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The Handmade Fair

Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Handmade Fair for the first time, having (unbelievably!) won a pair of complimentary tickets from Sew Over It on Instagram.

I had arranged to go with a sewing friend of mine, but when the day arrived, she wasn’t feeling well enough to attend. Undeterred, I went by myself – and loved it.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fair, and deliberately didn’t read too much about it beforehand. Because of all the chatter on ‘sewcial media’, somehow in my head I was expecting it to be mainly about sewing, but there was so much more to it than that! There were areas for learning, workshops and demonstrations, ‘shopping village’ areas with a wide range of handmade goods and supplies for sale, and of course plenty of food and drink stalls to keep you fuelled up for the day.

I found the Annie Sloan marquee really inspiring. I had looked into furniture makeovers a couple of years ago when we moved house, before I started sewing, and some of the things people could do with Annie Sloan’s chalk paint and some vintage furniture were amazing! My blog was originally supposed to be about little DIY projects like that, that I’d planned to do around our home, until I started sewing and realised that was my big passion. But I must admit, seeing the demo on display in this section really made me want to revamp my dining chairs – just look how good these ones look with a lick of paint and a new cushion!:


There were various workshops running throughout the day, as I mentioned. I didn’t attend any but if I’d had more time, I would have liked to, so maybe next year I’ll plan to make more of a day of it.


The shopping villages had loads of stalls selling Christmas baubles, bags, jewellery, stationery, cards, kitchenware, clothing, art, and more. It would have been a good place to do your Christmas present shopping!

Of course, there was also lots of representation from the sewing community – I saw Sew Over It, Fabric Godmother, Dragonfly Fabrics, Fabrics Galore and more. I made sure to stop by the Sew Over It stall to say thanks for my tickets, and managed to have a quick chat with the lovely Lisa Comfort and the super-friendly other Lisa who also works there. Naturally I was wearing a Sew Over It make, my Coco jacket!


All in all, the Handmade Fair made for an interesting morning out. I was quite restrained and only picked up a couple of pieces of fabric, but if you were on the lookout for fabrics, you would have been spoiled for choice!

Maybe see you there next year? 🙂


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My first make of 2020 was actually an unfinished project from 2019. The @schnittchenpatterns #schnittchencoco #cocojacket is quick and easy to make and works really well as a collarless suit jacket. I’m planning to make a matching skirt from this Linton Tweed fabric, and write up a blog post with full details when the suit is complete. Linton Tweed has a long standing relationship with Chanel, so although this isn’t a French cardigan jacket, it feels like an appropriate use of this fabric I’ve had in my stash for at least a couple of years. I’m so pleased to finally be making that wardrobe staple of a great black suit (perfect for my day job so it’ll get a lot of wear)! 🙌🏾 #handmadeworkwardrobe #youcanmakeittoo #sewtheprecious #sewcialists #sewing
Still wearing my #ddopium coat and it still puts a smile on my face every time I do! #sewing #memadeeveryday #handmadewardrobe
On the home stretch now - some tidying up on the inside and then it’ll be time to turn her out and give her a good press! #sewingwip #baggingout #diyjacket #sewcialists #isewmyownclothes
Trying to ease back into sewing by tackling some of my pre-Christmas UFOs... looking forward to finishing this quick project and a couple of other hopefully quick wins, before I move on to my 2020 plans! #slowsewing #slowfashion #isew #sewcialists
I haven’t gotten much sewing done over the Christmas period - but I did make a batch of reusable cotton pads, which was surprisingly easy, quick and rewarding. I used cotton flannel and terry towelling fabric (both from @minervadotcom). I made some with flannel on both sides and some with flannel on one and towelling on the other, and use one set for creamy make up remover and another for my cleanser/toner. Swipe through for steps if you’re interested! #smallchangesaddup #reusablepads #sewingforthewin
Remember my Saraste dress posts a couple of weeks ago? Managed to get a blog post up, if you’d like to read all about it ☺️ ... I’m still very much in love with it! #sarasteshirtdress #sewistsofinstagram #imakemyownclothes
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