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Monday, 19 September 2016

Fabric shopping and very early Christmas

On Friday I made my annual trip/ pilgrimage to the Handmade Fair at Hampton Court. This was the third time I'd been and it was as fabulous as ever (at least it was for sewing geeks like me). We also held a ridiculously early Christmas celebration as a family which involved homemade presents all round. 

First, the Handmade Fair AKA fabric shopping heaven. In anticipation of how much fabric I was going to buy, my Mum and my Aunt (who came with me, along with my sister) both gave me early birthday presents of money to spend at the fair. And what a brilliant present it was. Each year, there have been more fabric stalls and this was the best yet, with Sew Over It, Fabrics Galore, Maud's Fabric Finds, Girl Charlee and the Eternal Maker to name but a few. I ended up buying fabric for 15 projects (and heavily supplementing that birthday money) and two new patterns (including the new Rosa shirt pattern from Tilly and the Buttons. My problem now is that I can shop faster than I can sew!

It wasn't just about the shopping - we went to a couple of workshops which were great fun (although our makes left something to be desired) and went to a talk with Patrick Grant (this was a bit of a disappointment as we wanted to hear more about the Sewing Ber than we did. Throw some prosecco, lots of free sewing-themed badges, free Florentines and g&ts into the mix and it was a great day all round. Already planning our trip for next year - need to get saving!

The next day, we had a Christmas breakfast in Knowle - My aunt and uncle are off to Crete for Christmas so this was the last chance we could all get together to exchange presents with them. As ever, the brief was homemade gifts made from materials costing less than £10.

For Glenda, I made the Ruffle Bag from issue 26 of Love Sewing magazine. I used red stretch cotton for the bag and red Liberty Tana Lawn for the lining, both leftover from the Lilou Dress I made back at the start of the year. The bag was relatively straightforward to sew, with the ruffles themselves taking to most time. I already ad a red zip in the right size, so this actually cost nothing - bonus! I left out the inside pocket because I didn't have a small enough zip but I still think it's really useable. The only thing I struggled with was attaching the straps as the instructions weren't very clear - I will go with my instincts next time I make it and will attach it the way I would normally. Hopefully she will be able to wear it for all those nights out in Paleochora!

For Brian, I made the tweed patchwork scarf from issue 21 of Love Sewing magazine. If this looks familiar, it's because I made the same scarf for Dad last Christmas. I used the remaining tweed trousers and skirts bought from charity shops and soft needlecord for the back of the scarf. It's a simple project but looks really professional thanks to all the topstitching - this won't be the last time I make it. Yet again, this was a stash-busting project so effectively cost me nothing!

Final bit of news this time is that I found out that I was one of the winners of the Stitcher of the Year competition in Love Sewing magazine and I have won a Janome Coverpro machine. I'm over the moon and a bit overwhelmed as I've only been sewing properly for 3.5 years.  Can't wait to try out my new machine- just need to find space for it!

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