It was bound to happen. I don’t even know why I am surprised.
Today, out of a fortuitous planet alignment, I managed to get myself to the Handmade Fair. I was incredibly excited knowing that the likes of Tilly and the Buttons and Sew Over It were exhibiting… but I also couldn’t wait to immerse myself in the world of Handmade for a few hours.
There were rules though. One, at least: I could only buy resources to make stuff. As I soon learned, the fair was split pretty much fifty-fifty between resources stands and handmade prettiness. There was plenty of both and I am glad I gave myself some boundaries.
This said, perhaps I went to the fair with too large of a dressmaker hat on. I expected to find tailoring tools and much, much more dressmaking fabric than there was (although there was more quilting cotton than you can shake a stick at), more notions… Perhaps what I was expecting was a super-heberdashery, whereas I found more of a DYI party.
There were coloured paper and calligraphy tools, various painting and stencil options, decorations of all sorts, handmade dresses and accessories for sale, posters and print to hang, felted butterfly wings and dino tails for the little ones and… traditional southern Italy ceramics from the Amalfy coast!
The aforementioned Amalfitani stand
Pretty leather clutches
Fancy calligraphy inks
A sparkly collection of Christmas baubles
As I said, I had given myself boundaries and was not going to budge. And I didn’t! Still, I managed to come home with a little, much cherished bundle. I can’t say I needed all I bought but, lifting my eyes from my knitting on the train home, I could see most people’s bags were larger and fuller than mine. Therefore I feel I can tell myself I behaved well – comparatively at least!
I had the pleasure of meeting two of the managers of Girl Charlee FABRICS (whose jersey selection is gorgeous – you can see samples in the pic above) and the sweet, sweet owner of the newly born Cloth&Candy, who feels to me like a fresh breeze in the realm of quilting cotton. Her selection is edgy, yet very delicate and tasteful. I don’t quilt myself butI have a nice idea on how to use my sparkly fat quarter.
Of course I visited both Tilly and Sew Over It at their respective stands and couldn’t help myself – I had wanted those patterns since before even purchasing a sewing machine. The one you see on the right handside instead was a lucky find and it introduced me to a Liesl & C0. I bet there will be more to come!
All in all it was a lovely experience. The fair felt half like an exhibit and half like a festival, with a big field with food vans and people sitting at tables or laying on picnic blankets.
Tips for next time?
- Go on the last day (again). Firstly, you’ll skip the crowd. Seconldy, exhibitors might be tired, but still stocked to their eyelids and I bet a few smiling and smoothing will get you good discounts.
- Set a spending target. We’re talking about sewing disneyland people, hold on to your wallets.
- Bring friends! Turn the shopping spree into a leisurely stroll. Bring food, drinks and a blanket, do some handsweing or maybe knitting spraweld on the green. It will make for such a great day out!
That’s all from me folks. What did you think of the fair? Did I miss on any bargains?