I always say that one of the best things about writing a sewing blog is becoming part of an huge sewing community. Even better is that sometimes you get to actually meet up with some of those people and make great new friends.
Last Saturday was the inaugural meeting of the Sew Bees, a small group of sewing bloggers based along the south coast. I had already met two of the members, one on each of this year’s open days at The Fabric Godmother.
Springystitches and Clarinda Kaleidoscope are both lovely and write really great blogs which I’ve been following for a while. Clarinda (who I’ve also met up with for lunch) provided the best photograph of the day. Thank you! W thinks it is funny that I have ended up framed by the security thingy and am rather in the spotlight, something I would normally avoid.
The lovely Sew Bees in the picture (l to r) starting from the person immediately next to me are :
We all met up in Brighton at the excellent Ditto Fabrics in Kensington Gardens. Gill, the owner, has been running Ditto since 1983 and has an encyclopedic knowledge of fabrics. She was so welcoming and I think we all learned something new. She even set fire to two pieces of fabric, one real wool and one a synthetic version to show us how to distinguish between them – the burned edge of the wool fabric will stay smooth while the other will be rough and bobbly. We also found out that the term ‘ponte Roma’ can be used to describe a whole range of jersey fabrics and it is important to ensure that you are buying the real deal – which has a great drape and feel.
The shop is quite small but the range of fabric is amazing and we were in there for ages – no-one emerged empty handed! Here’s just a tiny selection of what’s on offer together with my haul for the day.
Top to bottom we have :
- Purple denim with a bit of stretch. This is destined for another Colette Laurel dress and was a very popular choice, going into the shopping bags of two other Sew Bees! The chambray Laurel I made a while ago has become my go-to dress and I know I’ll make good use of another one.
- Blue jersey. This fabric has a great texture but I’m not sure what I’m going to make with it yet.
- Heavyweight jersey with a subtle diamond pattern. This is a lovely fabric which may become my first Coco dress (I’ve got a pile of Coco tops but have never made the dress).
- Red patterned wool. This fabric is fabulous! It’s really substantial so I’ll probably stick with a plain, smart skirt for work to wear with a jacket.
All but the wool are destined for a pre-wash over the weekend.
You may have spotted that I didn’t introduce the person on the far left of the photograph! Just as we were working our way towards the door to leave Ditto someone walked in all muffled up in a hat and scarf. We both looked at each other and I realised it was Kate from Fabrikated who I met a few weeks ago at Karen’s Made Up meet up in London. What a coincidence! Kate had never been to Ditto before but was meeting up with family for lunch in Brighton. A lovely surprise.
We then headed off to The Manor in Gardner Street for lunch and then on to the Brighton Sewing Centre just round the corner in North Street. I decided I’d bought quite enough fabric for one day but couldn’t resist one of these sparkly zips and I wasn’t the only one! I’ve no idea yet what I’m going to use it for but I’m sure something will come up. The photo doesn’t do it justice.
After this everyone headed home and I popped up the road to see my sister. It really was a brilliant day and definitely won’t be the last meet up for the Sew Bees. I don’t think we stopped talking the whole time. This included the time I spent on the train with SewingSu on the way to Brighton – the first time we’d ever met was when I got on at Chichester. I knew we’d get on – we were both wearing purple tights!