2018 – My Year in Review

I genuinely don’t think I have ever had a year as eventful as 2018. So many things have happened, and fortunately most for the positive!

January

I started the year by becoming part of the Sew My Style leadership team. I was delighted to be picked for this and really enjoyed working behind the scenes to decide on patterns and liaise with the indie pattern designers and sponsors for each month. It was lovely to see how many people embraced the challenge and I ended up with a gorgeous little capsule wardrobe too!

I was also asked to be an ambassador for the SMYLY (sewing makes you love yourself) challenge, organised by Athina, Lisa and Hattie. This involved making a garment that made me feel good about myself and sharing my story about how sewing helps me with body positivity and mental health. I was really proud to be an advocate for this challenge as I truly believe sewing has so many more benefits than just making pretty new clothes.

February

I was asked to be part of the blogger tour to celebrate the launch of Melissa Fehr’s Sew Your Own Activewear book. I made the yoga leggings from the book and wore them to Melissa’s book launch party in central London!

During a sewing meet up in London, I got myself a sewing wife! The gorgeous Jen from Gingerthread Girl and I decided to get Stitched (!) whilst at Liberty!

March

I joined the Simple Sew Blogger team as I thought it would be fun to give some of their patterns a try and it was also lovely to work with such a great group of sewing bloggers. Unfortunately, I only managed to make a couple of garments for them as the rest of my year got very busy!

I took part in the MIYMarch18 photo challenge, which involved daily prompts related to sewing. I do love a good photo challenge as it helps me think creatively about my instagram feed and is also a great way to discover new sewists.

I took a week long pattern cutting course at Bath College to help me get a better understanding of pattern drafting and how to create and alter patterns. I really enjoyed it and would definitely like to continue to study this in the future.

April

April was a huge month for me. After months of planning and deliberating, I left my corporate job that was making me pretty miserable and launched my own business! I had been contemplating making a career switch for a while and decided to make the leap and start my own online fabric shop.

The shop launched on 7th April and I was absolutely thrilled with the response. The sewing community is so supportive and I couldn’t have dreamed how well it was received.

Along with the Stitch Sisters and Jen from Gingerella, we began planning a Bristol sewing event that would become the Sewcialite Soiree. We really wanted to put Bristol on the sewing map and organise an event for the sewing community of the South West. The tickets sold in in just a couple of days too so we were really pleased with the response!

I put a call out for what would become the LSABlogSquad – a team of sewing bloggers to help me review fabrics and patterns for my shop. I was overwhelmed with the response and had such a difficult decision choosing the team but I am so pleased with the final line up. They have all helped me to create wonderful content for my blog, so a massive thank you to all the Jennys, Emily, Susie, Stef and Bianca!

May

It wouldn’t be May without Me Made May – a photo challenge, run by the lovely Zoe from So Zoe… I love how you can make the challenge your own and pledge to take part in a way that suits you. I decided to use this challenge to help me identify gaps in my new non-corporate working wardrobe.

June

I was thrilled to be asked to be an ambassador for this year’s Big Stitch Campaign, run by the British Heart Foundation. Along with a few of my gorgeous fellow sewing bloggers, Gabby, Alex and Rosa, we had a lovely photoshoot for the campaign which involved getting our hair and make up professionally done, by none other than Love Island’s Alexandra Cane! It was quite a surreal experience seeing my face pop up on Facebook as promotion for the campaign and I had so many messages from friends asking if it was me!

I attended the blogging conference Blogtacular with a group of sewing blogger friends. It was quite an interesting event, as it wasn’t sewing related. I definitely learnt a lot from it and made some great new contacts.

I was approached by a patch making company about working with them to create some “how to” videos for the products. We had a great time filming and I also worked with Aspinline to create my own range of patches, which I was really pleased with.

I was super excited to be invited to be interviewed on the Stitchers Brew podcast. My episode was all about the world of pattern testing.

I was asked by the lovely Ana from Cocowawa Crafts to take part in a sewing day as part of the launch of her Honeycomb pattern. A group of us headed down to the Village Haberdashery for the day and all made our version of Ana’s pattern.

Later that same day, I went along to the New Craft House Summer Party with some other sewing friends. It was great fun and a chance to meet up with some familiar faces! The theme of the evening was Tropical, so I gave my flamingo dungarees a good outing!

July

July was a busy month as I was prepping for a pop up shop in Bristol. I had had a lot of feedback that people wanted to be able to come and see the fabric in real life so we tested the waters with our first pop up shop. It went so well and we were absolutely rushed off our feet all day!

After mentioning how much I would love to be a pattern tester for Tilly and Buttons on the Stitchers Brew podcast, I was delighted to receive an email from them asking me to test their next two patterns. It was hard keeping them secret for the weeks between testing and release but I think we can all agree, the Ness and Nora patterns are gorgeous!

August

With August, came the much anticipated Sewing Weekender event in Cambridge. I was lucky enough to get a ticket again this year and just had the best time hanging out with all my sewing friends. It was lovely that we managed to get nearly all of the blog squad in the same place at the same time! I can’t wait for next year!

September

Following the success of the event in July, we held another pop up shop in September. We had more space and managed to get our processes much smoother this time around so it was a far calmer affair for Jenny and I to run. It was around this time that we had started to look for properties to start a bricks and mortar incarnation of Like Sew Amazing. We found the perfect space but then had several months of waiting ahead of us while the solicitors etc did their thing!

Once we had found the right space, we knew we would need help to get it up together, so I launched a crowdfunding initiative on kickstarter. I was so overwhelmed with the response and how supportive everyone was. I used my marketing background to get as much publicity as possible and managed to get us in the local paper, and on the local radio and retweeted by our local MP! We hit the target and secured funding so then it was just a waiting game until we could get the keys. 

October

What’s been lovely about launching a sewing business is being able to support the various events within the sewing community. I sponsored lots of great challenges towards the end of this year, including the Little Red Dress Project, the Cosi Cardy Challenge and the Refashioners.

I wasn’t sure whether I was going to attend Sew Brum this year, as I was very busy at the time, but I’m so glad I did. We had a lovely day of fabric browsing/buying, a big old trip to pizza express and a lot of talking about sewing!

November

In November, I partnered with Husqvarna Viking as a brand ambassador. I am delighted to be working with them and they are going to be providing lots of amazing machines for the shop. We will also be a reseller for Husqvarna, once we are up and running.

We held the Sewcialite Soiree in November. It took months of organising but I was so pleased with how the event turned out. We held an afternoon tea beforehand so that people could get to know each other in a quieter setting and then we held the party at a lovely hotel in the city centre. We had good food, good music and lots of dancing! I made a Carrie Bradshaw/ballerina inspired outfit for the event, which was a real labour of love and kept me busy for a couple of weeks!

I hit the magic 10,000 followers on Instagram in November, which was so lovely. I am extremely grateful for the amazing, supportive community that we have and am so pleased that my business is resonating with people.

December

So despite being plagued with a never ending cold, December was perhaps the most exciting month of all, as I finally signed contracts and got the keys to the shop! Such a fab Christmas present! We’ve already been in and had a big clean up in there with some wonderful friends who gave up their time to help. We’ve started decorating and getting it all up together and the current plan is to be open by the end of January!

I’m so excited for the shop to open. There will of course be a launch party, which I hope lots of you can make. We will also publish our workshop schedule very soon so we can start taking bookings.

I am so eternally grateful for the support I have received from my partner, family and lovely friends in the sewing community. Particular shout out goes to Jenny, who I am so excited to be working with.

It has been a year of real surprises and I would never have thought I would be where I am now, if you had asked me a year ago! It has definitely been a year of being brave and jumping in and long may that continue!

There is a lot of hard work ahead to get ready for opening but I am so excited at the prospect of whats to come in 2019.

I really hope you can all come and visit!

Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy New Year.

Love Sarah x

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