WEEK 2 JULY 13 - 19 (all weeks run from Monday 9am GMT)
THEME IS 'COOL COMFORT', sponsored by With This Cloth
If you've not heard of With This Cloth, it is a new online shop that was launched by Nicole Patterson in January of this year. I've sewn up a few pieces in fabric from Nicole's store and it really is incredible quality!
As a prize for week 2, Nicole is very kindly offering a prize of 2 metres of the fabric of your choice from her beautiful store! I caught up with her to see how her new venture is faring..
Your business has been born from a lifetime love of sewing and your focus is on beautiful quality fabrics, specifically linen. Tell us a bit more about the love you have for this fabric and how it has developed...
I started collecting vintage linen when I was at university in London and renting my first flat. I used to go to flea markets in and around Swiss Cottage and pick up old sheets, table cloths and nightgowns and turn them into clothes. I just loved the feeling of it and never really stopped. I used to sew a bit at school and beyond but nothing of note. A bit like the transformation challenge on the Sewing Bee, turning bits from charity shops into something I could wear. I probably looked a sight!
Twenty years as a barrister left me with no time at all but I started sewing again in 2015 and in 2018 I started a small home wares brand called Home Trousseau. It was sourcing the cloth for our bed, bath and table linens that led me to the weavers and dyers of cloth for dressmaking and then, of course, With This Cloth had to happen. It brings together my love of sewing with my love of linen. I really am devoted to it. In my home I have linen sheets, pyjamas, towels, tea towels, table cloths, napkins, curtains, cushions, throws and, of course, the vast majority of my clothes. I wear it year-round. Linen is such a versatile cloth. Cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cold. It’s breathable, anti-bacterial and exceptionally strong. It comes in all weights from delicate fabric for handkerchiefs to heavyweight stuff for coats and upholstery. I just love it.
You've been a supportive member of the sewing community on IG for a while - what was the reaction from people when you started your business? Do you think this sense of community has helped you develop your business idea?
I was so thrilled with the immediate reaction to the opening of With This Cloth. Those who had been following me got it straightaway; that I was trying to buy my cloth from mills I had visited and forged relationships with, and selling fabrics I would sew with myself. The sewing community that engaged with me as a sewist followed me because of my style, not because it’s unique or even original, but because it suits my personality, my body type and my age and I think they know what they’re going to get when the visit With This Cloth.
The challenge going forward is to be truly inclusive, not only in being open to sewists of all ages, body types and communities but making sure that as I move forward with With This Cloth, the business will be inclusive in the roles we can offer.
So how do you see the business developing in the future?
My vision for With This Cloth is three-fold.
1. I would like to expand the range of fabrics I can offer, still working with small producers and weavers with integrity. I would like to move into a bricks and mortar premises where I can hold more stock, meet lots of our customers and I would like host some sewing in situ.
2. Last year I started a really popular local sewing group which I had to put on hold but I am hoping that we’ll be able to pick that up again and bring it with us to the new premises, when we find the perfect spot!
3. The more people we can get sewing, the better it is. I think that the world has found life simpler in lockdown than it was before. We’ve slowed down and started doing more from home and sewing has been a lifeline for many of us. I’d like to introduce as many local people to the craft as I can!
Thank you Nicole for sponsoring our prize and we wish you all the best for your business! Read on for how to take part in #100ActsofSewingJuly...
First of all you'll need at least one sewing pattern from the 100 Acts of Sewing collection.
Make a version of it that ties in with the weekly theme - this week the theme is COOL COMFORT! You can interpret this however you like!
Then take a photo of your garment (preferably of you wearing it!)
Post your finished 100 Acts of Sewing garment on Instagram FROM 13 -19 July. Use the hashtags
plus the garment hashtag, e.g. #shirtno1
and tag us both to be in with a chance of winning the prize!
Pattern hacks and adaptations are welcome but your garment must have initially come from a 100 Acts of Sewing pattern and should link to the weekly theme. Please only post garments that haven't been entered in previous years, let's keep it fresh!
One winner will be chosen at random each week from Instagram and they will get the sponsor’s prize.
Competition is open worldwide.
You can also win prizes in our private Facebook group - please answer the questions to gain membership and get sewing!