Today I've been up to the NEC, to the ICHF 'Sewing for Pleasure', 'Fashion, Stitch & Embroidery' & 'Hobbycrafts' event.
Had to speedily get the day off work in the end as I was supposed to go on Sunday but then had no one to look after the kids and as we all know, shopping plus kids is a recipe for a hard day!
So I set off after the school run and had an easy drive up the M40, hooray for sunshine and a CD changer full of sing-a-long tunes!
I thought the advance ticket price of £9 was reasonable but then of course you then have to pay £8 for the parking! Thanks NEC but I don't think it's entirely justified.
The venue was halls 11 +12 which is sort of round the back, at the end and they're not the best halls, as there were about two toilet places and two areas for food, so with a lot of old ladies, these were both oversubscribed!
My tip is to get your hand stamped and go out into the atrium, where there are more toilets/refreshments and quieter places to sit down!
As always take your own lunch to avoid over-priced rubbish and take advantage of the cloakroom facilities for large shopping purchases!
So the halls are split into the three events, with lots of sewing exhibition pieces to look at and lots of shopping stalls! I was organised this year, I had a list of what I wanted/needed and measurements! Last year at the Festival of Quilts I was overwhelmed by the volume and choice of fabric and didn't buy much as I wasn't sure what I could justify!
The first stall I clapped eyes on was 'The Eternal Maker' and I was so happy as this is my favourite stall at all the sewing shows. With their selection of fabric, buttons and giant ric-rac it's impossible not to buy anything from them, they are also supremely lovely and helpful if you have a chat.
I went for a lovely ladybird print (I've been looking for a good ladybird print for ages, as a bag lining, hopefully I'll get to reveal the finished article sometime now!)
and some lovely giant ric-rac, I could have chosen a metre from all the colours but went for the pink as it'll go with one of my other purchases....
They are also now doing SUPER giant ric-rac which is even bigger, which you must see!
Then I found 'Fabulous Fabric' which had some great prices, I spotted this needlecord at £8 a metre and knew it would be perfect for the reversible 'Sew Hip' childs cover dress. If it gets the nod of approval from my youngest of course! Should go with the ric-rac?!