Wearing It Well In Walthamstow

The Trolley Bag Goes

I’m not saying that Claire of Sew Incidentally has a fabric problem, but even her luggage couldn’t keep up with her today. And I wouldn’t claim that Dibs and the Machine has a similair issue, but she had to buy a new bag at the market to accommodate her fabric purchases.

Today was an awesome day! The sun was out, the wind chill only made it feel -20, as opposed to anything too arctic, and the fabric sellers of Walthamstow were in fine fettle. I shan’t go into too much detail about the flirting that went on in Saeeds, but suffice to say there were guffaws. Question: is the ability to flirt with 16 women all at the same time a prerequisite for owning a fabric shop? Answers on a postcard, please.

As well as fabric shopping, there was the now traditional fabric swap. Seriously, where do these people keep their stashes? Do they have warehouses in their back gardens? This is just the stuff they can CARRY!


There was mucho lunging, though we all stayed polite and no one grabbed.


I was very excited to see Tilly wearing her gorgeous red Mathilde blouse. I’d had vague plans to feverishly make my own version to wear when we met, but I ran out of steam after cutting out. I’m glad, really. Can you imagine my pathetic fan girl behaviour otherwise? Look, Tilly! I’m wearing your blouse! You designed it and then I made it! I made it for YOU to see today! Oh, Karen, please. Sit back down and shut up.

I’m not gonna lie. There was some serious fabric shopping going on, even after the swap had supposedly sated appetites.



I bought three metres of wool crepe and three metres of lining for … something. I shan’t say what, just in case I don’t make it. What?! Hey! It’s not like there’s a Sewlution jar around here.

Thanks, Stevie, for organising another wonderful sewing outing!

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35 Responses to Wearing It Well In Walthamstow

  1. yesilikethat says:

    Oh man I’m so gutted I missed it – looks like an amazing day. I have still never been shopping on Walthamstow market!

  2. Hehehe that made me smile :), awesome photo and awesome day!
    (The topple trolley was due to the pink bag full of everyone’s fabric-swap discards which I promptly took to the Sue Ryder charity shop opposite Saeeds after LOL!.

  3. suth2 says:

    Sounds like you had a great day. Were the sixteen women a sewing group or just a group of friends? Come to think of it it was probably both.

  4. Looks like another epic blogger meet up ! Sorry to miss it, but looks as if it didn’t disappoint. 🙂

  5. Lyndsay says:

    ooh, I stopped to have a look at ‘the man ouside sainsbury’s’ this morning. I eyed the thin orange wool… Also I found a very nicely hand made blouse in oxfam and made me wonder if I should be more on the look out, afterall, folks must need to make space in their wardrobes for all the new made things!

  6. Adrienne says:

    Sounds like you had a lot of fun! What are you going to make with that wool crepe???

  7. Carolyn says:

    Y’all looked like you had a wonderful time! And any time fabric is being bought and a good time is being shared by fellow sewists, then all is right in the universe!

  8. BeaJay says:

    Is that actually a fabric market – be still my heart.

  9. Marie says:

    Oh man…I’m soooo jealous of this meet-up! Looks like an awesome day was had! Good job I couldn’t make it though as I probably would have worn my Mathilde and Tilly probably would have thought I was a kiss-arse idiot ;o) Hope I can make then next one…whenever that may be!

  10. Meredith says:

    I’m envious of your proximity to both people and fabric! I live in a rural area, so knitting and sewing are pretty solo pastimes for me. One day I will live where I can join these kinds of meet ups! Until then, thank goodness for the internet!

  11. What a riot of colour. And, by the sounds of things, a riot. Nice riot, though! Looking forward to seeing what you do make with that wool crepe.

  12. Meredithe says:

    What a fabulous, fun day! Wish I’d been a fly on the wall to see all the polite fabric swapping.

  13. twotoast says:

    Looks like you all had a fun time – love your description of being a Tilly Groupie! Have you been up to the markets in Birmingham?

  14. Margaret says:

    How I wish I was in England!!! I just adore the black ground floral in the final photo. Looks like everyone had fun.

  15. Danielle says:

    That sounds like so much fun; I wish I had a local group with whom I could do outings like that. I’ll just live vicariously through you and your posts!

  16. Dixie says:

    Ditto what Danielle wrote. You’re fortunate to have outings such as this. Glad it was a fun day!

  17. Sabs says:

    Oh I wish I could have been there! I would have so totally been with you lapping behind Tilly… There needs to be another Brum mission so I can meet everyone!

  18. ooobop! says:

    I will get there one day! Though It’s probably a good thing I didn’t. I don’t think any of you ladies would have helped to hold me back!

  19. Sam says:

    Looks like a fantastic time was had by all! I’m planning my first fabric shopping trip to Walthamstow later this month (hopefully!).

  20. Debi says:

    oh man! Looks like a fabulous time!!! I’m hoping I can come to one of the London meet-ups this year!!!

  21. Joyful says:

    It looks like you had a fabulous day – I am jealous! I was at Walthamstow Market as well on Saturday and purchased some lovely velvet from the little shop just on the side road. Advice please – I want to make a jacket / coat in a woolmix – any ideas where to find suitable fabric? Saeeds maybe?

  22. Tilly says:

    Hahaha! Oh dear, that really is some shameless lunging I’m doing at the table. Worth it for that pretty yellow floral fabric though! Karen, I cannot WAIT to see your Mathilde Blouse! I would have LOVED to see you wearing it, but you would have had to stay up all night making it, so you’re forgiven xx

  23. Prawn says:

    ohhhh I’m getting Walthamstow-sick now. I usually live there but am living in Indonesia at the moment….. and I recognise the flirty man outside sainsburys – my favourite stall at the market! He always looks inside my bags to see what I bought before and tells me off for paying too much! Bought some fabulous wool there last time.

  24. Stevie says:

    Thanks for coming to the meetup Karen It was lovely to see you! I’m sure you’ll make something stunning with that black crepe. Good thing you went back for it! x

  25. gingermakes says:

    Wow, what a fun day! So many sewing celebrities all in one room!

  26. Carol says:

    Walthamstow is great, I just wanted to say thank you. I found your blog last week while looking for craft stores in london I was directed to your post about shopping at Walthamstow, and was hooked. I have never really done much sewing, other than what I did at school, sewing is something that my mother despaired of ever getting me interested in. She’s a dressmaker who used to work in bridal and has been trying to get me interested since I was a child, and failed. Your post however inspired something in me, perhaps my love of shopping, but I got back to Edinburgh yesterday with a suitcase full of fabric and other assorted pieces and am feeling rather inspired, so thank you.

  27. velosewer says:

    That looks like a day to shop with so many sewlebrities together. It would have been heaps of fun.

  28. zozo says:

    Hi Karen it was lovly to meet you on Saturday. IV been following your blog for a while. it was a fantastic day. i hope we meet again soon. Zora

  29. shivani says:

    it was such brilliant fun – so good to see you again Karen. I totally failed in my goal to come home carrying less than I set out with.

  30. sallie says:

    Looks like fun! Beautiful fabrics…. sigh…

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  32. Thea says:

    Aww, I’m gutted I had to go to work instead… thinking of all the brains I could have picked! Really looking forward to your new makes, Karen!

  33. houseofpinheiro says:

    so sad I missed the fun.. Cannot wait to catch up again x

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