Hello! Well, despite it being distinctly grey and wet day, I’ve had an absolutely brilliant Saturday and thought I’d share it with you.
A few weeks ago, I saw something about the Big Simplicity Blog Meet on Instagram. I was cheeky and asked how you got invited, only to find that you just asked to join in. A sewing meet up in Manchester at the weekend? Count me in!
So bright and early this morning, after much wardrobe trepidation this week, I headed off over to the wrong side of the Pennines and (eventually!) negotiated the city centre roadworks and found the venue.
Inside, in a large upstairs room, all was set up pretty much as for a conference with rows of chairs facing a front row of tables, on which were set up a sewing machine and over locker. First conference I’ve been to where May Martin was at the coffee table before hand though!
Around the room were several people who looked familiar from Instagram and blogs. Deciding that I was a wuss, I went in search of caffeine and then spotted Shauni on the front row, waving as we’ve previously bumped into each other in Fabworks. I headed that way and bagged a great seat on the front row: excellent vantage point!
I also got to catch up with @oodlesofcraft who I met on the Tilly and the Buttons Coco workshop I did last year: I highly recommend her blog for a taste of lots of different crafts, she seems to be good at everything!
The day consisted of a two hour talk by May, followed by tea and cakes then another hour and a half of question time with May. She was utterly charming and very entertaining. She went through a number of techniques and tips roughly based around her top Simplicity pattern picks.
The time flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and watching May. Even when talking about things which you already thoroughly know, she is very watchable and candid enough to never become anything other than fascinating (get me, all star struck!)
She demonstrated a few nifty techniques, including a very neat way of turning straps through after sewing on either the overlocker or the sewing machine and lots of tips on hemming jersey fabrics.
Entertainingly she also made a few errors such as the classic start sewing, watch fabric get sucked down into the machine, attempt not to swear trick. In each case though she turned it around into a demo of how to stop that happening again which was brilliant. Below, she’s showing how to abut your fashion fabric against a piece of scrap fabric and start sewing in the middle of the scrap fabric so that the machine treats it as one length of cloth and doesn’t suck anything into the body of the machine.
This is quite handy as there was a goody bag which included said Amazing Fit trouser pattern, along with one or two other bits.
I am actually quite giddy at the thought of all these patterns and can’t quite believe they were just being handed out. Admittedly there are some of these that I absolutely would not have forked out my own hard earned cash for.
These three are patterns from the Simplicity Sewing Challenge, where you are asked to make up specific patterns and then judged on the photos. There were 4 patterns and I fancied all but the easiest so helped myself (with encouragement!) I’m looking forward to giving these a try.
It was lovely to be in a room full of people as interested in dressmaking as me, who I didn’t have to apologise to for being into dressmaking and who understood the fascination. It was also great to say hello in person to people I’ve talked to on Instagram before now, especially Amy (@almondrocksews) who was lovely.
Basically I can’t believe my luck at getting to take part in this day: thank you Simplicity! There are a few more photos to finish up: see how many bloggers you know you can spot in the background!