I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since the SewBrum meet-up. After many months of preparing (i.e. gathering raffle prizes) the day whizzed by.
The meet-up started in the Edwardian Tearooms at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. It’s one of my (many) favourite spots in Birmingham so I thought I’d drag everyone there:) There were 60+ of us drinking tea and chatting in the tearooms. It’s quite a large cafe but we took over a good section; we’d been allocated about a third of the seating, but I think we may have taken over around half by the time we were due to leave.
From the tearooms we wandered across town to the Rag Market, and nearby Barry’s Fabrics and Fancy Silk Store. We had unseasonable good weather this year so didn’t get wet while walking around Birmingham. One of the market stall holders who sells Liberty-style printed cottons (near the food stalls at the front of the outdoor section of the market) did particularly good business!
When they were ready, attendees caught a bus into Moseley Village to visit Guthrie & Ghani, via lunch at Moseley Farmers’ Market. We lost count of the exact number, but there were over 90 attendees at Guthrie & Ghani so it was pretty full in the upstairs studio space which the meet-up took over for the day. Goodie bags were waiting at the shop for the first sixty or so attendees but ran out before everyone arrived (partly because it is very difficult to predict exactly how many attendees will turn up on the day in order to prepare, and partly because such large numbers are difficult for sponsors).
The raffle held in the afternoon at Guthrie & Ghani, plus donations given for tea and cake, raised £554 which has now been donated to the Made Up Initiative, and has helped to push the total amount raised by the Initiative over £3,000. We also held a pattern and fabric swap, with leftovers donated to a nearby charity shop.
I’ve heard a few people previously mentioning that they aren’t fond of larger meet-ups. I totally understand that once you’ve built up a group of friends who sew it’s nice to meet up with them, and that it’s much easier to chat with everyone as a small group. But I also think it’s good to have meet-up events that are open to everyone. It was through large meet-ups, advertised to everyone, such as Rachel’s London meet-up and the Birmingham meet-up organised by Marie, Claire and Kat, that I first met other sewists in person. One of the best things about the sewing community is how inclusive it is, and I think it’s important that there are inclusive meet-ups that anyone with an interest in sewing is welcome to join.
Massive thanks to everyone who came along – I hope you all had a good time & managed to meet some new-to-you sewists. I just wish I could have had more time to chat to everyone. A list of attendees is available here.
Around 38 attendees also participated in a merit badge swap and there were some amazing badges swapped on the day (you’ll find some on instagram tagged with #sewbrum). I was paired with Victoria, my badges for her are below, and were inspired by her love for sci-fi.
And hers for me, which features Paris, alpaca feet and a computer on/off logo – very fitting:)
I have put together a small gift for one member of the merit badge swap, on an embroidery theme. It contains a cute embroidery book I picked up last time I was in Paris, and two Dandelyne miniature jewellery embroidery hoops. The winner, identified using random number generator, is Vicky.