Craft subscription boxes have been growing in popularity in recent years, with an increasing variety on the market for anyone who wants a regular hit of creativity through their postbox. One of our favourite off-shoots of this trend has been the development of more specialist boxes for crafters who want a specific type of project. Grow & Sew is in this camp, specialising in thoughtfully curated sewing project kits which are created especially for people who want to sew items for babies.
In this review, I’m testing out their November 2021 subscription box, which is a pair of jersey baby joggers. While I knew their projects include a variety of baby-themed makes, from nursery decor to accessories, I had no idea what to expect. I’m confident with a sewing machine but am new to more advanced sewing techniques, so was pleasantly surprised (and a little daunted) to find my project would be a pair of baby joggers for ages 0-3 months. Here’s how I got on…
Grow & Sew subscription box: summary
Each month, Grow & Sew send out a fresh sewing project kit to their subscribers. These projects are all suited to new babies and include a mixture of nursery decorations, clothing and accessories.
Kits come in the subscriber’s choice of 3 accent colourways – all are gender neutral (General, pastels or earthy tones) which suit both those like myself who prefer to avoid gender stero-typing, as well as cleverly also catering for those who do prefer more traditional colourways – as the colour palettes chosen will still appeal to both camps. See the the colour options.
Recent projects they’ve sent to subscribers have included bibs, baby joggers and bunting.
What is Grow & Sew?
Grow & Sew are a sewing project kits company who focus on making projects that help you take time out and enjoy the mindful practise of sewing. Founded by Shay and Stina, who share a love of sewing for fun and launched the business after realising during the pandemic that it can be a real challenge for makers to source all the things they need to make a project.
They sell project kits individually, from bunny teething ring kits to pom pom garlands or reversible dress kits, and also offer the Grow & Sew subscription, which we are reviewing a sample of today.
As someone with two small children and a sewing machine, but very little time to shop for supplies, I find th concept of Grow & Sew highly appealing. Even though I have a lot of haberdashery in my craft kit, I also find it hard to think about the right fabrics for projects, and am not confident sourcing sewing patterns for my children as I find the variety out there a bit daunting.
From the minute my sample box arrived, it was clear Grow & Sew have made effort to create a brand with a fresh, modern feel that has quite a personal touch to it – reflecting the intimate nature of sewing for our youngest family members.
Grow & Sew typical projects
Grow & Sew boxes always feature projects to make for babies, but they can be anything from clothes to DIY decor for their nursery. This means that as well as getting the chance to enjoy some time for yourself with an achievable sewing project each month, you’ll also get to try out different techniques and learn some new skills too as you’ll be sewing with a variety of fabrics and methods, depending on the month’s project.
Recent examples include:
- Rainbow wall hangings
- Set of double bibs
- Baby sweatshirt kit
- Rainbow bunting
Here are a couple of previous Grow & Sew kits – to give you an idea of the kind of thing you’ll get with each kit.
How much is Grow & Sew?
Grow & Sew costs £24.95 a month including free UK postage.
• Buy a kit or subscribe on the Grow & Sew website.
Is Grow & Sew good value for money?
We think it is yes. The items included in our kit were high quality, from the Gutterman thread to the machine bobbins and soft but durable jersey fabric. Instructions are printed on good quality paper and card and you can keep them to use again and build up a library of sewing patterns for babies.
You could go and shop for all of these items separately but you won’t get the same experience as the feeling of opening the box to reveal this month’s project and all the goodies enclosed.
What are the subscription terms?
When you sign up to a monthly subscription box with Grow & Sew you can cancel anytime or pay for 3, 6 or 9 months upfront and save on your subscription. These subscriptions are super flexible. There’s no minimum contract length and you can cancel at any time.
Grow & Sew: What’s in the box?
Our box contained everything we needed (apart from the sewing machine) to make a pair of baby joggers, all wrapped in tissue paper. It even included a Dorset Teabag so we had something to drink while we crafted. Our kit included:
- Project instructinon boook
- Applique Guide leaflet
- Jersey fabric (100cm x 50cm)
- Safety pin
- Reel of thread
- Jersey sewing machine needles
- Pattern pieces
- Cotton fabric for appliqué
- Bonding paper for appliqué
- Applique pattern pieces
Made from soft, jersey fabric, with an elasticated waist and cuffs plus appliqué detail, this kit offered the chance to try several techniques that I’ve not previously tried, so it was the perfect project to test the ease of instructions for beginners, and learn some new skills.
The kit came with more thread than we needed, so we’ve added that and the bobbin and jersey machine needles to our sewing kit. This is one of the nice things about Grow & Sew – it’s a chance to build your sewing kit each month, little by little, as well as make some fun things for babies.
Our kit came with Gutterman thread which we love to sew with usually and we were very pleased with the quality of the fabric, and the detail of the instructions.
What are the delivery options?
Boxes are posted on the last working day of each month. Grow & Sew aim to make all their boxes small enough to fit through your letterbox so it shouldn’t matter if you’re out when they deliver, and you also don’t need to be in to sign for your box either.
Are the boxes available nationwide in the UK?
Yes the boxes are available throughout the UK, and overseas makers can also contact Grow & Sew to ask about posting overseas too, though this may include an extra delivery cost.
How much packaging is there?
Not an excessive amount. Apart from the box itself and the tissue paper that has been used to wrap the items (both of which are recyclable), there was no plastic in our kit apart from the thread spool. The sewing machine bobbins were metal and the needles came in a little paper envelope.
How easy are the projects to make?
Yes, although it will help if you have a bit of sewing experience and understand some of the basic concepts like right-sides-together or how to use a sewing machine.
The project I was making (baby joggers) involved several techniques I was not confident in – appliqué, sewing with jersey, making clothes and making a channel for elasticated waists. I really wasn’t sure how I would get on, but the instructions were well written and easy to understand, and I just focused on each step as they came and gave it my best shock.
Among the pleasant surprises were the fact that I can do raw edge appliqué (pictured below) – though I did position my heart too high up as I didn’t allow for the fabric above it that would be used to make the trousers’ elasticated waist.
And also that sewing with jersey really wasn’t as hard as I had feared it would be. I even managed to assemble the garment, including crutch, seams and waistband with relative ease, so this really built my confidence. All in all it only took me 2 hours.
I would definitely recommend these kits for others, like myself, who have quite a bit of sewing experience on simple projects already but would like to learn new methods and try a variety of projects.
I am more likely to attempt more dressmaking projects after this one as the kits helped me to master the basics and I actually made a really nice pair of baby joggers. They’re not perfect but they are sturdy and can be worn safely by babies.
Are the instructions clear?
Yes really clear. The sewing pattern was split into sections and steps, so you can work your way through each one and understand which part of the project you are working on.
There were a couple of areas where, as quite an inexperienced maker of clothing, I could possibly have done with a little more guidance, for example around making the hems and assembling my pieces, but this could easily be just my inexperience coming into play and others may not feel the same.
I did manage to complete each step and make a finished garment so all-in-all I would recommend these project instructions as they did the job for me.
What are the finished projects like?
Really lovely! I made a soft, sturdy pair of baby joggers which I’m going to give to a friend who had a baby at Christmas this year.
What other craft stash did you need to make the project?
I needed a sewing machine, an iron for sewing the appliqué and pressing my work, and a pair of scissors. These kits probably won’t be suitable for you if you don’t have these items at home.
Who would these subs boxes be most useful for?
Anyone who loves to make for babies! As well as expectant parents, they’d also be lovely for grandparents and friends who have a lot of babies in their world and who enjoy making handmade gifts.
What’s our favourite thing about this product?
I think my favourite thing about my Grow & Sew project box was that I have learnt new skills from this project and have become more confident about tackling projects like this in the future. I also liked the overall branding and quality of supplies in these kits. They really are beautiful colour ways and projects which are modern and accessible. You can tell they have been put together with care and thought and the result is a really lovely box that will make your day when it arrives in the post.
If this review makes you want to try the kits out for yourself, you can buy a kit or subscribe on theGrow & Sew website.
About our expert
This review was written February 2022. Our Editor Zoe Williams reviewed this kit. She has been sewing for 8 years and has a decade of experience of writing and editing articles for the craft industry. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at email@example.com.