Sew Confident Chorley's 'Sewcial': Next-level Lancashire knit and natter with cake and a brew included

The main difference is the cake. Famed for their relaxed and supportive sewing classes, Sew Confident Chorley’s regular ‘Sewcial’ group - which sees people come together to work on projects alongside like-minded friends - is just as relaxed and just as supportive. Only with cake, which is no bad thing.

By Jack Marshall, Reporter
Thursday, 10th February 2022, 4:55 am
Participants at a Sewcial session
Participants at a Sewcial session

“We run Sewcial once a month, normally on a Friday evening, and people can come in and work on whatever project they want,” says Dawn Elliot, who runs Sew Confident Chorley. “Some people just want company whilst working on stuff and others are looking for inspiration for something new or even a little bit of a helping hand with something they might be struggling with.

“We get a variety of people coming down, but we’re just here to help and guide,” adds Dawn, 44. “And it’s lovely to have people down working away whilst having a bit of a natter - it makes the whole environment really friendly. People are so helpful, too, which actually spurs others on and motivates everyone to take on new things. As a tutor, that’s lovely to see.”

A sewing tuition centre which offers any craftily-inclined folks in the area a place in which to bond over their love of creating things, Sew Confident Chorley was founded in 2019 by Dawn, who is from Fife but who has lived in England since she was 15.

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Dawn Elliot of Sew Confident in Chorley

With sewing sometimes a solitary pursuit, however, their Sewcial group has created a far more communal endeavour.

“The main other difference between a normal class and a Sewcial is that we always have cake!” says Dawn. “I bring in something sweet from a local bakery and we share that of an evening during a nice two hours of relaxing and chatting with friends. I think people are enjoying it more of late because they haven’t been able to do as much socially as before.

“That’s the kind of thing people have missed most during lockdown, that chance to be with others doing something they enjoy,” she adds. “What’s more, the creative outlet is great for people, so it’s brilliant to see people excited to start new projects.

“Even with beginners, you see them improve quickly to the point where they’re looking at stuff and think ‘can I do that?’ With some guidance, of course they can.”

Sewcial at Sew Confident Chorley

Described as ‘two hours of blissful sewing with the best company’, Sewcial not only enables people to get creative as part of a larger group whilst sharing tea, coffee, and cake but also has the added benefit of allowing people who do not have sewing machines at home the chance to come in and use specialist equipment with a tutor on hand at all times.

And, for those looking to take their Sewcial experience to the next level, Sew Confident even runs The Sew Confident Retreat, which is billed as a super-size Sewcial and which involves a weekend trip to gorgeous Gartmore House in Stirling as well as the usual Sewcial-related offerings of good company and cake, only this time with wine and entertainment to boot.

“Sewcial gives people the chance to try their hand at new stuff and everyone enjoys taking on new challenges,” explains Dawn. “All it takes is a little guidance, practice, and experience, and we can offer support on that front.

“As a tutor, seeing people grow as creatives is brilliant - we’ve even had people go on to start selling their stuff online, which is amazing!

“I love to see that, you can’t describe how rewarding it is,” she adds. “Crafts are having a bit of a boom at the moment and we’ve noticed a real shift in the demographics as younger people get involved, so it’s lovely to see it all come back into fashion again! People are starting to realise how cool it is!

“After all, there’s no better feeling than when someone says ‘where’s that from?’ and you can reply ‘I made it!’.”

Dawn has created a discount code for 10% off anyone’s first booking with Sew Confident Chorley. Use code LEP10