Saturday, 28 November 2015

Relative restraint at the Knitting and Stitching Show

Yesterday,  Friday, I visited the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate.

Last year I remembered being in long queues for the car park and then everything else. This year I decided to travel early,  hoping to avoid the car park queue at least. We did! I thought the exhibition in general was much quieter but apparently Fridays and Sundays are always quieter than Thursdays and Saturdays . But I went on Friday last year, too. Last year we had difficulty finding a space at a table for lunch and there were long queues at the food stands - this year we had a choice of tables and no queues.

Previously I've had a good deal on tickets via Prima, as a subscriber, but couldn't find the deal this time. I thought I'd mislaid the relevant issue. I couldn't find on the website either, though.  Prima wasn't at the show so their sponsorship has ended,  I reckon. Instead, the Dressmaking Studio in association with McCall's Pattern Co. and Sew Today were there for the first time and held a series of workshops. I'm thinking of cancelling my Prima subscription as I've never made up even one of their patterns and if the discount is no longer available…

When I arrived I was greeted from one of the fabric stalls, M Rosenberg & Son , where I've bought a couple of pieces (!) in the past. The proprietor asked me if I'd used up all the fabric I bought from him previously. I replied ‘some of it’ with massive understatement and realised that I shouldn't buy ‘any more’ fabric until I've made a dent in the last lot! Or at least certainly not add to the stash.

I did buy a 1 metre piece of Japanese cotton with an owl design from  Japan Crafts. The fabric feels lovely; the owls are for my oldest daughter. I didn't go for any of the Japanese bag patterns, though. I am thinking of a bag with this. The bag with owl appliqué I'd planned to make for her didn't work out. Their fabrics were gorgeous and the Sashiko fabulous.

For the first time,  I signed up for a workshop, at the last minute true,  but I did it. I booked my tickets too late to book the classes in advance. This was ‘Dealing with Denim, Stitch, Zips and Tips’ run by Claire Tyler, whose articles I enjoy.  I had major problems sewing through the canvas on the bag I've just finished at the point where there are lots of layers and seams and a zip and hoped this would help me. It didn't actually focus on this aspect, other than suggesting flattening seams with a hammer. I’d hoped to get a better idea of how to minimise bulk. In the workshop,  we did a jeans zip in the easiest way you can imagine. Nice result, though the workshop didn't include a zip guard; easy to add,  though.  We also applied a patch pocket with contrast topstitching and Claire gave us an excellent tip for keeping the topstitching looking good and both rows pivoting at the same point. The class was worth it for that alone,  but we got a voucher to send for a McCall's pattern of our choice (except Vogue, unfortunately) too. Claire also indicated she was contactable afterwards if we needed. I did buy a few patterns from McCall’s stand as they had a selection with good, show, prices. here are two - which do you prefer? I'm making up a MOB short list. I think Ill get all the images together, at a later date, and seek opinions.
Butterick 6032 This is version B - I prefer version A with the slit neck and contrast shoulders

I like version A, top left

This is version A - I prefer version C at the bottom. This colour is close to what I was thinking of, though.

Butterick 6163 I like version C, bottom here

Vogue 9019

I like both versions but would probably go for the one with the sleeves, unless I made a jacket

I bought two independent patterns. The first was from Alison Smith. She had her Bella dress made up and I thought it looked lovely.
I had a chat with Alison and decided to buy the pattern. I will have to increase hip size but will have other modifications anyway - length for one. I have her Craftsy classes,  which are good. They are on sale for Black Friday currently; if anyone doesn't have them, it's a good time to pick them up. I did get a card for 50% off a class so I'll see what her new ones are when they come out.

The other pattern I bought was from Sew La-Di-Da Vintage; the Sweetheart.

Again, all of the patterns were made up in calico and the shape of this one,  and one other,  appealed. Although there was an offer on two patterns,  I stuck to the one. Alison was very helpful and asked me about what I was going to make it for etc and gave me some tips on using the dupion silk I am thinking of for it. She also invited me to contact her if I ran into trouble and pointed out the pattern variations possible. I'm likely to reduce the skirt width - there is no waistband but the whole dress is based on princess seams so I can reduce the panel widths to reduce the flair. At least, the line drawing on my envelope looks like princess seams but the line drawing I copied and show above doesn't so I'll need to wait and see. I'm really not 'into' vintage but the dress on the stand did look really nice.

I'd hoped to buy some bag pieces. I've finished my first bag but didn't have the right bits for it and one of the other students in class gave me them. The bag stall had a few pieces, though I thought prices were high and they didn't have exactly what I was looking for. They pointed me towards eBay for the webbing for straps as they said they couldn't compete on price with eBay vendors. I did buy some D rings and sliders, but the ones I ‘borrowed’ were nicer. Ill post a photo of the bag at a alter date.

David went with me and did all the driving,  bless him. He attended a workshop too on inkjet printing onto fabric by Ruth Brown from Stone Creek Textiles. He found this useful and interesting. We also bought the tutor’s book Digital Imagery on Fabric. So watch this space. He also purchased some felt for his Lego model landscapes. He builds these as part of his photography course.

I bought a couple of Ottobre magazines and the Singer book on sewing with specialty fabrics. I admired the silk in The Silk Route and bought a sample selection in the colour range suitable for the bridesmaids’ dresses. I looked around and admired lots of different stands but didn't buy.

I bought just a few pieces of fabric to finish my Christmas bottle bags.  That was right at the end, when I picked up my mega lap top tray, bought at the start of the exhibition and left for later pick up, and bought a lamp with magnifier, both of which were Black Friday deals. The other things I bought here were a scissor sharpener and an unpicker with a magnifying glass; I'm not sure how that will work but felt it was worth a try.

So I was relatively restrained! My hands are still painful and swollen (having test results on Tuesday coming - got loads of tests on Tuesday past) so I didn't golf today although the weather was pretty perfect for it. Never mind,  I'll catch up on some class work and some wedding work. Plans for this weekend are: modify swimsuit block Rory gave me to leotard block for H;  welt/jet pockets in waistcoat toile - this is a third toile and I need to practice welt pockets as I've never done previously and need to check exact position; continue with mood board and sketchbook for class. Hands allowing.

Earlier on,  the postman delivered Nancy Zieman’s Confident Sewing Collection and a sewing magazine,  so they feature on my to do list as well as Ruth Brown's Digital Imagery on Fabric. I will also have to do some cooking etc of course. Least said!

There's going to be a new Knitting and Stitching Show in Edinburgh next year and I'll probably attend that in preference to Harrogate. I'll see.


  1. You have some great choices for your own outfit Anne. I will be very interested to see what you choose. These shows are a good way of seeing what is new and meeting some interesting people. The workshop sounds quite interesting!

    1. Thank you, Kate. I'll be looking to you and others to help me choose! I'm planning to make up some toiles of different styles and get views.

  2. Nice patterns for the MOB outfit! The show sounds wonderful. I'm very interested in your review of the Alison Smith pattern. I like her style (and her style of teaching). Her Craftsy classes are really good indeed!

    1. Thank you. I have a few others under consideration - however my class project is three MOB outfit and I need to design that not use a pattern do at the moment I'm researching styles. I think I may have a go at Alison Smith's pattern next. I haven't watched all of her classes. I was sewing some stretchy sheer tulle today and ran into problems so I need to find out about that, first! Several pulls across the fabric - I was obviously heavy handed although I tried to be careful and sewing up was not easy. If I do the Bella pattern I will certainly post. I'm thinking it could be the new to me pattern company for the PR contest starting on Tuesday, though I am quite busy in December so possibly not!

    2. I can't edit. That's the MOB outfit not three of them! And so not do. Don't know why I can't edit.

  3. Hello! Lots of patterns to ponder and wonder in the next weeks.....decisions, decisions.
    Yes, 'Mr' Rosenberg was also at Dublin Knitting and Stitching Show.....I bought some navy barathea last year and made a skirt...the fabric is so good.....this year I went with £££ to spend....some beautiful thick woollen knits at £22 a metre but not in a colour I would wear...I am conservative about colour.....asked
    him if he had any other colour and he said 'orange' !!!! Not quite I think.
    I did buy some thickish stretch ponte for a pair of Stylearc Linda pants (navy again!) so hope I can get them to fit decently.
    They did have some stunning fabrics but not a lot I found to suit me.
    I also bought a magnifying glass to go along with my daylight light which I could not do without....I'm finding it far too magnifying for my needs at the moment....I might need to persevere with it....and get used to it.
    We travel on the train to Dublin and I was up at 5.30 as my friend likes to be in plenty of to he show at 9.30....and got in by the press door out of the cold!
    Had a coffee (no queues) and our own food as we were hungry. More food at lunchtime..our own also as it avoids those dratted queues......lots of tables I'm glad to say.
    Home on the 4.50 train and a proper meal en route....and we were glad of hot food.
    Of course it took me two days to recover!!!
    Yes, I imagine Edinburgh may be just a bit closer than Harrogate and maybe not just so busy?
    As for your and I are a pair......I knit some chemo caps for two unfortunate folks and got the knitting bug....then knit a cowl for the Northumberland son and an infinity scarf for granddaughter....and then my hands and arms protested big time.....was just about able to letter and thankfully there weren't many cards to has gradually improved but is not perfect by any means.....goodness how we miss our hands when something goes wrong.
    I do hope you get yours sorted out as you'll certainly need them to be 100% in the days ahead.
    Take care.

    1. Hello Joyce and thanks. The navy stretch ponte for the Linda pants sounds nice. I'm a navy rather than black wearer, too. My new magnifying lamp has a daylight mode so sounds good; it's being delivered do I don't have it yet. We got to Harrogate about 9.15 then parked; ticket holders were invited into the Royal Hall out of the cold (and could get a hot drink) until opening time at 10. That was nice. I reckon Harrogate and Edinburgh are equidistant from here; the advantage of Scotland is that my mother is there. I think the Harrogate venue is nicer. Will see.
      I'm sorry to hear about your hands. I'm glad they've settled a bit. I've had problems with my hands for a while but this appears to be a little different. I hope I get some answers and some treatment. There are things I can't do at present but sewing appears to be okay. Good luck with your trousers! Best wishes


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