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Birmingham Sewing Meet Up!

June 19, 2013

I was amongst the crowd of over 30 sewing fanatics who descended upon Birmingham last Saturday for a meet up organised by Marie, Kat and Claire.  I’m sure you’ll have read all about it by now, but I wanted to show you the few pictures I took of the event and of my fabric haul!

We met up at Birmingham New Street station, which had changed beyond recognition since the last time I went, but it certainly wasn’t hard to spot the group of sewists with Marie and Kat at the centre with their clipboards, crossing off names as people arrived and handing out beautiful rose brooches for us all to wear!

We all had some time to admire each other’s outfits.  I was very impressed to learn that Lara had made her dress that very morning!  I spotted Amy’s beautiful dress after seeing it on Twitter, and who was the lady with the nautical themed skirt?  Why of course, it was Jo, my Spring Sewing Swap partner!  I loved Marie’s red polka dot dress with cream contrast, and also Kat’s complete Sewaholic outfit: Pendrell, Crescent and Minoru!  Impressive work!  I wore my Sew Serendipity Monique Dress.

Our first port of call was Barry’s Fabrics, which was pretty awesome.  I picked out some beautiful John Kaldor fabric which I later had to put back on account of it being £9.95 per metre 😦 I was very restrained, and only bought one length of fabric for my self-drafted dress (which is still at toile stage).  My friend Carys, who sews but does not blog, got some lovely jersey fabric to make a dress with.

After that it was lunchtime, thankfully, as Carys and I had only had an apple for breakfast and we were about to pass out!  We braved a ridiculous downpour, and arrived at Café Soya soaked to the skin and starving!  Carys and I were sitting nearest to Alana, Jo, Zora, Caroline (whose flamingo print Sewaholic Alma blouse was awesome) Sabs, Amy and Deborah, and the rest of the sewists on our table were too far away to converse with!  Jo and I indulged in some cider.  I mean CYDERRRRRRRRRRR.  She took a photo of me drinking it from the can with a straw, which is mighty classy of me.  I kind of hope she won’t blog it, but I’ve got a feeling she will!

Sewists taking over Café Soya!

Sewists taking over Café Soya!

When it came to swap time, we all had so much to swap that we needed three tables for the job!  We had one table for fabric, one for patterns and another for notions etc.

The fabric and the notions table

The fabric and the notions table

Right from the start I had my eye on some Amy Butler Chinese Lantern fabric that I could see in the pile, and Carys was able to get it for me on the word go!  I also got some silky black and white striped jersey, some cherry print cotton, and a small piece of Teddy Bear’s Picnic print fabric.  By the time I headed to the pattern table, there wasn’t much that was grabbing me but I did get a Prima pattern which looked nice.  I didn’t even make it to the notions table!

The patterns table

The patterns table

I was extremely pleased with my haul, but I have no idea who my benefactors are.  If some of that fabric was yours, tell me so I can thank you!  I took along three lengths of fabric for the swap.  I’m not sure who ended up with my houndstooth wool or my plaid cotton, but I know Jo snaffled my Alexander Henry Lorenza Stripe fabric, and I’m excited to see what she will do with it!

After the swap and the important business of paying for our meals, we headed over to the Rag Market, which was great!  I said to Carys that I probably wouldn’t buy much more, but I couldn’t really stop myself and came out laden with bags!  Carys bought some gorgeous pink and black jersey and I bought all sorts.  Here’s a photo of all the fabric I got:

My fabric haul!

My fabric haul!

From top left: 1) Prima Pattern for a dress or a top from the swap, 2) red polka dot polycotton to match 3) nautical print polycotton 4) blue cotton jersey 5) green Chinese lantern fabric from the swap 6) silky black and white striped jersey fabric from the swap 7) black satin with white circles 8) Teddy Bear’s Picnic fabric from the swap 9) floral jersey and 10) cherry print fabric from the swap.  Didn’t I do well?!

We then congregated outside and bade farewell to several people who were off to get trains.  When Claire appeared she distributed home-baked brownies and cookies to us all – what a yummy treat!  I must ask her for the recipe for the cookies as they were divine.

By this time the crowd was quite depleted and although I kind of wanted to go and see the Fancy Silks store, I knew I was spent up and I really needed a sit down and a coffee, so we decided to go our own way and leave the rest of the lovely ladies to it.

It was SUCH a fabulous day.  I was a little nervous in the morning but as soon as we all got chatting it was just excellent.  I’ve now got dozens of new blogs to read, too, which means more inspiration!

Can’t wait to come along to the meet up on 3rd August in London!  If you haven’t signed up yet, here’s the link.  I signed up in April, because I’m a forward-planning geek in that way…

  1. Pearl Sanguine permalink
    June 19, 2013 1:38 pm

    that Chinese lantern fabric is just lovely! I can totally see you looking gorgeous in that 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 19, 2013 1:45 pm

      It is! So pleased I managed to get it (thanks to Carys!). Did you watch The Great British Sewing Bee? Because I think it was Mark (or Stuart) used the same fabric to make a dress. I thought it looked familiar! Now I just have the small task of deciding what to make with it…

      • Caroline permalink
        June 19, 2013 11:15 pm

        Hi Louise – it was a great day, wasn’t it! You’re right about the Chinese lanterns fabric – Phoebe spotted you holding it and informed me it was the same fabric that Stuart used in the GBSB. The Prima patterns were mine, it’s great to see them popping up on all the blogs.
        Thanks very much for the compliments on my Alma :-)) The flamingo print came from Fabric HQ.

      • tabathatweedie permalink*
        June 20, 2013 9:56 pm

        Your blouse was fabulous. I’d never fancied the Alma blouse much until I saw yours! Thanks for the Prima pattern. It was lovely to meet you and Phoebe!

  2. June 19, 2013 2:40 pm

    I love the nautical fabric. The day was so much fun!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2013 9:50 pm

      Me too! It was a great day 🙂

  3. June 19, 2013 8:30 pm

    Oo the cherry fabric was mine and I made this from it! Can’t wait to see what you do with the rest – glad it can go to a good home! xxx

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2013 9:54 pm

      Ooh my oh my! Reversible and colour blocked! I don’t think I can beat that! Not sure what to do with it yet, will have to measure it first before I get carried away making plans. I do love me a good cherry print though, and I love the understated nature of this one.

  4. June 20, 2013 11:41 am

    It was great to finally meet you! Thanks for the lovely roundup!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2013 9:57 pm

      Thanks for organising it, you did a stellar job!

  5. June 20, 2013 5:10 pm

    Hello! It was really nice meeting you and carys at the weekend! Wish I’d spotted sooner that there was cider being drunk at your end of the table. Would have made up for that drowned rat feeling! See you in London!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 20, 2013 9:58 pm

      It was good to meet you too. In London if I order cider I’ll be sure to see if you want to join me! Arrrrrrr!

  6. June 22, 2013 7:17 am

    Your haul is amazing! Where’s the floral jersey from? I completely missed that but it’s gorgeous & I might be a copycat & go back to get some….

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 22, 2013 5:42 pm

      It’s from the rag market. A couple of the others bought some too, it was very popular! 🙂

  7. June 27, 2013 11:49 am

    Hi, it was great to see you in Birmingham!
    I hope you don’t mind – but I borrowed one of your photos for my blog-post here: ? Best wishes, Claire 🙂

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 28, 2013 10:29 am

      That’s fine! It was great to meet you too.

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