Sunday, 3 February 2013

Fabric Malaise - Finding A Cure in Walthamstow

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When the Stashitis gets too bad, *Fabric Malaise sets in, whence upon a Sewist must gather with others of her kind - there to unload the burden of her overflowing stash and release them into the arms of a fellow sufferer.

So, when you can't find a cure in Boots the Chemist what are you to do? People - I give you the Meet-Up! Unshackle yourself from your woes, and have some fun, and that's just the ticket for raising your spirits and inject some much needed Mo back into your Jo ;)!

Luckily, for fans of the fabric the wonderful Stevie organised a fab get together for us yesterday in a cold but welcoming Walthamstow (a place I am not unfamiliar to the enticing charms of LOL!)

The troops gathered at the entrance to Walthamstow Central tube station for 11am, then we all set of quick march to the Marrakech cafe on the High Street.

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Much fabric, notions, magazines and patterns exchanged hands - but this was no clandestine liaison - rather it was a light-hearted and uplifting of like minded sewing-souls. And, whilst the weather was cold outside the atmosphere inside was exceptionally warm and inviting :)

As per my post late on Friday evening, I had over 60 items to swap - yup I had *it bad peops LOL! 20 pieces of fabric had been dutifully folded and placed lovingly into my pink trolley - but I knew that that was an awful lots of fabric to swap (hehe). So, to help my fellow Sewists decide what they'd like to take home with them I made a swatch-sheet with the width and length of every piece. Then, all anyone had to do was to pass the sheets around and jot-down their name next to the piece they fancied - simples!

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Tilly and Jane eye up one of the trims & habby stalls on the market
Only 3 pieces of now ex-stash fabric didn't go home with anyone - but they instead were gathered together with anything else the group didn't want to keep and I dropped them off to the Sue Ryder charity shop just down the road from the cafe.

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Stevie, Jane and Helen - enjoying the banter with the guy on the fabric stall outside of Sainsbury's
The day was filled with so much fun and laughter (see more pics here on Karen and Tilly's blogs), we discussed the potential fibre content of the wares on the man-outside-Sainsbury's-stall (perhaps a burn-test is in order - charts here and here folks?) and there as much praise for the Mathilde Blouse pattern too (I've bought mine already :) )
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Ahhhh... the allure of the "From £2 per metre" table of knit/jersey fabric in Saeed's shop!

My personal acquisitions on the day were: 4 gorgeous pieces of fabric - a medium-blush pink polka dot fabric (courtesy of Zoe), some warm toned light-yellow baby- corduroy from Tilly, some soft deep purple knit from Stevie, and a lovely printed medium-dark blue denim from Karen. I was also the fortunate recipient of a lovely top pattern from Shivani - Simplicity 6808

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Items I went on to purchase were 2 of cones of overlocker (serger) thread, some zips (for some reason I have a tonne of invisible zips in my stash but like zero normal zips? weird!), some blue and cream thread spools, some more Singer branded sewing-machine oil for my Mum (what can I say when it comes to parts/accessories for her machine my Mum is a brand-name snob LOL!). Plus, 2 metres of cotton fabric (off-white with a green pattern - perfect match for the walls in my sewing room.. so how could I resist?). I was pretty proud that I went out with 20 pieces of fabric, and only came home with 5 (yay!).

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Some of us (naming no names) arrived empty-handed, yet acquired so many pieces in le-grande-swap that they had to purchase a brand new trolley on the market in order to make it round the fabric stores afterwards! (See... trolleys are your friend folks - and NOT merely an excuse to buy even more stuff hehe!)

Persons now [temporarily] relieved of their *Fabric Malaise symptoms are (in alphabetical order (with the name of their blog too):
Claire (me, LOL!) - Sew, incidentally...
Helen - Sew Stylish
Shivani - pins & needles
Zora (sans blog :) )
(Did I miss anyone out? Please let me know!)

After everyone else had departed for the station, I hung around and popped into the Lidl and picked up a set of 2 seat-pads, and a pair of shelf-baskets for my sewing room too.

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I just want to point out for the record, that I don't have a fabric problem and that my heart does not palpitate and my eyes do not go all a squergly in close proximity to fabric . Also, I did not just have my fingers crossed when I typed that last sentence ;)!

*A ghastly affliction, usually caused by the over accumulation of fabric in one's stash. Notable symptoms include the squirrelling away of new acquisitions into secret corners of the home away from the inquisitive and enquiring eyes of family and friends, or the sudden loss of floor-space in every room. Sufferers are often place known to hang onto pieces of fabric for prolonged periods of time, before coming the realisation that they a) no longer like the piece, b) feel it no longer suits them, or c) believing that it will never realise it into an actual garment now, or indeed if ever. Symptoms may be alleviated via the sharing, swapping, or donation of existing fabrics with other Sewists. A last resort is the removal of excess items of fabric to the local charity shop / thrift store / or Ops shop. The Malaise is sadly a life-long chronic condition, the symptoms of which may ebb and flow - dependant upon numerous factors, including (but not limited to): the availability of financial funds, limits of storage space, and the co-operation of an understanding and sympathetic spouse.



  1. What a lovely day. Ps you are my organisation idol.

  2. Rachel - maybe it's a tad of OCD in me that makes me enjoying keeping myself organised perhaps :) LOL?

  3. Hi Claire we had a Brill day didn't we. You are soo organised (inspirational), I came home and told th daughter she was relinquishing All rights to the spare room for my fabric and sewing (you should have heard th howls of teenage angst) I feel like iv got my sewing mono back. I hope we meet again soon. Zora

  4. looks like a great time was had - i'm sorry i missed it. and you enabler you with all that fabric!

  5. Lovely to see you again Claire, and to "liberate" a couple of pieces of fabric from your stash!! Thank you!

  6. Hi Claire, I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the Liebster Award as I love your blog. The purpose of the award is to bring viewers & potential followers to blogs with under 200 followers. Here is the link to the post on my blog: I hope you’ll take part :).


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