**All images used in this post were taken by Simplicity during the blog meet**
Earlier this year, Simplicity announced their second Blog Meet would be taking place in Manchester on Saturday 21st May. Having been unable to attend their first meet, which took place last year in London, I was delighted to be able to go to this one!!
I studied at the University of Leeds, so I’d been to Manchester a handful of times, but not so much so that I could remember where anything was (plus it’s been 3 years since my last trip up there!!). With this in mind, I was relieved that on my train I was able to find fellow blogger Claire from Sew Incidentally…, who was much more thoroughly prepared for travelling around the city!!
After our train arrived at Manchester Piccadilly Station, Claire and I met up with more bloggers who were attending the blog meet, many of which I follow on Twitter and/or Instagram and all these lovely people made me feel really welcome, considering I’d tagged onto their group right at the very last minute!! These lovely ladies were Jenny from Today, Jenny Stitched, Megan from Pigeon Wishes, Rach from Rach Against the Sewing Machine, Charlotte from English Girl at Home and Zoe from Oodles of Craft.
We all jumped on the free bus (why don’t we have free buses down south?), and made our way to the Castlefield Rooms… To be honest, we struggled to find it even with Claire’s maps, but we got there in time to get a cup of tea and be seated for the beginning of May Martin’s workshop.
I absolutely loved watching and listening to May speak about sewing. She has so much passion for it, which is good seeing as she teaches it full time! And with her experience gained from many years of sewing and teaching, she is a true inspiration no matter what your current experience is, whether you’re a beginner or a seamstress with qualifications!
Although the setting was far from that of a lecture, it felt very much like being back at uni learning about design and construction (for those who don’t know, I studied Fashion Design at University and my course was split 50% design, 50% garment technology with some academic modules thrown in too keep things interesting) except it was 100% better because I didn’t have any looming deadlines or coursework to be getting on with!
May shared some wonderful tips in regards to sewing with jersey, overlockers &walking feet, turning through straps, looking after your machine, sewing curves such as collars and scallops, interfacing, covering buttons, cutting our patterns, bubble easing sleeves and inserting concealed zips.
For those of us sat at the back, we were welcomed to come crowd around her machine to watch her tutorials and see details. She welcomed all questions being asked, often causing her train of thought to go off on a tangent, however it really didn’t matter…. I was taking notes on all of the information she had to offer!!
May also announced the Simplicity Blogger Challenge for 2016, which I am looking forward to taking part in! There are 2 categories I’d like to enter, and having learned from last year’s challenge that I really was not adventurous enough, I’m planning something special this year!! More information to come soon!!
Simplicity also very kindly spoiled us with cake and a fantastic goody bag filled with patterns, sewing notions and magazines!
At the workshop, I met more bloggers, some of which I knew and others I didn’t, including 2 of the girls behind the Sew It Yourself challenge – read more about the challenge on their blog here – as well as Amy, the editor of Love Sewing Magazine and author behind Almond Rock and the editor or Sewing Made Simple (sorry!! I am terrible with names, and I seem to have forgotten yours!!). After the workshop, a small group of us ventured off to Abakhan Fabrics for a browse (or a splurge in some cases, but I was on my best behaviour having only been fabric shopping the Saturday before!!) and then a bit of dinner before embarking on our trains home.
If I’m completely honest, I was feeling really nervous on my train journey up to the meet but I had absolutely no reason to be! And having now met some fellow sewing bloggers and had a lovely day out with them, I hope I’ll be seeing some of them again in the future!
Thanks Simplicity for a fantastic day!!