Hi! Hope your week has been a good one? Mine’s been difficult for a number of reasons which I won’t bore you with, so thank goodness I’d had an amazing weekend last week!
I got up obscenely early last Saturday to head off to Sew Brum. Which, as the name suggests, is in Birmingham which meant a long train journey at silly o’clock. Thankfully, I had the company of Ali all the way there and back, which meant lots of chatting before we ever arrived in Brum. She also brought me a gorgeous piece of fabric which she thought was very me – she was right!
We arrived into New Street slightly earlier than we’d arranged to meet people, so headed for the Starbucks meeting point and some much needed caffeine! Several people met us in the station, including Claire and Helen and we headed en masse to the Tea Room at the Museum.
We got there just as slightly bemused looking museum staff were opening the doors to a very large crowd of (mostly) women. Heading straight for the tea room, we took over most of the very large space, leaving the staff struggling to cope with the demand for the all important tea and cakes.
I should say at this point that the whole idea of Sew Brum was, for me, both very enticing and absolutely terrifying. My natural setting is not to enjoy meeting new people, I’m someone who usually takes a while before feeling comfortable with people, so I was rather apprehensive and very glad to be heading there with Ali, who I’d met before and is so lovely.
I needn’t have worried. Sewists are absolutely the nicest bunch of people in the world and apparently, we all love a good gossip. Before I’d ever sat down, I’d finally got to meet both Elle and Abi, who didn’t feel like strangers at all but good friends I’d seen the day before at most! Looking around, people everywhere were hugging, discussing fabrics, stroking garments, turning up hems to discuss finishing methods… and all of it without being even slightly apologetic, which happens to me a lot when talking to others about my hobby (obsession!)
We headed off to the markets and Ali and I started with one group and kind of organically moved into another part way around as we bumped into others. We were with Rhiannon and Vicki to start with, who headed straight for a stall selling African Wax Print cottons. Although I’d admired these on blog pictures before, I’d never actually seen any in the flesh. Obviously I succumbed, but since it was £15 for 5.4m of fabric, I decided it was well worth the risk. Someone else collared me on another stall to point out that they’d found the stretch denim I’d mentioned I was after, so I bought that too!
We stayed mostly in the market itself, and more wax cotton was bought, before moving to Fancy Silks store, where I found some navy cotton drill to make the trousers from the latest issue of Love Sewing.
Then, we hopped on a bus to head out to Guthrie & Ghani.
We had a swift look at the already heaving shop but quickly headed next door in search of lunch. The neighbouring pub was also hosting the meet up, and I found myself on an outdoor table scoffing a massive burger and chatting to Lucy from Sew Essential, Vicki, Tif, Rhiannon, Jess, Pecia, Ali and others (I was getting overwhelmed with names by this point, I’m so sorry to anyone I missed!). Amy said hi and very kindly took this photo for me (thanks for your patience, Amy!)
After lunch, we headed back to the shop for the charity raffle, held in aid of the Eve Appeal. There were some amazing prizes (I really wanted the dress form Sew Essential had donated, but it was not to be!) : Ali had bought tickets for herself and her mum and was lucky enough to win them a prize each! And then we had time for more chatting, selfie taking and of course fabric shopping. I picked up two remnants of a teal green jersey which are destined to be made into an Astoria, together with the fuschia pink version of the same fabric, which will either be an Astoria or a Linden, haven’t quite decided. I dithered over some particularly awesome Liberty print but decided that, for once, I would be sensible!
The fabric and pattern swap table was heaving throughout: I abandoned some unwanted patterns down one end and helped myself to some lovely black and white rayon at the other end. It’s got a slight fault through it, but at the very least it will make a lovely lining, so thank you to whoever brought that. It could well have been Claire, as she turned up with a shopping trolley full of superfluous fabric!
We got the bus back into town with a few others, including Claire (incidentally, if you struggle with willpower, never shop with Claire, she is a first class enabler 😉 ) Finding we had some time spare, we wandered into the John Lewis in the station where my final purchase of the day, some deep purple needlecord, was made.
Then it was simply a case of sitting on the train all the way home again and getting back to Leeds very tired, but very happy, with a face that was aching from laughing, smiling and chatting all day long.
It was a very long way, but it was more than worth it and with luck, I will be there again next year! Thank you Charlotte for organising such an amazing day out!