Portslade Sewing Meet Up

Who could refuse an invitation from Zoe to an exclusive visit to Ditto and The Fabric Godmother during the bank holiday weekend?  I’ve been to several of Josie’s open days at her fabric headquarters but this time we were visiting Ditto’s unit in Portslade where the online orders are processed and Gill has been holding some open days recently.

Mr Jane Makes kindly dropped me off at Ditto after finishing his park run (a personal best at 25:40) and chose to change from his running gear into ‘normal’ clothes when we arrived.  Emma from @dressmakerssocial did mention later than she’d spotted him out of the window in his pants.  I hope she gets over the experience soon!  He has no shame.

I’ll spare you a photograph of him in his smalls!

In addition to Zoe and her friend Rea it was lovely to meet up with :

I nearly forgot – Zoe also brought her adorable baby, Frankie.  Given that he had to spend several hours being passed around his adoring fans he was as good as gold!

Being faced with all this fabric as we walked into Ditto was overwhelming!  This is just part of one room – there’s another one too!  There was also a table piled up with homemade cake.

I never remember to take proper photographs but the image on the right shows Sal, Louise and Vicki having an animated conversation whilst clutching fabric!

We were very well looked after by Emma’s daughter who took orders for hot drinks and her son recorded an interview with everyone, asking them to choose their favourite fabric and say what they were going to make with it!

As if that wasn’t enough fabric for one day – off we went to The Fabric Godmother.  Josie had very kindly prepared lunch for us and Claire supplied chocolate brownies.  Claire has something of the Mary Poppins about her and is able to produce pretty much anything you might need from the depths of her handbag including plastic bags for take away cake!

Some people were more restrained than others.   I’ve been committed to curbing my fabric buying recently, sticking to using up what I already have and seeking out secondhand fabric in charity shops.  However …. I had already spotted an eco jersey on Ditto’s website which is produced without the use of harmful chemicals and once I’d seen it IRL decided it would make a perfect second Gable TopHere’s my first one.

At The Fabric Godmother I succumbed to some mustard/gold denim.  I’ve had this fabric before to make a Brumby skirt which is now too big for me and although I’ve done a lot of alterations recently I just can’t face unpicking the waistband and dealing with all that gathering.  I may not necessarily replicate the Brumby but the fabric will definitely become another skirt.  I was also looking for some grey denim which I also found at TFG.  This may well become a Cleo dress.  I’m very late to the Cleo party but Louise’s version in sparkly denim finally decided me.

One of the highlights of the day was our goodie bag from Josie.  I didn’t open the package until later in the day when I discovered we had all been given a length of this amazing floral fabric and a pattern!  So generous. It is not something I would normally choose for myself but it is beautiful and I’m going to think very carefully about what I make with it to ensure I do it justice.

With fabric and cake in hand I headed off for Portslade station to catch a train back to Brighton to meet up with Mr J-M at my sister’s house.  Thankfully it’s only two stops because the train was rammed with Brighton supporters who had clearly already been to the pub and were singing some fairly inappropriate songs, the lyrics of which I won’t repeat here!  They were probably not as cheerful by the end of the day after losing the match.

A huge thank you to Ditto and The Fabric Godmother for a great day and for the great organisation by Zoe, Stevie and Claire.

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!