Let's Get Sewcial, Meet Ups, Sew Up North, Shopping
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Sew Up North

You nearly got Sunday Sevens on time.  

Only nearly!

But I’m too excited still about my day yesterday attending Sew Up North, so I just have to tell you about that first.

Sew Up North?  

Don’t tell me you don’t know about it.  It has even made it to the Foldline’s Sew Reporter news roundup this week!!  

Becca from REDWSEWS and Sally from Sew sweet by Sally arranged a northern meet up in Leeds…..and I went!  

Yay for Leeds being on my doorstep!


And yay for Becca and Sally!!

So yesterday was an early start.  Not because I had a long journey, but because I needed to finish off my Renfrew and colour my roots before I could set off to meet all the sewing lovelies in Leeds at 10 o’clock.  Sewing the Renfrew was more of a necessity than the roots although I didn’t want my silver roots to match my top!

At 9:15 I was on the bus with my little liberty bag for the pattern swap.  I took a 3 metre piece of satin that I bought from Minerva that nearly became a jumpsuit, and the Coco Top/Dress pattern from Tilly.  Well, not from Tilly herself, it was mine, but you know what i mean!   From past experience I knew there would be lot’s for the swap so didn’t take too much.


It was a beautiful day for a shopping trip, bright and sunny with just a little nip in the air.  And blowing a gale too, but that just gave an excuse for  being able to show hand knitted hats and scarfs as well as all sorts of gorgeous handmade garments.  It made me want to dust off my knitting needles!


Becca and Sally thought of everything including being serenaded as we went in to Costa to meet everyone.


We all gathered downstairs in Costa, the place was really buzzing.  I never counted up how many of us there were but I reckon about 40-50.  We all had goodie bags in which amongst other things had badges in. It was really good when we were out and about shopping as we knew if someone was one of the gang!


Becca and Sally gave us the nod that it was time to hit the streets and head for the shops.


We are got wrapped up, many in their own handmade coats and jackets. I recognised the clothes on people as much as their faces!




Everyone split up into smaller groups and got mixed up throughout the day.  I headed first to B&Ms.  Although I do go into Leeds occasionally I do the main of my fabric shopping in Dewsbury and hadn’t been to the B&M bricks and mortar store before.  It was fabulous and I’ll definitely be going back. 


I met a lady on the walk to B&M – Sharon.  It was her legs that got the conversation going at first – she had fabulous blue leggings on.  Sorry no picture – I’d only just met her!  We got talking and it turned out she makes active wear to order.  And to enable her to hold more stock she also sells the fabric by the metre.  And smaller increments too.  She had some sample cards of the fabric, it’s really good stuff, and Melissa from Fehr Trade recommends it too.  So guess what I’ll be ordering soon!  If you want to take a peak she has a FB page called Stretch Nation.


From B&Ms we headed down to the market.  Here’s where I bumped into Hila from Saturday Night Stitch (if I were to say I had a favourite blogger, it would be Hila, though everyone’s so lovely I don’t think I could say really!).


This was obviously early on in her shopping spree showing off her 2 little purchases, and before she began hearing voices    …”…Anna dress, …Anna dress…..” subconsciously  she whipped out her purse and bought 3m of this stunning stretch crepe fabric.  And so did I.  And so did my niece Lucy.  Damm those Voices! Or was it my voice?!  Lucy doesn’t even sew (yet) but you might remember her from my post a while back – Lucy’s Lace.


At the point of buying the above fabric I realised I’d lost my purse!!!!!  Hila baled me out and bought my fabric and I was going to head back to Costa as that was the last place I’d had it.  But then someone remembered that Karen had found one left on a table and knew it must belong to one of us.  Phew!!

We headed down to the bottom end of the market and went to a shop I’d never been to before and bought a couple of remnants.  The plain white fabric seems to be some sort of fabric suitable for active wear and has a 4 way stretch and is 1.4m long. The blue (almost black) and white fabric is 2.7m long and has a lovely drape.  Both together cost just over £7!!  Hila heard voices again and made one or two purchases.


Lucy, Hila, Karen and I stopped for a quick lunch at Debenhams en route Fabrication.  Shock horror I had soup!!  Only because there was the promise of cake later!!


We arrived at Fabrication as the china was just being set out.  They must have heard how posh we all are!  We were well and truly spoilt with proper coffee and tea leaves and a strainer.  And chocolate cake!  Thankyou ladies!



Do you like my new coat??  It’s not mine really but I’m going to be having one very similar soon!!  It’s Liz’s from so-momma (IG), she used the Vera Venus FREE Cardigan/Kimono Coat pattern.  I had to try it on as it only came in one size so needed to know if it would fit.  She nearly didn’t get it back!!.

Next to me is Charlotte from Scenes From The Sewing Room who was here with her mum.  A lovely pair of ladies, and a new IG and blog for me to follow.  I’ve just been admiring her knickers, reading her blog that is! It just sounds so wrong!!


Becca and Sally raised over £200 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance thanks to all the generous sponsors and everyone buying raffle tickets!   There were some great prizes but none for me this time.


The big table was filled with china cups, saucers and cake, so the pattern and fabric swap took place on the floor.  And there was a lot of stuff!!  I refrained but only because I’d already bought fabric and am trying to make an effort to sew the stash not add to it.


More tea Vicar?


The ladies at Fabrication kept us watered for over 2 hours and were so lovely and friendly.


Me & Lucy my little niece who’s 19 today.  If your interested in surface pattern design checkout her IG.  She just started her degree at Leeds Uni and is soo lucky to be there, and so talented.


It wasn’t just me trying other sewistas coats on.


Here’s Hila trying on Eleanor’s Clare coat from nelnanandnora.  Another coat that was hard to give back!


It all went just too fast.  A bit like when you’re at a wedding, you just get there and you think you’ve got hours of the day left to celebrate and enjoy yourself but before you know it it’s all done and dusted.

I had to head off earlier than I would have liked as I was going to a bonfire at 5:30 and needed to make a huge pan of chilli to take to it.



Thanks for a wonderful day ladies!  Sewing pals are just the best.   It was lovely seeing some of the Yorkshire Spoolettes, and meeting some new faces too, though a lot I felt like I already knew.

I hope this is going to be the first of many Sew Up North meet-ups in Leeds.  For those of you who are interested (and a few did ask yesterday) I’m going to arrange another get together in Dewsbury in  February.  Something to look forward to after Christmas.   We’re just in a big shake up at work with our rotas at the minute so I don’t know when my weekends off will be in the new year, but as soon as I do I’ll set a date and you’ll be the first to know.

Until then, we’ll just have to whittle away at our stashes to make room room for more!

Cheerio x



  1. It looks like you had a great day out! And soooo many of you! I wish it was closer to me, I need to organize one down here. Love that everyone was trying on each other’s coats, great to get an idea of sizing. It’s a great idea to do a swap, I have a few really nice patterns that just don’t suit me and would love to pass them on to a good home. The sewing world is full of so many lovely people!

    • I’d definitely say arrange one. It’s a bit nerve wracking – when I arranged the Dewsbury ones I had sleepless nights and weird dreams but it’s so worth it. And you’ll be surprised how many lovely sewers you’ve got nearby. 😃

  2. Wonderful post & photos, Ali ~ thank you! I’m also starting to recognise faces from reading blogs. Too bad meetings seem very difficult to arrange on this side the pond… That white background knit you’ve got (draped over a chair?) looks gorgeous and totally beyond what I’ve seen over here. Can’t wait to see what you’ll make. xxx (gotta nip over to Vera’s and check out that coat pattern…) 😉

    • You’re welcome Del, glad you enjoyed them. There’s some great free patterns, I’d have thought the coat would’ve been too small for me, I measure just over 40″ and if fit perfectly. 😃

      • Thank you ~ you’re a mind-reader! I downloaded that pattern and was just reading the measurements again, wondering about your experience and if I dared ask. . . It’s much more the style I’d wanted for that mustard wool! And I think I even have a great poly in stash for a lining… (bowing deeply in your direction!)

    • You’re gonna have to move up north Beth, it’s the centre of the fabric universe! We’ll all chip in when you need a baby sitter so long as you’ve set up your sewing machine 😃

    • I know, I should have. It’s a bit weird taking pics on the day, I want to take loads but don’t want to feel like paparazzi, but everyone likes to look at them after. I might have to wear a go-pro at the next one so I don’t miss anything!! Was lovely meeting you too, good luck with the business. 🍀

  3. Looks like you had a great time. So much to learn and admire from other sewers. Is the Fabrication shop in Leeds? Is it the same as the one Halifax? Would love to come to the meet up in February. Loving those coat designs.

    • I’ve not seen the Halifax one (missing out again what’s under my nose!) so I don’t know. Fabrication is full of hand made and crafted things, all sorts, and all my talented local people. Yup you’ll have to join us in February. Hope you’re keeping ok 😀

  4. corrineappleby says

    Great post! You’re so good at taking photos. I didn’t take any at all which is terrible! Count me in for the Dewsbury meet up!

    • The pics get easier, and it’s not so bad when other bloggers are there as they tend to pose better than family do, as bloggers know we ‘neeeed’ photos more than anything. Now we’re just counting fish to February! Lovely to see you 😀

  5. It all happens t’up North! I know I’m not in the U.K. any longer but, even if I were, it would be a bit of a trek being a soft Southerner. If I were still there though I would persuade my husband to visit his parents (in Harrogate) and drop me off in Dewsbury on the way. Those sorts of get togethers are brilliant because you immediately have something in common with everybody – no need to cast around for conversation starters and I love seeing everybody wearing their makes .

    • When you’re next visiting the in laws we’ll arrange a Harrogate meet up. There’s plenty there to keep us entertained! 😀

      • That would be brilliant – though I haven’t visited them for about 12 years so we won’t hold our breath 🙂 Perhaps next time I’m over I’ll venture North for a couple of days.

  6. Suzanne Mawson says

    Damn I hate reading these posts and not finding time to sew..!! Too busy rehearsing for a show in November. I don’t blog, I merely stalk others but I’ll try and get to your Dewsbury meet up as this will spur me to get creative.

    • Blogging is a bit time consuming, but lots if the ladies who went do Instagram and dint blog either. I gets a bit addictive though, but is easier to keep up to. Hopefully see you in February 😃

  7. Great write up Ali! I dont know how you managed pictures – I only had a couple of pics. I do have to point out though that I was doing fine until I bumped into “the voice” 😀. I had so much fun meeting so many lovely ladies. And that coat I tried one – you read my mind correctly – I didnt want to give it back! So many beautiful handmade garments in one space, pure paradise! Definitely count me in for Dewsbury in Feb. I have to get on with sewing up this lot then to make room 😄😄.

  8. It was nice to almost see you on Saturday. I would love to come to another meet up in Dewsbury. Can I be cheeky and selfishly suggest towards the end of February, as I’m always on holiday a the beginning of February.

  9. Splendid post. Happy Birthday to your niece Lucy. Love the divider of Marilyn Monroe behind your photo with her, that’s how I’d feel on a day like this! Thanks for sharing~cheers

    • Thanks! And it was fun sharing it! I hope it inspires others to arrange something similar near them. I did the Dewsbury ones and Beca and Sally this one as everything seemed to be happening down south, and now it appears that the north is where it’s at! 😃

    • I bet there’s sewers all surrounding you! We were amazed at the turnout on Saturday. Put the word out and see what happens. You never know! 😃

  10. Sounds like you had a fab day Ali. I can’t promise anything yet for Feb: would love too but it’s too early to say yet.

  11. Another brilliant meet up and so many faces I recognise from their blogs! It must be a really buzzing atmosphere and so nice that everyone is so friendly in the shops you visit. Hope you managed to do the cake justice later after only having soup:)

    • I did, but just a small piece, honest. Only because I didn’t cut it! It’s so fab that everyone just get on and has loads to talk about, and us with having their clothes stroked! 😃

  12. Oh, it sounds like a marvelous meet-up, and it all began with a serenade at Costa Coffee! You managed some great photos of a lot of great smiling faces! There’s a lot of talent in one place. I adore that gray coat – am going to check out the pattern.

    • The jackets really versatile and looks easy too. I’m trying to make things that I’ll wear lots and getting rid of the orphans out of my wardrobe! You’re right about a lot of talent in one place – I never thought of it like that 🙂

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