Some summer 'Sewmance' with Brighton-based arts festival

Lou Peachy and Alison Campbell at Sewmance
Lou Peachy and Alison Campbell at Sewmance

Bringing people together with a shared passion is a dream come true for Stacie Madden.

After starting Brighton Sewing Bee, she set up the SEWMANCE festival in a bar on Brighton seafront last year.

SEWMANCE festival (Photograph: Scott Hortop)

SEWMANCE festival (Photograph: Scott Hortop)

Now on its third outing it is bigger than ever, with small makers, tutors and experts sharing their crafts and sewing stories.

Mrs Madden’s sewing story began after taking a class at the Friends Centre, Brighton, to help cope with post-natal depression after having her son four years ago.

She said: “I felt a strong need to use my hands and make something.

“I really enjoy the social aspect of sewing.”

Discovering a community of independent crafters on the picture sharing site Instagram prompted her to set up SEWMANCE for them, as an antidote to corporate events with a big sell.

“It’s been amazing bringing people together,” she said.

“I am building this around other sewists, so we can learn something new, pick up tips and meet people while finding some treasure.”

This summer’s event sees the launch of Sewcycle, a service saving fabric and craft items from landfill for recycling into something new.

“My ambition is to create something that is environmentally sustainable while showcasing local Makers and independent businesses,” she explained.

“It’s important to build up connections with the sewing community and have something for us that's encouraging upcycling and refashioning.

The event at St George’s Church, Kemp Town, on June 3 from 11am, where the garden is transformed into a yarnbombed marine wonderland.

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