The Stitch Festival 2023
Fabric Godmother x By Hand London Catwalk
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Stitch Festival at the Business Design Centre in Angel, London.
A couple of months ago the wonderful Naomi at Fabric Godmother contacted me and asked if I'd like to part of a Fabric Godmother x By Hand London 10 year retrospective catwalk show at the festival - needless to say I jumped at the chance and felt extremely honoured to be included.
We were to sew a BHL pattern in one of Fabric Godmother's own fabrics.
I made a By Hand London pattern - I chose the Alix dress, find it here:
It's a maxi (or mini) dress with a low v-neck which still has bra coverage, no small miracle, inset waistband and waist ties. The back neckline and sleeve heads have a lovely pleat detail which I hadn't seen before and weren't tricky to achieve.
To sew it I was lucky enough to be given my top fabric choice too, this absolutely gorgeous viscose crepe in a retro 60's-esque print called 'Cilla', find it here:
I wore my dress on the Stitch Festival catwalk with 9 other truly fabulous women, also wearing beautiful garments made from BHL patterns in Fabric Godmother fabrics.
Highlights of the Festival
Before heading to the festival I made a note of all the stalls I wanted to visit and marked their locations on their printable map.
Top of my list was Sister Mintaka, a one woman business created by Sandeep, who is just the loveliest person. I was very excited to meet her in real life!
Sister Mintaka is one of my absolute favourite fabric shops. Sandeep curates a beautiful selection of fabrics, patterns and haberdashery items, always of the upmost quality. Having a look at them in real life was a real pleasure!
She was showcasing a range of brand new fabrics that she'd commissioned, which will be hitting her website soon: https://sistermintaka.com/
On my list was also Thread Bear Kits, who I had seen on Instagram and wanted to take a look in person!
There were several kits I liked, so I decided to mull it over and buy one online after the festival (I'm no good at high pressure decisions!)
One of my favourites was this glasses case needlepoint kit, which I was assured was roomy enough for sunglasses! I'd love one myself, but this would also make a brilliant gift for a crafty spectacle wearer.
Take a look at their stuff here: https://www.threadbearkits.com/
Another stall I had to visit was Beyond Measure.
Grace sells wonderful haberdashery and sewing goods. I've bought some excellent pins and Tauko magazine from her before.
What caught my eye were these cut and sew characters by Sarah Young. I wanted to buy one each for my girls but was scared to make the wrong choices! I showed pictures to them yesterday evening and Flora declared she would like Meryl the Mermaid and Betsy liked Marmaduke the Cat. So I'll be placing an order for them next week when Grace is back from the festival, hopefully with some stock left!
Shop here: https://shopbeyondmeasure.co.uk/
I've been a fan of Tilly and the Buttons since I began sewing 8 years ago.
I bought myself a copy of Tilly's first book, 'Love at First Stitch', and that coupled with the odd YouTube video and calls to my Mum for advice, taught me to sew.
They've got a new pattern coming out on 29th March and are selling copies of it at the festival.
I was offered an early copy - it's gorgeous and was an absolute pleasure to sew. A full blog post will be written about it in due course!
Link to Tilly's site here: https://shop.tillyandthebuttons.com/
It would have been very easy to spend a lot of money at the festival, there were so many lovely things available for purchase!
There were stalls for fabric, sewing, yarn, needlework and plenty of workshops you could book a slot for too.
I had an idea of what I wanted before I went and I (largely anyway) stuck to it.
First on my list was this strawberry print linen/viscose mix. I bought enough to make a summer blouse for myself and a little dress for my 4 year old who loves strawberries! I was alerted to the fact that they also sold little strawberry buttons, so naturally I had to have some of those too.
Find the fabric here: https://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/strawberry-fayre-viscose-linen-cream/
I was gifted goodie bag too, very useful for carrying around my purchases!
Another item on my list was this little tin of Seam Circles from Jenerates.
It comprises of a set of wooden circles of different sizes (metric or imperial were available), which you can use to add seam allowances etc.
After recently taking a taster course in pattern drafting at Made My Wardrobe I knew these would be invaluble.
Get one here:
Not necessarily on my list, visiting the Ethel and Joan stand was.
So many beautiful buttons, all hand cast in resin by business owner Louise.
I didn't have a project in mind, but gold does with everything so I thought these were a safe bet to get used.
I've used Ethel and Joan buttons before so I know they are excellent quality. Find them here:
Lastly, and not the most exciting purchase admittedly, was a set of spare bobbins from the Pfaff stand.
I was cursing my shortage of them last week while trying shirring for the first time, having to empty a bobbin to load one up with elastic as I'd run out of spares.
The Pfaff stand was set up in the middle of the hall with lots of machine available to play with, including mine - an amazing model that I absolutely love. It was a huge purchase for me but I've never once regretted it!
I bought mine from New Craft House who offered excellent service:
I had an ball at the festival, and bumping into many familiar faces from the Instagram sewing community was the best of all.
I'll definitely be returning in future, and may have to bring my Mum along next time.
The only downside to the day was the cost of getting there. My train fare (booked in advance) cost £95 including the travel card. When I reached Paddington to return to Bristol I learned that my ticket wasn't valid until after 7pm that evening, so I had to pay an additional £39 to get on the next train. Next time I will have to choose the day I attend based on the rail fare, as yesterday was not good value!
Have you been or are you going to the Stitch Festival this year?