past the end of May. That’s so all you busy people can have time to photograph and link to your beautiful creations. Just make sure you submit your finished garment(s) on the sewalong hosts’ announcement pages by June 4th. Then, vote for your favorites by June 14th.

Now if you’ve read this far I know what you’re waiting for, the prizes! Well, there are SO MANY prizes that I couldn’t fit them all on this one page. Click over to the Sewing Indie Sewalong Prize Page to see what you can win. There’s a winner for each category.

Oh yeah! There’s a bonus winner too! Afraid your sewing skills aren’t up to snuff? Only have time to knock off a dead simple project? Not to fear! A bonus winner will be randomly selected from all the sewalong contestants to win a prize that’s just as fabulous as the other four. Beginning sewers, this bonus prize was made specially for you.

Here are just a few of the great prizes you can win. Remember, there are over $1,000 worth of prizes! Click over to that Prize Page to see them all.

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Keep your eyes peeled to your blog readers and RSS feeds during the month of May or you’ll miss out on inspiring conversations between your favorite designers and stellar tutorials that will help you expand your sewing skills! And if you want to show your indie love grab one of these blog buttons! With 150px, 200px, and 300px wide buttons here should be a size to fit every blog out there.

Sewing Indie Month
Sewing Indie Month
Sewing Indie Month


My only regret with Sewing Indie Month is that I couldn’t ask more designers to join! It seems like the beginning of 2014 saw the birth of a whole new bunch of indie pattern companies, but by the time I found out about them the planning process was too far gone to add new names to the mix. Also, to keep things manageable, I only sought out designers that made adult clothing patterns and had a blog in English.

However, the companies that we do have participating are truly fantastic! I couldn’t be happier to have worked with such a friendly bunch. Because they represent a wide range of aesthetics and body types I’m certain everyone will find a company that fits their style. Here are links to all the participating companies’ blogs so you can keep up with the latest Sewing Indie Month posts.

While I’ve been coordinating, I still don’t know what every single post will be about, so I can’t wait to see what all the other companies have cooked up! To get a sneak peak at what’s coming next check out the Sewing Indie Month Calendar. I hope you’re excited too! Let me know what you think in the comments below!

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67 Responses to “Sewing Indie Month”

  1. Kathy Sews June 10, 2014 at 12:32 pm #

    This was really a fun contest!! I loved seeing all the indie designers get together and do this!! I intended to enter but I must have been the odd person out and had a difficult time understanding some of the info about the contest overall. I sewed up a hack early in the month but it appears I misunderstood the original announcement. I wonder if other folks got a bit thrown by it? I read it several times but I found the announcement not as clear as I needed it, I had to scroll back and forth a number of times to collect info and decipher some of it. But I have been enjoying the entries I saw! I’m excited to vote this week :)

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari June 13, 2014 at 1:28 am #

      Hi Kathy,

      I’m sorry it was confusing. I really love your XYT dress though! What could have been made more clear so we can improve things in the future?

      • Kathy Sews June 14, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

        Please know I’m not in the least bit upset with anyone! This was meant to be a fun thing and it was!!!!! I really had fun seeing all the entries for the contest. It was a load of fun to make my hack… I was gonna do it before knowing about the contest and this was a motivator to finally sew it up.

        A boat load of work was put into organizing everything for the whole program you put together and I’m freakishly impressed with it!!!!!! This must have taken weeks and months of work and collaboration.

        I just feel a little dumb for not re-reading the rules for entering. I read that folks were to enter on the sewalong hosts’ announcement page– I was a little confused because so many of the participants/indie designers were having sewalongs/tutorials for lots of yummy stuff– I didn’t scroll back up and down the page to see that it was the one particular blog already pre-selected here on this page– I was confused with this.

        Maybe in the future the contest page can spell out where to enter, i.e. under the header for Pattern Hacking hosted by Rhonda, put a very obvious button that says something like “Enter your work here on this blog” and link it to Rhonda’s blog. Currently I see a great description about the hacking contest under the header there but it doesn’t say ‘this is the blog you will host this contest, so enter here when the time comes’.

        On the ‘poster’ (the Sewing Indie Month rules) I’d consider putting who the sewalong hosts are. It says to enter at the sewalong host’s page but there is no mention of who they are.

        Anyhow, I’m one lil person on ye olde internet who sews and blogs… I have no idea if other folks even were as lame as I was with figuring this out. But this small thing is not of any major circumstance compared to how majorly cool contest this was!!! Very smart and innovative.

  2. Nicoletta May 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    Hello Mari, hello everybody!! Finally posted my entry for this great contest!! Thank you for this opportunity!! http://dinuvoledicuori.altervista.org/index.php/en/sewing/free-patterns/item/26-polly-top-or-a-nice-picnic-time

  3. Suze May 26, 2014 at 2:26 am #

    Hi Everyone, I don’t know how to up load the photos for my Out and About Dress – can anyone help…have I missed something really obvious – probably, but I have looked….THANKS HEAPS

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 26, 2014 at 9:25 am #

      Hi Suze,

      In order to enter, please link to your blog post, Kollabora post, or Pattern Review review. Link it to the one category you want using the InLinkz widget on the sewalong hosts’ announcement pages. You can find links to the hosts’ announcement pages above. The InLinkz widget is at the bottom of their posts.

      Thanks for sewing along!

  4. April B. May 14, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    This gave me the push I needed to buy a pattern I’ve been wanting for awhile. Now to find the perfect fabric and start sewing!

  5. Diya May 13, 2014 at 11:24 am #

    Hi . This sounds fun.. Are free patterns of the participating designers counted as a contest entry ?

  6. Chuleenan - C Sews May 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Mari, thanks so much for organizing this amazing celebration of indie sewing! Just by happenstance the Bay Area Sewists May 17 meetup is a pattern swap and discussion of indie patterns and sewing books! Perfect timing! I’ve told members about Sewing Indie Month. I’ve also been checking out all the participating pattern company sites – and I’ve already bought two patterns. I hope I have time to make and finish a dress for this!

  7. Sabine Winters May 4, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    This sound like fun! A never participated on any contest. So could you please help me out. Which pattern most be made and where can i find it!
    Kind regards Bie

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 4, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      Hi Sabine,

      You can find the contest rules above, in this post. Any pattern or tutorial from any of the designers participating in Sewing Indie Month are eligible. There is no one pattern or list of patterns that you must sew. The list of participating designers with links to their sites is the last thing in this post. Click through to their sites and you’ll be able to see all the patterns you can choose from.

      Can’t wait to see what you make!

  8. Joanne May 2, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    Wow this is going to be a great month! Me Made May as well as Indie Pattern Month :) I hope I find the time to do a couple of projects this month, if not I’m looking forward to some intense blog-reading and lurking other people’s blogs to see their indie creations.

  9. Geo P May 2, 2014 at 4:41 am #

    Wow, such a great project! You bet I’m in :)

  10. sewsable May 1, 2014 at 5:39 pm #

    Are the prize draws open internationally? I need to do some sewing anyway, but am in the middle of shifting my sewing room to my studio so need to know whether I need to find my pattern from By Hand London or not.

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 1, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

      Yes! Just as our pattern designers are international, so is our sewalong and the ability to win prizes.

  11. Sarah May 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Holy ham sandwiches! I’m in!

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 1, 2014 at 5:50 pm #

      I’ve never heard that expression before, but I love it! I may need to start using it.

  12. Shanni May 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm #

    This is really exciting!! Looking forward to sewing along!

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 1, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      Glad everyone seems as excited as I am :)

  13. Tanya Maile May 1, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    Awesome! I’m looking forward to being part of it!

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 1, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

      Great! I’m excited to see what you come up with.

  14. zilredloh May 1, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Yay! What a great idea Mari!!!

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 1, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      Thanks Liz!

  15. mackclark311 May 1, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    This is so exciting! I can’t wait to enter! Can we submit items made from non-participating indie designer patterns?

    • Avatar of Mari
      Mari May 1, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      I can’t wait to see what you sew!

      Because the participating designers have put in a huge amount of behind-the-scenes work for months, only garments sewn from patterns made by the participating designers are eligible. Of course though, we love the other indie companies who couldn’t participate! So, you could sew up a top or jacket from Waffle Patterns (a participating designer) and pair it with pants from Sewahollic or Colette. Only the top or jacket from Waffle would be eligible to win and you could submit it to the ‘Dressed to the Nines’, ‘Everyday Casual’, or ‘Pattern Hacking’ categories. It would be eligible to win a prize in the ‘An Indie Love Affair’ category only if you also added a pattern from another participating designer.

      I hope that clears everything up!

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