Sunday, 26 February 2017

#sewdowndewsbury and IG

Today I was at #sewdowndewsbury and had a great time. I met old friends and made new friends. I particularly enjoyed meeting Jan, who lives near me, for the first time;  we travelled together and hopefully will meet up locally. Thank you once more to Ali for organising and to her marvellous assistants! I forgot until the last minute to make a name badge and printed one out on the computer. It kept falling off and I gave up. I couldn't work out how to show it here without actually taking a photo of it.

I'm not going to say too much as I'm sure there will be numerous posts. We met up in Wetherspoons in Dewsbury (not sure how many of us - about 30 ) for a lot of chatting and a goody bag swap by drawing numbers.

I had taken a set of pyramidal  fabric pattern weights and some small storage containers in their own bag. Yes,  I made these myself for this event. A first! I had intended to make a lined padded zipped pyramidal bag for the weights and had all the parts cut out and the zip bought. I started to sew up and then realised the bag was much too small to hold all the weights! I started to make a bigger one but didn't have the right size of zip and had run out of time so I simply made a drawstring bag with ribbon tie, sorry, though it was still quite nice. I don't have a photo, which is a bit silly!

I received a fabulous hand stitched bag from Simona @dracuklashuk filled with a variety of haberdashery goodies plus a couple of patterns, a knicker kit, a plushy bunny kit and 3 fabric pieces. Such a lot of stuff!  I didn't keep the patterns (I spoke to Simona about this). Here is a photo of the rest. Thank you Simona. I especially love the bag, though I might try to make the knickers when I've lost more weight. I only lost a half pound this week.

I also put in a lovely  (new) sewing book for the non-attenders goody bag winners. There was going to be one UK and one international winner - the person who guessed the total distance travelled by the participants most closely.

Before we left,  those who had made and worn Monetas for the Moneta party this weekend had their photos taken. No,  I didn't even consider making one. Hila posted a marvellous video on Instagram. I'm not sure how to link to that, sorry. There are a lot of posts hash-tagged Moneta party - this group of 10 was the 'Coletterie of Monetas'. They are all fabulous.

I had specific fabrics in mind today. We went first to the Pound a Yard shop. I bought a yard of heavy lining which I thought might substitute for the fleece lining in the orange gilet to allow it to fit Ben. I also bought a dark grey green corduroy for trousers for David. He had been looking for this shade. Mind you,  I don't know when I'll get around to making these.
I tried to adjust the colour unsuccessfully!!

The fabric is actually a deep grey with a hint of green about it. I couldn't duplicate it.

Today,  I didn't buy anything in Lucky Fashions. I was looking for crepe de chine for Alison's dress - to add length so she could wear it to work - but I didn't take the dress with me. There are apparently 32 shades of black! There was no suitable fabric; later in Fabworks, I saw the correct fabric but it wasn't available in black, though the dark grey I saw was very nice and I was tempted But no!.

Fabworks  was next.  First up,  I had seen some very dark navy wool serge on their website but feared from the description that it might be too heavy for the trousers I plan. So it proved. I got very good advice about fabric handling and suitable fabric for different trouser styles. I bought a firmer and a softer Italian wool suiting for two pairs. Both in navy. I also bought a navy checked wool to finish my skirt - this fabric was a real bargain. I saw other fabulous fabrics but turned my back on them as they wouldn't work for what I wanted (they were absolutely gorgeous and I was so tempted!). I also wanted a heavy/firm dark navy ponte but the shade of navy that was available was lighter and more purply, so didn't suit.

Beautiful, softish wool fabric but with enough body for more drapy trousers. Navy despite what you see!

A firmer suiting fabric in wool, suitable for trousers with more creases and pleats etc. Navy, again.

Tried to adjust - it's probably further away than it was! Navy wool  fabric from the bargain shelf (£4pm), for a skirt.

I didn't buy anything in the market, which we visited next. In the Craft Centre, I bought some black yarn hoping this might work to repair the hole in my mother's black cashmere jumper. A number of the other things my group tried to buy re not unfortunately available. The shop is about to move premises to a much bigger site nearby and I look forward to visiting it agian. They seel patterns. Since I returned, I've read that The McCall's Company has been sold and there are fears about the future of paper patterns. Maybe I should buy them - or maybe I should put more effort into my blocks and use them as the basis for future work. After all, so many of the patterns are just a repeat of the one before.

So 5 pieces of fabric;  all for specific purposes. 1 ball of yarn.

By this time we were ready to go back to Wetherspoons for lunch and the rest of the meet-up. Nice lunch (very cheap!). Lots of chat. Fabric and pattern swap. I didn't put in any fabric (as I feared having to carry it home again tbh) but put in 3 patterns I had taken with me and 2 from my goody bag. One pattern I put in was quite a gem - a Vogue designer original but in too small a size range for me. I picked up the BHL Anna pattern. I have a dress to make for my wedding anniversary  (40th) - I hope to use my royal blue dupion silk but don't have a style in mind yet. Any suggestions more than welcome! I'm not sure if the Anna would work for my figure and whether it's too ‘young’ for me. The midi length I mean, I don't think the maxi with the thigh high split would work for me.

I agreed I should use Instagram! I do have an account but have never yet posted. That will change. Many of the people today don't  have,  don't want a blog but find Instagram easy to access so I reckon I probably need to join in. I will still blog and comment on others’ blog posts;  sometimes, though, I may just click the like button. A little more up to date or bowing to the inevitable?

Instagram Update:
I wrote that yesterday but didn't post. I've posted my first 3 things on Instagram and I've received likes and new followers - my previous followers had nothing at all to follow. Sorry,  Sarah Liz! It's certainly faster. The girls yesterday don't want to know any details about the whys and wherefores, they just want to see the end result. I'm looking for all the details.

Uneventful travel home. Nice to talk to Jan.

So tomorrow,  back to altering the skirt pattern I toiled and making up a new trouser toile. I will post some of my photos (not yet taken) here and on IG.

Update to Sunday sewing:
I finished altering the skirt pattern and have now prepared fabric to make a version which I hope will fit well. I'm not using the wool I bought from Fabworks just yet. The main changes I had to make to the skirt pattern were to allow more room for my full front thighs. I will detail more at a later date. However, when Rory fitted it at the last sewing bee, she altered the back too - quite dramatically as I'll show later. Again, it's all about getting the space where you need it. It doesn't work for me just to add to the sides - that gives unattractive pouching at the sides and still doesn't give space for the bits that need it.The changes were all at the princess seams - these are great for fitting.

Sneak peak:

I have cut out my trousers. This is from a grey cotton. This is probably another toile but I'm hoping they may be wearable hence this fabric rather than more calico.

Oh, and these photos show the pattern weights I use. Little decorative tins filled with lead shot which David made for my birthday a couple of years back. They're great - nice and heavy, robust, yet small enough not to get in the way.


  1. Hi lovely to see you again. As I was sorting the goodie bag labels we only managed a quick talk. It was a great day wasn't it. Glad you are on Instagram it's great for keeping up and hints and tips K xXx

    1. Thanks, Karen - yes you were pretty busy. You did a grand job! I enjoyed the meetup. As for Instagram, I think it will take some getting used to, and I don't feel could ever replace blogging - I do like detail, techniques and the story behind things. Anne x

  2. What a great time you had - it must be wonderful being able to meet other sewers. I'm quite isolated here in regional Newcastle, as far as meeting sewers is concerned. As for social media, I joined IG but find it is just another thing to do. I am trying to work out how to use it to suit my needs better. I did enjoy it at first - novelty, I suppose, but that has worn off now! I prefer blogs, and as I have already mentioned to you, I like a relationship with the writer. Although some of the IG sewers also develop relationships and I always look these out. And yes, if you like detail and techniques and back stories - blogs are better. I like the quiet time when I sit and blog or comment on blogs too. Peaceful!

  3. Thanks, Sarah Liz - my sentiments exactly.
    As I drive, or am willing to travel reasonable distances by train and pay for accommodation, except I have to think twice about London prices (okay in the UK all distances are reasonable compared to Australia or US!) I have been able to take opportunities that would not have been available to those who don't. I'm comfortable enough meeting new people and putting myself forward- although I am an introvert, I've had lots of practice over the years! As I get older, I can foresee those opportunities shrinking so I'm making the most of them now.

  4. I am so envious of sewing get togethers, especially if you have been talking with the other person on social media. I have to settle with going to the annual sewing expo in my city - hopefully I make it this year!

    1. Thanks. Yes, it's nice. I'm not so good on social media, though. The annual sewing expo sounds pretty good.


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