Craft camp

Craft camp

We’ve mentioned craft camp a few times around here lately, and thought we’d share some snaps from our last one. Last year we were lucky enough to go on a couple of crafty retreats at Sewjourn, and I think we’d both agree those weekends were real highlights of the year.

 

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

 

For some reason my non-sewing friends are endlessly fascinated by the whole concept of a group of craft-loving ladies going away for a weekend to do nothing but sew. I’ve had quite a few conversations that go something like this:

‘So you go away for three days and do nothing but sew…?’
– Yep.
‘And everyone there does nothing but sew?
– Yep.
‘Do you go out and have any fun while you’re there?
– No. THE SEWING IS THE FUN.
‘Do you drink?’
– Yep. But not enough to mess with the sewing.
‘After three days do you feel like you never want to see a sewing machine again?’
– The EXACT opposite.

 

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

 

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

 

I know it sounds a bit nutty to the uninitiated, but surely some of you sewing types can relate? We both feel that it’s such a lucky break and a joy to have three days away in the countryside with like-minded friends and acquaintances who share the whole hand-making passion thing deep in their bones. And yeah, I guess it is pretty weird that some of us are at their machines before 6am and some are still there past midnight, and some don’t stop much in between, but the chance to make stuff without interruption, to share skills and tricks, to borrow and compare patterns, to celebrate successes and laugh in the face of failures, is so much FUN.

 

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

 

So this recent camp was about Fen dress fever; summer dresses and more summer dresses; meticulously crafted linen tunics that prove the value of all those pesky things like basting, pinning and hand stitching; pom pom trimmings; Christmas gifts and selfless sewing; experiments with overalls; Inari tees; simple singlets and one quiet crafter who sat in the corner making felt leaves and flowers and ended up with this sweetest of animations for her new book:

 

 

Sewing, crafting and hand-making can be quite a solitary business (thank goodness for Instagram!). While often that’s part of the appeal, there’s also something lovely about sharing a hobby for a while, being in time and space with others immersed in that creative process, and taking a break from the normal mad juggle of fitting your hobby around your life. We’re thinking of ways this year to inject some craft camp energy into our Melbourne weekends – to gather with friends occassionally for a couple of hours of making and laughing. We’ll keep you posted. x

 

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

Craft Camp

 

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12 comments

  • Looks like such great fun! I’d love to do something like that.

  • Sewjourn is just magical & you have written about & photographed it to make me long to be there RIGHT NOW! I have similar conversations with my non- sewing friends about sewing weekends or gatherings.

  • I don’t think anyone reading your blog will disagree with how wonderful this all sounds. I’d love to do something like this, it would be amazing. And I love Anna’s animation – it’s just delightful!

    • Thanks Sarah, how cute is Anna’s animation? She also managed to fit some sewing in which made the rest of us feel like one-trick ponies! Hey I noticed on Insta there’s another craft camp set-up in Gisbourne which isn’t fully booked for years in advance….It’s called The Retreat Gisbourne. Highly recommend getting away to stitch x

  • Oh my stars. Whose Singer is that? That vintage beauty up top? What model is it? I must seek it out. I think what I’m saying is, I get it. I really do. The introvert in me fears I’d need to run away before 3 days were up, but it would be awfully fun. I’m actually quite out there and energetic, but I need to regroup and re-energise through solitude regularly. Are you all part of a social sewing group? Do you simply advertise for people to come? How does it work? And how do you find a venue for all those machines, power cords, cutting space etc. I love this photo diary. It’s just lovely xx

    • That’s my vintage Singer 😊

    • Hey Jillian, I’ll hook you up with the vintage Singer owner on IG, you two can geek out over machine details! I totally get what you’re saying about introverts and group weekends away – they’re something that normally fills me with anxiety because of the need to be switched on and ‘perform’ for hours on end. But….when there’s an external focus (making stuff/sewing), the pressure really seems to lift. You can talk/not talk. Banter/not banter. Bury yourself in fabric for hours without uttering a single sound. I really recommend it, and I’m not normally a group kind of gal. We got lucky enough to join this one by being invited by a couple of sewists that have an ongoing booking at the retreat venue, Sewjourn, which is set up for makers weekends. I reckon if you found a venue to book (there must be something similar up there?) and did a shout-out, the weekend would be filled in minutes. Some of the group we went with last time are good friends, some had never met – all were connected in some way to someone there, and through a love of stitching. Scary for introverts but SO worth it! Kate x

  • Ahh this trip sounds ideal! We need more sewing retreats in this world. That animation is AMAZING too.

  • I love this post. I posted in my sewing group facebook page and now we are talking seriously about organising a country sewing weekend – thanks for the inspiration.