Arriving at the train station I was greeted by the lovely organisers Marie and Kat who supplied us all with name badges and sweets! They certainly know how to make a good first impression! Once our group of 16 (-ish?) had assembled, we headed towards the market. At the outside stalls, I made my first purchase of this tweedy wool and matching lining (the guy told me it was M&S, who knows but its nice).
Inside the market there were more stalls to browse and the prices were all very reasonable. I bought a few pieces to sew some tops. At £2/m and £3/m, it would be wrong not to. Also, the benefit of shopping at the market is that most of the stalls don't take cards and so you can't blow the budget quite so easily.
Next stop - lunch. And having refuelled, we started the swap. Our restaurant table was covered in patterns, fabric and notions that people wanted to give away. How cool is that? The restaurant had reserved a large table for us in a separate section - which was probably a good idea when the swapping excitement began. Try telling a friendly waitress or helpful shop owner that you arranged to go shopping with a group of people you met on the internet because you all like sewing and just watch the look of bafflement fall over their faces. (Meeting strangers from the internet who sew their own clothes? What is going on here?!!)
I came home with (fabric from left to right) black jersey from Claire, purple jersey from Kat, black acrylic/wool also from Claire and denim from Helen. I also got this fab Vogue pattern from Roisin which I had been looking at in the Vogue pattern catalogue. Love the v-neckline at the back!
After lunch, it was back to the shopping. We headed to the Fancy Silk Store - there was so much to look at that you almost couldn't see it! I didn't buy anything here, but I would visit again. I think next time, I would need a proper shopping list so that I don't get overwhelmed with the choice. I had a vague notion of buying solid coloured winterweight fabrics. I didn't do too badly, although the odd print did sneak in to my bag.
Last stop of the day was Barry's Fabric Superstore which was another great place to visit. I was down to my last tenner by this point so only picked up 1 1/2 metres of poly jersey (the animal print above), leaving me just enough change for a cup of tea at the train station before I headed home.
Image from Marie's blog - do check out Marie's post as her photos are way better than mine.
Once back home, I zapped some dinner (courtesy of M&S at the train station) and curled up on the sofa with a glass of something chilled. It was a fab day, spent with some really lovely sewists. I hope I can do it again sometime, I just need to sew a bit first in order to make some room in the fabric stash!