Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sewing Challenges and Prompts for 2018

Looking for sewing inspiration? Below is an ongoing list of what is happening around the online sewing community in 2018. All of these provide a great way to connect with the community and expand your skills.

I'll update the list as I learn more!

Update Jan 9: now alphabetized irrespective of hashtag

CONTESTS (with sponsors and/or prizes)

PROMPTS (unsponsored challenges)

  • #2018MakeNine: "a gentle challenge for makers" was originally the brainchild of Rochelle New from Lucky Lucille and encourages a plan for 9 total garments a year, of your own choosing.
  • #2018SewingChallenge: created by Rachel Chilcott of Bunyip Crafts to improve her sewing skills! Anyone can join the Facebook group and follow along with the monthly prompts.
  • #2018TakeNine: "a gentle photo challenge for makers" is another work-at-your-own-pace prompt-based challenge also from Rochelle, but with a twist. Check out her blog post for more info.
  • #2018UseNine: an attempt to reduce your fabric stash, the concept is similar to #2018MakeNine but using the fabrics in your own stash. Play along on Instagram.
  • 365 Days of Sewing: Ciara is attempting to sew every day for the entire year and encourages you to join her!
  • #burdachallenge2018: a synergistic "no pressure" exercise led by Hila of Saturday Night Stitch to concentrate on BurdaStyle patterns
  • #bpsewvember: a daily Instagram prompt hosted by Amanda of Bimble & Pimble that takes place in November. More info and a review of the last four years on her blog.
  • Chambray Blues Sew Along: Jessica has chosen 12 commercial patterns to create free sew alongs around, with her assistance in making them.
  • #MAGAM Sewalong: stands for Make a Garment a Month and hosted by Sarah Liz on Instagram and Facebook, with a full explanation on her blog.
  • #MMMay18: an annual Instagram event started by Zoe Edwards to encourage makers to enjoy their handmade items as possible throughout May. Sign up at Zoe's blog: Zo So What Do You Know
  • #Project333: an Instagram "journey through your closet" to inspire you to only wear 33 items for 3 whole months.
  • #SewPhotoHop: an annual month long prompt-based Instagram challenge created by Rachel of @HouseofPinheiro.
  • #SewingLeftovers: Shauni of The Magnificent Thread invites sewists to use up their leftover fabrics to build cohesion, reduce waste, or whatever your goal might be!
  • #SigCOTM: my personal monthly signature color challenge inspired by birthstones.
  • Seamless Pledge: similar to the 2018 RTW Fast above, but ongoing and you choose your own timeline. If you missed joining the Goodbye Valentino's fast, this might be for you! Check out Sew Seamless for more info.
  • #SeptemberSewcial: a daily prompt throughout September to get to know your fellow makers a little better. Check the daily post by @FabricGodmother.
  • #StashShrinker: on a goal to shrink your fabric stash? The SewJourners challenge may be for you. It also comes with a free tool to assist with your endeavors. And dovetails nicely with #2018UseNine above.
  • The Monthly Stitch: monthly themes, only one of which is sponsored (Indie Pattern Month).

Check back next year for these retired contests and prompts.

Retired Contests 

  • 2018 Ready To Wear Fast: hosted by Sarah Gunn, this started Jan 1 but encourages everyone to abstain from buying RTW clothes for the entire year in favor of sewing them instead. CLOSED
  • #BRAugust2018: annual contest to share your lingerie! More from @bodils_wear.
  • #LetsSewThisTogether: share a project you made using a free pattern for a chance to win a $50 gift card to LA Finch Fabrics
  • Sewing with a Plan (SWAP 2018): create an 11-piece capsule wardrobe, must be a member of the Stitchers Guild, ends April 28.
  • #SewTogetherforSummer: this year's theme is a wrap dress! More info on Sew Sarah Smith. Ends June 21.
  • #SummerofBasics (Southern Hemisphere Edition): aimed at makers in the Southern Hemisphere, this is hosted by New Zealand-based Fabric Drop to create one basic summer make each month (Nov/Dec/Jan), runs through the end of Jan
  • #SMYLY2018: stands for Sewing Makes You Love Yourself and only runs from Jan 1 to Feb 28, so head on over to Athina Kakou's blog for more details.

Retired Prompts

  • #2018sve: 2018 Secret Valentine Exchange is a lovely idea hosted by Sanae and Ute to "spread love and cheer through handmade goods." Sign up by Jan 10 to be part of the exchange at Sanae's blog. 
  • #CashmeretteChallenge: what started as a dare between Gillian (@gilliancrafts) and Jennifer (@weboughtamanor) to only wear Cashmerette patterns through the month of February, is now open to the Instagram community as a whole who can play along by using the hashtag.\
  • #GreatBigPatternSwap: post a pic on Instagram of any patterns you're willing to give away, choose some to receive from others participating, mail your patterns off and make something from your received pattern by August 18.
  • #JustSewJan: a twist on the daily Instagram prompt for January, started by costumer Pauline Loven (@periodwardrobe) and Martha from @jukiclub and doled out in 10 day blocks with extended explanations of their prompts
  • #MakerMarch2018: "a daily [Instagram] photo challenge meant to bring together makers across crafts and across social media platforms" hosted by Sew Altered Style
  • #MarchMeettheMaker: hosted by Joanne Hawker on Instagram, this is for any small business involved in the creative space. 
  • Miss Bossy: the April 2018 theme from The Monthly Stitch, requiring your readers to choose either your next project, fabric, or both!
  • #OrganizedSewing: a daily Instagram prompt throughout January, brainchild of Seamstress Erin Designs to inspire everyone to start the year off organized.
  • #SewStripes: the Sewcialists are reprising this fun prompt throughout February, just sew anything with stripes and post on Instagram using this hashtag.
  • #SOISelflessSewing: the gals at Sew Over It are encouraging makers to dedicate April to sew for others this month. 
  • #Summer10x10: started by Lee Vosburgh of StyleBee.ca, this is a challenge is a very flexible approach to a capsule wardrobe. Next round start July 27
  • #SummerofSelvedgesal: hosted by @OakBlueDesigns on Instagram to encourage makers to use up their fabric edges

If you know of others, please feel free to leave a comment and I'll add to the list. These are great for inspiration and making New Year's ReSEWlutions! If you're interested in making your own sewing goals for 2018, Helen and Caroline of the Love to Sew podcast have a great episode about this exact topic!

Happy sewing!


  1. I'm doing my own personal challenge (though I certainly encourage others to try it!) that I'm calling 365 Days of Sewing. Pretty self-explanatory: I just try to do something related to sewing every single day for the whole year. My plan is to post a daily photo on IG using the hashtag #365daysofsewing, & to post a weekly update on my blog at http://ciaraxyerra.com.

    1. Oh that's great!! And so happy you're finally out of the cast and can sew again. It must feel wonderful.

  2. I just want to point out that The Burda Challenge 2018 was not "created" by Hila of Saturday Night Stitch but she joined this challenge on Pattern Review and took it to IG (which landed her a deal with Burdastyle.com). I have proof that I posted on both my personal IG and to Burdastyle.com's announcement page. Please use "lead by" in the name of accuracy and truthfulness. (Yes, it pisses me off!)

    1. That was an easy fix, thanks for pointing out the error, La Karibane. May I ask what pisses you off? Is it that I gave her undue credit or that she is receiving exposure?

    2. Thank you! And obviously, I have nothing against you. Sorry if that came across as so. English isn't my native language.

      Instead, I am pissed of at Hila of Saturday Night Stitch and at Burdastyle US. This level of brazen intellectual dishonesty is just off-putting. Hila knows what she did. If you look up her name on Pattern Review, you can see her posts on the last 2-3 years of the Burda challenge on that forum. Why can she not have the decency to say "I am doing this challenge I learned about on Pattern Review"? Versus "I invented this challenge". And even if Burdastyle had made the assumption, why would Hila not have asked for a correction? And Burdastyle, via Meg Healy, actually came on PR (maybe after my posts?) to invite us to the challenge, as if it was a mere curtesy! So neither of these people are acknowledging what happened.

      I think social media has revealed just how many emotionally immature adults are running around in this world. Does internet fame really require blatantly lying about things, playing deaf in the face of material evidence and even blocking people who point out the truth??? Sheesh!

      Sorry for the rant but I am just frustrated. First, Colette patterns and the Rue Dress Debacle of 2015, now Saturday Night Stitch. Online personalities love sweeping things under the rug. To the point I have to laugh at all the newcomers who laud the "wonderful online sewing community". Yeah, right!

      In any case, thank you for posting my comment, even if it is a negative one. I really appreciate this.

  3. Hi Paulette,

    This is a great roundup! Lots to join in on, for sure :)
    I am running a variable ongoing challenge on my blog, which will happen a few times a year -- it's called The Literary Sewing Circle (hashtag #LiterarySewingCircle) and is essentially a bookclub for sewists. We read a book together & then sew something inspired by it. Runs about 6 weeks, with an additional 3 for project posting. We are just finishing up Read 1 of 2018, but the next will likely be starting in late April. It's an unsponsored, low key sewalong and open to anyone who does any kind of textile creation. Thanks!

    Literary Sewing Circle at Following The Thread

    1. I love this idea!! So creative--and a perfect excuse to read more. I'll add it to the list so others can find it (in case they don't scroll down to the comments) :)