On Friday I had a fabulous day out at the Great British Sewing Bee Live. I went with the intention of trying to see everything, to chat to fellow sewists, and to come home with limited fabric purchases.
Arriving on time with Hannah, we decided to start with browsing some of the shops. There was everything on offer and I found it a little overwhelming to decide what to buy. All our favourite shops were there as well as some that were new to me. It would have been so easy to drain my bank account and come away with metres and metres of fabric as nearly all the stalls were related to dressmaking unlike many of these big shows. As I haven't been sewing much from my stash, I didn't feel I could justify buying without a plan so focussed on what I didn't have but needed. In the end I limited myself to two purchases. I picked six fat quarters from Fabrics Galore for some Christmas stockings I making for a charity sale. The other purchase two metres of some absolutely delicious wool blend from Fabworks for a pair of trousers.
We attended the Super Theatre were it was great to see the alteration challenge live. Refashioning items is not a strength of mine and I found it very impressive to see three shirts transformed into girls dresses in just 45 minutes. I also really enjoyed browsing the Liberty exhibition which featured clothing from across the decades. I spent ages looking at the many details in each piece and seeing how they showed off the fabulous prints.
One aspect of the event that appealed to me was the workshops and I managed to attend one. The aim was to make a faux suede or leather clutch bag in an hour. I chose this one as I hadn't worked with either of these fabrics before and thought it would be a good introduction. All materials were provided and pre cut to save time and an instruction sheet was also provided. The process for making the bag was simple and quick - fold under the lining seam allowances and place over the leather, stitch along the bottom seam, add the snap, fold up the bottom of the bag and stitch from the bottom of one side all the way around the point to the other side.
While it was a quick make and the instructor was clear and supportive, I felt that the session was too rushed and there was pressure for the participants to keep up at a speed that some clearly weren't comfortable with. I came away with a finished bag but it isn't one that I will be using as it isn't finished very well - my snap is off centre, the lining is peaking out the sides and my stitching is very uneven. However, it was a good introduction to working with faux leather and I learnt some useful tips during the hour. I'm also likely to unpick the bag and use it as a pattern to make another but with a longer time allowance. The size of the bag is very good and could be used for a number of purposes - a night out or holding documents.
As if all this wasn't enough, I managed to catch up with a number of familiar faces over lunch and became a Love Sewing Magazine Cover Star - such a fun addition to their stand.
GBSB Live have just announced the dates for the next show - 8-10 June 2018. I've already popped the dates in my diary and started a little savings pot so I can take more advantage of what is on offer!