The day started in the John Lewis cafe and it was lovely to catch up with people who I hadn't seen since the 2015 event (I didn't go last year unfortunately), and to meet new people. And admire the handmade dresses, jackets and coats that were being worn. Thank you to everyone who made lovely remarks about my dress, it's one of my favourites and there are more details here.
After some much needed tea and a pastry (well it was nearly 'elevenses' time, and I'd had a very early start) I wandered across to the haberdashery department. There were some lovely fabrics for sale and I almost bought a pair of knitting needles, but in the end my determination to not buy any fabric unless it was of the "Oh wow, I have to have that!" variety won out. And I decided that it would be sensible to check through my needles and see whether I actually need any more of a particular size rather than just buy because they were available. So far so strong minded.
After this the group split up to go and visit the various fabric buying opportunities that lay ahead. I went down to Barry's but again, there wasn't anything that jumped off the shelves saying "buy me". The only thing I was tempted by was some dark green corduroy, but it was a bit too much of a bluey green. What I'd actually like, and would have bought if I'd managed to find any, is some heavyweight mustard corduroy to make a skirt. I have an rtw one which I bought in H&M years ago and have worn loads. Consequently it is now beginning to wear out and I would happily make a replacement if only I could find the right fabric.
There were some lovely fabrics in Barry's, but buying a dress length of cotton just because I like it and 'can make a dress with it', or because I've seen someone else's dress online and thought 'ooh, that's nice I could make one of those' isn't really what I want to be doing anymore. I am resolved not to buy anything without knowing exactly what I'm going to do with it. And I have enough fabric in my stash to make plenty of cotton dresses.
After that I ambled back up towards the bullring and had a quick wander round the rag market and then got a bus out to Moseley for the next part of the day. This was a welcome bit of breathing space in the day as the city centre was getting crowded and traffic-y and it was nice to wander round the farmers' market and then walk up the hill to Guthrie & Ghani. Or maybe I just needed a cup of tea! There were already a few folk in the shop when I arrived, but the upstairs studio room was light, spacious, and with a cup of tea and a chair, just the right thing. I even managed a couple of rows of my train knitting during the course of the afternoon!
|Pram set for granddaughter - need to knit this quickly!|
I added the patterns which I'd brought with me for swapping to the pattern-swap table and had a look at what was already there. I was determined not to come away with more than I'd brought with me (nine), and more or less managed that. During the course of the afternoon as people arrived so did more patterns and by the end of the afternoon I'd picked up five patterns for me (win)
Sewaholic Cambie - I don't usually bother with tracing patterns and my copy of it has become very fragile - I've hummed and ha-ed about replacing it for a while now and yesterday was the day. Although I've already made a few I still really like this pattern and actually have a mash-up of a Cambie skirt and Emery bodice partially made at the moment. There will be more. Especially now I've bought another copy. The second pattern I bought was the Rue dress by Colette. Sewvee was wearing one she'd made and it looked fab. I love the fabric she used, but also was pretty sure that I didn't already have a pattern with similar style details. I remember liking it when it first came out, last year?? but thinking 'no, you don't need any more patterns'. Seems actually I do, now that I've seen it made up.
When I saw this fabric I thought it would make a great straight-skirted fitted dress along the lines of this one, but now I wonder whether I like it because the colours are so similar and whether it will look chic, or like I've cut up a deckchair and turned it into a dress. Time will tell, I won't be doing anything with it until the weather warms up next Spring. And as there's 2m of it and it's 56" wide there'll be enough to make something of the non-clothing variety if it doesn't work out as a dress.
Well, I seem to have written rather a lot! Maybe my blogging mojo is returning... I didn't take any photos on the day, but fortunately other people did and there are already several on Instagram with the #sewbrum hashtag. All in all a great day out!