In Spring For Cotton

Spring For Cotton – a group sewing challenge

Hello there! Today, I am excited. If you participated in the 2013 Fall For Cotton sewing challenge, then you might like what I have in store for you now – A new group sew-along!


What is Spring For Cotton? It’s a self guided, non-competitive, vintage inspired sewing challenge. Choose a decade (1920s – 70s) and sew a garment inspired by that era. The challenge is, you can ONLY use 100% cotton! Why? Well, I like cotton fabric and old things. Made sense to me 😉

Who can sew along? Anyone who wants to! All skill levels and types of vintage enthusiast are welcome and encouraged. You don’t have to have a blog, but if you’ve always wanted to start one, now would be a good excuse to do so (that’s actually how I entered the world of sewing blogs – Sew Colette!).


What can I sew? Any garment inspired by a vintage era (1920s – 1970s). Previously in Fall For Cotton, people have made exact reproductions of vintage garments using vintage fabric and patterns, and others have used a vintage reproduction pattern with modern prints. Make whatever inspires you to learn more about your chosen era! Recreate an outfit from an old movie or catalog, or maybe there’s a costume from a TV series that’s calling your name! Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Call the Midwife, Bomb Girls, or Mad Men ring any bells for you? Maybe there’s a reproduction pattern from one of the Big Four companies that you’ve been dying to make, but have yet to have an occasion. Well this is it!


So what’s the catch? Your fabric choice is limited to 100% cottons only. Quilting cottons are the obvious go-to, but you can also use denim, twill, flannel, voile, lawn, corduroy, swiss dot, sateen, poplin, seersucker – anything that’s cotton! Using polyester notions like zippers and thread is okay, but try to get creative and use cotton linings and trims wherever possible. This is a challenge, after all 😉


Where do I join? Our official meeting place is in the Spring For Cotton Flickr Group. That’s where you can introduce yourself, share your inspirations, add photos of your progress, meet fellow sewers, and get help on your projects as you work through them. It’s really a great platform for a challenge like this and we have a lot of fun there. Fall For Cotton had almost 300 members and over 600 photos! However, if you don’t have Flickr and prefer not to sign up, you can use the hashtag #springforcotton on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to join in on the fun and connect with new friends. Note – If you’d like your project to be featured in the project parade video (like this one!), you’ll need to upload your photos to Flickr, pretty please!


What’s the time frame? The challenge kicks off today and ends on April 30th, 2015. Photo submissions for the project parade video will need to be uploaded to the Flickr pool before April 30th, end of day.

What’s the format? This is a self guided challenge, but I will be posting fabric and pattern inspiration/shopping links to help you get started, as well as some tips for working with vintage patterns and things of that nature. As a general guideline, start gathering supplies and plotting your projects this month, with a plan to start sewing by April 1st so you have a solid month to complete your project.


Are there any changes from your previous sew-alongs? Yes. This year there won’t be any giveaways or discounts or sponsors. No gimmicks. No incentives. Sew because you love it, on a deadline because you need it. …at least I do! I want this to be fun and stress free. Just sewing, making new friends, and creating beautiful things while honoring our favorite bygone eras. Simple.

Also, please choose only one outfit to submit for the project parade video. Some Super Star Sewers out there made multiple outfits for Fall For Cotton, which is amazing!!, but it makes it difficult for me to fit everything in. I strive to feature one outfit from every single person who completes their garment, so basically everyone gets one slide. You are encouraged to upload multiple photos! I’ll get more specific about photo submissions as time goes on…

Examples of past project videos – Sew For Victory 2013, Fall For Cotton 2013, Sew For Victory 2014.


Any questions? Please feel free to leave a comment below if you’d like me to explain something further 🙂

Are you ready? Let’s do this! Join the Flickr group, use that #springforcotton hashtag, and grab a button to display on your blog. Ask your friends to join in, the more the merrier! Don’t be shy 😉 I can’t wait to sew along with you!

Spring For Cotton Button – 300 px wide

Spring for Cotton

Code for 300px button, copy and paste this in your sidebar.

Spring For Cotton Button – 200 px wide


Code for 200px button, copy and paste this in your sidebar.

Stay tuned for lots of fabric and pattern inspiration coming on Monday and Wednesday! I’m also working on a Spring For Cotton Pinterest board, a desktop calendar and a playlist to sew along to 😉



    Hi .I want to Spring For Cotton


    I’m new. I want to join your Spring for Cotton if ı’m late

  • Sevda şahin

    Hi everybody,I’ve just finished my entry.Here

  • Hi all!!! I’ve finished my entry and blogged about it here:
    This is the first time I ever join in a sewing challenge. It was such a joy to do research and sew my garment. Hope you all are, too!


  • Howdy. I’ve just done a post on my blog about my Spring for Cotton entry.

    (Language Warning)
    Mz Vciki

  • I’m in! Decided to recreate a dress I came across in a book about the 1940s and discovered I had the perfect fabric lying around (turns out to be cotton), yay!

  • Doris Button

    Oh, I’m a bit late, but I want to join! I LOVE cotton, and there’s so much I want so sew, I have an empty wardrobe. So this is going to be very useful and so much fun!

  • Sevda şahin

    Hi,I’m in.

  • Well it looks like I’m in as well 🙂 I’ve just joined the flickr group

  • Heidi

    Would it be cheating to use a “tried and true” pattern? I have some quilting cotton in my stash waiting to be used……

  • Lauren Flake

    I’m a little late to the party, but count me in! Hurrah!!!

  • Fun! Added to my social sewing calendar:

  • I’m innnnnnn!

  • Lisette

    I’m innnnn!

  • Kristen

    Whoops! What I meant to say is, I’d love to join but we are moving across country right over that time, so while I’m squeezing in a bit of sewing now between packing, I won’t have time for a new project in cotton before the deadline, which is a bummer since I just got a whole bunch of retro 100% cotton prints and am anxious to sew them.

    What about fabric we don’t know is 100% cotton? I made myself a 1950s Easter dress from a vintage sheet which is either cotton or cotton blend, but I’m not sure which one. Would that be eligible? The contrasting collar I do know is from 100% cotton. 🙂

  • Kristen

    I’d love to join! But

  • Lisa

    I need to learn to sew. I got a sewing machine last year and I’ve hardly used it. I may have to use this as motivation to sew something.

  • Bonita Vear

    Love to do this; I’m in!

  • Yay! As I mentioned on instagram, I’d totally not packed any vintage patterns… so I will find a vintage inspired, and find some cotton here in Shanghai! The 1930s was a ‘Hey Day’ for Shanghai, so might have to razzle up a little dazzle and all that jazz.

    Love to you xoxo

  • Emily’s Vintage Visions

    So excited for this. I’m actually working on a cotton blouse now using one of my 1940s patterns. Off to join the Flickr group!

  • Fabulous idea!!! I can’t wait to see all of the awesome cotton garments that you talented sewers will create for this challenge.

    ♥ Jessica

  • jannapyj

    “Sew because you love it…deadline because you need it” So True!!!! I’ll get started on my project as soon as I finish my Easter outfit!


  • I’ve picked out my fabric and pattern. Can’t wait to start sewing, but unfortunately I won’t be able to start for another two week. Thanks for hosting this event, I get so inspired by everyone’s projects.

  • I’ve picked out my fabric and pattern. Can’t wait to start sewing, but unfortunately I won’t be able to start for another two week. Thanks for hosting this event, I get so inspired by everyone’s projects.

  • I have a stack of cottons and patterns that I bought last fall and then never did anything with. This might just be the push that I need to tackle at least one project. Thank you for a nice little kick in the bum.

    She Knits in Pearls

  • How fun! I can’t wait to see what you make!

  • Tina Roneklint

    Just pretending I did not set my self up for making a 30s suit in April – so I am playing along too!

  • Looks like fun Rochelle!! I love your flamingo button up!

  • This is so exciting! Count me in to this challenge which is my very first in the sewing world. Can’t wait to get started 🙂

    Emily @

  • Yay! I’m so excited for this challenge 🙂

  • CherryPulp

    Woooo, I’m in ! I enjoyed so much last year’s sew along ♥

  • Kacy Burchfield

    I’m so in!!

  • Gia

    Can we participate with accessories made from vintage patterns? Like bags or stoles or hats?
    I’d love to join this sew-along (I’ve actually been waiting for it anxiously since I barely missed the Sew For Victory sew-along) but am not ready to tackle a real article of clothing…….yet.

    • Hey Gia, have you ever considered sewing an apron? That’s a great introduction to sewing garments, and also perfectly appropriate for both vintage and cotton 🙂

      • Gia

        I have considered sewing an apron many times…..And it’s on my list of things to sew, but my list is so very long and there are so many other beguilling -accessory- patterns there before it in line that I was just hoping….
        If accessories -from genuine vintage patterns- aren’t allowed, I’ll just have to pick an apron…..
        If those are the rules, I’ll comply…..

        • I’m rooting for you to try an apron because I’m confident you could do it! But if you have your heart set on an accessory, I can make an exception. Someone did make a vintage bag (and a hat) for the Fall For Cotton challenge so that would only be fair of me to let you do the same 🙂

          • Gia

            Thank you Rochelle!! I appreciate it!
            I will try and make an apron but I will go with the bag and/or hat first. I’ve had my heart set on it for some time now and I’m hoping that this sew-a-long is the kick I need in order to find the time to do it in….
            Thank you again!

  • Veronica Lewis

    Brilliant, will post my material and pattern this weekend. Found some lovely Poppy material

  • Rochelle count me in! I’ve joined the Flickr Group, see u all 🙂

  • YAY! Another person who needs a kick up the bum. Maybe I will finally sew that 1940s robe I have been planning for ages.

  • Yes! I have a 1970’s halter top pattern that I’ve been waiting to attack. Can’t wait 🙂

  • This and Marie’s Vintage Sewing Pledge might be the kick up the bum I need to finally sew one of my vintage patterns! Thanks for organising this.

  • Love this! Such a fun idea

  • YES! The kick I needed to get going on my insanely full skirted 50s dress! 😀
    Thank you!!

  • Jennifer Hill

    Oo, now I’ll have to get off my butt…I do want to start a blog, I do lurve quilting cottons and I DO need deadlines!! Thank you, thank you! Jen