Hello! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week? I know I have because on Wednesday I went to my first ever blogger meet up! When I lived in Hull there didn’t seem to be much of a blogging community, so I was thrilled when I heard that Ali from Thimberlina was arranging a sewing bloggers meet up in Dewsbury…just ten minutes down the road from where I now live!
And look how many people turned up! At various points throughout the day there was a total of 15 people there which was wonderful! It was great to be introduced to a like minded community of sewers…I learnt a lot from them! In the photo above we have, left to right – Margaret, Katrina, Corrine, Rachel, Amanda, Ali, Jeanie, Katharine, Nee, Me, Fiona and Dee. Not all of the ladies are bloggers but for the ones who are I will link up the blogs below…make sure to check them all out!
We kicked off our trip by meeting up in Bennetto’s Cafe, all grabbing some caffeine to fuel our busy day of shopping that we had ahead of us! Within minutes we were all sat around chatting as though we had known each other forever! A few people had know each other ‘virtually’ before the meet up but I had only just been introduced to all of the blogs through the meet up page so it was fun doing introductions and talking about sewing! And look at all of the fantastic handmade clothes! I was the only one there who hadn’t made what I was wearing! Although in my defense I am new to dressmaking and so far have only made pyjama bottoms…probably not ideal wear for the meet up! But these ladies have really inspired me to dive right in and I can’t wait to make a start! Also, if you watched the latest series of Great British Sewing Bee you might recognize a couple of faces here…
The first shop we went to was Lucky Fashions and what an Aladdin’s Cave of goodies this was! You can see from the photo that we are all in the process of making some very serious decisions! I loved this place because you could find some amazing bargains! The fabric was really reasonably priced (I didn’t find anything more than £5 per meter!) and the measurement are very generous. I could have easily left with the whole shop and I have quite a few things in mind for my next visit!
Look at us all queuing up for our fabric cutting! You can tell how much fun we are all having and look at all of the bargains we are buying! It was wonderful seeing everyone else getting served to see what they had picked up!
After a sunny walk around the market for essentials and trimmings we moved on to Fabworks…look at the size of this place! This was great for a good rummage round although a fair bit more pricey than Lucky Fashions, but you did get your branded fabrics here and they were still cheaper than buying online. We spent another hour or so here stroking the fabrics and imagining what we could make!
And after all of that shopping we needed a well deserved sit down! Off to the pub we went for a drink and some food for some more sewing related chat and a sneak peek at everyone’s purchases! A very relaxing end to a busy day! But what about the shopping?
Since I am new to dressmaking, I picked out a few projects to shop for before I went so that I had some projects that I could work on straight away that were suitable for a beginner. The first one I picked was this Slouchy Cardigan from The Great British Sewing Bee: Fashion with Fabric. I love the shape of this and it would be great for work, so I thought it would be a great project to start with, although sewing with jersey fabric will be a new challenge for me!
The first fabric that I picked out is a dark grey, very similar to the one in the book itself. I really like dark grey and black cardigans as the are so practical and go with everything! I thought this would be a great item to have in my wardrobe to grab on my way to work or on a cool summer evening. I’ve already got this fabric washed and cut so I just need to start sewing! This fabric was from Lucky Fashions and was about £3 per metre.
The book shows how you can alter the look of the cardigan by using silk to create a kimono style garment instead. I really loved the vibrant floral pattern, so when I saw some more cotton jersey in a similar style I decided I would make another one! I didn’t think one made in silk would get much wear, but another jersey one will come in handy for work and this floral pattern looks really summery! This fabric was another bargain at £4.40 per metre!
Another easy project to start with that I picked was this T-shirt from The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe. Once again it involves using stretch jersey so I think this fabric will either become my best friend or my worst enemy! Again this pattern was suitable for beginners and it is a pretty versatile design that I can either (depending on the fabric) wear for work or wear on a weekend or evening over summer.
The first fabric that I picked for the t-shirt is this white and blue one. It is a pretty big print and I thought it would be good for work over summer. I will be a master of jersey fabric by the end of all of this sewing! Another one at £4.40 per metre.
The final T-shirt fabric that I bought was one that had really caught my eye. I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull off the coral colour being blonde but it was too gorgeous to leave behind! I’ll make another T-shirt out of it for over summer and hopefully it will suit me when it is made! I love the pretty design and it was only £4.40 per metre again!
I also picked a dress pattern to shop for, and I chose this one from the Liberty Love: 25 Projects to Quilt and Sew Featuring Liberty of London Fabrics. I really liked the summery style and the use of the tiny floral design, but I didn’t want to risk splashing out on Liberty fabric in case my sewing didn’t quite go to plan!
However, the Liberty fabric was easily replaced by this gorgeous fabric that I found in Lucky Fashions! It is a really lightweight jersey but due to the embroidered circles in the fabric it doesn’t have the stretch of jersey. I’m hoping the lightweight nature of the fabric will make it work for the dress and hopefully it will drape well! We will find out soon! Again, £4.40 per metre…a lot cheaper than Liberty!
Next we moved on to Fabworks, and I picked up to fabrics here even through I haven’t got any projects in mind for them! I needed a little guilty splurge while we were shopping didn’t I? The two fabrics that I bought were very sheer and lightweight, I think they were a poly-silk blend. I had my eye on this spotted fabric when I saw it in Fabworks after a flying trip the other week and I knew I wanted to come back for it…I love the colour! This was £6 per metre.
I also treated myself to this pretty and silky pale blue floral fabric. Again, I haven’t got anything in mind for this one but it was too pretty to leave behind! This one was priced at £5 per metre…another good bargain in my mind! I think these two fabrics may become cami’s but I think they will be filed into my stash for a little while until my sewing skills have improved to work with the delicate fabric!
As well as the fabrics I picked up 5 reels of cotton from the market for £1! I don’t always like using cheap cotton as I find it is never very good, but they had a brown that matched the quilt I am in the middle of making really well, so I risked it as I need some more cotton to quilt it. If it doesn’t work £1 isn’t much of a loss!
Overall I’m really pleased with my haul and all of this (I got 2+ metres of every fabric) came to less than £60! I’ll probably get 7 items of clothing out of this so in my mind that is an amazing bargain! It was also a great day meeting all of the other local crafters and bloggers and building up a little local network and making some great friends – I can’t wait until we all meet up again!
I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Ali for organising the day – it was wonderful! And thank you for everyone who came along…you had some amazing tips! Also, while we were there many of you mentioned some places where you like to buy fabric and patterns from (shops and online) and like an idiot I didn’t write them down! So whether you went to the meet up or not, could you let me know in the comments where you like to buy your dressmaking patterns or fabric from? I’d like to build up a little directory to get me going! Any shops you can recommend in Leeds would also be handy 🙂 Thanks!
And as promised, here are the blogs of everyone who came along – well, the ones who have a blog anyway! Please do check them out 🙂
- Ali from Thimberlina
- Rachel from Is is fitting?
- Fiona from Seams Straightforward
- Jeanie from Love That Sewing
- Margaret from the Craftycreek
- Amanda from Sew Deputy
- Katrina from Rolling Eyeballs
- Neela from Sew Fusion
- Corrine from ApplebyMakes
P.S. another thanks to Ali for letting me pinch some photos…I was too busy shopping and not enough snapping!