Hi, I’m Trixi Symonds, a softie designer, the author of Sew Together Grow Together: Sewing Projects For Parents and Children and have been teaching children to sew for over 25 years.
Back in 2015 I was looking for something new. I had this notion in my head that I could teach children all around the world to sew. I knew this meant getting parents, teachers and institutions involved. The first step I took towards what seemed an impossibly big goal was to create a Sew a Softie day. It began as a single day in July on which people from all over the world would post a softie tutorial and share their sewing skills with others but the initial response was so overwhelming that Sew a Softie Day quickly filled up the whole month and a bit more. I had to change the name to Sew a Softie in July. Every day in July people posted their softies with a tutorial. It wasn’t long before Sew a Softie Kid Ambassadors were also getting in on the act and posting the softies they had made with their friends, often in the Sew a Softie parties they had organised.
In February 2019 I held what I thought was going to be a one-off event, the Sew a Softie Global Kids’ Sewing Party to encourage children to sew a softie and gift it to a person or group in their community. Again, the response was overwhelming. Over 140 groups, including schools, scout groups, museums, libraries and sewing groups took part in over 25 countries. I was also being asked by groups who had been unable to participate if they could join in for the following year. So the Sew a Softie Global Kids’ Sewing Party has become an annual event. Sew a Softie events seem to have a life of their own and never cease to surprise me.
Looking back, I really do think that Sew a Softie is a case of “dream the impossible dream”. I am constantly humbled by the enthusiasm and creativity that all these people and children show and I know that I have received as much from Sew a Softie as anyone else.