Sewing Meet Up – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

V&A courtyard


Yesterday’s meet-up was glorious. After the Longest Winter In Living Memory, the heavens decided to finally be kind to us. It’s like someone knew 40+ bloggers and sewists were congregating in London, coming from as far away as Australia, Italy – even Lancashire!

I was delighted to meet Sew Busy Lizzie, who gave me sage advice when I was thinking about getting a dog. She brought me a Penguin Classic, an Australian children’s novel! Bless her.

Didyoumakethat & Sew Busy Lizzie

We had coffee in the V&A cafe:

V&A Cafe

Then we poked our lily white limbs out into the sunshine, blinking like moles, smiling uncertainly. When would the clouds arrive and the rain begin? Not once, it turned out. Never all day.

Sewing Bloggers at V&A

Rachel, our organiser, of House of Pinheiro was magnificent. Statuesque – check. Able to flirt magnificently with cocktail waiters – check. These things I already knew about her. I thought I understood Rachel. Wrong! It turns out she is also the unflappable queen of organisation with a cool head and a warm heart. The day went without a hitch. All 40+ (or is it 50+?) people had to do was turn up and have fun. She even organised for a photographer to come and record the event for posterity! (I can’t WAIT to see the photos.) Β She made this happen on an entirely voluntary basis. Thank you so much, Rachel.


She shepherded us all on the public transport system over to Goldhawk Road. At this point, I peeled off on a solitary hunt for fabric, head down, nose to the ground, following the scent of summer sewing. Goldhawk Road didn’t let me down. Do you think I had a colour scheme in mind? Funny, I went with no firm ideas and didn’t join up the dots of my purchases until I saw them all together.

Fabric Purchases

Favourite moment of the day was emerging from a Costa coffee bathroom to be greeted by two women pointing at me and bursting into gales of laughter. Was my skirt tucked in my knickers? Toilet paper stuck to my heel? No, they were other sewing bloggers who just happened to be in Goldhawk Road and recognised me off my blog. Hello, ladies!

Because that was the nature of the day, our new friends joined us for lunch in a Lebanese restaurant. I mean, if the restaurant owner could accommodate all of us, what difference did another couple of bums on seats make?

Too soon, it was time for me to scurry home to Ella, leaving the others to a fabric swap that scares me to even think about. I’d seen several people wheeling suitcases. As I walked Ella in the sunshine I listened to Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen. I grinned inanely at anyone foolish enough to make eye contact. I even waved at a stranger across the street! Oh dear, Karen. Time to go and lie down on the sofa.

If you’re reading this and feel sad that you couldn’t be in London, please don’t. Listen to Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen right now. Go on, click on the link below and skip the ad. Those lyrics were surely written for Sewists to listen to. We’re all listening together, right now. You didn’t miss out at all…

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53 Responses to Sewing Meet Up – Everybody’s Free To Wear Sunscreen

  1. It was so much fun having you there.. we did had a fab day, didn’t we!. And the sun!!!

    I love this song… I always listen to it!

  2. sewbusylizzy says:

    Thank goodness I packed some Aussie sunshine! So lovely to meet you – you are real after all πŸ™‚

  3. ooobop! says:

    Wow. What a day! Love your fabrics, Karen x

  4. Well this reader has been well and truly up-lifted on this sunny Sunday morning. Thank you.

  5. What a day it was!! So glad everyone had such a brill time, but then that was a foregone conclusion!! Sorry to have missed it xx

  6. sylkotwist says:

    Lovely to meet you Karen, it was such a great day I am still grinning!

  7. chris says:

    Love the fabric , cant wait to see it made up .

  8. Lily. says:

    I bet there were a lot of lovely handmade summer dresses coming out to play? Lovely! (V&A coffee shop is delicious!) What was the name of the Lebanese restaurant you went to?

  9. Katy says:

    Such a fab day! Love your choices πŸ™‚

  10. KathleenS says:

    Ah, Playing Beatie Bow. Great choice, you must read it *now*.

  11. It looks like an amazing day. Bloggers, sewers, together! How do I become part of this?!

  12. Vicki Kate says:

    It looks like such a fabulous day, and sunshine no less! That song is going to be stuck in my head all day now, but I think that’s probably a good thing.

  13. Glad you had a fabulous day, and so pleased you had sunshine!

  14. Melizza says:

    . Man, what a day! So wish I could’ve been there. I miss you ladies. Glad y’all had fun in the sun!

  15. Marie says:

    Karen, you’re right to be afraid of imagining the swap. It was insane! And even thought everyone was well-behaved, I was happy to put my stash down and walk away. It felt so good! What a wonderful day it was…love your fabrics!

  16. Jean Mehrtens says:

    Please note : Ruth park was a Kiwi who married an Australian and went to live in Sydney with him. She was a fantastic writer.

  17. It was great meeting you, Karen…i will remember it as the best toilette encounter ever πŸ˜‰
    Rachel’s organization was fab and it was lovely meeting everyone.

  18. maddie says:

    Whoa, that was a huge meet up! Rachel is superwoman for organizing it.

    Isn’t it a wonderful feeling when you are recognized for your blog? I had the same thing happen to me in New York. Sewing is considered and “uncool” hobby to many of my friends and being recognized made me “the cool kid in the class.” Does that make sense?

  19. Debi says:

    so bummed I missed it!! I AM going to make it down for one of the other meet-ups this year though!!! So glad the weather cooperated…looks like it was a brilliant day!

  20. Alice says:

    Lovely uplifting post! I love that song, thanks for posting the link. Do you know the name of the shop where you bought the Liberty poppy print? I’ve seen it on Stone Fabrics website, but I’d love to buy it locally if possible. Thanks.

  21. Julie Cruickshank says:

    What a great post. I want ot join in next time!! I am so pleased sewing is really making a come back and finding your blog and the sewing bee programme has really inspired me to get going again and do something for me x

  22. Portia says:

    I dearly wanted to make this one. I KEEP missing out! Alas family commitments must take priority. So glad you had such a lovely day πŸ™‚

  23. punkmik says:

    It was such a fab day. The weather was great too and the swap was just amazing! Can’t wait to attend more meetups!

  24. sarah says:

    you look like you all had a fabulous time and I’m so glad the weather was nice for you Lovely fabric choices too!!

  25. Very jealous I’m in the states and couldn’t participate. The video helped πŸ˜‰

  26. Fiona says:

    I very nearly bought some of the middle of your three lovely purchases!
    Sorry we didn’t get to chat, I’m sure there’ll be a next time though!

  27. Becky says:

    Thanks for the link! I needed that this morning. Looks like you had a great day, and the sunshine is glorious, isn’t it? I really like your fabric picks. They look happy.

  28. Patty says:

    aaahhhh… I’m in London next weekend, but next time I’ll note it in my diary – this must such a fun meeting!!!

  29. franceparijs says:

    Thanks for the great post and video – alas, I was not in London but you’re right, this magnificent spirit, the friendship that unites us all does not have frontiers and can be… everywhere. Dear Karen, you don’t need any diamonds from Antwerpen to adorn you, you ARE a diamond of a lady!

  30. sounds like a dream, and I am so happy you finally have some sunshine!!

  31. Emmie says:

    It was a wonderful Day and Rachel was amazing! Photographed my haul this morning, and will write my post during the week!

  32. senjiva says:

    Sewer meetup, AND the V&A, AND new fabric!!! Aw, maaaaaan. You’re killing me here. And all I did was fit bridesmaid after bridesmaid yesterday. Sigh. (it looks like you had much fun and i’m glad you shared it!)

  33. Rachel says:

    Hi! I just discovered your website today! I love it, please check out mine!!


  34. Such a brilliant day! So good to meet everybody, and I love your fabric.

  35. alibobs says:

    Was such a great day. I love that red and black lily print!

  36. Tamsin W-P says:

    great to see you again! I saw the middle fabric in one of the shops and thought of you. Hope little Ella didn’t miss you too much!

  37. lakaribane says:

    Karen, I am making myself sick with the meet up posts! But I NEED to know who is the blogger in the piped gray (?) dress in the 2nd photo, right side, smiling at the camera. I’ve seen her on 3 blogs now and I need the pattern number of that dress, LOL!

  38. Gjeometry says:

    Aw, look at all of you!! Looks like you had such fun, that’s what it’s all about, right? And, did nature wait to manufacture the most glorious day ever just for this meet-up??? πŸ™‚

  39. KnitNell says:

    Sounds like a perfect day in London. Thank you for the song!

  40. Michelle says:

    I’m completely jealous I didn’t get to be a part of this fabulous meetup. I’d use my region of the world as an excuse, but that wouldn’t really stand considering Lizzy traveled half-way around the world… ;-D Your fabric finds are outstanding! I especially love the tulip print. Gorgeous. Can’t wait to see what you make with them.

  41. gingermakes says:

    What a perfect day! I’m so glad you guys had such a wonderful time! Wish I could’ve been there, too!

  42. EmSewCrazy says:

    “Don’t read the beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.” YES!!! What a fun video and some great advice. Looks like you had a super duper great day! Love your summer fabric picks.

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  44. Danielle says:

    Sounds like a really wonderful time! I think I need to find a group of sewing bloggers here in my area in the States. I’ve read about your meet-ups and I’m always so jealous!! (or maybe I should just take a trip to the UK…)

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  46. Amy says:

    “Ladies and Gentleman of the class of 99…” I can recite the lyrics til about halfway through. Love that song!! Right, so, the meetup… it was fab wasn’t it? Lovely to see you there!

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