Spring Knitting & Stitching Show

Earlier this month I treated myself to a trip to the Spring Knitting & Stitching show at Olympia London. I love going to these shows, even though getting into London, walking round the show and then getting home makes for a long and tiring day for me, I still do it because going to the show makes me feel like a part of a lovely big sewing community. Even though I usually end up going on my own like a billy-no-mates!

The two fabrics photographed above were ones I snapped pictures of to help me decide whether to go back for them. I am still, even now, in deep lust with both of them, but couldn’t justify the extra expenditure. Which is code for I’d already bought way too much. I am after all supposed to be cutting down my fabric stash in preparation for moving house later this year. Whoops!

Here’s a picture of the stuff I did buy:


I picked up a selection of jersey knit fabrics from Girl Charlee, who are absolutely lovely people and always so very friendly. I also picked up another 3m of jersey knit in a cute cat print from another vendor. I’m not sure who, sorry. I’m most excited about the 1m of Liberty print cord I bought from Sewbox to make a Moss mini with (I’ve got some practice cord I’m using to perfect the fit at the moment). This is possibly one of the most expensive fabric purchases I’ve ever made, but I’m justifying it based on the theory that because I only need 1m, it works out quite reasonable compared to the cost of buying a skirt… Plus I get the enjoyment of making it.

I also picked up a lovely embroidery kit from Hawthorne Handmade. I’d admired these at the Autumn show at Ally Pally last year, but had resisted. This year they seemed to have added some new designs, including a Unicorn, which I just couldn’t resist. I’m probably going to save this for going on holiday so I can take some sewing without having to try to explain to my poor, long-suffering husband why I’m packing my sewing machine.

Finally, I purchased a couple of patterns from Tilly & The Buttons as they had a 2 for £20 deal on printed patterns, which is quite a good saving. I’d been eyeing up the Zadie dress online, so I definitely wanted a copy of that and was tempted by the Cleo, but I’m undecided on whether I can rock the dungaree dress look with thing 1 and thing 2 getting in the way, so I opted for the Bettine instead as it’s a safer bet.

I also attended a class to dip dye a silk scarf. I haven’t done classes at the shows before, but wanted to have a go at something I probably wouldn’t do at home. I did enjoy the process, though I was surprised the tutor didn’t allow us to have more than one colour option; everyone’s scarves had to be orange and yellow – which left little room to use your creativity and make your scarf unique. That said, I’m quite happy with the outcome, even if it’s not colours I would have chosen.


I also enjoyed the quilt exhibitions and took a few photos of the quilts that I found most inspiring. I’m not much of a quilter (more on that in a future post!), but I do admire the work of more talented sewists than myself, and do occasionally try to do things other than dressmaking.


Most of the quilts I was drawn to were monochrome designs, using unusual materials such as denim, or satins and silks. I like how designs like these allow the fabric and stitching to take centre stage. However, I was also drawn to the brightly coloured, cartoon-like look of the village scene quilt shown above. It couldn’t be more different to the other quilts I liked, but something about it appealed to me. Possibly it reminded me of my friend Kelly’s free-motion work.

I visited the show on Friday, and had hoped to catch Chinelo Bally’s talk on Freehand Fashion, as I really liked her on the Sewing Bee, but unfortunately the workshop I was attending overran and I missed her. I did later attend Tree Walsh’s demonstration on Draping & Sketching on the Dummy, which was really interesting. The method is quite different to anything I’ve tried before, and some of the garments she had made using this method were really nice. Some of them were totally not my style too, but you can’t please everyone all the time, can you? I tried to take a few photos to illustrate the demonstration, but I’m afraid they aren’t brilliant.


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