Hello my lovely readers, did you have a nice weekend? I am proudly reporting back from my Birmingham trip!
If you read my shopping list last week, you would recall that I went to my first-ever real-life sewing blogger meet-up on Saturday! After combating a few "are you sure this is going to be safe?" "what if it is a scam", etc etc, I went to Birmingham New Street Station full of overwhelming excitement, on Saturday morning in the drizzling rain (what are the odds?).
The wonderful day was arranged by the bubbly Leicester ladies Marie and Kat, and oh what a success! When I said when we walked out of Barry's Fabric Superstore (our last stop), this was the best day I have had in a while - and this is a great achievement as I have had some pretty good days lately ;-)
I was welcomed warmly by all the ladies (okay... I may have been one of the last people to arrive at our meeting point) and a super cute name badge! I was also given some delicious chocolatey treats, which, of course I would've taken a picture of had I not eaten them all rather quickly.
Our first stop was the outdoor stalls of the Rag Market, as the sun had come out by that time, and we weren't going to bank on it staying out. What a great spot! We found lots of fabrics for between 50p and £6 a metre, and I made my first purchase pretty quickly. It was a beautifully soft grey wool for £5 a metre, and I bought 1.75 metres which should be enough for a smart work dress. Shortly after I snapped up 2 metres of a dark red/burgundy thick polyester (crepe?) at £2.5 per metre.
The indoor stalls weren't that much more costly either. In fact, I managed to get 1.5 metres of hot pink/fuschia polyester (another thick wintery fabric) at £2 per metre. So far so good - I managed to stay away from anything floral (I am naturally drawn to floral fabrics, so I think it took great strength to drag myself away from them) - all the bits I bought were actually rather plain, which is what I needed.
Just as I didn't think my day could possibly get any better, it was time for lunch at Cafe Soya. Here are finally some snaps of the ladies - only then I realised that I was far too busy fabric shopping to have taken any photos all morning. So there you are:
Do you recognise some of them? On the left hand side, we have, from front to back:
Karen from Did You Make That?
Catherine from Catherine's Daze Blog
Helen from Sew Stylish
Kat from Krafty Kat
Helen from Helen Made
On the right hand side, from back to front (just to confuse you!), we have:
I realise now that Mellie was not in this picture (where had you gone Mellie??) but she was also there:
Mellie from Mellie's Workroom
Can you believe that Rachel and Winnie used the same pattern to sew their dresses?
And here's Charlotte, too busy knitting for posing:
Then we had the SWAP!!! I brought along 2 bits of fabric, both of which I successfully managed to give away, and 3 sewing patterns. A pretty moderate amount, right? But take a look at this... most of these actually belonged to 2 ladies (worry not, I shall not be naming and "shaming"!)
And this is what I ended up... all for free!
Before I forget, from top left and clockwise, they were gratefully received from: Katie, Marie, Mellie, Claire, Claire, Suzy and Katie.
I also got the lovely grey/blue floral chiffon from Kat, a pale wool/blend (the picture really does not do it justice) from Karen, and the floral blue polycotton from Helen (from SewStylish). Yep, that's where the florals came in!! I just could not resist them.
After lunch, we kept calm (though I must admit, it took me a while to calm down from all that excitement) and carried on fabric shopping! We went to the Fancy Silk Store, where I finally found the perfect bridal satin for my mother-in-law's bolero (only at a reasonable £8 a metre). The funniest thing was, the shop owner was so surprised and taken by the size of our group, and how far some of us had travelled to visit his shop (amongst others), he gave us a free pen each!
This is what the shop looks like inside - with floor to ceiling fabrics:
AND THEN, we went to a warehouse type of place, called Barry's Fabric Superstore (no kidding!) which was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Here I found the Winnie the Pooh fabric, for one of the baby blankets, and some purple/lilac florals (oops!) which I bought to make either name badges or some sort of personal effect for my mother-in-law's upcoming hen do in January.
Right, before I ramble on for any longer, here's another photo with part of my swag from yesterday.
I just wanted to say once again that thank you so much for organising such a perfect day yesterday, Marie and Kat! It was so great to meet everyone (all 14 of you!) and I'm sure we'll see each other again soon - but until then, I shall be following your blogs (but not in a stalker-ish manner...)!