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 unfortunately 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?