Fabulous Fabric Fandango

It’s sunny, we’re smiling, where are the shops?

‘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!

Handmade Jane, Scruffy Badger, So Zo and Dibs & The Machine

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?


Midnight Betty’s

My Happy Sewing Place

How To Use Your Time

So Zo

Tilly and the Buttons

Dibs & The Machine

Scruffy Badger

Miss P

Made In Oxford

All Style and All Substance


Catherine Daze

Pimp My Curtains

A Sewing Odyssey


Blondon Daze

Pin Cushion Treats

Handmade By Freya

Tea and Crumpets Vintage

Little Miss Twitchy


Handmade Jane

Eugenia’s (fabulous) world of fashion

Molly and Mango

Diana & Me

(Let me know if I’ve missed you off, and I’ll add you!)

This entry was posted in sewing, sewing and knitting and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to Fabulous Fabric Fandango

  1. Ashley says:

    Wow, that’s a lot of fabric! I can’t wait to see what you bought! 🙂
    Ashley x

  2. Amy says:

    Hi Karen, lovely to see you again, albeit briefly! What a fun day 🙂

  3. It was great, Karen! Thanks so much for organising it.

  4. Eugenia says:

    Oh, it was such fun! I had an excellent time. It was so nice to meet up with so many lovely and talented people. And, of course, the shopkeepers in the Goldhawk Road were clearly delighted to see such a crowd of discerning and enthusiastic fabric buyers! Many, many thanks Karen for arranging such a successful day xxx.

  5. Roobeedoo says:

    I am SO jealous! Not just the fabric, but the fun, the people, the whole experience = wow! Now I’m off to explore all those blogs, as there are some new-to-me names on there. Isn’t sewing bloggery THE BEST?!

  6. Jane says:

    Thank you so much Karen for organising a fantastic day. As I live quite near the Goldhawk Road, the day was more about the social side rather than the fabric (which I can get anytime). And boy was it worth it! What a lovely group of people to spend a day with. Thanks again. x
    PS. You’ve missed me off your final list! x

  7. Tamster says:

    I grew up just a few streets away but apart from a few visits to Westfields I am yet to return to “da bush”. Must get my act together!

  8. Tilly says:

    PAHAHAHAHA!! That more man stuck between you and Debi! I feel sorry for the ear drums of all passers by too – we were so high pitched!

    Karen, thanks for an amazing day. Very well organised. I’m so glad we got time to talk at the end too. I don’t think you should wait a year for you-know-what… x

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  10. superheidi says:

    Even from across the Channel it is fun to see what a fantastic day you all had. It is funny and odd to see separate bloggers together in one picture. Gosh, look at all that fabric.! I feel less guilty about my private fandango’s…

  11. ooobop says:

    So lovely to meet you and thank you so much for organising. Like Jane, I live dangerously near Goldhawk Road but I was so happy just to be amongst lovely like-minded sewing ladies. I am so up for the next one if you do it again! x

  12. Portia says:

    Hey Karen! Thankyou! Such fun. Must, must, mus do it again 🙂
    Portia (Miss P)

  13. Molly says:

    Thank you again Karen for organising this great days out and helping us find awesome fabric sources in London. I will be eternally grateful for you leading me to the fabric mecca that is Walthamstow!

    Betty and I were discussing stashes on way home and came up with the idea of stash-swapping being incorporated into future ventures, ie. bring something from your stash that you’d like to rehome, go home with something you’d like to sew with from someone else’s?

    Look forward to seeing what you did buy and also what the other bloggers post up too! Haven’t done my blog update yet but I’m missing off the list anyway! Thanks again!

  14. I’m so glad the day went so wonderfully! And… those piles of fabric – wow they look even bigger than those we all came home with at the Walthamstow Frenzy in Feb 🙂 !!!

    I’m so bummed couldn’t come yesterday (been off sick all week from work with a horrid cold :(). But, I shall be there for the next “do” even if I have to nick a wheelchair to attend – just think of all the shopping bags of fabric I could hang off of it’s handles mwahahahahaha!

  15. Dibs says:

    OMG!! Karen I look really silly with all that fabric infront of me. I am yet to reach home, as I spent the night at my sister’s place, so I don’t know what the reaction will be from at home. My sister was quite scandalised though. I have to try and make sure I get home when my husband is out, so he does not see the damage done.

    It was so nice being a part of yesterday. It was really nice seeing all those people I have been stalking online in person. I hope there will be another one soon ( I promise not to go crazy with the shopping). Karen you are such a star. Thanks so much for organising this.

  16. Freya says:

    Thank you so much for organising everything Karen! It was so lovely to meet so many people that are so passionate about sewing and fabric!

  17. PinQueen says:

    Oh you lucky ladies. Looks like you had a fab time and am pleased the weather was good for you. Goldhawk Road’s profits must have been up that day!! Can’t wait to read everyone elses blogs and nosey at the purchases.
    Thanks for the links to the other blogs too Karen, some of them I haven’t come across yet.

  18. Suzy says:

    It looks like you had a wicked time, what an amazing group!

  19. Adrienne says:

    I was so nice meeting all of you — thanks to Karen for the organizing. We’ll have to organize an international meeting at some point!

  20. Marie says:

    Thanks so much for organising such a wonderful day Karen – I had such a good time and I really enjoyed meeting other like-minded bloggers!!! When shall we meet again ;o)

  21. Debi says:

    KAREN!!!!! lunching to hug….oh sorry…poor man!!! hahahahahha. I had so much fun! We should have stuck around for the introductions–sorry about that! So much to do! It was great to meet everyone! I’m so coming down for the next meet-up ….ehehehe. I can’t believe we all met in the tube station! how fabulous!!!

  22. Jane says:

    Wow, you all look sooooo happy and you all look as if you’ve had a wonderful time. Like Roobeedoo I’m green with envy – fun, fabric and new sewing friends and I missed it tsk.

    I’m definitely coming to the next one, so please organise it soon.

    I’m off to explore new sewing blogs now!

  23. Suzanne says:

    What a wonderful event! Thank you for sharing all the sewists blogs in this post too.

  24. Clare S says:

    Wow, that sounds/looks like one amazing day! How awesome!! I’m quite envious!

  25. Sarah says:

    Oh, I am so envious!! What a lovely day and how amazing to meet all these fabulous bloggers. The fabric choices are all wonderful…I bet everyone’s brain is just spinning with ideas! 🙂

  26. Ayse says:

    Thank you very much for organising the fabric fandango event Karen! It was GREAT! I really enjoyed the company of fellow sewers and discovering hidden fabric world in a part of London that I’ve never been before. 🙂

  27. Thank you all. I’m still floating from the day!

  28. Kirsty says:

    Ooh it looks like such a fabulous day, I am suitably jealous!

  29. Bold Sewist says:

    What an amazing looking day – so many familiar faces! Like the others who couldn’t attend, I’m rather jealous – I woke up yesterday and thought of you all meeting up and was very glad you had lovely weather for it! x

  30. mujerboricua says:

    Thank you so much for organizing such a great get-together. I had a blast. As a beginner I was a bit nervous but now I feel completely inspired. And after a Blogger hiccup my new sewing blog is up and running again: http://pincushiontreats.blogspot.com/. Planning to show off my new creations there soon.

    Thanks again. Had a blast.

  31. ccilia says:

    I would love to join you for the next trip!!

  32. I so wish I could’ve come. This is what sucks about working freelance – a big job comes in after a dry spell and you just have to take it 🙁

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  34. melissa says:

    Those are some impressive piles of fabric!! Wish I could’ve made it!

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  36. Annie says:

    I LOVE Goldhawk shopping!! Reading this post made me want to drop what I was doing and head over there. Looks like you ladies had a lot of fun!

  37. Kathryn says:

    I’m a complete sewing novice, but thanks to a friend I have already discovered the delights of Goldhawk Road! Sounds like a fantastic, fun day with lots of lovely people – thanks for the post!

  38. Pingback: Fabric Fandango: Goldhawk Road | Pincushion Treats

  39. Dilly says:

    That looks such fun! It must have been pretty cool to meet up in “real life” – I feel like I know you all just from reading the blogs. I was sad I couldn’t make it (I actually came back to London the weekend afterwards), so I have my fingers crossed that there’ll be another one in the future that will coincide with a date I’m in the UK… Having lived 10mins walk from Goldhawk Road for 5 years, I do miss it intensely.

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  46. Mo says:

    What an amazing event! I’m so sorry to have missed out.
    These fabulous fabric shops are at threat of demolition. You can read the full details on Melissa’s blog:
    Please join the facebook group and write to the council and lend your support in any way you can. Otherwise shopping trips like this may sadly become a thing of the past.

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