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First meet up of the year with Crafty sew & so

First meet up of the year with Crafty sew & so
First meet up of the year with Crafty sew & so

 

One of my favorite things about sewing is meeting up with other sewists. I am extremely lucky to live in the Midlands where we have Charlotte @Englishgirlathome’s SewBrum and quick access to London where it’s all happening, but variety is the spice of life and I never turn down a chance to visit a new event.

If you’ve never been to a meet up you may not know what to expect and I meet lovely ladies at every event who say how nervous they are about it and nearly didn’t join in. I know those feelings well! It took me 3 failed attempts to actually go to my first. I used to sit in the car believing that it would be like school and I’d feel left out or awkward. Although I had spoken to many of the other meet up members for ages, which should have soothed me it didn’t. It made me feel even more stalkerish. Let’s be honest, it is a bit weird that we all know each other before we meet.

 

 

What you can generally expect from every sewist meet up is a given start location, which usually is somewhere to get a drink/slice of cake that gives everyone the chance to chill out and steady the nerves. Even I, after double figure attendance, to meetups end up feeling nervy before arriving. This initial start point is a great place to meet new people, ask attendees about the outfit they are wearing and what pattern it is, hug some long-standing social media friends and eat cake.

 

 

Depending on the style of meetup, sometime there are plans to move location for fabric perusal and purchasing. Freya from Crafty Sew and So walked us through the very pretty back streets of Leicestershire introducing us the location of their Dress Makers ball, which takes place in May. We then all trooped to the market area that has a selection of fabric and is very much LESS crowded on a Saturday than the Birmingham Rag market. This gives you a little more room to wander about without feeling pressured and I usually wander over to the largest and most lavishly stocked stall owned by a chap called Stuart.

 

 

It can be all a bit daunting on the first meetup and I definitely suggest bringing a budget and list of fabrics you need, want and have 200 more than you should already own so you don’t fall down a rabbit hole and get persuaded to buy things you will never use. Most market stall holders are well accustomed to telling you ‘no one else has this’ and ‘once it’s gone it’s gone’ but take it all a bit with a pinch of salt and always do a little haggling.

 

 

As with most purchasing sewing meetups we ended up at an arranged final location, which helps those who have been left behind or want extra time in other areas. Crafty Sew and So have a bricks and mortar shop located in the lovely lanes of Leicester, which was to be our final stop. They supply a lovely premium collection of different fabric types, but not so many that you get baffled by choice and end up feeling lost. Does that happen to you am much as myself? As I am on the continual hunt for the holy grail of striped jersey, my only purchase of the day was exactly that from Sarah and Freya’s shop. (you can just see a sneaky glimpse of it in the background) I am yet to proclaim its position on the holy grail scale, but I’m assured by Bianca that it is pretty good stuff.

The event progressed with a paid workshop so at this point me and a small group of lovelies escaped the shop bustle for a marvelous BBQ grill eatery next door. Shopping makes me hungry as F and I couldn’t eat all the cake provided without stigma. The evening rounded itself off with a talk by Charlotte about blogging and vlogging. I didn’t take pictures because I found her talk too interesting.

If you’ve never visited Leicestershire I would recommend setting at least half a day aside if you are within comfortable driving distance, but be sure to check if both Stuart at the Market is open and Sarah and Freya are frequenting the shop before setting out. No one wants a wasted journey!

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