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Winter Mystery Project SAL. Afterword

Winter Mystery Project Sew Along for Sip Tea and EPP party with Larisa @stitchingnotes and Irina @nordiccrafter is officially over. Three weeks of fun and intense work have passed in a blink. Larisa and I decided to share our thoughts, feelings and a bit about the behind the scenes in an effort to show you the SAL from different perspectives.

First of all we would like to thank all of you who participated in the SAL for trusting us to lead you on this adventure. Sewing a "Mystery project" without knowing what the final product is requires courage and trust. We are very happy to see that so many people decided to sew with us. The hashtag #wintermystery project has over 700 posts at the moment, and I am sure that the hashtag will only be growing, judging by the response to our blog posts regarding the Sew Along.

We can say that Winter Mystery Project SAL was a great success. It was a huge event in terms of organization and delivery of information. We are happy to see that you enjoyed sewing with us, learning new techniques, making beautiful baskets and having fun. Our hearts are full of joy when spreading our love for sewing, sharing knowledge, seeing your creativity blossom. Our gratitude also extends to all your kind comments and trust directed towards us.

We are also very proud of how we organized this SAL, since we made it possible for even beginner sewists to achieve beautiful results.

What does it take to organize a SAL? It is not only a project, schedule, pattern, video and/or photo tutorials, but also the supporting and encouraging of participants.

Larisa and I designed this Sewing basket last spring. When the first prototype was made in May 2022, we both weren´t sure if it was the right project for our Autumn Sew Along, as we thought that curves and basket construction could present a challenge for beginners.

We kept thinking of alternatives with more EPP elements and yet kept coming back to the same Basket project. At some point last summer, I sewed an EPP panel with 1" honeycombs that we thought could be used as a patchwork panel for the basket. Sewing the panel took forever, so it wasn´t possible to use it in the SAL either.

In August 2022 I started my studies in addition to a full time job, and therefore we had to postpone our Autumn Sew Along. But finally, during Christmas Holidays, the pattern was ready. However, we couldn´t settle on EPP embellishment until the last moment. Therefore all the baskets I made have different embellishments.

In case you wonder how Larisa and I communicate while living in different countries (Larisa lives in Australia, I live in Finland), we have Zoom meetings and also chat quite often to discuss the SAL's details.

This SAL was very challenging for me. Because of my full time work schedule, I had to make the videos for the coming week during the previous weekend. It wasn´t easy, especially when I needed one of my boys to take a video. These are just some of their responses; "Again?", "How many videos do you need?" ,"I can´t wait till you SAL is over and I don´t need to make endless videos". I never posted so much on IG as I did during this SAL. There were moments when it felt like I was running a marathon. But those moments were short. Now, reflecting on Winter Mystery Project I smile and think of beautiful projects that came together under our guidance; an inspiring, creative and supportive community of like minded people as well as kind comments and messages. I feel happy knowing that we were able to make it happen. I would like to thank my lovely co-host and dear friend Larisa for all her hard work, support and encouragement during this SAL.

Please, visit Larisa´s blog to read her thoughts on the Winter Mystery SAL.

If you participated in this SAL, I would really appreciate you leaving a comment on this post and letting us know if you enjoyed sewing in our company.

Larisa and Irina🖤

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Apr 26, 2023

I loved this SAL and the end result is perfection! I use my basket all the time to hold the hand piecing project I am working on with all the notions I need for it. Thankyou Irina and Larisa for a thoroughly enjoyable sew along :)


Apr 02, 2023

thank you so much for the sew along. I am working on 3 more with a little variation for Easter Baskets for my daughter and granddaughters. I check out your posts each time I see them on Instagram. Thank you again.


Mar 06, 2023

Thanks so much for all your hard work!! It was a fun sew a long. I had no idea what it was going to be. I'm in the process of finishing mine and will post soon. It's so cute and I love it! All the best to you!

Thea @smilingtexaseyes


Mar 03, 2023

I've enjoyed this project so much and I love that you put so much thought into making beautiful practical items. Everything I've made is for me and my crafting and it is a joy to look at what I've created and only share within this sewing is special. Love sipteaandepp


Mar 02, 2023

Yay, I am reading all your instructions today so I can jump in and make a basket or two or three. they look like a very useful and versatile and cute little thing to have around. I made your spring project and use it all the time to carry my EPP project around in my bag.

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