Catherine, Marie and I had the most wonderful Saturday patrolling the fabric & notions stores at Birmingham Rag Market. It was a pleasure to be in the company of likeminded sewing enthusiasts, particularly through Me Made May – it somehow seemed appropriate. I had first become aware of Catherine through a Me Made month as she has an extensive me made wardrobe of beautiful clothes, & her maxi skirts in garden photos always stood out. When I discovered her blog, the Makings of an Urban Rustic, I became more aware of the scale of her creativity, crocheting & knitting as well as sewing. And sewing for herself, wonderful 70s styles, plus dresses for her very lucky student daughter. Marie, of a Sewing Odyssey, I have also been a keen follower of for a while now also, her circle skirts & vintage collars sticking most keenly in my memory, & such a delicious Mad Men dress in sky blue that she wore to Brum ….But to find that this lady has only been sewing a relatively short time stunned me, she’s clearly a natural & is swooping up knitted items too now. It was so lovely to find out more about fellow sewing bloggers, to hear their voices, understand a bit more about them & hear them laugh! It was a shame that Debbie of Minnado’s House, the originator of the suggested meet up, was caught up at home with poorly children.
This is my second trip to the legendary Rag Market, first written up here & to tell you the truth I was wondering at my chances of finding it again without Debbie. However, luckily Catherine had some idea of where to go, & taking a slightly different route this time it seemed even closer & avoided taking in so much of the thronging Bullring.
There are outside covered stalls where the fabric is a bit cheaper, then inside are plenty more at slightly higher prices (but not breaking the bank, believe me!) Of particular memory from last time was “the jersey” stall, where there are some fabulous quality jerseys & lycras at £very reasonable indeed. This stall was hosted by the self proclaimed most charming stall holder there. He had us flipping between blushes, giggles & feelings of being aghast.
Cafe Soya was our watering & feeding hole, somewhere we had been before. Great Vietnamese food at good prices, particularly if you are a veggie. I had veggie wonton soup. We all took pics of our meals so elegant were they …
We had the most wonderful pattern/ notions/ knitting swap & just for a taster of my good fortune take a lookee here (also some dark green yarn which I forgot to gather for the shot)
Thank you for these fab & useful bits & bobs. I am already hyperventilating every time I look at those patterns. I’d love to have a posh long dress do & make the sleeveless version of the Style pattern. And as for the Mad Men dresses …. my must makes are the slimline dress with tie neck as well as the A line dress with revere collar …here they are a bit closer.
So onto the buys ….. I already mentioned it was a shop of epic proportions on my behalf, not so much on the purse, but on the biceps. The weight of fabric that I had to lug around! I should have put it on the scales, but didn’t.
Approximate metreage though is 34m, with at least 16m of that destined for gifts & therefore 10 lengths for “the stash”, some of it with definite plans.
Please note that I am still feeling guilty, but less so seeing that half was bought for others (aaah!) I don’t think anyone has the stomach or endurance to last through every single bit of fabric that I bought, so I will show highlights of the “my stash” purchases.
It’s an off-white stripe. And it was something like a miraculous £1 per metre????That really was the deal of the day. I’ll make the full skirted version, making the collar in contrast if I can find a good match.
Could not resist this peacock print. It was in the more expensive Fancy Silk store (but still very reasonable), a proper shop to the side of the Market. It comes in different colourways, but this was my fave & it’ll become a pleated skirt. Simple.
And another Fancy Silk Store purchase, I could not resist this. In the midst of a grey un-summery day, this print foretold balmy summer days to come. Although I have never ventured on anything approaching “maxi”, this could be the one. A skirt for covering up pale legs or protecting from a cooling summer evening. I was a bit of a berk though & didn’t get enough cut the first time – all confudwedded with the pattern running across the width I didn’t initially buy enough to circumnavigate my child bearing hips! I am thinking about how to manage seams as I type…I have a 1m piece plus a 0.5m piece….
So that’s it. Next post planned is the continuation of the trouser adventure, aka pants time. In the meantime we are “in summer”, what’s more with a visitation from my youngest who I haven’t seen since he went back to Uni 5 months ago! There will be not much time for sewing, but we are stoking up the pizza oven, organising the BBQ …it’ll be an outdoor weekend with some knitting perhaps.
Enjoy it all everyone!