• The Sewing Weekender Review

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    Oh my… where the hell do I start? What a weekend. I am reeling from the excitement!

    I was lucky enough to manage to buy one of the hottest tickets in town, to The Sewing Weekender.  Seriously, tickets sold out in a heartbeat! This event was organised by the dream team of the English Girl at Home (Charlotte) and The Foldline (Kate and Rachel). I lucked out with the location as it was just up the road from me in Cambridge, at Murray Edwards College.

    The weekend kicked off at 10am on Saturday, where we all filed into the venue. I nervously shuffled in, weighed down by my bags of sewing paraphernalia… eyes flitting around the room, as I shrieked inside with excitement at seeing so many familiar faces from Instagram and sewing blogs. I was immediately greeted by the lovely Charlotte (English Girl at Home) who gave me my name badge, and most importantly, my goody bag!

    Contents of my goody bag

    Contents of my goody bag

    The Saturday was an all-day sewathon, so we had all prepared projects to bring along to work on. I plonked  myself down at a table that I ended up sharing with a lovely bunch of ladies, including Rach from Rach Against the Sewing Machine, Susie from Crafty Sooze and Elle from Laura Loves Pugs.

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    And the fabric swap commenced!

    And the fabric swap commenced!

    My sewing project for the day was a Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress. I decided that it would be best to sew a pattern I had used before, as I knew I would be super distracted chatting to people.  And I was right! My fabric was a gorgeous viscose given to me by Stoff & Still (thank you!) with a navy blue/white Ikat print. I got as far as cutting out all of the pieces, and managed to half stitch up the bodice. I was a bit gutted that I didn’t get further than that… but to be honest, I can always finish the dress off at home. I was having too much fun chatting to everyone, making friends and just having a bit of a laugh. I couldn’t do that at home!

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    How beautiful are these pattern weights made by Rach from Rach Against the Sewing Machine?!

    How beautiful are these pattern weights made by Rach from Rach Against the Sewing Machine?!

    I was absolutely blown away by the heartwarming friendliness of everyone – it was really touching. I mean, it’s kind of hard to even just say hello to people that you meet for the first time. But these ladies had no problem with greeting with a hug, or pulling up a chair next to me just to talk about what I was sewing and stroke my fabric! Everyone really hit it off, and it was such a joy to be part of.

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    The Sunday was a day packed with talks from a fabulous line-up of speakers. Each speaker had a Q&A session at the end of their talks – and I loved that special touch of giving a prize (donated by Girl Charlee) to one person for each Q&A for the best question asked. It really prompted lots of questions and discussion!

    The wonderful speakers

    The wonderful speakers

    Here is a little breakdown of my thoughts from each of the talks:

    • The gorgeous Rachel from House of Pinheiro kicked off with a really inspiring talk on unleashing creativity. I will definitely be thinking about a sandwich that would adequately represent me!
    • Grace from Beyond Measure talked about her business, and I loved her passion for the crafting and process involved in producing the tools that she sells for the crafting community. I definitely want one of the pumice pin cushions!
    • Marilla Walker talked about garment design which included showing us some super impressive undies she had made! Twit woo! And I now feel compelled to rush out and buy a bra making kit… that project is on the to do list.
    • Elena from Randomly Happy gave her talk on creating a meaningful, wearable wardrobe. I really related to how she described her lifestyle – juggling work, family and of course sewing! It made me think about fabric purchase choices I want to make going forward (which may or may not include flamingos!) and how I want to construct my ‘dream style’ in the future. This might require a bit of thought though!
    • Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons presented to us on the process her and her team use for taking the idea of a garment from concept to the finished pattern. This was such an interesting insight, to understand all of the stages of making a pattern – and the time and effort that goes into it. It was really admirable to hear about how Tilly built her business, including all of her considerations of her brand identity.
    • Last but certainly not least was Gabby from Gabberdashery talking about her tips and tricks for vlogging. It did make me think about trying to make a vlog at some stage if I can muster up the bravery! Gabby is such a bubbly personality, and I think we all felt like she was talking to friends during her presentation (which, of course, she was). I love her vlogs and found her advice really useful. I was busy scribbling down notes throughout!
    Listening intently to the talks

    Listening intently to the talks

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    Fan girling with Rachel Pinheiro

    Fan girling with Rachel Pinheiro

    And fan girling again, this time with Tilly!

    And fan girling again, this time with Tilly!

    And there we sadly reached the end of a wonderful weekender.

    After saying my goodbyes to everyone, I wandered out of the venue. As I trotted through the gardens of the college (which were stunning btw) back to my car, I felt an overwhelming sense of just being so happy at being part of the wonderful sewing community. In fact, I’m proud to be part of it. I am inspired by you all, and feel as though I’ve made some solid friends – I love you all!

    The dream team!

    The dream team!

    I would really like to say a huge thank you and well done to Charlotte, Kate and Rachel for organising such a fab event. Everything ran so smoothly, and I am so happy to have been there. All of your hard work was so appreciated by everyone. A million thank yous!!

    Now… here’s to the next one!

  • A lovely little sewing meet

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    Earlier today I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful bunch of dressmaking enthusiasts, at our very first Cambridge sewing meet. This was organised via the genius of The Foldline website, and we met up at Backstitch near Cambridge.

    As this was our first meet, I thought it would be best to keep it casual, and just meet for a natter over tea and cake – and I have to say it was perfect. It was wonderful to just chat about our sewing, current projects, tips and tricks, and swap experiences of using different patterns and fabrics.

    I even managed to bake a cake for the occasion, which I think went down ok! I was really pleased with how it turned out.

    I had a great time meeting these lovely ladies – not a surprise at all, as I have always found the sewing community to be wonderful folk!

    And thank you to Backstitch for hosting us today. It was a pleasure to come and have a browse through the gorgeous fabrics and make some cheeky purchases 😉

    Great to meet you ladies!

    Jen x

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    My haul from Backstitch

    My haul from Backstitch

  • COMPETITION TIME! Win tickets to The Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate

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    Those readers who follow my posts will most definitely know what an absolute blast I had at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in October. If you didn’t see, then check out my post-show rundown here. It involved meeting several very wonderful people in the sewing world, and some gorgeous fabric buys (obvs)!

    Now I am absolutely buzzing with excitement to be able to run this competition.  I am giving away 3 pairs of tickets to The Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate!

    The show takes place 26th-29th November* at Harrogate International Centre.  See the show’s website for more info.

    To be in with a chance of winning, enter here!  

    The competition ends at midnight on Wednesday 18th November. Winners to be announced on Thursday 19th November. Good luck!!

    *Winning tickets allow entry on Thursday 26th, Friday 27th and Sunday 29th November only. They are not valid for entry on Saturday 28th November.