My 5 reasons for joining a Sewing Bee

I am rubbish at sewing, I take all my minor alterations to a local shop and pay to have them done. But I saw something at a cafe in our area that could save me money, they’ve started a sewing bee!

Learn to use a sewing machine with expert help on hand

Having not used a sewing machine for years I needed help, I could never thread it right. I needed step-by-step instruction about threading and tension and it was all available here in the group.


Have access to equipment without having to splash out

There are a few sewing machines and a most fabulous overlocker. I’ll admit I had no idea what an Overlocker was, I discovered it sews and cuts away excess fabric at the same time. It gives that very neat finish we see on our shop bought clothes. I now want one!

Save money by doing my own alterations

Long sleeves are always too long on me, a quirk of my arthritis is my elbow joints are slightly set which means my arms aren’t fully straight. It’s not noticeable other than affecting sleeve length. I take all alterations to a local shop, that’s an expense i’ll no longer have. The cost for the Sewing Bee is £1 per week.


Support a local community group

The group has been set up with funding from  Wellbeing Enterprises and needs support from the community to keep it going.  The group also have ideas for supporting others. Making ‘twiddle cuffs’ for Dementia patients or anxiety sufferers is a project the ladies are involved in.


Learn skills, make friends & drink tea

The group is lovely, the ladies (Men have their own group called Sew Macho) are friendly and helpful. For some it’s a chance to be out of the house and meeting people, especially for anyone who is a carer at home.  All aspects of sewing can be taught, embroidery or needlework, things you can do at home instead of watching TV.  Although you are allowed to bring your knitting if you prefer.

And best of all, being set in a cafe is a great idea, cups of tea and cake are always available!

Look out for community Sewing Bee’s where you are.


  1. May 13, 2016 / 11:48

    That’s such a great idea. I would never have considered it, but actually I used to accompany a woman who lived in hospital when she went to adult sewing classes and I got an awful lot out of it myself!

    • Nortonmum
      May 13, 2016 / 12:00

      It’s like a social event and learn at the same time x

  2. ghostwritermummy
    May 10, 2016 / 19:42

    I love this so much. I’d LOVE to join a sewing bee. My mum gave me an old sewing machine when I went on my first maternity leave and I used to love making little bits and bobs. I even made a skirt for Eva! Then I had too many kids and ran out of time so my sister has the machine now! Something to look into when the kids move out. When will that be?! x x

    • Nortonmum
      May 10, 2016 / 21:18

      Funny you should say that, the majority of the group are retired, haha x

  3. MissPond
    May 7, 2016 / 20:35

    What a great idea! I’ve always wanted to improve on my sewing, so I will have to see if there is a group near where I’m moving too!

    • Nortonmum
      May 7, 2016 / 23:30

      I hope you do. It’s great, and they’re so helpful.

  4. Emma AKA Size15Stylist
    May 4, 2016 / 19:31

    Such a great idea. Might look out for a community bee near me. Or failing that start my own…with a few little tables for mini crafters!

    • Nortonmum
      May 4, 2016 / 20:21

      That’s a great idea. There’s lots of funding for community based stuff.

  5. Anca
    May 4, 2016 / 19:01

    I bought a sewing machine today! I saw my mother sewing as a child, but I was rubbish at it. Maybe it was the age too. Now I want to sew some curtains and make a couple of circle dresses for summer, so I’m very motivated. 🙂 I will search for a group if my sewing is not getting better.

    • Nortonmum
      May 4, 2016 / 20:22

      Oh Anca that’s fab. I’m hoping to make simple window blinds for our boat. Let me know how you get on when you start.

  6. May 4, 2016 / 13:05

    Oh that made me laugh so much…… sew macho, what a genius name. I must admit any of my alterations, plus the sewing of cub badges gets taken to my mums. So I won’t tell her about this group otherwise she will be taking me every week to learn how to sew lol. But seriously what a fab idea and a great idea to meet new people and get out of the house x

    • Nortonmum
      May 4, 2016 / 14:39

      How fab to have your Mum help, I need a magnifying glass to thread a needle, haha x

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