The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

I reported in my last blog post that I would be visiting the Knitting & Stitching Show at Olympia on Saturday with Clarinda Kaleidoscope, Butterflies & Lemon Drops and Red W Sews.  The threatened snow didn’t materialise, although there was a sprinkling of icy hail on the ground when we arrived at Clapham Junction.  We were taken by surprise at the length of the queue to get in but it moved pretty quickly once the doors opened.

We agreed on a methodical approach, moving along each aisle in turn so we didn’t miss anything.  I’m not great with crowds and this is one of the things that puts me off these shows. It does end up being a bit of a battle to move around in the busy areas – especially with the many trolleys being towed round filled to bursting point!  I do also wonder about the relevance to knitting or sewing of some of the stands!


  • Spending time with like-minded friends who don’t think that stroking fabric is weird! Travelling with Su made the train journeys fly by – we didn’t stop talking!
  • Meeting Lauren from Guthrie & Ghani who was demonstrating at the show but was having a sit down on Tilly’s stand when we saw her. She is so lovely and certainly blooming with her baby due in six weeks.
  • Catching up with Caroline from Sew La Di Da Vintage who I met last year at her shop in Lyme Regis (when I took these photos). She was selling her patterns and showcasing her amazing doll kits. I’d already seen Lou Lou but she’s now been joined by Bertie. I wish I’d taken a photo of him – he has a monocle!  Clarinda Kaleidoscope bought a pattern from Caroline for a gorgeous and glamorous deck suit – and later found the perfect fabric to make it up. You can read all about it on her blog here.
  • Seeing Tilly take the time to advise Becca (Red W Sews) on her Orla top which had a misbehaving hem facing!
  • Last, but obviously not least, looking at all that fabric.  There was a pretty wide choice and it would have been difficult to come away empty handed.  It would be fair to say that some of us bought more than others!

My choices were :


An Ikat design fabric from the Sew Over It stand – and cut by Lisa Comfort herself who was doing an amazing job in a tiny space.  I’m planning an Esme dress from the Lotte Jansdotter book I got for Christmas.  I’m pretty sure I’m not going to look as stylish as Lotte in her various versions of this dress!


I’ve traced off the pattern (I just know I could never cope with a Burda pattern – this was quite enough of a faff for me and there are only three or four simple garments and some bag patterns on the sheets!).  I think I’m going to make a quick toile to check the fit as this dress has no fastenings and the temptation will be to make it too big!

An organic barkcloth with a 50s vibe from Higgs & Higgs for a skirt – pattern yet to be decided.   I’d seen this fabric several times on Instagram and it resembles the iconic Calyx design by textile designer, Lucienne Day.  I have some offcuts of the (very expensive) reprint of the original Calyx fabric given to me by my sister which may also be turned into a skirt.

A VERY bright pink denim from Fabrics Galore – also for a skirt and definitely one with pockets.

I think I was quite restrained.  I was bearing in mind that I’ll be at The Fabric Godmother this Saturday on a course and will almost certainly come away from there with more fabric!












27 thoughts on “The Spring Knitting and Stitching Show

  1. Sounds like a fab day out! And I love your new fabrics.
    Doesn’t everyone stroke fabric!! I even do it in the shops! When they always try to make me order a Next directory I would reply, but I can’t feel the fabric?
    Looks like time for some happy sewing. Enjoy your day with the overlockers, you’ll soon wonder how you managed making garments without one.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I am the only person who finds tracing therapeutic, probably because I know it is only paper and i can do it again if I’ve made a slip up. Love the ikat especially and think it will look very striking in that pattern.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I don’t mind tracing when it is just one pattern on the original sheet but when I’ve got to pick the one I want from a multitude of shapes and sizes I find it too much of a fiddle!


  3. Sounds like a great show – I went to Olympia a couple of years ago and wasn’t impressed, but it sounds as if it’s vastly improved. I might try the show at Excel 8th/9th/10th April – I got sent free tickets (and I have a spare one if you’re interested?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Gill! I think if I’d gone on my own I wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much – part of the fun is being with sewing friends. Oooh Excel sounds interesting. I will consult the diary and him indoors and email you. Thank you.


      • I enjoy the show at Excel. It is more craft orientated and there are several free workshops that I have enjoyed in the last for crafts such as embroidery. jewellery making and sewing with felt.  That said I have also bought large amounts of fabric and knitting wool there.  There are some of the same exhibitors as at the Olympia show so you might want to check out the list of exhibitors to see if the show includes the sort of stuff you find interesting.Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts incorporating Fashion & Embroidery · 7-9 April 2016 | ICHF Events

        |   | |   | |   |   |   |   |   | | Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts incorporating Fashion & …TICKET HOTLINE 01425 277988 GENERAL ENQUIRIES 01425 272711 · PRESS CONTACTS One Voice Media · 01392 278801 Jennifer Nimmo · One Voice Media Abi… | | | | View on http://www.stitchandhobby... | Preview by Yahoo | | | |   |


    • Thanks Hila. I’m going to wait until I’ve been on my overlocker course on Saturday before I attempt anything with the barkcloth. Given the amount of fraying that occurred when I washed it I’m going to need to overlock the edges as soon as I cut it out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh gosh yes it frays like mad. When I made my barkcloth skirt I had to cut out a piece single layer and overlock the edges straight away before cutting out the next one. And if you have any piece thats even slightly on bias, block fusing before cutting is best. because of its loose weave it stretches out a lot- almost a third on my contured waist band. I now fuse interfacing before cutting. It can be a diva to handle but totally worth it!

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