Sunday, 6 November 2016

Sew Up North in Leeds on 5th November 2016

Becca and Jenny organised the Sew North Meet-up in Leeds,  which took place today. I'm on the train home as I write this. I'll try to sort some photos tomorrow in the daylight. I didn't take any at the event itself, sadly.

To be honest, I wasn't sure about attending as I am clearly the oldest who does. I don't mind that too much as I was always the oldest or thereabouts attending my earlier sewing classes. I just hope I don't make other people feel uncomfortable. I had a few people asking if I was going so I decided I would. I particularly wanted to meet again the ladies I met at the Yorkshire Spoolettes meeting in Dewsbury in February - Margaret,  Karen, Ali, Hila, Corrine.

The train trip to Leeds is just under 1½ hours. I left home at 7.45am. Nice and relaxing. I went on an earlier train than I originally planned just in case it was late. I prefer to be early than late. No problem,  though. We met from 10am in Costa on Briggate. I'm not sure how many we were in the end, I think 48 had signed up for part of the day at least. I met Becca and Jenny and handed in the sewing book (Nancy Zieman's Confident Sewing Collection) I was donating to the raffle - a lovely book, well 3 books in one, which I'm sure the winner will enjoy. I have another copy at home.

The first people I saw in a sea of strangers were Ali and Margaret. I ordered something to eat and a coffee as I wasn't sure when I'd get a chance next and it was already a while from breakfast. Then Karen arrived and we had a chat. She also commented on the fit of the tee shirt  I made (from a photo - I didn't wear it). We agreed that fabric makes a huge difference. Then Hila arrived and came over for a chat, congratulating me on getting to round 2 of the PR Sewing Bee. She's becoming quite famous! Jenny and Becca had a goody bag including fabric discounts for the day.

Clearly that number of women couldn't go around Leeds in a group,  particularly on a Saturday!  And particularly when this was a special weekend in Leeds with the unveiling if the ‘World's Largest Kissing Tree’ I started in a group with Margaret, Karen and Hila and we expanded and contracted until just Margaret and I finished together. I was Margaret's shadow (sorry,  Margaret - I hope you didn't mind!) as I didn't know my way around.

I was still looking for a suitable fabric for a kimono for Joanne.

We first went to Samuel Taylor. Hila bought a beautiful remnant of a Liberty wool fabric in red, grey and cream. There wouldn't be enough for me and even Hila felt she’ll have some problems because of the need to pattern match. She's incredibly productive so I'm sure we'll be seeing what she makes before too long! First she is doing the PR contest (One Pattern, Many Looks) ...and she's going with the make a red dress for Christmas. I didn't buy anything but went back later, on the way to the station, as I'd forgotten to get a yellow jeans or trouser zip. They didn't have that colour, sadly. They had run out of the quilting materials Margaret wanted.

From there,  we went to Kirkgate Market. Jack's Fabrics, B&M Fabrics stall (with discount), haberdashery stall and a stall selling African waxed fabric. Lots of lovely fabrics but I didn't buy anything! I was tempted on a couple of occasions but the fabrics weren't quite right. The patterns on the waxed fabric were great but I feared the fabric was too stiff. Others we were with bought plenty!

We then went to B&M’s shop. Again with a discount. I bought boiled wool in two shades,  navy and raspberry. I see the raspberry as a jacket very soon but the fabric is quite fine so I need to check that it's suitable.

I think the colour is showing not too badly. Our weather is atrocious today so not much daylight! Plenty of rain.The navy fabric is slightly finer and smoother - I haven't photographed that here.

I like the medium length version B - my colour is pretty similar!
I've started to fit it in calico and will be posting about it in a couple of weeks.

McCall's 6172 Version B

I bought thread for these plus yellow for the yellow fabric. No suitable zip. Margaret bought the end of the roll of teal boiled wool (gorgeous) and 2 metres of the navy I bought. She's thinking of a fairly full and drapey skirt. Margaret has been making lots of gorgeous quilts and other crafts (check them out) but is planning to get back to some garment sewing. Another very skilled and productive sewer!

We decided against going to the new John Lewis which has a small haberdashery - I have one at home so no point,  really.

We then went to Peter Aldous, a rather nice craft shop, which Margaret hadn't previously visited so was keen to see. She bought a clutch pencil. The we decided to have something to eat before meeting the others at Fabrication Crafts in The Light - it is a Social Enterprise supporting micro craft and fashion businesses also teaching crafts skills in house and in the community. They provide ad hoc work space, and have recently set up the Leeds Fashion and Craft Network to increase this support. It's not a funded organisation.
At Fabrication, we had tea/coffee, chocolate cake, bought raffle tickets and swapped fabric and patterns (though there was loads left at the end)

I was incredibly lucky! I got some beautiful Linton tweed Karen had put in as it didn't suit her warm colouring. I'm cool and found it perfect!

I also got a black lightweight fabric with a blue flower which I think will work well for Joanne's kimono (David thinks the black floral silk is better, though).
I'm not too sure whether the background is black or dark navy

I put in a lot of patterns and a couple of books but no fabric on this occasion. I don't know if any of my patterns were popular. Certainly some of the magazine freebies were duplicated. I got a dress pattern and a unisex adult/child gilet pattern (next term we are making a padded gilet. I don't fancy it for me as I don't need to add padding! I might make for my grandsons).

I was even luckier in the raffle! I won a pair of tickets to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate and 2 metres of fabric of my choice from Girl Charlee.  I indicated I was going to decline this but was asked for my email address, so I accepted it. It's just as well really as Margaret won the next prize, the star prize,  a £100 fabric bundle from Minerva Fabrics. Gorgeous fabrics. ready to take her back to dressmaking. If I had declined, she wouldn’t have got that! The raffle raised over £200 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

Margaret is keen to take a Chanel jacket class and I offered to go with her. I'd enjoy that. I'm not sure when it will be. I have the fabric, though!

I asked Ali about her new combined coverstitch machine, which she loves . Sounds fabulous!  She showed us the fantastic stretchy hems on her top,  which she had finished just last night. Gorgeous fabric too. Hila reckoned such would be an investment for her, too,  as she hopes to sew to a hundred,  like Lillian Weber, the amazing woman who sewed well over 1000 dresses to donate to Dresses for Africa. “Dresses for Africa is an organization which not only clothes little girls in Africa (boys too) , they do lots of other projects there, like building wells and community centers to improve lives of people in villages in Africa.” As I mentioned earlier, Hila is very productive! She was one of the bloggers on the blog tour for the Pattern Review Lillian dress.  I could sew every day from now until I'm 100 and probably not use up all my fabric! I hope I'm exaggerating!  I have clear plans for today's fabric. No plans for a coverstitch machine, though.

I was pleased to hear that Ali is planning a further Yorkshire Spoolettes trip to Dewsbury. I'd better get sewing!

We looked around the shop and those closer to Leeds enquired about their classes etc. The shop has some beautiful craft and designer items, selling work by over 40 local artists and designers - beautiful gifts. The staff were wonderful hosts today and kept the tea, coffee and cake coming!  We put in a donation for this. Fortunately, I'm not fond of chocolate cake so wasn't tempted beyond a mouthful.

Luckily, I had an open train ticket so could travel home when I wanted rather than having to wait until the time of the train I had booked a seat on. We finished earlier than I originally thought we would. I really didn't feel like Christmas shopping, despite Leeds looking great and clearly being a great shopping area, so just made my way to the station.

I had a nice day and am glad I went. It's nice, too, to be getting home at a reasonable time. We hadn't made arrangements to go to any fireworks displays, but we could do now (though probably won't!). (I watched Strictly but fell asleep! Getting older!)


  1. Sounds a great day. I used to go to Leeds for work so have been to many of those places in my lunch break!

    1. Pity you couldn't make it, then. I had visited Leeds once before but being with the others made it better.

  2. It was great to see you again Anne, lovely write up too! I'll hold you to the Chanel jacket classes :-)

    1. Great to see you, Margaret. You've forgiven me for being your shadow? I look forward to the classes.

  3. It was good to see you again and I'm so pleased that I've finally found your blog! Congratulations on the raffle prize (I was green with envy!) and I hope to see you in Dewsbury before long!

    1. Welcome to my blog! Please do visit again and thank you for commenting. I'm going to Harrogate next week using my winning tickets (Friday). I haven't heard anything about the fabric. I do hope to go to Dewsbury next time the Yorkshire Spooletes are there but I need to sew a fair bit first! It was good to see you in Leeds.


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