Sew amazing!

Sally and I in Costa at the beginning

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you may be aware I was involved in organising a little bit of an event on Saturday.  Together with fellow blogger, Sally, we put together a little, bitty Leeds based sewing meet up called Sew Up North.

And it was amazing!

Caffeine and chatting

Our day started pretty early (Sally’s more than mine as she has a lot further to come); we were waiting outside the doors of the Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen before 9am to drop bags of raffle prizes (and pattern and fabric swap stuff, we’re not mad!) off before heading down to Costa with bags and bags full of goody bags.

Fabric and pattern swap contributions
Sally and me with Alison (who clearly didn’t need the white jacket to show off that gorgeous tan when standing near me! πŸ˜‚)

We were rather surprised when we got to Costa at around 9:20 and headed downstairs to find our private space was already quite well populated!  Lots of people had obviously had the same thought we’d had (Saturday morning, 120 people, might be a bit of a queue for coffee…) and had allowed extra time.

We dumped our stuff, ran back upstairs to grab breakfast and then headed back down to the madness.

With Hila and Amy; don’t we look colourful?

And it was incredible.  So many lovely people, people we recognised from last time around, new faces, people nervously turning up on their own and wondering if there’d be anyone to talk to.  The queue for goody bags was fairly constant for the best part of an hour, we had a few minutes chatting, tidying up left over goody bags and getting a couple of willing and eager helpers to sell raffle tickets, and then it was time to be off.

John Lewis clearance, you say?

As before, people naturally broke up into smaller groups.  One intrepid lot even got the train to Dewsbury for a Fabworks trip, making it back in time for our final venue!  I don’t think anyone got left alone and if they did, I really apologise.  It’s hard to keep track of so many people all at once! But every fabric shopping location I headed to had its share of Sew Up Northers already stroking fabric, comparing purchases and generally enjoying shopping with other like minded beings.

Comparing notes with Heather and Laura in B&M Fabrics

When 2 bloggers turn up in the same dress and find a window full of sewing machines, photos have to be taken! (Thanks Hila!)

We headed up to Belgrave a little early to try and get set up before everyone else arrived.  The place was great; they’d given us a massive upstairs room, provided tea and coffee for free, set up big trestle tables for the fabric and pattern swap and lots of settees and little tables.  

And of course, there was a bar downstairs together with counters selling awesome pizza and burgers; perfect!  I still don’t know how Sally talked them into this, but she obviously has magical powers.

I must apologise to the lovely person who went and bought me a drink; I don’t know if I said thank you properly or even caught their name (I am absolutely bloody useless at names) but thank you!  It was absolute madness and I was running totally on adrenaline.  This can make me a little loud and rather talkative, so I can only apologise.

Desperately folding raffle tickets!

We drew the raffle a few minutes late, simply because we’d sold so many tickets that we couldn’t fold them fast enough, even with the help of Sally’s lovely son Ethan and a few other willing helpers (Ethan, by the way, was an absolute star all day long, Sally, I hope you’re really proud of him and his behaviour)

We were still announcing sponsors the night before the day; some people even arrived on the day with additional raffle prizes (thank you to the kind souls who donated a Betty dress pattern and some theatre ticket vouchers),  so it took some time to draw!  There were a lot of pretty happy looking ladies by the end of that, although somehow my numbers didn’t come up.  Not sure how that happened!

The day flew by and I think most people had a great time.  Despite feeling rather like a headless chicken, I enjoyed myself more this time around than last time as I was kind of prepared for it, although with twice the number of people it was a LOT bigger event.  I always leave feeling like I’ve not got to catch up with a lot of people I wanted to; when I could take the chance, I made myself stop and quickly say hello to a few people I’ve been chatting to on Instagram for ages.

And thanks to you lovely, sewing lot, we raised a whopping Β£724.27 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Counting up all the cash before being allowed to pay it in!

You read that right.  Β£724.27

Incredible, right?  All that money going to help save lives across our region.  It did take us so long to find a bank open and willing to take the funds that Sally and Ethan headed for the train before we’d successfully got rid of it, a lesson I will learn for another time; make sure you know which bank the charity banks with and where the hell the late opening branches are in the city centre.  I can’t say I enjoyed lugging bags of left over patterns and fabric around with a handbag full of charity cash for over an hour! But I will be prepared next time.

You’ll all have to let us both know whether or not there’s demand for another one.  It’s hard to overstate how much time and effort this took for both of us, especially Sally who started not just a new job but a change of career part way through, but for me, it’s totally worth it.  I think we can learn some lessons (top of the list being, when people offer to help on the day, say yes! you can be way too British about these things, apparently) but we learnt some last time around too and it made for a better day this time.

Thank you so much to everyone who came, to all our wonderful sponsors, and to my partner in crime, Sally.  It was a joy being involved in something this successful.

Becca x

30 thoughts on “Sew amazing!

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  1. Another brilliant day organised by Sally and yourself – thank you, thank you!
    I think it goes without saying, there is a definite appetite for meet ups north of the Watford Gap!
    See you next time x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It was my first Sew up North, and I really enjoyed it. Thanks for all the time you both spent organising, it was a great day and I’m already looking forward to the next one! To have such a great get together and make money for a worthy cause is a double whammy, just shows there’s strength in numbers! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great write-up. I really enjoyed the day and totally appreciate the time and effort taken to organise it. Hopefully see you next time x
    (Oh, and it was me that bought you the drink πŸ™‚ )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Please please please have another one, I was gutted to have to miss this one and was grumpy all day at the thought of what I was missing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I absolutely loved it and would love to come again. You can tell the day took so much organising by you both and you did a great job because it ran so smoothly. As a nervous newcomer, I was so welcomed and felt really part of it straight away. It has put a whole new meaning to the sewing community on this here internet for me. Thank you both so much and as for help… I would only be too happy to help next year if you need it – I’m down the road with not too many commitments. πŸ™‚ xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thankyou so much to you and Sally. It was a really special day. So empowering to see women of all ages shapes and sizes looking unique and amazing in handmade clothes. I loved fabric shopping with other like minded people, as it’s usually a solo activity for me, being in a household of boys! I’d be glad to help at the next event too.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you SO much to both of you for organising a brilliant day! It was my first meet up and my first time in Leeds so I was a little nervous but I wish I could do them every month now it was such fun!! Sewists really are the most friendly folk! The day went so fast, I wish i’d had more time to mingle- next time I’ll be braver! But everyone I did get to chat to were so lovely! Fab day and fab collection for charity. Big pat on the back to both of you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Really glad you enjoyed it! It’s hard to believe everyone will be so nice when you go to your first meet up, but it always seems to be the case x


  8. Sounds like so much fun. Jealous we don’t have that here. I’ve found one mediocre fabric shop out here so far. Looking forward to moving back to the UK in a couple of years.


  9. Are you planning one for 2018? I live in the US but come over to England yearly and visit my relatives in County Durham. Would love to time my visit to join the event. Thanks


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