Sewing Buddies OPEN for 2013!

sewing buddy icon

Can you believe it??  The FOURTH year we have done Sewing Buddies.  That’s crazy town!  I can hardly even think about how much has happened in those four years, and I am so excited to see another round of Sewing Buddies get paired up.  I very clearly remember sitting on a sofa we no longer have in a basement we no longer own reading through emails and matching up that very first group of Buddies–over 200 of them.  And every year since, I have had the pleasure and privilege of going through the process again with a new batch of folks, and then seeing where those relationships bloom.

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The Sewing Buddy Project began in 2010 in response to an informal survey I sent out, asking people to examine what it is that prevents us from reaching our sewing goals, and looking for ways to surmount those obstacles and achieve Sewing Greatness in 2010.  Each year since then, we’ve worked on the same ideas and continued to build–and the most popular of those is the Sewing Buddy Project, the idea that a pen pal who loves sewing as much as you do will keep you motivated and on-task, and give you encouragement and inspiration to get the sewing done that you most want to do!  The Sewing Buddy Project has always been FREE, and is largely a service I provide to match people up to one another–where you go with your Buddy after that is totally up to the two of you!

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Last year was the first year we did Sewing Buddy Challenges.  The idea behind the Sewing Buddy Challenges was that once each quarter, every three months, I would present a sewing task for Buddies to accept, using a theme or concept.  I wanted a way for us to build community that had a time frame and a deadline–there are lots of ways to jump in and get to know one another, but something that’s got a firm end date tends to get our creative juices going, right?  And what better way to get to know someone than by working with them!  The entries were posted to Flickr, and winners were chosen with prizes and everything.  This year, I had planned three, but we ended up doing only two–the first was amazingly awesome with tons of participation and excitement.

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The second was a little more subdued, as we got into the summer months and our days got busy and sewing wasn’t always a top priority. Which is a shame, because I loved the idea behind it, and loved seeing the Sewing Buddy projects come in–all the sewn projects in the photos in this post were made by Sewing Buddies in 2012!  Something wasn’t quite gelling, though, which is fine–I think in any endeavor, the most important thing is to listen to feedback and work to make it better.  Sewing Buddies is a project that I truly believe is worth tweaking and making better.

So this year, I’m asking for those of you who want to sign up to be a Sewing Buddy in 2013 to suggest ideas for how we can all interact with one another this year.  As part of your comment, you’ll include ONE suggestion for a project, outreach, bee, challenge, ______along, or what-have-you that might be appropriate for the Sewing Buddies for this year!  See the two challenges from 2012 for ideas, but keep in mind that I’m looking for three really GREAT suggestions for the later months of 2013–I already have an idea for the first quarter, which we’ll roll out in February once all the Buddies are matched up.  I’ll select three suggestions from all the Buddy comments, and we’ll be on our way into a new year with new Buddies to inspire our sewing!

SewingBuddy

Additionally, I’m bringing back the Sewing Buddy Inspiration e-mails!  That’s right: all my 2013 Sewing Buddies will be added to the list to receive my Sewing Inspiration emails, and will receive a monthly message of stitchy motivation, right in their inbox, complete with ideas and techniques to help you really bring your A-game to the current quarter’s sewing challenge.  You have to participate to get the email, though.  Doesn’t that totally make you want to play along??

Sweet!!

As in the past, it all begins with you throwing your name in the hat, so let’s get started!

Guidelines for 2013 Sewing Buddy Project participation:

  • Agree that you will leave no email from your Sewing Buddy un-answered.  A Sewing Buddy is a pen pal who loves to sew, and pen paling with your pen pal is the best way to get that all going–remember what Gramma said: to have a friend, you have to BE a friend.  Simply replying to each message as they go back and forth will build your commitment and resolve.  If your Sewing Buddy-ness goes no further than encouraging emails once a week, that’s awesome!  It will keep you on-track to meet some goals or to challenge yourself in a way you might not have otherwise.  If you both decide to start your own Flickr group or joint blog or do some mail exchanges, even better.  At a minimum, though, resolve to always answer your Buddy’s emails–any other participation in challenges or contests is completely voluntary.
  • Branch out and get a new Sewing Buddy, even if you’ve already been rocking it with your 2010 or 2011 or 2012 Buddy.  You can never have too many friends who sew!  You can keep your other Buddies and learn great stuff from a new one.  Isn’t friendship awesome?
  • Sewing Buddies can be at any skill level and do any type of sewing.  We welcome beginners, intermediates, advanced and lots of mixy types at in-between-y skill levels.  Don’t quilt?  Maybe your Buddy can help you learn!  Don’t sew garments?  Maybe the two of you will start together!  The only requirement is that you’re willing to communicate and interact with one another.  That’s it!
  • Sewing Buddies can be from anywhere in the world, as long as you’re willing to communicate in English.  We’ve had folks from Britain, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, Canada, Austria, South Africa, New Zealand and a host of other nations participate, and you can, too!  I can’t promise you’ll get a Buddy who is geographically near to you, but isn’t that part of the fun, that discovery?  Hooray for international diplomacy!
  • Be on the lookout for contests, challenges, secret passwords, and even (gasp!) meet-ups designed just for Sewing Buddies!  We’ll have our quarterly sewing “activity”, TBA based on your suggestions, but there is plenty more that we can do–and I’ve taken suggestions and comments from past Sewing Buddies very seriously as I work to make this the coolest pen pal experience you’ve ever had!

That’s it!  I’ll begin matching names in the magic whirly-bin of Sewing Buddy Science on January 15, 2013.  Sign-ups will close February 1, 2013 at midnight.  Pairs will be notified no later than February 2, 2013 and the first Sewing Buddy activity will be announced the same day!

To participate in the 2013 Sewing Buddy Project:

  • To add your name to the list to be matched with a Buddy, simply leave a comment below–that’s it!  Include a working email address that you check (this will be captured when you leave your name, so it isn’t necessary to leave it in the body of your comment).
  • You’ll receive an email from me asking you to (1) confirm your participation and (2) name a favorite color and a number between 1 and 10.  I’ll also ask you to suggest an “activity” for Sewing Buddies to participate in during one quarter in 2013–these suggestions are wide open, and a have no bearing on what Buddy you get; they’re for research purposes only, I promise.  These emails will go out in batches beginning January 20; Buddies will be matched from within each batch.
  • I’ll use the responses to the emails I receive along with a super-scientific system here at the Whipstitch Labs to match you to the PERFECT Sewing Buddy based on a four-fold formula that’s much too complicated to write about here but that is really awesome and time-y wime-y space-y.
  • I’ll send an email to the both of you giving introductions in proper Victorian style (a lady never spends time with someone to whom she has not been properly introduced), and then like a mother whose chicks are leaving the nest, I’ll step back and watch as the friendship flourishes.
  • You and your Buddy will make the initial contact and see where it leads you!  Contests?  Maybe.  Inspiration?  Certainly.  Life-long friendship?  Golly, I hope so.

That’s it!  I’m really looking forward to hearing more from all of you this year, can am so pleased so many of you are looking to continue the Sewing Buddy love.  Hooray!

208 Comments on “Sewing Buddies OPEN for 2013!

  1. I am so excited to begin the new year know I will have voices in my head (well my in-box) who are real-live people telling me to sew!

  2. I’d like to be paired up with a sewing buddy! This is exactly what I was looking for this year!

  3. I *love* my current sewing buddy, but would love to have another, too!

  4. One of my goals for 2013 is to sew more, so this is the perfect inspiration and motivation to do so! How exciting!

  5. I would love a Sewing Buddy! I’m in the UK, is that OK? Perhaps one of the quarterly projects/challenges could be to make a dress for Dress a Girl Around the World.

  6. This sounds really fun! I’m semi-retired and like to do hand embroidery and needle felting as well as sewing. Have not tried quilting anything more than mug rugs, but like that too :)

  7. This sounds great! I would love to have a buddy somewhere in the world to share my sewing with. Please match me up!

  8. I am addicted to sewing and want to be apart of a sewing group! So this is me getting out of my comfort zone! Can’t wait to meet more sewing peeps like me!

  9. I think this will be a great way for me to branch out from under quilts and maybe into new realms this year with my sewing.

  10. I’m so excited! I love pen pals and being stitchy!!! Thank you for organizing!

  11. You can never have too many sewing friends! Sign me up! :)

  12. I can’t wait for a sewing buddy for 2013! Thanks for organizing this again and again, what a great thing.

  13. What fun! Please sign me up :) A couple years ago I did this in a moleskine group & she’s turned I to a forever friend. I would love to see a Challenge with a philanthropic slant. Something along the lines of A Dress for Every Girl or quilts for preemies or anything where someone in need benefits from our sewing! Thank you so much for hosting this :)

  14. So excited for another sewing buddy! No one I know sews around me.

  15. I’ve wanted to join a sewing group, but getting away as a WOHM of a 2 yr old is hard. I’d like to have a buddy to talk sewing with, and I’d love to be motivated to finish some UFOs so I can move on creatively. Please sign me up! I am friendly and willing to try!

  16. Oh,, yes please! I really kicked myself for not signing up last year. Thank you for doing all the work to connect us!

  17. This sounds like a great opportunity to talk sewing, be motivated, and motivate others in a positive way. Please sign me up! I am friendly and happy to try!

  18. I definitely would like to be a part of the sewing buddy action!!

  19. I’d love to do it again, I missed last year but did it 2 yrs ago! :)

  20. Raises hand :)

    I’m actually sewing a lot these days and having a partner in crime would be awesome.

  21. I would love to participate! One of my resolutions this year was to increase my sewing skill level and this would be a great way for me to keep myself in the right path.Something I would love to try, but i always talk myself out of are clothes. Any clothing related tasks would be welcome.

  22. So glad I’ve discovered you! I’m just getting back into sewing again and really look forward to having a buddy to air and share with!

  23. I’d love to be part of this! I’ve never done something like this before, so I’m looking forward to something new!

  24. I neeeeed this to get me to use my stash up and finish all my W’s IP!

    Thank you!

  25. Count me in! If I have a sewing buddy, then maybe I can stop boring my loved ones with talk of sewing all the time!

  26. I am in desperate need of sewing buddy and a challenge! Cannot wait!:)

  27. Thank you so much for organizing this again! I would love to participate this year, and meet a fellow sewing buddy.

  28. I would love to be included! I am an intermediate sewer and self taught. Some projects that I think would be great to challenge us with would be bags, quilt blocks and pillows!

  29. Pingback: Maybe This Will Work? « In the Craftroom

  30. I loved my 2012 buddy and can’t wait to add to the sewing buddy family I’m building!! Thanks for organizing this. I’ll put my thinking cap on for ideas to share, too.

  31. I would love to participate again. I can’t believe how quickly the new year rolls around and that this is the third go around for me!! I am assuming we are to give our project ideas once you have contacted us as most of the comments are devoid of an idea.

  32. I would love to be part of this group. It sounds like great motivation to get some sewing accomplished.

  33. Pingback: 12 months, 12 projects | Bird and Bicycle

  34. I would love to participate. Thank you for making this available.

  35. How fun! I am a quilter, knitter and crocheted, and cross-stitcher. I wrote the book”precut Combo Quilts”. I think a fun project would be a mystery quilt, or a round robin with your partner.

  36. I would love to be scientifically matched to a sewing buddy! I’m a quilter who is learning to crochet or knit (I haven’t decided which yet) and have a 2013 quilty resolution to be more social about it!

  37. I love this! I suggest a My Precious seeing project. Thanks!

  38. This coming year is my year to blossom. A sewing buddy would be wonderful. My husband and I have almost finished our remodeling and I again will have a room of my own for sewing and crafts. I took care of my parents for the last 5 years and they both passed away since September. So with time on my hands, a good stash and a desire to sew again I hope the challenge and friendship will get me going. I would like to see a challenge to make something inspired by something the maker sees almost every day.

  39. I’d love to participate in 2013. So far my experience has been good but not great. One idea is to do a challenge where a new skill is learned, it would be a great way to learn something new!

  40. Sign me up! Sounds fun b/c my husband is definitely sick of talking about fabric.

  41. Count me in!! Ever since I found out about the Sewing Buddy Project I’ve been hoping that there’ll be a new round in 2013 so I can participate. Super excited to meet my Sewing Buddy!!

  42. This certainly sounds like a lot of fun! Count me in!

  43. I can’t wait to get to know my sewing buddy! Happy 2013!

  44. This is exciting–I would very much like to participate!

  45. I would love to participate and get a sewing buddy! :)

  46. this makes me a little nervous but i love pen pals and sewing so what can go wrong??

  47. This is a great idea! I love to sew and love connecting with others who do. I like the idea of a bag challenge or refashioning a dress from thrift store finds.

  48. Oh yay!! I would love to have a sewing buddy! Thank you for putting it all together! :-)

  49. This is a great idea, so happy I found whipstitch!! Enjoying all the classes!

  50. I really need to learn how to modify patterns so that they fit my unique womanly form :-) So, a dress, or, dare I say it, a pair of pants (scary *gasp*)

  51. This sounds like so much fun! I would love to participate. Thank you for going to all this work to connect us!

  52. I would love a sewing buddy!!! But I need someone to be patient with me since I’m 5 months pregnant mother of a rambunctious 2 year old and really need sewing as a stress relief XD

  53. 2013 a year for exciting sewing! I enjoy learning new tricks of the trade when it comes to using my sewing machine. My favorite is to sew clothes, yet anything that I get to say “Hey look what I can do I made this on Sewfee (that’s my machine’s name of course)

  54. I’m new to Atlanta and just getting back into sewing. I’m really looking forward to making a new sewing buddy to help inspire me to sew more!

  55. I need a sewing buddy. love to sew, but don`t have anyone around me that sew.

  56. Yes please! I’ve wanted to join ever since I read about all the lovely projects last year!

  57. Sorry if this published 3 times – I kept getting an error msg

  58. Signing up! Looking forward to having a sewing buddy.

  59. I’ve never had a sewing buddy — pen pal. I love how much fun I have with people in classes. Many of my friends “used to sew” but don’t want to devote any time to it now.

    Thanks for organizing this again. It makes for great blog interaction!

  60. I would love to be part of the 2013 sewing buddies! :) Thank you so much for doing this!

  61. Oh, I would love to help somebody with her sewing goals!

  62. Sign me up please. As for a project what about some kind of fabric swap and then a project to go with it. I just finished reading your scrap quilt post that you made between Christmas and New Year’s. So people could swap 2.5 inch strips and then make a quilt like that.

  63. This sounds AMAZING!!! I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered your blog!! Thanks for the opportunity to meet new friends :)

  64. I would like to try this… I have a lot of curtains I need to sew and maybe something for myself:)

  65. So glad I found this and I’m not too late to sign up. Would love to have a sewing buddy. 2013 is gonna be sooo good!!!

  66. me please! Mine didn’t work out last year, so I hope this year I’m more disciplined!

  67. Just found your site, I would love to participate in the Sewing Buddies…does it matter where we are located? Thank you and have a great day!

  68. I’m very excited for the fun and accountability of this! Thank you for all the work you’ve put into it!

  69. This is such an incredible idea! I can’t wait to meet my buddy :-)

    • Also what is your email addy so I can put it in my “important” folder?

  70. I am a beginner who would like to get more regular, and therefore more advanced, in my sewing machine exploits. As for a challenge, I would love to do something that benefits others: pillowcases/blankets for pediatric wards, Little Dresses for Africa, etc.

  71. Just discovered your site – looks like a heap of fun and the accountability and companionship will be grand!

  72. This sounds right up my alley! I’ve been itching to pull out my machine and fabric since we moved.

  73. This looks so cool. Hope it is as motivating through the year as it seems right now!

  74. Yes please, sign me up! What a fantastic ‘concept’, so looking forward to being involved :-)

  75. This sounds like fun and just the push I need to actually do something with my fabric stash!

  76. Maybe this will help keep me on track for some projects this year. :o)

  77. Looking forward to this! I’m a beginner but ready to get some mileage out of my new (old) sewing machine. ; )

  78. I would love to participate. I am a beginner sewer, and don’t use my sewing machine much, and having 3 children I would love to change that.

  79. I am looking foward to joining the group. I do not seem to get to my sewing machine as often as I should. I would probably be more up to the challenge if I did. I am ready though to be challenged and meet new friends. Thank you for creating the opportunity. I would also like to suggest some sort of endeavor for charity.

  80. Please please please sign me up! One of my goals for this year was to spend some more me time….and this is exactly what I was looking for.

  81. Hi! I’d love to participate in Sewing Buddies!
    Colour: red!
    Number: 4

  82. I love the idea of a sewing buddy. I sew quilts, Christengowns,home dec. Wedding gowns, prom dresses. crafts, doll clothes, purses.The problem is I have highly functional ADD and have problems sometimes finishing projects.

  83. I am so excited about this. I have been sewing for a couple of years now, but never very consistently and now I’m kind of stuck. I would love to have some accountability and motivation!

  84. Sounds fun! Looking forward to finding a sewing buddy!

  85. I feel like I’ve just discovered a pot of gold with Sewing Buddies. What a gift! Thank you for the opportunity to join in. I love making new friends almost as much as I love sewing!!!

  86. Pingback: Whipstitch Buddy Sewalong « In the Craftroom

  87. I’d love to be matched up. I’ve seen others mention it and I really like the idea of buddies sewing A Dress for Every Girl!

  88. Oh, fun! Anything that encourages me to sew more is a good thing.

  89. I would love to participate and get a sewing buddy. What a great idea! Thanks!

  90. So glad to find this! I’d be excited to have some technique specific challenge, but all of it will be fabulous. I dont have many friends who sew, so a buddy will be a great sounding board. Thank you!

  91. I’m in! Can’t wait to see where this take me in 2013.

  92. I am here from Simply Homemade and I am excited to venture with Sewing Buddies this year. My first!

  93. I would love to have a sewing buddy. What a great idea this is!

  94. I’m in…I would love to have a sewing buddy and also bond with a new friend!!! :-)

  95. I’d like to participate in the sewing buddy program this year.

  96. I would love to participate. I’m so glad I saw this before it was too late. Thank you!

  97. I would like to make new friends that share my crafty interests… now I just have to make more time to sew! Looking forward to hearing more!

  98. I held back last year because of lack of confidence. Well here goes I would like to join the Sewing Buddy programme this year. Woo hoo !!!

  99. I forgot to comment on projects-there are so many crafting for a cause organizations out there……dresses for girls, pillowcases, blankets, slippers,dolls, hopeful threads, etc. I would love to put our sewing force behind one of those.

    getting excited……

    • Thanks for the suggestion of Hopeful Threads Robin, would always welcome your sewing force through support and participation of one of our project! :) Best!

  100. I’ve been wishing for a Sewing Buddy because I need some external motivation, but also because I love the friendliness, helpfulness and kindness that pervades the sewing community. No haters here, and that’s a good thing.

    A sewing project that could be fun, easy, and not take half a year is … (drumroll) … underwear. Ohhhlulu and A Few Loose Threads are sponsoring a competition, but for those of us who aren’t ready for competition, a pair of perfect, sexy, and comfortable panties would broaden our skill set and give us a naughty glint in our eye when we talk about our sewing project. Doesn’t take much fabric, can be done with wovens or knits, and is instantly usable. What could possibly be better?

    Another project idea is an upcycled denim bag. Environmentally friendly, widely creative, and cheap. You can carry your sexy underwear for an overnight in it.

  101. I stumbled upon this website and am so glad I did. I love to sew and want to do more of it, but life seems to always get in the way. A sewing buddy may help me to find the time. And it will be fun to have someone to talk with about sewing and learn from along the way. A project could be making hats for children with cancer or blankets for Project Linus.

  102. I am really excited to be a part of the Sewing Buddy community! Thank you so much for making this happen!!

  103. Im so excited Ive found the sewing buddy project before the deadline. Id love a partner in crime (err…. buddy) !!!

  104. I would love to be assigned a sewing buddy! You can’t have too many people to talk sewing with.

  105. A sewing buddy is just what I need! Learning how to upcycle or remake clothes and sewing knits are on my agenda this year.

  106. I would love to join as I am new to sewing and my machine terrifies me!! I have made a few projects with a friend’s help, but would love to step out into the brave world of sewing on my own, with a buddy course.

    Let’s make dslr camera straps!

    Thank you so much!!

  107. I would love a sewing buddy! Lots of things I want to sew this year, just need someone to keep me on track. :)

  108. I need a sewing buddy! Thanks so much for coordinating this.

  109. I didn’t have great luck with my buddy last year, unfortunately, but I’m ready to give it another shot. Thanks for organizing this every year!

  110. I’d love a sewing buddy, thank you for hosting this!

  111. Love to have a sewing buddy! Looking forward to this. And by the way, I love your new book!

  112. I’d love to join in – assuming you’re willing to take on an absolute beginner!! Sounds like a great group; thanks so much for pulling it all together!

  113. Didn’t have much luck with my bud last year, but hopefully this year will be better! I’m IN!

  114. A sewing buddy sounds like a fun idea! Please count me in!

  115. My current favorite color is green and I like the number 7. I will stop working in March after 32.5 years and I cannot wait to get back to the sewing machine. I would love a sewing buddy.

    I love to make “laugh or cough” pillows for people who have had open heart surgery. I also like to make tea cozies (so many creative choices).

  116. I would LOVE to have a sewing buddy. Saw this just in time! :)

    • You’re not too late–I’m still matching up pairs! Let me know if you’d like to join us, and I’ll put you in the hat. :)

    • I got my information late last night. I think the first project is supposed to be posted today.

  117. I just found your website and learned about your great company. I would love to participate in the Sewing Buddy Project!

  118. Hey!! I know I’m posting past the close date, but if you’ve still got room for a ‘little one’, I would luuuurrrvvve to be a part of this! It sounds fantastic!!! I’ve only just found your fabulous site, I’m reading voraciously and enjoying it immensely.
    I think that some kind of upcycle project would be a fantastic idea in that’s time of austerity (certainly here in the UK anyway). Also, I love the idea of making something that will benefit a charity or someone less fortunate too. I hope you’ll be kind enough to allow me to tag on if its at all possible!
    Many thanks, in anticipation of a positive result (crosses fingers and looks hopeful …)
    Kirsty :)

  119. Oops, in this time of austerity, not that’s. damn you autocorrect!!!

  120. I would like a sewing buddy if its not too late to sign up. Love this idea!

  121. Is it too late to get a sewing buddy? I’m a complete novice. My sweet * yr. old daughter and I will be learning to do this together. Love this idea!

  122. This is so exciting and thanks for this group. I would like a window treatment buddy. Thanks.

  123. I’d love to join if it isn’t too late…I love to sew for the less fortunate – mostly children (pillow case dresses for girls, shorts for boys), as well as some quilting for quilts for kids project. I would love to be paired with someone of similar interests.