I’ll Meet You By The Cut Price Slippers And Trainers

This is the look of a sewing blogger who publicly declares she’s cutting down on her stash, one week before leading a sewing shopping trip.

When Marie of A Sewing Odyssey announced that she absolutely would not, could not, will not, shall not buy any more fabric, I rolled around laughing for approximately one million hours. Then I caught the train to Birmingham for the sewing meet-up that she’d organised with Krafty Kat. If Marie went home with yet more fabric, who was I to judge? I wasn’t going to say a word… Let’s face it, we’ve all been there.

But who among us has been to Birmingham? I have! It’s a great city – totally trashing some of the unkinder stereotypes. I saw stunning architecture, morris dancers, a fabulous old-school market and many happy, smiling faces.

This meet-up was brilliantly organised. The most inspired touch was giving everyone a little bag of sweet eats – a life saver when energy levels were running low or a person got peckish on the train home. (Moi?) And there was a bespoke brooch for each of us…

I was really thrilled to meet friends, new and old. Here’s the delightful Katie of The Little Red Squirrel, in an amazing cape she’s recently completed:

Here’s Claire of Sew Incidentally, bantering with a stall holder. That man should have been on the stage. He offered us all 50% off if we went back to his stall after lunch. (Um, I didn’t…)

There was generally a lot of hardcore shopping:

Little Miss Twitchy even had to explain to curious bystanders, what we were all doing:

We’re sewing bloggers and… Sewing, what?!

My favourite moment was when we needed to coordinate groups. Kat got straight on the phone to Marie: ‘I’ll meet you by the Cut Price Slippers and Trainers’. Classic!

Then there was the stash bust over lunch. Whoo-boy, some people brought a lot of stuff to swap!


Overall, it was Awesomus Maximus. I only spent £15 on fabric, but came away with about  eight metres of stuff, including some metallic jersey, grey boiled wool, polka dot crepe and leopard print cord. Oh yeah, baby! That’s not counting the vintage knitting pattern, several sewing patterns and cute bias tape.

What I really like about these meet-ups is the inspiration. It totally forces me to think outside of my own box. Oh, wow, she made the dress in THAT fabric! Look – those two people made the same top yet they’re totally different. Ooh, I like what you did with that… It’s no good working in a vacuum. Cross pollination is so important. I guess that’s why we all blog or read blogs!

Finally, I collapsed onto the train home and crocheted my way back to London. Thank you so much to Marie and Kat. You reminded me of how great sewing peeps truly are, and Birmingham’s just been added to the map of great sewing meet-ups.

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32 Responses to I’ll Meet You By The Cut Price Slippers And Trainers

  1. Lucy says:

    Welcome to Birmingham! Glad you had such a fab time here – we really do get a bit of an unfair rap (from just about everyone).

    Did you make it to Barry’s? Oh, and I must ask – where was the leopard print cord?!

  2. We did make it to Barry’s at the end of the trip! It was great, however for some of us can limits were already met! It’s true, it was a great day out wasn’t it Karen. Always a treat to meet up with sewing bloggers amongst the paradise of cut price fabric!

  3. Kat says:

    Haha yey I’m happy to have been the inspiration for the title of a blog post! Sadly not sure we ever did meet by the cut price trainers and slippers in the end but it was worth a shot :) Glad you had fun, I had the best time meeting so many lovely people and came away with a super haul for minimal pennies (the best kind of shopping trip!). I will certainly be visiting Birmingham again!

  4. thornberry says:

    Had a lovely visit to Birmingham back in 1993 (I am an Australian and that was my UK/European adventure year) visiting friends. I remember it fondly – but back then, there was no way that fabric was going to fit into my back pack! I love reading about these meets – we’re having another Melbourne meet starting in a fabric shop in a couple of weeks time. Just lovely!

  5. Looks like it was such fun! I can’t wait for the summer when I’ll be back in the UK for a month or so and I will will WILL make it to a meet-up. Can’t wait!

  6. katlane12 says:

    I am so jealous of all you uk bloggers and your awesome meet ups. I wish that I had sewing bloggers near me to meet up with. Until then I will just get my inspiration from all the lovely blogs I read.

  7. Roobeedoo says:

    Leopard…gasp…print… hyperventilation imminent… cord?!?
    I need to get out more :(

  8. Marie says:

    Oh Karen, thanks for naming and shaming me publicly…although I do deserve it after the recent declarations on my blog! The thing is, the meet-up was in the pipeline way before my boyfriend’s fabric hoarding intervention ;o) I love your account of the day and I love that you came. Meeting up with sewing bloggers is always such a pleasure and totally inspiring, you are totally right about that!

  9. MrsC says:

    Wow, what a cool day! And I too am having leopard cord envy of the wickedest kind!!!

  10. Anne W says:

    Looks like you guys had a great time. Gutted to have missed out, but next time..! :D

  11. Hahaha nice! Looks like a good time was had by all. We’re having another meetup in Melbourne soon, this time I might actually pick up some fabric XD

  12. Alice says:

    What a lovely post! It’s a perfect account of the day. X

  13. Pella says:

    Birmingham fabric market. Will I ever get there? Just have to make do with vicarious stashing for now.

  14. tinygoldenpins says:

    I would give anything to live in London AND hang with all of you! Green with envy and pink with fondness….

  15. Oh my goodness, what fun it looks like you all had!

  16. Kati says:

    I love your post, thank you for sharing your experience! Glad you had a great time!

  17. Helen Made says:

    Karen it was so great to meet you – even if we didn’t get a chance to chat that much. Yours was one of the first blogs I started reading when I took up sewing so to finally meet you was just lovely! Glad you enjoyed Birmingham.

  18. Far says:

    So much fun! I like what you said: “Cross pollination is so important”. Indeed!

  19. Tamsin W-P says:

    Would loved to have joined you all, but had visitors for the weekend. I don’t have much trouble buying fabric by myself, but always enjoy the inspiration of shopping with like minded people! That leopard print cord sounds fab!

  20. daisydonut says:

    Looks as though you all had a wonderful time. I’m going to Birmingham later this month and shall be hot footing it to the rag market, Barry’s and the Fancy Silk Store.

  21. Tilly says:

    Aww… Looks like such a great day! I’d love to meet Katie Squirrel, lucky you. I haven’t been to a stash swap for ages – maybe I should organise one? xx

  22. Awww, I am so jealous of these meetups. Your get togethers rock and the friendships inspirational. I also, am not adding to my stash! But somehow today, I went shoping for scrapbooking supplies and came home with a gorgeous piece of pink georgette which will make a lovely pretty blouse for summer, one year. I’m so sad I live in a small regional town and so thankful for the Internet bringing sewists together from all over the world. Yep, I feel duly convicted of living in a vacuum – still trying to make varieties of my well fitting NL5615. I’ve been thinking I must move on and now you’ve put it like that, it’s given me the impetus to break free. I’m off to make my first real dress. Love, love, love the name brooches.

  23. gingermakes says:

    What an entertaining post! Oh, Marie, I’ve been right there with you! :)

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