I just need to touch…

by | Nov 8, 2016

Kimono Jackets at Swinton, Rotherham on Sew Saturday (15th October 2016), held in the newly modernised St John’s Methodist Church.


Sew Saturday is a campaign run by Sew Magazine to encourage their readers to get out and experience bricks and mortar shops for that unparalleled fabric shopping experience. I have written about this before, how shopping online for fabric cannot be fully satisfying as buying fabrics is such a tactile experience, you just need to touch them!

I believe the opposite of that rhyme that kids say: You see with your eyes and not with your hands! Unless I have experienced how something feels, I have not truly seen it! And it doesn’t stop with fabric shopping. This impulse has even got me into trouble when out and about with Gary. We had gone to the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield, I can’t remember what the exhibition was, but there was a 3D printer. It was printing teapots and teapot lids, they were piling up on the floor as the printer printed more and more. I just had to know what they felt like – I had never seen 3D printing before! So I bent down, reached out and touched one. It felt like plastic. But as I touched it, the teapot lid fell to the floor and the sound echoed around the quiet gallery. I picked it up, only to drop it again. At this point the security guard was heading determinedly towards us before I completely wrecked the exhibit and Gary swiftly ushered me to the gift shop, where I was free to touch the merchandise as much as I wanted.

Anyway, needless to say I like fabric shopping in real shops, where I can touch and feel the fabric before choosing what I want to buy and Sew Saturday is a champion of real fabric shops. I decided that BagLadyBird should be involved in this movement as my workshops encourage people to get out from behind their computer screens and venture into the real world and learn skills from a real life person rather than a YouTube tutorial.


My workshops are always welcoming and the door is always open in the various venues I use, but as it was extra special Sew Saturday, we threw the doors wide open and invited anyone who was passing to pop in and have a look at what we were doing. We had a steady trickle of people pop in throughout the day to learn some more about my Learn to Sew Workshops.

I carefully curate a selection of fabrics supplied by Thread Mill Fabrics (just around the corner from the venue) based on the garment, season and the workshop participants. Many of my workshoppers are repeat customers and I quickly build up a knowledge of their taste and style, which allows me to select a variety of options, which leaves them in a dilemma of what to choose to use on the day. They are of course welcome to buy the fabric to make this or other projects at home. Clearly I have caressed all these fabrics as part of my selection process!


Kimono Jackets is a great project and I love the finished garment. It is so wearable and I often throw mine on with jeans and a simple tee, some statement jewellery and heels and it’s a fantastic evening look.

Within my workshops there are sometimes a few more challenging parts to help you skills increase which make the finished garment that much sweeter and all the ladies love their Kimono Jackets.

April said: Thank you so much for the help with my jacket. I love it and I can’t wait to show it off at work next week! X

If you would like to join us for any of the upcoming workshops, check out the upcoming events here.

Alison xx

PS: If you haven’t joined the Learning to Sew Facebook Group yet, you can join up here for extra content, support, inspiration and advice.

*Photos: DN4 Photography

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