Saturday 3 August 2013

Goldhawk Road Meet-Up: Saturday 3rd August 2013

Hi, my names is... & I love to SEW!
One of the name-badges I printed off for us :)!
Well, what a wonderful, friendly and happy bunch of people everybody was today! I think it was more than simply the lovely sunshine we've been blessed with recently in the UK that made us all smile. And, perhaps it was the allure of the fabric lovelieness to be had in the stores of Goldhawk Road, but the meet-up that I'd originally announced back in April was a definite success. And, it's all down to you guys who attended and made it such a fun day to be on. I always hold fast that it is the people that make the meet-up, and I loved meeting everyone today (I hope that you did too?) :).

Sewing fans outside Goldhawk Road tube station
Sewing fans gathering outside of Goldhawk tube station
Here's the list of our splendid attendees... we had 37 folks in total - including a lovely young lady (a Niece joining her Auntie) who picked up some goodies to enjoy her new sewing skills on. We also had x1 bloke... who I have now officially changed his moniker to "Roisin's Boyfriend" (aka the artist formerly known as "Nic"). Plus, some visitors from abroad... we had Wendy who came over from Luxembourg just for this meet-up, and Rachel from Australia who's been over in the UK for several weeks. Special thanks to Kat for being Vice-President in charge of issuing the name-stickers :) 

Alison –
Ally –
Amy –
Charlie –
Daniela –
Diane –
Dibs –
Emma –
Kat –
Kat –
Katy –
Katy –
Melissa –
Mellie –
Penelope –
Rachel –
Rachel –
So-Ha –
Susan –
(2-ladies – a joint blog:
Aileen & Louise)
Zora - Seeds, seams

In fact another special thanks goes out to Wendy - for bringing this cute little gift of some very yummy looking Petit Fours by Oberweis all the way from Luxembourg just for little 'ol me! (I was under strict instructions not to open it until I got home hehe! They're now chilling in my fridge waiting for me to enjoy tomorrow - thank you so much Wendy!!!)

OBERWEIS Luxembourg  OBERWEIS Luxembourg - Petit Fours

We started off by meeting up at the tube station just before mid-day, we then headed off for around and hour's worth of fabric-hunting in the shops before reconvening to head down the road for lunch.

Lunch... is another story LOL! When I'd selected the 3rd August for the meet-up date, it was to coincide with Rachel's travel dates. However, as the football fixture dates had not as yet been announced I was blissfully unware that QPR (the local football team for the Shepherd's Bush area) were holding their 1st major home game of the season on the same date (epp!). I'd visited the area in person earlier this week on Wednesday to scout out potential lunch venues... but I was having no luck (what with everywhere expecting to be overrun with beer-swilling football-mad blokes LOL!). The last place I tried was the LIZ CAFE (at 7 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 8QQ), it was last on my list as it was a brand-new place and I've never visited there before. I spoke with the nice young man behind the counter and left my details. They were very diligent and called me back the same day. Thursday I popped back-in to meet the lady Manageress to discus the details... and bingo - our lunch venue was reserved & sorted (yes - I'd stressed myself a bit over that one ;)!!).

LIZ CAFE (at 7 Goldhawk Road, Shepherd's Bush, London W12 8QQ

Blue summer dresses galore!
Summer dresses galore!  From: Thread Carefully, and VickiKateMakes
Well, we all had a really great lunch at LIZ CAFE today. They were brilliantly helpful and accommodating to our happy (but noisy) gathering of friends (which is great when you consider that I'd only made the reservation for our large group at such short-notice 2 days beforehand). We were all very happy with the food (excellent), and the family team made us very welcome indeed. I for one will definitely be back for more, and I can see it as a great place for future sewing meet-ups (or meet-ups of any kind). In fact I'd 100% recommend them to anyone visiting the fabric shops in Goldhawk Road; or for anyone in the Shepherd's Bush area. The warm atmosphere, and great experience would make you believe that this little gem has been here forever, but it has only been open less than 2 months - the fact that they have built such a great cafe and lovely service in that short time-period shows that hard work and customer-service is paramount to the family at Liz Cafe. (This may sound like a sugar-coated review to some - but I genuinely think that they are great, and a fab alternative to all the "big-chain" coffee/food places out there... so I say visit them if you can if you're in the area.)

After we'd munched down on out tasty treats, it was time to clear the tables - and get out the goodies we're brought along to swap with everyone else. With 37 people, that a helluva lotta stuff (LOL!). So, as per the previously established process back in April and June - we laid out all of our swap items out on the tables. 1 for fabric, 1 for patterns, and 1 for notions/wool/etc.

Then on the count-down of 3-2-1, everyone gets to mingle freely and take home some lovely new-to-them items (yay - what's not to love!!?). 

The fabric swapping table!
The fabric swapping table!

The fabric swapping table!

Melissa brought a HUGE box of patterns with her to giveaway (see the 1st photo in her post here). I had 7 pieces of fabric with me, some Machine Embroidery thread spools and one solitary little dress pattern. One piece of mine was 9+ metres of chocolate brown Viscose jersey which got divided up into 4 pieces for different ladies to enjoy ;)!

The pattern & notions swapping table!
The pattern & notions swapping table!
The only rules for the swapping (apart from no-elbowing allowed hehe!) were that at the end of le-grande swap that anything we'd personally brought along with us that was not claimed by a new owner either got taken home by the bring-ee, or it got donated to the charity shop. In this case the nearby FARA Charity Shop on Uxbridge Road in Shepherd's Bush (my thanks to Jenny and Zora for their help in carrying the donations over to FARA with me).

I picked up 2 pieces of cotton fabric at the swap: some red with multi-coloured polka dots, and some navy blue with large white stars.

Cotton Fabric from the swap

And this morning I made another Pressing Ham (can you tell... I've not finished sewing my label on LOL!), plus an extra-large one I'd made a few weeks back - so show 'n' share with a few ladies :). I wanted to get some opinions on the size and shape from my fellow sewists.

Pressing Hams
More homemade Pressing Hams :)
I felt positively virtuous purchase-wise, as below are the only bits I actually paid for today: some white 100% cotton with black polka-dots, that I plan to re-make my top with, a bunch of zips (from 30p - 50p each), and some yellow polycotton bias-binding for 50p/metre.

Zips, Polka Dot Cotton Fabric, Bias Binding
My only bought items: Zips, Polka Dot Cotton Fabric, Bias Binding

Saving Goldhawk Road...
Whilst today our merry band has enjoyed the fabric-fruits of the stores on Goldhawk Road - this pleasure may not last very much longer. Half the shops are under threat from developers - see the campaign against this at their Facebook page 'SAVE 30-52 GOLDHAWK ROAD FROM DEMOLITION', plus this article in the Fulham & Chronicle - 'Inquiry to scrutinise compulsory purchase of Shepherd's Bush Market(and also Melissa's great post here).


  1. Fabulous day Claire, many thanks to you for organising it. It was great to meet so many more of the bloggers I have been following over the last few months.

  2. ha! Louise and I caught in the act of pulling faces at each other. Oh, the shame!

    Thanks for a wonderful day, Claire, and to the other ladies of course!

    Aileen xx

  3. Wow, sounds like such a fantastic day!! :-)

    Also, this reminds me I still haven't given you any feedback on the tailors ham you sent me - sorry!! :-( I can say that I think it's wonderful. I love the colour, the fabric, the size. It's both useful and fun. :-) (I really like that you used interesting colours on it - sewing accessories should be fun, I reckon!) Thank you again, it's the first ham I've ever had and it's changing my pressing habits quite a bit for the better. ;-)

  4. Thank you Claire for organising the day. It was a lot of fun. I hope they don't demolish the shops there.

  5. Thank you for organising the day,both my niece and I had a great time. She has properly caught the sewing bug and has started a stash collection off already! she has also been dying to do a guest post since Katy gave her the idea. She has done a post on my blog under the name tiny seamstress, I'm starting her off young. We now have an epic sewing day planned on Tuesday to make our party outfits. Thanks again, the day was a huge success.

  6. Claire, thanks for organising everything. I had a fabulous time and I'm sure everyone else did too. Can't wait to start sewing with all my lovely new fabric :)

  7. Thank you Claire for organizing the meet-up and the great lunch. It was an amazing day! It was my first meet-up and I can't imagine it could have been any better. I got great sewing tips, met new friends and got loads of fabric :) Daniela (

  8. Sounds like you all had a great day! Really wish I could have made it, but I had a wedding to go time!

  9. Thanks for organising the day. It was so wonderful to meet so many seamstresses/sewists and geeking out over each other's outfits and fabric purchase. I already turned a pale blue linen from a swap into shorts! What a perfect weekend

  10. Thank you so much Claire, I had an amazing day. It was such a huge pleasure to meet so many lovely, friendly ladies. Thank you all for being so welcoming. Wendy

  11. Thank you so much for organising this! I had a blast!

  12. Claire,
    I had a lovely time, thank you for organising so efficiently.

  13. All these lovely ladies sporting all these beautiful hand made clothes! It's a great sight.

  14. It was great to see you again Claire, thank you for organising everything. The Artist Formerly Known As Nic was tickled pink with his sticker as well! xxx

  15. Thank you so much for organising such a wonderful day, it was so much fun!

  16. Thanks for a lovely day. You did great with your organising. Hope you had fun too!

  17. Hi there - I’ve awarded you the ‘Super Sweet Award’ – hope this is ok – you can find out all about it in the 6 August post on my blog.

  18. That looked so fun, Claire! I didn't attend this time as it was my birthday, and I already had plans. It would've been a great way to spend the birthday, though!

  19. That looked like such a fun meetup! Did your group take up the entire cafe? :D

  20. @Alli Pretty much yes! (Apart from like 2/3 small tables at the very front by the doorway LOL!)


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