SewBrum is into it’s fifth year now and is organised by Charlotte at http://www.instagram.com/englishgirlathome/. This was my first year attending I think it as grown every year and this time over 300 attendees signed up.
I was very apprehensive about attending, I was initially going on my own – I follow a very large virtual sewing community on Instagram which makes me feel I know other sewers but I don’t have any real life sewing friends and if I’m honest this is usually the sort of thing I sign up to and the chicken out at the last minute due to lack of confidence.
Anyway I love sewing and fabric so felt a real determination to go. About a week before the event I saw a conversation on a local sewing group on Facebook – someone was asking about who was attending SewBrum so I commented that I was going and mentioned the station I was travelling from, another lady commented that she was travelling from the same station so I suggested we travelled in together.
So begins my day of fabric shopping, I arrived at the station and met a stranger (now know as Wendy) in the queue to buy a ticket and we travelled into Birmingham chatting about sewing and family – she as grown up children a similar age to mine.
The event started at John Lewis in the cafe and we arrived fairly early so not to many people when we first walked in (it was heaving when we left). We approached a table with a couple of other ladies sat at and asked if they were at SewBrum (they were) so we joined them and happily chatted while the venue filled up.
It is quite strange spotting people who you recognise through Instagram but have never actually met before, I did say hello to a few of these faces throughout the day and it is so nice to actually meet other sewers face so face and see them wearing their gorgeous me made outfits.
From John Lewis people drifted off in groups to head to The Rag Market so I stayed with my table and we went for a rumage where I picked up an animal print jersey fabric, there and a good selection of fabric shops outside and a few more indoors along with a nice haberdashery which had a good selection of buttons (I resisted buying any because my mother-in-law as just given me a tin full of buttons).
Next stop was Barrys which was about a 10 minute walk away, I haven’t visited here before and they have shelves full of fabric so although I didn’t buy anything it is well worth a visit. I did go a bit fan girlish at Barrys I spotted a few of the bloggers/vloggers that I follow:
They were all stood together chatting in the aisle and I had to walk past them – I did speak briefly to Sarah from LikeSewAmazing about the shop she is opening but I think I waffled a little and didn’t exactly give the coolest of impressions.
After Barrys we walked back up towards Moor Street to catch the No. 50 bus into Moseley for Guthrie and Ghani. There were a few other sewing groups on the same bus so it was a case of following the person who knew which stop to get off at! Luckily someone on the bus knew where they were going.
I have only visited Guthrie and Ghani once before but it is a lovely shop, everything is set out so nicely and the staff are super friendly. I had looked online before my visit so had an idea of what I might buy – I could of purchased a lot more if the budget would of allowed, the fabric is all such good quality and beautiful. I came away with a kit to make a shirt in a really cute fabric, the new top pattern by Tilly, the River Dress by Megan Nielsen and some fabric to make it with. I have added some photos but it is currently packed away for me to open for my birthday next month.
After my spend up I headed upstairs for the raffle (money was being raised for @coppafeelpeople which raises awareness for Breast Cancer) a well earned drink and cake – the lemonade was very much needed and I added my items to the swap table – I bought along a couple of pieces of fabric and a couple of patterns that I know I wont make.
My the time the raffle was ready to be drawn the room was full, more people were downstairs because there just wasn’t enough room for everyone, Charlotte came forward to draw the tickets and Lauren (Guthrie and Ghani owner) did a great job showing the prizes and communicating to downstairs via the telephone to call out the winning numbers. The raffle took some time – so many prizes from patterns to vouchers and fabric bundles and the lucky winner of the star prize won a brand new sewing machine.
I had a lucky day and won a lovely fabric bundle from Charlee Girl, Wendy also had a win and got a voucher for Guthrie and Ghani.
Things started to wind up after the raffle which ended at around 4pm and my husband had very kindly offered to collect me, just before leaving I did have a look through ehat was left on the swap table and picked up a piece of retro looking fabric – I am attending a 60s weekend next year so watch this space.
Wendy lives just round the corner from me so I offered her a lift home and I am sure we will be getting together again for other sewing events.
I am so glad I plucked up the courage to go along and would recommend any event like this to others, events like this run across the country I know that Sew North West was happening yeasterday to. So if you are thinking about attending next year but feeling a little nervous then take a deep breath and go along you won’t be on your own for long with 300 plus other sewists.