Thursday, November 9, 2023

Contest Ideas for Neighborhood Groups

A collage in pastel shades of sewing notions surrounding a sewing machine

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Generated with AI ∙ November 9, 2023 at 12:18 PM

One of the ways to engage sewing groups is to create a challenge! Sewing challenges spur risk-taking because it's a low-risk exercise with the potential for a fantastic payoff! After all, these are learning opportunities. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Use the same pattern selected by the challenger to create a project. Marvel at the different variations sewists can create! An alternative to this is to use the same fabric. 
  • Everyone writes down a project (aka UFO) that is lingering in their time-out bin or stash. A deadline is agreed upon and everyone reports the status at the end of the challenge period. This written commitment provides accountability that can move a project forward.
  • Issue a "zero-waste" challenge and review the final projects
  • Upcycle or alter a garment you never wear but don't want to discard. Make it better, however you define "better."
  • Quilters must use a garment technique and garment sewists must use a quilting technique in a challenge.
  • Propose a technique challenge. Sewing books that demonstrate couture techniques, sashiko, quilting, and embroidery lend themselves well to this challenge. Sewists may also find inspiration from YouTube videos, Instagram, and blog posts. 
  • Identify the oldest pattern, notion, or fabric in your stash and make something with it.
  • White Elephant Challenge: Everyone brings a predetermined amount of fabric in a bag and bags are exchanged. (No peeking!) This could extend to trims, buttons, notions---the possibilities are endless!
  • Identify a "Christmas in August" recipient (could be an individual or a facility). Everyone is challenged to create a sewing donation for the recipient. This could be hats, adult bibs, walker/wheelchair totes, scarves, etc.
What ideas have you used for sewing challenges? What was your favorite challenge?

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