I was in town for a meeting when I remembered the Textile Forum Show in The Music Room on South Molton Lane, just off Oxford Street. I can’t even recall how I knew about this show, but it had been in my diary for weeks. I’d convinced myself not to go, certain that it would be full of professionals. As opposed to, um, me. But their website encouraged students to attend after 5pm, so I hazarded a guess that they wouldn’t mind the odd home sewist, too. I leapt on a Boris Bike and headed towards the West End of London:
Those lovely new shoes are from Ecco.
I was VERY scared, walking in. I thought people would peer down their noses/laugh with derision/march me back out/curl their lips. None of these things happened. In fact, I encourage any London Sewists to pop along tomorrow evening. (The show is only on for two days.)
Walking around, I felt as though my fellow sewing bloggers from the virtual world were huddled around me. First, I stopped by the stand for Hinnigan, Scottish specialists in wool. And, oh. What wool!
Now, StitchyWitch had only just told me in a comment on my last blog post that she too was going to make the V1183 dress in some wool tweed. If it hadn’t been for the small detail of StitchyWitch living in the States, I would have dragged her to this stand immediately. My goodness, there was some beautiful fabric. I pushed my timidity aside and dared to ask if this producer would possibly, well could they, I mean dare I might dream … did they sell to home sewists? I was immediately shown their Black Book of wool samples. This is fabric available by the metre to tailors, milliners, designers … home sewists? Then I asked about average price. £23-£26 a metre, so not a spontaneous purchase by any means. But for that special outfit… This stand impressed me the most of any I saw.
Pressing on! I wandered into the main hall, which looked like this:
And straight away saw a fabric I knew would appeal to Sew A Beginner, who loves strong prints:
Turning around, I saw another stand that would have called to My Happy Sewing Place:
Yes, that’s lining taffeta.
For a generous welcome, the prize goes to the National Weaving Company who gave away a load of freebie labels to anyone pausing by the stand. I left with this gorgeous scoop:
Mine! All mine!
This was particularly timely, as I’m working on something that uses a bit of crazy applique, so a few random labels will fit in nicely.
Finally, I managed to drag my gaze from the stands and cast an eye over my fellow browsers. Inevitably, there were some brilliant outfits. (I am SO glad I didn’t turn up in jeans and trainers.) This lovely lady allowed me to photograph her. Doesn’t she cut a dash:
Style I can only dream of.
I felt as though you were all at The Textile Forum with me in spirit. Tugging my sleeve, whispering in my ear, wondering how much that fabric cost, ready to lead me astray. Actually, I think you must all have been with me earlier in the day, when I popped in here:
And bought this:
You are all very naughty Sewists. I must never go shopping with you again.