At the beginning of 2010, I sent out a quick survey to see what it is that most of us see as the reason we aren’t able to successfully get our sewing goals met each year. Is it time? Or how much space we have to work in? Is it lack of accountability? Or something else? The answers were varied and came from all over the globe, and I was fascinated to see what everyone had to say–and even more fascinated to know how many of us are having the same experience, despite very different backgrounds!
The results of the survey said that all of us had some goals to meet–goals we’d been sadly ignoring in years past. Some of them were expected, and others were a surprise–not all of us felt the same way about every aspect of our goals and obstacles, but there was a lot of overlap in the answers. Want to see my super-scientific-I-have-a-social-sciences-degree analysis of the answers that were submitted? Here ya go!
The categories YOU targeted as goals you’d like to tackle:
- Find (or make) enough time to sew
- Make more clothes for myself
- Stay motivated with a buddy, a reward, and inspiration from others
- Reduce and organize my stash of fabrics
- Tidy and beautify my sewing space
- Build skills and conquer new techniques so they never stand in the way of finishing a project
- Sew for others and give back with my needle
I had the brain storm of putting together sewing pen pals, people who would know each other through their relationship of sewing, who could interact one-on-one, and motivate another in ways that I could never dream of doing just through this blog. I was really excited and more than a little nervous–for all I knew, the survey results were just talk, and no one would ever in a zillion years want to take part in something as epically nerdy as having a sewing pen pal.
The Sewing Buddy Project
I launched the idea in 2010 with modest expectations–and every year since it has gone far beyond what I could have imagined. We’ve had more than 1500 Sewing Buddies participate in the Sewing Buddy project, and many of them come back again and again each year to get a NEW Buddy to add to their list of friends. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this very cool interwebs community, and am so grateful to have had a small part in galvanizing ANYONE’s love of sewing!
This is a straight-up pen pal matching program. I can’t promise that you’ll meet the PERFECT person for you–but what I can say is that I am constantly astonished at how GOOD the matches are. How often I hear from Buddies that they’ve met one another in person, that they’re writing back and forth regularly, that they exchange packages and Christmas cards. It’s amazing, really, that something like sewing can help us form a bond with someone who lives in another state or region or nation, isn’t it?
I once had two students in an online class. One was from Oslo, Sweden. Another was from the US. But she was LIVING in Oslo. The two of them got to know one another through the comments and conversations and chats in our class, and by the time we got to the end, they had met one another at a cafe in Oslo and were having regular sewing dates. Isn’t that incredible? The Sewing Buddy Project can be like that. It can give you a chance to meet someone you might not have otherwise met, and learn that they share your interests and excitement for sewing.
How It Works
When you register, you’ll receive a welcome letter with instructions for how to join our private Facebook group and how to add your name to the Super Sciency Whirly Bin of Sewing Magic, which is how I match you to your Buddy. Members receive monthly emails with encouragement and activities to remind you to spend time with your Buddy. What you do from there is up to you! Write one another as often as you like, or work together to sew for charity, or just know that there’s someone out there who gets you and supports you as you sew.
I love putting people together this way. I take matching Buddies VERY seriously, and put every single Buddy together personally and by hand. If Whipstitch can be even a small part of making your sewing better, of bringing you joy, of helping us to SEW BETTER, TOGETHER–then that’s what I’m all about.
Registration for the 2017 Sewing Buddy Project IS NOW OPEN and will close January 30, 2017. Pairs will be matched no later than February 1, 2017. Get all the details and secure your spot here!