‘It’s really busy here today,’ an assistant muttered to me in one of the Goldhawk Road shops.
Yes! I felt like screaming. That’s because I’m here with 30-odd of my new best friends!
But I didn’t. I’m not sure he would have understood. I’m not sure anyone without a sewing machine can understand the obsessive compulsive passion that drives a person to catch a train from Edinburgh, Hull, Brighton, Bath, Cambridge or Oxford all the way to west London in order to finger a silk/cotton mix and whisper, ‘But would it work with the B569e48?’
Catch a train or a bus or drive a car many of you did, and I am soooo thankful. Wasn’t it amazing? Where to begin, where to begin?
Okay, so I made the ten free shopping bags to hand out to the ten first Early Birds:
I’d hoped this would encourage punctuality. I hadn’t planned on people arriving TWO HOURS EARLY. Yes, I’m looking at you, Zoe!
Zoe wasn’t the only one. As the five of us, above, had a quick bite to eat before the serious matter of shopping, my phone was feeding through text after text, all of which ran along a similair vein:
Hi Karen, I’m so excited I just couldn’t wait any longer, I’m here already.
I went to meet the rest of the Sewists at Goldhawk Tube station. I wanted to be on time; didn’t want anyone to be hanging around on their own. As Handmade Jane, Scruffy Badger and I approached the station it looked eerily quiet. Not a soul in sight. I wondered if perhaps people had changed their minds. Yeah, I’d understand, I was consoling myself. It’s not that big a deal if everyone cancels.
Then I turned a corner.
About 15 Sewists were gathered in the ticket hall, chirrupping away to each other. I was the late one! Then the ladies from the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle arrived, flooding the small station with even more eager beavers ready to shop. We spilled out into the street. It was all, it was all … overwhelming!
After a few moments, we managed to calm down and begin introducing ourselves:
Scruffy Badger, far left, wearing the Dress Of Dreams.
Lots of people were thrilled to meet Tilly & The Buttons for the first time!
I handed out maps, pointed out where we’d meet in the bar afterwards and we split into four groups to hit the shops. I’d allowed 2.5 hours for shopping; I think my group took 3 hours in the end. Do you know how much fabric can be bought in 3 hours? A lot. Do you know how much fabric Dibs & The Machine can buy in 3 hours…?
All of that fabric belongs to Dibs & The Machine
Wow, I wish I could have overheard the conversation when Dibs finally arrived home from the Fabric Fandango! I’m not saying Dibs takes fabric shopping to a whole new level, but I will say this: next time there’s a royal wedding, Dibs will be able to make bunting for the entire country. Respect!
Dibs wasn’t the only expert shopper. I also watched in awe as Eugenia of Eugenia’s (fabulous) world of fashion invested in some wonderful fabric for holiday outfits:
Special mention must go to Debi of My Happy Sewing Space:
Debi was still sewing this outfit on the train
Debi caught the train all the way from Edinburgh to meet up with her Sewing Circle posse. She stayed up all night the evening before to finish the outfit she’s wearing and was still finishing it off on the train down. She was catching the train back to Edinburgh the same day and was patiently wheeling a little carry on case with her. This woman is a whirlwind of energy and fun. I don’t know how she was still standing. One of my favourite parts of the day was when we lunged to hug each other (there was a lot of hugging going on yesterday) and a random man got caught between us. He was already looking terrified by the Sewists crowded around him. What did he think he’d stumbled into? Debi and I both burst out laughing.
Whilst we all shopped, I was so proud to see my bags being put to good use:
We eventually retired to Vesbar, who had reserved a space for us:
And compared notes on mountains of fabric:
I’ll blog separately about what I bought. There’s quite enough going on here for now! But can I say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came, and my three group leaders – Handmade Jane, Dibs & The Machine and Miss P. You travelled from near and oh-so-far and I am blown away by the effort people put in. I hope you all had a truly happy day. Personally, I loved meeting faces familiar and new, people who blogged and those who didn’t. I travelled home with a big smile on my face, bulging bags and an empty purse.
Wasn’t it the best?
THE BLOGGERS WHO ATTENDED
(Let me know if I’ve missed you off, and I’ll add you!)