In January I came across Ali’s post about the next Yorkshire Spoolettes meet up. I had read about last year’s, as well as seeing many subsequent posts featuring makes created with items purchased on the day. I had even visited Dewsbury with my mum at the end of last summer, but mistimed it and went on a non-market day. This second meet up was again in Dewsbury, about an hour from home. It was on a Saturday a week before February half term. Nat said I should go, and that she wished she could come too. I mulled it over, unsure of how much work I would have to do that weekend, but on the Friday evening before, I bit the bullet and left a comment on Ali’s blog, hoping she would see it in time and asking whether it was too late to decide to go – she had already publish this post which listed all of the people who were going. Amongst the list of confirmed Spoolettes were a few names of bloggers whose blogs I regularly read and exchange comments with, and it was this that cinched the deal.
Fortunately, Ali replied and said it wasn’t too late, and even went to the trouble of adding my name to the list of participants. I got up early on Saturday and left home at 9am, driving up a very rainy M1. By 10am I had parked and walked into Dewsbury. I had an idea where the arcades were, so wandered around for a few minutes until I found the café where we were due to meet. As it was empty, I headed towards the market where I quickly spotted several outdoor stalls selling fabrics and notions. I went back to the café and went in at the same time as a lovely lady called Margaret. I ordered coffee and a toasted teacake, and discovered that in West Yorkshire – or in Dewsbury at least – you have to specify that you want a currant teacake, as if not, it’s a plain bread cake! Lesson learnt for next time. We sat and chatted and Ali and two other ladies soon arrived, followed by a steady stream until we were up to our full complement of 17 I think. Some people had brought unwanted fabric and patterns, and I felt bad that I hadn’t especially as it’s on my to-do list to sort through my vintage patterns in particular. I felt slightly guilty taking two pieces of wool plus a vintage-style Butterick pattern that I am already looking forward to trying.
In the café I spoke to lots of people I hadn’t met or necessarily come across online before, but it was so interesting to find out a bit about what people do or did as jobs, where they live and the types of sewing that they are interested in. Everyone was so friendly and the café was full of our chatter and laughter – I think people were a bit mystified by us a group as we trooped around Dewsbury. It was so nice to meet people whose names I knew but who I hadn’t previously met – particularly Ali, of course, and Amanda, Teresa and Corinne. Since getting home I have followed many more of the blogs of the other people I hadn’t met before, and am of course very intrigued to see what they create using yesterday’s purchases.
From the café we put up out umbrellas and headed over to the market. Here we found more stalls selling some truly beautiful trims. I have never seen things like this for sale before so was a little overwhelmed. I bought two types but could have easily spent far more time AND money (although the prices were extremely reasonable – £1pm for the wide trim and 50p pm for the more narrow) – safe to say I will be back.
We then crossed over the roads and went to Fabworks. I had seen it mentioned on blogs but didn’t have a clue what it was. Without doubt, it’s the best fabric shop I’ve visited. Tonnes of choice, friendly and helpful staff and great prices. What’s not to love? I bought four types of fabric, all just beautiful. I feel like this shop was a fairly dangerous discovery, and just know I will be back very soon!
We crossed back over town and went to Lucky Fashions, which considering the size manages to offer a huge range of fabrics again all at great prices. I bought some grey fleece here for an upcoming project, and 3m of navy blue wool mix that I think could make a great jacket. The owner could not have made us more welcome – she had put out loads of refreshments and was again so friendly and helpful.
Just around the corner was our final fabric destination, the £1 a yard shop. This was the only place I had tracked down when I visited in the summer. I had 4 full carrier bags at this point, so I restrained myself from buying any more. Next we went to Wetherspoons and took over half of the upstairs plus a good amount of space where we stored our giant combined haul whilst we ate. It was really nice to have this time to just chat and relax. People gradually began to leave, so I said goodbye to Ali, who was just so warm and easy to chat to, and headed home. I think I smiled most of the way home. It had been such a lovely day of getting to know people and discussing interests with others who are genuinely interested and not just being polite! Plus, I discovered (dangerously) how much Dewsbury has to offer sewists – as long as you visit on a Wednesday or Saturday, and remember to get to Fabworks in time to shop before they close at 2pm.