It was the Crafters’ Ceilidh, January 21st 2012. Did Edinburgh know what hit it?
The fabric shops were most definitely aware that a whole flood of sewists had just entered their emporia, performing that dressmaker’s ritual exponential times over of rubbing fabric from practically every single bolt between fingers & thumb, adding in a stroke to the really tactile fabrics. Surely they were grateful that they had to lock us in at closing time, so
we wouldn’t get away much fabric were we buying? But what about others in Edinburgh? We were clearly a pack, each identifiable by a beautiful fabric flower brooch.
Image from Kestrel Finds & Makes
We formed crocodiles to cross roads. We walked with purpose, ignoring the draw of any shop that did not scratch the handmade/ vintage itch. But to those working on Lothian buses that had the (mis)fortune to encounter us I think we were just “tourists” and they could only be bemused. Bemused at the hordes of fabric laden ladies trooping onto their fleet in one go and disembarking (in almost) one go. Bemused also at the complete lack of understanding about how you buy your ticket on a bus, probably common to tourists, and small children, not just sewists. Bemused but patronisingly understanding that someone dressed in such a “unique and handmade” dress (& less unique but also lovingly handmade snood) could so easily misplace the ticket purchased just 5 minutes before (the phrase “dippy
badger mare” I’m sure went through his mind).
This post will hopefully add to what’s already been written & I shall try not to repeat content of other excellent accounts of the day. But read Debi & Kerry’s versions (two of the organisers along with Kristin), Karen’s here at Didyoumakethat, and Roobeedoo has penned her version also. They all contain some excellent photos, reflect the fun & the characters, describe the day’s activities as well as the joy & wonder that coming together “IRL” brings to the online sewing community.
You can also get an idea of how many of us there were & what a challenge & great job these lovely ladies made in organising us. Thank you so much, Debi, Kristin & Kerry. (Apologies for the random photo editing using Picnik’s bits & pieces. It’s an expression of happiness)
As is always the case, we caught up with old friends and made new ones, & this time missed Miss Dibs. Had a fair few giggles & much sewing chatter. There was an occasional stray away from sewing talk onto other subjects – but it didn’t happen very often! Yes, I bought some fabric, mostly linings with a couple of surprise bargain purchases to make some tops & a silk skirt. I was really taken by the vintage shop, Armstrong’s in the Grassmarket. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos of the wonderful arrangements that appealed to my rainbow love…
And evidence of what you might be seeing appearing being made on Debi’s blog in the future ….
Another shot below of some amazing outerwear, marveled at by all….
I would love to know the statistics- the cumulative group miles walked, the total metres of fabric purchased, the numbers of patterns swapped …This unfortunate pattern below was not wanted by anyone once Rachel (sadly not a blogger because she’s a funny lady) had finished her “anti-sell” of it. She drew everyone’s attention to the styling, the severity of the models. Fine if you like the 90s “efficient uniform” look. Fine perhaps if you bought it second hand as part of a bundle. But this one she bought new! She had us in stitches – very apt for a bunch of sewists.
I feel super lucky having benefited from the pattern swap (no, the pattern above is not in my possession). Check out this perfect sailor trousers pattern – it has that “special opening” – what is a front flap called? I am thrilled to bits to have this one, even though I will need to grade it up a bit- or
enter train for 5 full marathons.
But a very slow burning appreciation dawned on me for my other pattern. At first, no one was interested. Its light was hidden under the proverbial bushel, it was one of the figures of fun. How cruel! During the “desperation round” where Kate bigged up the patterns no one appeared to want, I saw the light. This my friends is genius. This my friends takes Christmas present making for my sons (23 & 19) to a new level. They have been warmed up over the last few years with made by Mum boxer shorts, flannel PJ trousers, and even handmade shirts. What could possibly be next? How could I surprise them in Christmas 2012?
See those outfits on the right? Perfect. My lads are Star Wars nerds (admittedly traditionalists preferring the superior Episodes 4-6 – they detest Jar Jar Binks & the young Anakin – but who doesn’t?). This will be something I can start sewing earlier than my usual November. It will be something that will get heaps of laughs, be worn for 10 minutes on Christmas day, but will lurk in a bottom drawer, ready to be pulled out for all future fancy dress. Gone is the laziness of deciding on the day of the party to dress up as a pimp. There completes my function as a mother that sews. I believe that I have not only Roobeedoo to thank, but everyone else at the pattern swap for not swiping this before me. I am super grateful – thank you all!! Truly. Thank you for all for such a wonderful day & evening – it was a veritable pleasure.
Which just leaves me to say, wasn’t Edinburgh the perfect beautiful location? Does the sun always shine, are there always blue skies? It seems so every time I visit. OK, maybe not all day, & maybe there was a bit of a nippy wind, but I was well equipped with a draft-banishing snood, wasn’t I? Can I also recommend the most wonderful veggie guest house? Cathy at the Claymore on Pilrig Street was just the best hostess, 100% brilliant veggie breakfast maker, largest display of wonderful Pre-Raphaelite pictures & was also totally into the whole sewing blogger meet up – she may even have been encouraged to visit the Sewing Bee Cafe when it opens its doors…