Sew Up North 2019


Well yesterday was a bit flipping exciting! As well as the annual Sew Up North event (which is the highlight of the sewing calendar as far as I am concerned) I also went to an extremely exciting bookish event in Leeds afterwards. I got up at 6.30am to get ready and get to Leeds in time to help set up in the morning and didn’t get home until after 11pm – and I loved (nearly!) every minute of it!


I couldn’t decide what to wear so I put it to a vote in my Instagram Stories – my favourite dress, the denim Ellis Dress vs my new dress, an un-blogged Hinterland hack I completed the night before! I think the Ellis Dress really needs to be seen in real life to appreciate all that gorgeous topstitching so I wasn’t really surprised that the more colourful Hinterland won. But the Ellis knows she’s still my favourite! It was a cold and wet day so I layered up in some of my handknits and off I went!


My train was at 8.12 and I spent a pleasant half hour knitting before it arrived in Leeds at 8.45 – there I met my mum for a coffee for an hour before it was time to help set up the event space where Becca of RedWSews was hosting Sew Up North. We got to the space in time but couldn’t find anyone to let us in! After twenty minutes of knocking, calling the venue and sending messages we managed to reach Becca and was let in the side entrance where the setting up had already been done by less ditsy volunteers! Sorry!

The morning went by in a whirlwind of hugs, chatting and stroking each other’s clothes – I didn’t even stop for a drink! I didn’t care, it was a crazy atmosphere swapping fabric and patterns and I was trying my best to keep both tables tidy while the other helpers did a smashing job selling raffle tickets! I think it is safe to say a fab time was had by all! I took a huge backpack full of patterns and fabric and managed to come home with far less so I am happy with that. I got a lovely piece of black denim though, two small scraps of fabric and three smashing patterns so I am chuffed to bits with that!

My swap table treasures!

We then split off into groups and headed off into Leeds for some fabric shopping. I already have a large stash and some wonderful sponsors who send me fabric so it wasn’t my intention to buy any – and I didn’t! Hurrah! I enjoyed mooching round the B&M fabrics new shop, the market and Samuel Taylors and gathered lots of inspiration! Hunger took over at this point and so the International food court in Kirkgate Market was calling my name. I went for Turkish food but the Vietnamese noodles also looked amazing!


Back at the Sew Up North venue for more chatting before the raffle was drawn. Three years in a row I’ve bought £10+ tickets and still not won a sausage! Never mind though, I would happily pay at least £10 for a ticket to this fab event and I am just so thrilled it goes to Yorkshire Air Ambulance, a charity very close to my heart! Becca has already announced on Instagram, so I don’t mind sharing that over £1000 was raised! That is a cracking achievement and everyone who donated prizes and bought tickets should be incredibly proud – none more so than Becca who organised single handedly this year (we missed you Sally!) and did a smashing job!


After the event I had some time to kill before an exciting evening. I went for a cuppa with my mum to keep her company until her train came and then parked myself in a quiet corner of Pret for a couple of hours knitting. It actually went by really fast and I enjoyed people watching, drinking tea and knitting in peace. A welcome change after a very hectic day!

At 6.30 I made my way over to Waterstones to see Leigh Bardugo talk about her new book Ninth House. I’ve read most of her other books – including the Six of Crows Duology and the Shadow and Bone Trilogy and loved them all! They were all fantasy YA novels so if that’s your thing and you’ve not read them then RUN DON’T WALK! Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom are my favourites so I queued up to meet her and get her to sign my copies of those.


The talk was incredible, Leigh was enigmatic and witty and I have never been to a bookish event where I have laughed so much (and believe me, I’ve been to a LOT of bookish events/readings/author meets etc). She made her new book Ninth House (her first adult novel) sound amazing so that is now firmly on my Christmas list and it was so amazing to meet her. Obviously/unfortunately everyone else wanted to meet her too so it was a very quick and rushed signing with no questions or selfies but the staff very kindly took pictures while she signed my books so I have mementos!

That was a lovely end to a long day and the only reason I said I loved nearly every moment was because the day ended with my train being cancelled and having some drama trying to get home. Eventually I got home just after 11pm too excited to sleep. It was lovely to see so many familiar faces and meet lots of new ones and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!

Until next time, happy sewing!

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