My First Sewing Meet Up: Sew Brum

Hi All,

I attended the Sew Brum Meet Up on Saturday and I must say, I am soooo happy I went! Not only was it an excuse to really blow some money on fabric and other sewing treats, I met other people with the same interests as me, which is very refreshing.

It was great to meet people I have seen online, in some cases putting a face to a name, and meeting new sewists from afar. There were quite a few people from London, I heard one lady came as far as Liverpool to come along. It’s made me realise how lucky I am to be able to just catch a bus into town to have a quick look around and make something the same day.

Anywho! I’ll get on with the photos in order of how the day went, I didn’t take photos in the shops as I didn’t think to and I knew others there were taking them. Here’s Charlottes round up (she planned it all!), I do have photos of what I bought from from each shop and what I plan to do with them.

After gathering at New Street station… I say gathering, I stood out the way as the group got bigger and bigger. I’m too awkward to walk up to a group that massive!

From New Street we walked to the Birmingham markets to meet a few more people, then we were off to Barrys Fabrics where I bought 2 metres each of some cool fabric.

Sunglasses print  from Guthrie & Ghani Blue tartan and grey jersey from Barrys
Sunglasses print from Guthrie & Ghani
Blue tartan and grey jersey from Barrys


For the striking blue tartan I want to make a blazer, I was thinking cropped but now I want a longer version. I’m still looking for a pattern, I may draft one if I feel up to it! Now, for the fine jersey at the bottom of the photo I have this lovely pattern I’m going to draft soon. I found it on Pinterest and I had to make it.

Backless dress

Doesn’t this look glamorous? I keep looking a the diagram and doubting that I know how to actually make it up, but I do. I think I’m worried abut botching it up, my skills haven’t failed me so far!

The sunglasses print is 100% cotton bought from Guthrie & Ghani (more about that later), I’ll be making the Cambie dress pattern that I fiiinally bought after staring at it for years online. One of the girls mentioned that the fabric matched my glasses which is a cool bonus!

After Barrys we went to Fancy Silk, I had a look around but I restrained myself from buying from there although I did want to get some pleather to make a clutch bag. I crossed the road to look around the rag markets in and outside, I bought some t shirt jersey that I wasn’t sure of afterwards so I swapped it at the end of the day. I also bought 10 metres of 1″ elastic for £1, I plan to use that to make the t shirt dress.

Once everyone regrouped we walked (in circles! haha!!) to the 50 bus stop to go to Guthrie and Ghani. I was so excited about it as I’d meet Lauren, see the shop and there was a raffle… oh there was cake and tea too!

The Tea Bar
The Tea Bar
Sewing themed cupcakes
Sewing themed cupcakes
Lauren and her mom sorting out the cake and cookies
Lauren and her mom sorting out the cake and cookies

Sewists at G n G


As you can see we all filled the room up stairs in the studio, chatting away and waiting for the raffle and the swap to commence. While we waited, some of us went downstairs to the shop, I got more fabric and bits for my mom too.

During the raffle I won the Amazing Fit trousers Simplicity 1696, I have been meaning to sew trousers again so this is motivation. Here’s a look at the patterns I got, most of which were swapped.

Pattern stash

What I bought: Sewaholic’s Cambie and Colette Patterns Ginger

What was Swapped: Burda 7520, which I ran home and cut out to sew the next day (view C). I tweeted a sneak peak but I’ll blog about it soon.

Simplicity 5916, Cynthia Rowley K2443, Cynthia Rowley 2497, McCall’s Easy M6084, Butterick B5313, New Look 6861… yup that’s a lot of patterns!

Last but not least my swapped fabric

Pom pom makers for my mom who loves to knit and the elastic from the market
Pom pom makers for my mom who loves to knit and the elastic from the market

The polka dot jersey is what I used to make view C on Burda 7520. I saw the mask printed cotton and had to have it, maybe another Cambie or a Ginger Skirt.

Thank you to everyone that swapped and adding to my collection, I think I’ll have enough to be busy until this time next year. That won’t stop me from buying more though, but I think I’m good for a few months.

Thanks for coming to Birmingham!!




  1. Hey you got some lovely fabric- I didn’t get to say “HI” in person- it was mad yeh! but loved your dress you were wearing and wanted to get round to saying so 🙂

    1. Aww thank you very much! I sewn it myself and used a self drafted pattern for the bodice and sleeves, then free handed the skirt. It’s OK it was impossible to say hi to everyone, so many people!

  2. Oooh ok I’m a Londoner but I come to brum regularly because my Bf lives in Walsall and I would love to know where the good fabric shops and haberdashery places in brum are?

    1. Well there’s the rag market where you can buy fabric in and outdoors, there are a few haberdasheries and wool stalls too.
      Across from that there is Fancy Silks with 3 floors of fabrics with patterns, zips and others on the first floor.
      Walk up from there on the same side and there is is Fancy Silk Curtains store where you’ll find curtains, nets and I think they upholster too.

      Cross back the road and walk around the corner and you’ll find Barry’s Fabric which is full of fabric with notions at the front.

      There are a lot of small local fabric shops dotted around Birmingham, like asain fabric store in Saltley and alum rock, I go yo a few by my moms in Lozells.

      You can Google everything I’ve said to get a clearer picture of where to go, I hope this has helped!

  3. I really love the black, backless dress. Do you know if there is a pattern for it? I looked around and was unable to find it. I would love to make it for a wedding I am attending this summer.

    1. The pattern to the this dress is in the picture beside it. That’s what I followed to make it, that’s the only pattern I’ve found for it in afraid. It worked well for me. If you have Pinterest search backless, draped dress sewing pattern. Hope this is helpful

      1. Ok, thanks! Would you change anything about the overall design of the dress? Did it look a little like being in a toga or did you think it fell nicely?

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