Brighton sewing meet-up and swap

This weekend I went to Brighton for a meet-up and swap organised by Zoe and Claire. I was a little nervous about meeting lots of strangers from the internet (as your gran would say) but it was totally fun and I had a great time.

The swap was epic and took at least an hour. I feel a tad guilty at how much great stuff I managed to snag, but at least the things I brought found a good home (looking forward to seeing what the stylish Rehanon makes with some hot pink tie-dye fabric I swapped)

Highlights for me were:

– Turning up wearing the same hat and gloves set (hand-knitted obvs) as Shivani of Pins and Needles

– Finding this unique fabric in Ditto. Is this a famous photo I am too culturally illiterate to recognise? You can now buy it splashed across jersey knit in no less than three different colourways. I guess it could be good for…no, actually, I can’t think of anything.

– Zoe’s rather excellent 70s pattern for high-waisted flares (please note that the model is working the classic hand to face pose)

– The swap: like free shopping, with the added bonus of clearing out fabric that you’ll never use (but that someone else loves).

– Meeting Julia of The Secret Life of Seams and admiring her truly amazing tiger-print dress in person

– Hanging out with lots of other super-nice sewing ladies.

– Going to Brighton again. I went to uni there and haven’t been back for ages. We were so busy chatting and swapping I didn’t have time to look round Snooper’s Paradise, gaze at the sea, play the 2p machines on the pier, or eat lots of doughnuts. Next time for sure.

Here’s my haul from the swap. I actually came back with more than I took, which wasn’t exactly the plan, but I love all of it:

The top fabric is from Ditto. My boyfriend took one look at it and described it as ‘Beetlejuice chic’ but whatever, I think it’s cool. It is channelling a sort of hip prison uniform vibe, which should go nicely with my lady prison warden dress (maybe I will sew a incarceration themed collection, along the lines of ‘Derelicte‘. What do you think of ‘Pénitentiaire‘?)

Zoe and Claire v kindly made us a goody bag each containing zips, buttons, and pipings, which is on the left.

I’d also like to draw your attention to the 1970s pattern in the lower-right hand corner, which for some reason nobody else wanted to take home. It’s a beauty, and I think it deserves a post of it’s own, which I’m sure you are now hugely looking forward to.

Thank you SO much to Zoe and Claire for organising, it was great!


13 thoughts on “Brighton sewing meet-up and swap

  1. Splithoof rivera July 25, 2017 / 4:59 AM

    Again old post but i have to add my two pence cuz:

    All my materials are salvaged. It’s my “thing” whatever. Anyway even my sewing machine I found fully threaded in a charity shop rubbish bin (yes charities just throw this stuff out. Regularly in my experience.)

    But i do like you mentioned ‘time to hunt”. I think that’s a huge role in my abilities. I do have more time than others do for such things, and local knowledge of where to look (your later idea of hanging around bins at your fave fabric shop was actually not far off a great idea. Do it!).

    However I think some money can be saved with planning even with small increments of time. I have noticed with practice handsewing takes less time than one originally thinks and depending on size can be easy to pick up/put down. I can carry a simple tank top pattern to sew on a train! I look odd but who cares?! I once sewed some mice for my cat at a disability charity fundraiser (i have social anxiety and made that clear when i began lol).

    But if you have time for a library visit you can trace a burda pattern in an hour and then cut out in another hour. The mags have to bereturned every fortnight abt depending but that’s roughly the time to handsew a tank top or shirt or something.

    Tank tops yadda yadda $5 new ok…but you can use fabrics from old shirts or poorly bought garments to make smaller things. Or salvage if you have time. Call out to friends for old clothes you’ll have a pile in no time (bless my size 48 friend and her love of black knits!). W handsewing, which can be done w knits, its a free project. Time consuming vs $ yes – but some people simply do not have $5 but have an hour every other night. Some tv, wine and a little downtime while producing clothes can be beneficial.

    Old sheets make EXCELLENT button ups and it can all be done by hand. Sure, longer than machine, but tbh i think my handsewn seams are stronger and I enjoy the calmness of the work. Each pattern piece becomes ripe for artistic renditions when you’re taking it a stitch at a time. A button up, hand sewn, can be done in 8 hours total. So 16 half hour sessions. Or a month or two of spare time. Sure, two months for a button up – but free from the good bits of a worn sheet with buttons picked off someone’s old blouse? Brilliant! Esp since sheets easily and readily come in 100% cotton w dyeable colours.

    It can be done it just takes that time thing and planning imo, which like you said, some don’t have

    Accessibility as well

    • Splithoof rivera July 25, 2017 / 5:02 AM

      I commented this on the wrong post five years too late good job

  2. Rehanon February 6, 2012 / 4:05 PM

    Hey darling so nice to meet you and thanks much for the far out fabric. I’m using the yellow one to make a little top with the pattern I gnabbed from Zoe. Can’t wait to see how you rock the leopard I’m sure it’ll be fabulous. Looking forward to rendezvousing again soon.


  3. shivani February 6, 2012 / 11:11 AM

    It was really lovely to meet you, Kathryn! I love the idea of Pénitentiaire – perhaps for summer, an orange chain-gang style playsuit?
    hope to catch up again soon! x

  4. Claire (aka Seemane) February 6, 2012 / 10:03 AM

    Hi Ladies – you’re most welcome re: the eBay link!

    ‘Cos they sell you 4-cones for £12 (£8 + £4 P&P) what I do is buy 4 different colours at a time (rather than the norm of getting 4 of the same to fit the 4 spools on my overlocker machine).

    My reasoning is they’ll cost me less money in the long run & last longer too – I wind the colour I need to sew with onto x4 bobbins – and use the bobbins on the overlocker. By keeping the big cone off of the machine I can use it to wind-up extra fresh bobbins when the existing ones look like they are about to run out. I then tie the ends together so I don’t have to re-thread (if I had used 3 bobbins + the big cone – I’d have to unthread the cone each time I needed to top-up a bobbin eeek!).

    P.S. That seller sells M75 + M120 weight thread, the M120 is the standard weight for overlocking, the M75 is thicker/heavier – I usually buy the M120 stuff, and I use it on my straight-stitch/zag-zag machine fine too (I use it with my homemade cone adaptor LOL!).

    • shivani February 6, 2012 / 11:09 AM

      Claire – you continue to amaze me with your knowledge! x

    • yesilikethat February 6, 2012 / 8:19 AM

      Thanks Claire, it was great to meet you too! Ebay shop looks brill, will get ordering. x

    • Jane February 6, 2012 / 9:20 AM

      Wish I could have made it. Just nabbed that ebay link from Claire and ordered some cones – thanks! x

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