Category: Events

The Great British Sewing Bee Live, ExCel London

London docklands at sunset

View across the Thames to the Docklands after a long but lovely day

Ever since I found out the BBC hadn’t re-commissioned the Great British Sewing Bee this year, I have been very pissed off. The Bee has been a highlight of the year for me ever since it started. Back during the very first season, it encouraged me to get my sewing machine out again and have a go at sewing. I remember that summer I sewed two skirts, one of which still gets used every now and then!

So, when I heard they would do a Bee event instead, it seemed like some consolation. After some humming and ha-ing about whether I should go because of the cost of travelling to London, and the amount I have going on in my personal life, I got pushed over the edge as Melissa from Fehr Trade kindly gave me tickets to go. So that made me make up my mind, however then I couldn’t go on the day I had the tickets for and needed to get tickets for Saturday… anyway, I made it there in the end.

Highlights

The Liberty exhibition area was fantastic – and I now have a plan to visit the Fashion and Textile Museum in London (I didn’t know such a thing existed).

Clothes made from Liberty fabrics

The green and purple art nouveaux patterned dress from the 1960s is my favourite!

Bolts of fabric on sale

Just a little snapshot of the fabrics on sale at the Sewing Bee

I particularly loved the fabrics on the Fabworks stand, and I got two ginghams from them that I am quite excited about. Their staff were lovely too, they even gave me a little sewing kit which was sweet. Other special buys included a Mavern Kitty dress pattern, which has the most lovely packaging I’ve seen on a pattern, and some denim chambray to make it with.

Gripes

Although it was a great day, and it was lovely to go with my friend from work, Leila, I was a wee bit disappointed by the event. It seemed smaller than I had expected, and the stands that were there, were either totally overloaded or quite spartan. I was glad I had bought the tickets when they were half price because I’d have felt a bit sore if I’d paid full price. Other gripes I had included no map of the exhibitors (these had to be bought) and no where to sit except for the very minimal seats around the champagne bar. I sound like a complete old lady, but I don’t care, I like to have a sit down!

Would I go again? Probably? I think if it was bigger I’d be more committed to going. It needs to be worth it to travel so far and spend so much just to get there.

Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts at Westpoint Exeter

The Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts show is held on, or around my birthday each year, and its a tradition for me to go with my Mum. We’ve been going for what must be 15 years now and I look forward to it so much. It is a craft event that has stacks of craft stalls selling lovely goodies at the Westpoint centre in Exeter.

Every year they have a slightly different set of exhibitors – it seems to change as crafting trends come and go. This year they changed their name from ‘Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts’, to be ‘Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts’ and I was happy to see some of the papercrafting stuff had been replaced with more sewing and fabric, yay!

Rolls of dressmaking fabric

The Rosenberg Fabrics stand: Crammed with dressmaking fabric

Rolls of fabric on a table

This stand had everything from wool, and cotton, through to beautiful jerseys

This stand (unknown name!) had some great jerseys, and I picked up one of their reduced remnants to make another Agnes top.

Striped jersey fabric

I love stripes but hate the idea of pattern matching them – this striped jersey is perfect because the stripes go in all directions!

There was another fabric stand had the most wonderful selection of fabrics, I went back about three times and bought more from them. So many bargains to be had! I’ve picked up a lovely Ponte Roma geometric print in black, green and white, the softest jersey I have ever felt in a floral pattern, a soft and drapey black floral viscose and a floral fabric which I don’t know what it is, but its destined to be made into a Tilly and The Buttons ‘Bettine’ dress for my sister. How much were these fine dressmaking fabrics? A mere £4.95 a meter! I think the stand I got these from was called Lili Fabrics, however, when I’ve looked at their website they don’t sell the same fabrics online. What a shame!

I really fell in love with The Tartan Reel’s stand – they had the sweetest staff. I picked up some of the stunning Rifle Paper Co fat quarters, including the one below:

Alice in wonderland fabric

I treated myself to a couple of fat quarters of this sweet Rifle Paper Co Wonderland fabric

Knitted beach scene

This knitted beach was created to raise awareness of Alzheimers and Dementia

Balls of multicoloured wool

These balls of yarn at The Black Sheep stall almost had me reaching for my knitting needles!

I’m super eager to use the fabrics I bought here, and I know I’m going to love using them already – each one is earmarked for a project already! Also, I’m already looking forward to next years show of course 😉

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