Sunday, 22 November 2015

Sew Brum 2015

On the 31st October I took an early train to Birmingham to meet up with a lovely bunch of sewing ladies for the second Sew Brum organised by the awesome Charlotte at English Girl at Home.

I had also arranged to meet my good friend Hayley (also a sewing enthusiast) and we went for a lovely brunch at Yorks Bakery next to New Street station. We pottered around Birmingham including the very shiny new shopping centre and John Lewis store.

I skipped the allotted fabric shopping section of the Sew Brum gathering as I honestly do not need any more fabric until I sew some more things for myself (and others). I was happy to meet up at Guthrie and Ghani at 2pm where Lauren (owner of G&G and GBSB contestant) had put on a lovely spread of cakes and other goodies.

Here is an example of one of the lovely Liberty bags that had some little free things such as discount codes a few sweets and haberdashery items. Very thoughtful and fun!

Lots of sewing chatter and fabric fondling went on and it was great to meet new Instagram and blogger friends such as the lovely crew below:

Left to right: Craftysooze, Elle (Laura loves Pugs), Gabby (Gabby Young Official) and Buuny Pumpkin Boutique
So there was a teaching demonstration about pattern drafting that I missed because I was just chatting to loads of people. After that there was an awesome raffle - the proceeds of which went to Karen's Made-Up initiative from the blog Did You Make That?
I am not usually a raffle winner, but on this occasion I ended up with one of the top prizes of 10 metres of Girl Charlee UK knit fabric! Amazing. Here is a picture of the massive win:

As you can see, this win was huuuuge and considering I am a total novice with knit fabrics decided to share the love:
  • Sarah C got the stripy pink, orange and grey knit who has since made it into a lovely top
  • Deborah (of GBSB fame) got a black and white moustache print
  • Gabby got a lovely floral / aztec knit and has already made a top for her sis with it!
  • Rhiannon got the aqua and white aztec print
  • Ben went for the plain aqua knit
  • I don't recall who got the red patterned print (somebody nice!)

After the excitement of the raffle came the event lots of people had come prepared for - a massive pattern and fabric swap. I brought 15 un-used paper patterns to throw in the mix but others had brought loads of fabric, scrap-bags, vintage patterns and knit stuff for a swap-to-end-all-swaps! I kept to the sidelines as my intentions for the day was to return home with NO fabric but after winning all the Girl Charlee knit knew that if I even peaked too long at the FREE fabric or patterns I would see something I would like. I managed to get these shots of the carnage:

The calm before the storm. Raffle prize announcements!
Every sewer for herself!
Overall a lovely day was had by all. I got to meet a gaggle of sewing enthusiasts. Had a great catch-up with my friend Hayley and met some lovely new mates too.

A big shout out to Charlotte at English Girl at Home for the organisation of the event and Lauren for hosting at Guthrie and Ghani.
Roll on Sew Brum 2016!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Liberty in Fashion at the Fashion and Textiles Museum

I enjoyed a wonderful evening with friends (Alex and Kris) admiring the vast collection of Liberty at the Fashion and Textiles Museum. Displayed in chronological order and in themes such as smocking, tea-dresses or shift dresses.

For the classic Liberty print fan there is lots here to enjoy. What I found more interesting were some of the collaborations with other designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Bernard Nevill. My favourite prints are in the collage above and here is a great collection of the rest of the exhibition.

Liberty print silk Kimono - circa 1920's
1920's and 1930's delicate floral printed dresses
'Art Nouveau Revival' 1960's dresses in bright bold prints
Beautiful printed silk 1960's shirt dress
Silk gowns printed using original 1890's Liberty wood blocks re-printed in modern 1960's colours 
1960's dresses
My favourite detailing on all the things I saw in the show - such a pretty button placket on the right of the 1970's dress
Velvet and cotton printed 1970's dress
Pretty asymmetrical waist detailing on this 1970's dress
Delicate ruffles on the bodice of this 1970's dress designed in collaboration with Susan Collier and Sarah Campbell
I loved the pin-tucked bodice of this cute little dress from the 1990's
Vivienne Westwood dress in this fresh floral Liberty print
 It is a real gem of a show.  It is open until the end of February 2016 and I would recommend spending a hour enjoying the history of Liberty in Fashion.