Sew Brum – See you there?

Birmingham… aka sewing heaven.

almond rock sew brum birmingham guthrie ghani

Now I wouldn’t say I live particularly close to Birmingham. But it really is a great place for a meet up.

And that’s what is happening on October 4th. Charlotte of English Girl At Home is our host for a big fun filled day of shopping and chatting. Plus there’s a chance to win prizes ooooh!

The exciting bit is that, as well as taking in the fabric shops in Birmingham city centre, we will be popping to Moseley Village (by bus), home of Guthrie and Ghani.

I think their fabric selection is stunning so I’m rather excited about that part of proceedings.

almond rock sew brum birmingham guthrie ghani

Provisional Itinerary

More details will be released nearer the date of the event but the provisional plans are as follows.

10:00: Meet at Birmingham New Street Station (FYI the coach station is about a 10 minute walk from New St, and the megabus drop off is just 2 minutes walk from New St.)

10:30 – 12:30: Birmingham’s fabric stores! (Barry’s Fabric; Fancy Silk Store; Bull Ring Markets). The Bull Ring markets and fabric stores are located close together so attendees can decide where they would prefer to spend their morning. I love Barry’s so I’ll definitely be going there! And the market has always been good to me.

12:30 – 13:30: Reconvene and travel to Moseley Village (Guthrie & Ghani) by bus. (The journey between the city centre and Moseley only takes 15 by bus. Buses are every 5-10 minutes).

13:30 – 16:00: Guthrie & Ghani. Attendees will have plenty of time to spend in the shop which sells sewing and knitting supplies (patterns, fabric, wool & notions). The studio above the shop will be available to attendees from 14:30 onwards where we will be able to natter, compare purchases, and hold a pattern & fabric swap. Tea/coffee and cake will be available in the studio with all donations for refreshments going to Parkinson’s UK.

There will also be a fabulous raffle of sewing-related goodies, again with all money raised being donated to Parkinson’s UK which I think we can all agree is a lovely idea. I’ve had a peek at the prizes and oh boy they’re good!

You might have noticed: A group lunch isn’t currently planned, but Charlotte is happy to provide some recommendations of good places to eat in Birmingham and Moseley.

almond rock sew brum birmingham guthrie ghani

SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?
Sign up here to let Charlotte know you’re going to attend. And I’ll see you there!

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

I’m so happy to post about my new favourite dress!

This is Simplicity 2444; the dress that every man and his dog has made. Well maybe not the dog.

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I used an amazingly buttery soft cotton lawn from Textile Express. I really recommend the company. Great prices, they’re very helpful, they send samples and the delivery is super quick!

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The aeroplanes are varied in size and the repeat isn’t too obvious meaning no pattern matching to do.

I made a few alterations to the dress.

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I did a full lining as you can see. I also took a massive wedge out of the bust which helped as both a small bust adjustment and a petite bodice adjustment, two for one.

As this pattern contains 3 inches of bust ease I think anyone with a bust larger than the rest of their measurements probably won’t need a fba. If I’d been a 34 C instead of a 34 A I’d have been fine.

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I tried a lapped zipper for the first time and after a bit of head scratching I suddenly got it! The result was astounding. So professional looking and neat. I love it!

I wore the dress to work last week but no one was fussed.
“Hello!? I’m wearing a plane print dress! What’s wrong with you people?”

But when I wore it to this weekend’s meetup in Birmingham I got a phenomenal response. I was so grateful for everyone’s lovely comments.

You really made me very happy ladies!

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The meet up was great fun. I met loads of new sewists, added some new blogs to my reading list and got to chat with lovely familiar faces who were in attendance.

I managed to not spend much (£9 for this metre of Liberty golfer print lawn! Thanks to Barry’s Fabrics giving the meetup group a discount) and I was fortunate with some excellent swaps. More on those later methinks

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Thanks to Kat, Marie and Claire for another great day. It isn’t easy herding so many sewists about; I don’t envy them.

I hugged everyone goodbye and Claire packed me off to my Megabus with some lovely cookies she’d made.

I arrived home very happy but very tired.

I really do recommend going to meet ups if you’ve never been to one. It’s a great way to make new friends and have a fun day out. Excellent shopping is usually involved too!

Who’s off to the London meet up in early August? I will be if I ever book my train tickets.

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Birmingham Rag Market (aka how to spend your pay packet in one day)

I’ve already told a fib. My pay packet didn’t just disappear at the famous rag market in Birmingham but also at the Bull Ring shopping centre across the road.
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Now I wouldn’t say I live particularly close to Birmingham. The first time I ever went was for Marie and Kat‘s wonderful blogger meet up at the end of last year. Another meet up is organised for June 15th!

Last time I caught the megabus and arrived in three hours. This time I had the pleasure of being chauffeur driven by Mr AR and it took half the time!

The bull ring lured me into buying new shoes, make up and jewelry. I’m not doing the seamless pledge officially but it makes me happy to only buy things I cannot make myself.

I then tottered over the road to the outdoor market. The outdoor fabric stalls weren’t as good as I remembered but I think I was rushing. The sun was out and markets were extremely busy so I decided to pop inside and return later.

My favourite stall inside is the one run by two women; one is older the other a lot younger. They’re in roughly the centre of the indoor market and their stand is a treasure trove. One downside is everything is stacked on top of each other and I always fall in love with the bottom rolls. (That is an amazing way to finish a sentence I have to say!)

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Success!! A houndstooth georgette, a rust coloured lace and a lilac crepe with purple Morse code spots.

Then to top it off when I ventured back outside I found some lovely multicoloured spot “German viscose” (not sure what difference German manufacturing makes) plus some black corduroy and navy crepe (not pictured).

I definitely recommend the rag market for sewists on the hunt for a bargain. And if you’d like some company exploring get yourself along to the June 15th Rag Market meet up mentioned above!

I’ll be there for sure. Just don’t let me buy anything!

PS. Check out the Rag Market’s awesome new website! It’s still in development but much more friendly than the previous version.

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