Held in collaboration with Sew Essential and New Vintage Sewing, ‘The Stitch Room SEWcial’ on Friday 15 June and Saturday 16 June will welcome an array of bloggers and writers that specialise in dress-making.
From industrial machine demonstrations to tours of the University’s facilities, to a fabric swap over a slice of cake and a chance to work on current projects, a variety of activities will take place across the two days.
Independent sewing pattern and textile designer Marilla Walker will be speaking at the sold-out event and the University’s Technical Tutor in Textiles Anne Acosta will also be on hand to offer her creative and technical wisdom.
Anne – who has previously worked on BBC productions and for Glyndebourne Opera House – runs New Vintage Sewing, an Instagram account where she shares her own work and sewing tips and techniques.
She was inspired to organise The Stitch Room SEWcial after discovering the strong online sewing community and learning how the hobby has helped many people.
Anne thought the University would make the perfect venue due to its range of facilities and teamed up with Sew Essential – an online sewing superstore based near Ashby de la Zouch – to make the event a reality.
Anne said: “I thought a SEWcial would work really well at Loughborough as we have an amazing Stitch Room, with big cutting tables and all kinds of machines.
“It’s a good chance to showcase what the University has on offer – there’ll be tours of the textile workshops including the print room, weave shed, photo studio and embroidery room.
“The event also provides a nice opportunity to support Sew Essential, a local business that has helped us find fabric for many student projects.”
She continued: “Everyone assumes sewing is an older person’s hobby but it really isn’t.
“Sewing is having a big revival. There are so many young people with an interest in it, especially after the TV programme The Great British Sewing Bee.
“People sew for many reasons and it can be really beneficial. Some sew to take away from their troubles and others use it as a way to deal with mental health problems.
“People also love to produce unique and well-fitted clothing – there is a great deal of satisfaction in making and wearing handmade items.
“I’ve found sewing brings people together, especially online. Sewers, like me, use social media to share tips and help each other and this often leads to opportunities to meet in real life, which is great.”
Lucy Regan, of Sew Essential, added: “Since my mother-in-law and husband started our business nearly 14 years ago, the number of people engaging in sewing and craft-related hobbies has dramatically increased.
“The online sewing communities where people chat, share their makes and help each other through apps like Instagram has definitely contributed to this growth.
“It's ironic that it is often argued that social media is a cause of isolation and lack of interaction, but in this community, it is actually a catalyst for meeting like-minded people.
“We love sharing our passion for sewing and being a part of this lively, vibrant community and we are thrilled to be part of this exciting new event.”
Sixteen bloggers are attending The Stitch Room SEWcial. If successful, it is hoped it may become an annual event that is open to a wider audience.