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  • Irina

Sip Tea and EPP in 2022

Welcome to Sip Tea and EPP! It`s the fourth year that our weekly party has been running on Instagram and this is the second year that I am honored to co-host it with Larisa from Stitching notes. In this blog post I will tell you what new things we have planned for that English Paper Piecing event in 2022 and how to join in.

What is EPP?

English paper piecing (EPP) is a traditional hand sewing technique, where you wrap fabric around individual paper shapes and then sew the shapes together to form patchwork patterns. It does not require fancy tools but a fine needle, thread and desire to sew with your hands. You can take your projects anywhere and sew on the go. Once you try hand sewing you will be surprised how relaxing and beneficial for your mental well being it can really be.

What Is #SipTeaAndEPP?

Sip Tea and EPP party is an informal weekly event that has been running on Instagram since 2018. In the beginning, it was hosted by Megan from Dolly Henry and Larisa from Stitching notes. They encouraged people to get together, enjoy a cup of tea and work on their long forgotten EPP projects. The weekly event quickly became popular and many people from all over the world joined in.

Unfortunately, Megan left and Lauren from Molly and Mama stepped in. Lauren and Larisa dedicated a lot of their time and knowledge to the party for over a year and a half and created a caring, friendly and supportive environment for everyone interested in learning this craft or focusing on long-term EPP projects.

Last year I stepped in, and it was a big learning curve for me as a co-host of this wonderful event. Larisa and I tried to bring the community spirit back to Sip Tea and EPP in 2021 and we think we succeeded. We had 2 Sew Alongs (EPP Necessities SAL in February, 2021 and Christmas SAL in October-November, 2021), shared Expert´s Advice on certain topics from well known designers and teachers and lots of our own tips and projects that hopefully made the weekly meetings more interesting for you and inspired you to explore the wonderful world of English Paper Piecing .

Reflecting on my personal experience as a participant of Sip Tea and EPP... As you might know I joined the party at the very beginning. Not only have I gotten interested in hand sewing and learnt a lot about EPP, but I have also met and connected with amazing people with the same interests from all over the world. Some of them became very near and dear to me. The inspiration and support from our IG community is amazing. I enjoy so much meeting you on-line every Thursday and seeing your projects as well as chatting with you.

What is New in 2022?

If you participated in Sip Tea and EPP before, then you remember we used to announce a monthly theme related to EPP every first Thursday of a month.

This year we are changing the focus of the party. Larisa and I decided to expand our focus beyond the EPP topic and also include basic sewing techniques that are needed to complete an EPP project. We know that many people (especially beginner sewists) enjoy basting/sewing EPP shapes without a particular project in mind. Often they simply don`t know what to do with those shapes or lack basic sewing techniques (for example, applique, sewing binding or attaching a zipper etc) to transform shapes into a coaster, bag or pouch... We think that this approach would encourage people to be more adventurous and creative in completing their EPP projects rather than simply sewing shapes together and leaving them unfinished.

In 2022 instead of Monthly themes we will start on January 13th with a Mystery Hexagon Project that would allow newcomers learn the basics and those of you who are more experienced share your knowledge and expertise with others. Then we will slowly progress to more complex shapes and sewing techniques. Larisa and I decided to add an element of intrigue and keep the Projects mystery as we work on it. The project will be revealed at later stage closer to the finish. We will guide you step by step what shapes and other supplies are needed, how to baste and sew the shapes together, what sewing techniques we will use and learn with that particular project.

We think The Projects will keep the party structured and organized. Once a project is completed we will work on our long-term WIPs for a while and then move to another project.

We also decided to have a LIVE support Thursday. Starting in February, once a month you can ask any questions related to EPP or hand work, give feedback on our party or suggestions. It will be every SECOND Thursday of a month. Since Larisa and I are in different time zones we would be available to answer your questions through DM or comments to a post at those times:

Larisa 9.00-10.00 pm Sydney time

Irina 8.00-9.00 pm Helsinki time

We are planning 2 Sew Alongs for 2022. Reflecting on the previous year´s experience, sewing together is a motivating and fun way to get inspired, learn and make new friends. Our SALs are always very informal and relaxed. You can either make your own projects following the theme or use the ideas Larisa and I will be sharing.

In February-March we will sew with recycled materials. We picked denim and shirt fabric as they are easy to find. We hope our ideas will inspire you to use what you have and give old textiles new life. We will share more about the SAL as the time comes.

Christmas Sew Along will take place later in the year and we are planning to have both Secret Santa Gift Exchange for Sip Tea and EPP and Christmas Sew Along. The details will be announced later.

Another change concerns the comments on the posts. Hashtag #sipteaandepp has been steadily growing and at the moment has 5000+ posts. The purpose of the hashtag is to make it easier to see posts related to Sip Tea and EPP. We noticed that some people misuse the hashtag for promoting their own business or their own work, often tagging others but not the hosts of the party.

Tagging the hosts helps Larisa and me see your posts, comment and answer your questions rather than spend lot of time scrolling through the hashtag.

This is why we took the decision to comment ONLY on the posts that tag us in 2022.

How To Join In

It doesn´t matter if you are a beginner or an experienced sewist - everyone is welcome!

- Meeting time - Thursdays or any other time that suits you during the week;

- Meeting place - Instagram;

- What to do: start a new sewing project with us, any other project that involves any type of hand work or pull out a long forgotten work-in-progress; take a photo and post it on your public Instagram account using the hashtag #sipteaandepp. Be sure to tag the hosts Larisa @stitchingnotes and me @nordiccrafter in your post so we can see it.

- You can also follow the hashtag #sipteaandepp and use it to connect with other makers who are also sharing their projects. Like their posts, leave a comment, or answer a question if needed. The idea is to be supportive and friendly and this is such a great way to reach out to others.

- If your Instagram account is private you can still can join #sipteaandepp - like the posts, leave a comment or ask a question.

If you have any questions we are always happy to help. Please, feel free to DM.

We hope to see many of you at Sip Tea and EPP in 2022!

Happy stitching!💖

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