Tag Archive | meetup

MMM17 – Week 2 Catch-up

I’ve got my act together and I’m all ready with Week 2 of #MMM17. It continued to be quite easy, with a couple of skirt repeats, and lots of jewellery repeats.

Day 8 – Chartreuse Belcarra blouse with the aubergine ponte skirt. The jump ring earrings.

Day 9 – The black refashioned t-shirt with the stripy neckline, with the You Mean I’m Wearing Orange?! Skirt. Plus the pink pearl jewellery and a me-made hair flower clip around the back of my head. For dance teaching, I kept the t-shirt and added a pair of leggings I got from Hannan Mahmoud, a costume designer in Cairo, which I adapted because they were indecently low-rise, and a sequined hip scarf which actually belongs with a costume I made a few years ago.

Day 10 – At last! The Jif Lemon Dress came out! I think this remains my favourite ever make. Worn with my lemon bracelet.

Day 11 – The big floral half circle skirt and yet another embellished t-shirt – the one I call the midnight garden tee because of the black flower & bead appliqués. The jump ring earrings AGAIN!

Day 12 – First skirt repeat, the Black & White and Pink All Over skirt teamed with the beaded Christmas tee. I then had my first photo-documentation fail, because I went to the Dressmakers Ball on Friday night and completely forgot to take any pictures of my outfit! I’ve had to gank these from the Crafty Sew & So Facebook page. Go take a look there at all the amazing dresses people made and wore! For the record, I was wearing the Party Skater dress, all beaded up, together with matching hair ornaments, and matching pearl necklace, bracelet and earrings.

Day 13 – I was exhausted from the drive back from the ball, as I didn’t get home till 4.00am, so I didn’t actually get dressed until I had to go out. I was volunteering at the Guildford Wine Festival, where our charity, Oakleaf Enterprise, was running a blind wine tasting table. I had to wear the official Oakleaf t-shirt, but I paired it with my unremarkable black skirt, and the Dressmakers Ball earrings and bracelet.

Day 14 – Was a jimjams day!

So that’s us all caught up.

Oh, that Dressmakers Ball thing…? That was BRILLIANT!!! There were about 100 sewers there, all dressed up to the nines. And the really fun thing was that everyone *loved* it if you asked about their dress. It was so inspiring! I’m already planning next year’s ballgown…

Sewmance by the Sea

I had a lovely Saturday at the Sewmance festival in Brighton. It held in the rather quirky Tempest Inn on the seafront, but to be honest, I didn’t get to see much of the actual sea. It was quite a grey day, so we were far better off indoors with a load of lovely sewing goodness to keep us occupied.

The day started well, I suppose. As I left Brighton railway station, I was greeted by a man on a bench with a can of something alcoholic, who told me “I like your style, miss!” (I was wearing my hong kong top). Well, I’ll take that, thank you.

I got to the venue, and started to find my way around the Tempest Inn, which was very quirky and all nooks and crannies. The first stall I saw was Cocowawa Crafts and it was lovely to chat with Ana, as I hadn’t had much chance to do that when I saw her at the Fabric Swap three weeks ago. She was due to do a talk, later, so I promised I would support her there. I was immediately taken by the t-shirt yarn she sells, and the white one with small dots really called out to me, and that was the first thing to find its way into my shopping bag.

Sewmance Haul

Sewmance Haul

The rest of the haul came from the Fabric Godmother, and again, it was a highly instinctive purchase. When I first saw her fabrics, this black & white floral ticked two of my personal style boxes, because if there’s two things I like, it’s black and whites, and florals. Technically it’s ivory rather than white, but that’s definitely close enough. I’m thinking this would work as a really simple sheath dress or shift dress, something that will allow the beautiful fabric to speak for itself. What you can’t tell from the picture is how soft and tactile this sateen is. I can well imagine that as soon as I’ve made this up into a dress, I’ll spend all my wearing time just stroking it. I’ve also bought the Colette Moneta pattern, so that I can have a go at it, since Me Made May showed me so many lovely versions.

I took  a workshop, with Sarah of Sew Retro, to make a make-up bag. I was so impressed that she had us all completing gorgeous bags in such a short time. I feel like making a million of these now!

Sew Retro bag - so sweet!

Sew Retro bag – so sweet!

And I also made a brooch, with the ladies of Saltdean Crafters. It was lovely and relaxed, sitting and sewing, companionably. I ended up going for a floral theme, because florals. Although that was the overriding theme, based on the fabric I started with, I didn’t have a specific plan in mind, and it just developed organically as I was going along. I’m pretty chuffed with the results.



So all in all, it was a thoroughly enjoyable and highly productive day.  I met a whole load of lovely sewers and crafters, including the fabulous Zoe of So Zo, What do you know? (my all time favourite sewing blogger!), and of course Stacie Madden of the Brighton Sewing Bee, who organised the whole kit and caboodle. And we saw the Sewing Stories documentary which was beautiful and told such inspiring stories. It will hopefully go up on YouTube some time, so I’ll try to update this with the vid, if & when that happens.

There’s going to be a November Sewmance, so I’m very much looking forward to that, and it will go into the diary as soon as the date is confirmed.

Going home afterwards I was surprisingly tired! But very happy!

Day trip to London

The fabric swap last weekend was FAB fun!

I decided to go up a bit early, and pay a visit to Goldhawk Road, ahead of the designated meeting time. While I knew there would be fabric a-plenty later in the day, that was going to be serendipity. I wanted to be sure of getting some fabric to deal with the specific makes that I wanted to add specifically to my wardrobe, as a result of my MMM considerations. I realised that my fabric stash doesn’t include enough plains. I’m not going to say there are too many patterns, because there’s no such thing as too many patterns. But there was definitely not enough plains.

Well there are now!

All the Plains


I’ve invested in some plain white cotton dobby, with gorgeous little spots (from Orya Textiles), a heavy-ish peach-skin in navy, undoubtedly a man-made fibre, but with a lovely flow to it (from A-One Fabrics), and two much lighter weight pieces with a similar drapy quality, in black and chartreuse (because while I am aiming to use mostly neutral colours with these plains, I couldn’t bring myself to pass up this glorious green – these two were from A to Z Fabrics). I limited myself to one top’s worth of each.

I also popped around the corner to Shepherds Bush Market to get a couple of invisible zips. Because I *will* master the invisible zip.

And then I set off for the meet-up. I was initially flummoxed by the proposed pub being swathed in scaffolding and looking very closed, but when I had a chance to check my phone, I found out that the pub had moved us to their sister pub around the corner. When I got there, I met Kristy of Scientific Sewing, who’d organised it all (what a star!), and a whole host of lovely sewing people, including Gabby from Gabberdashery and Alex from GBSB#3.

We were all holding back initially to make sure late-comers stood a decent chance. But once the actual swapping part of it got started it was quite intense – we were in a very small space, with terrible lighting, and it was very warm. It was quite hard work to manoeuvre yourself into a position where you could have a big old rummage. But it was all very friendly and good-humoured.

I came away with less than I took, which is good for my stash management. The first piece I seized upon was this beautiful border print, which is destined to become a pleated skirt, I think. Or possibly a jiffy dress. I’m not committing yet! But it was far too beautiful to pass up, and it’s a giant floral print, so it’s right up my personal style alley.

Isn’t that gorgeous?

The second piece I got was a viscose-like drapey fabric, in a dark colour with a pretty cloud-like print. I couldn’t tell whether it was black or navy until we got out into natural daylight – turned out it’s black! Either would have been fine, though. There’s enough for a top there.


Clouds? Or islands?

Once everyone had picked everything they wanted to keep, Kristy googled to find a nearby charity shop, and all the leftover fabrics and patterns were bundled into bags to take there. We all set off to find it, and kudos to those who were actually carrying it all! We were all feeling quite hungry  by then, so having dropped the bundles off at Oxfam, we found a Pret, which fortunately had a large enough seating space to fit us all. Although the group had dwindled by then, there were still maybe 12 or 14 of us, and plenty of chatting to be done.

It was really great to meet so many lovely people, and I’ve got a whole new set of blogs and instagrams to follow now.

And on my way back to the tube, I walked past Angels and Berman, and saw their window displays, which were delightful!



A quick post on meetups

As a result of following new sewers on Instagram, I’ve got two real life meet-up opportunities this month, so I shall be more of a social sewer!

Firstly, I shall be at the Foldline Fabric/Pattern Swap tomorrow, in central London, hosted by Kristy of Scientific Sewing. I found out about it earlier this week, but didn’t think I could go, because of a prior commitment, but that visit got swapped to Sunday last night, so I’m free to go on up there. It fits in with my StashWatch pledges to myself, because swapping doesn’t increase my stash, and it means I can ditch those fabrics that I don’t really like any more, and patterns I know I will never ever sew, entirely guilt-free! And since I’ve now met my promise to myself to use 5 stash fabrics before I could buy any new ones, it will be ok if I come home with a bit more than I left with. Especially if I go up early and take a wander down Goldhawk Road.

And a bit later this month, on 18th June, I shall be trekking down to Brighton to the Sewmance Festival, organised by Stacie, who runs the Brighton Sewing Bee. It looks like a lot of fun, with loads of workshops and talks and a Stitch’n’Bitch area, I’m not entirely sure what that will entail, but I’m probably well up for it.

Finally, and this one is online rather than IRL, as a result of following Sewmance on Instagram (@sewmancefestival) I’ve embarked on their #mysewingstory video challenge. It’s day 3 today, out of 5, the theme is “why do you sew?”. Instagram only gives you a minute of video time, so that’s going to be a tough one to edit my thoughts down.