The second half of my highlights from this year’s Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace covers the what is main focus of the show: Fabric crafts – fashion sewing, quilting, embroidery and related pursuits. (If you’re looking for yarn and fibre, you’ll want my previous post).
As I mentioned last time, I went to Ally Pally in a strict blogging-only capacity – no shopping allowed! My resolve was firmly tested by the many goodies I discovered, so I was very happy that Stoff & Stil‘s stand was dedicated to garment samples rather than rolls of fabric temptation.
Their beautifully presented garment showcase was both displayed on rails to touch and feel, and on actual humans (the staff were all dressed in sample garments, I did not try to touch and feel those).
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that I discovered this Danish brand earlier this year and I’m quite taken with them for their wearable prints and huge range of quality fabric. I have had my eye on their striped rib pieces, and I can verify that they are super nice in real life, and give garments that professional finish with minimal effort.
At this point I must apologise for the poor quality photography. I don’t take a flash to the event because it’s already hard enough to get through the crowds without the extra bulk, so I’m dependant on the extremely variable lighting in the venue. Space is also very limited. I do my best but I don’t feel that I’ve done the following exhibitors justice!
My next sewing discovery is independent pattern brand Trend Patterns.
Trend Patterns specialise in catwalk-inspired garment designs, created by professional pattern cutter Lucy Sinnott who single-handedly launches a new collection every season (I asked how she manages this and guess what, the answer is “hard work”).
I fell in love with Trend’s sharp detailing and flattering, on-trend designs, with plenty of interest for the experienced sewist. Go check them out!
Another independent, but very different pattern brand that caught my eye is The Maker’s Atelier.
I loved their clean lines and classic styling in plain fabrics. Their book is excellent value with seven paper patterns included.
Moving on to quilting and embroidery which, if I’m honest, I don’t normally get excited about. But WOW, there were a two exhibits inspired by urban landscape and culture that left me unexpectedly mind-blown.
These pieces from artists belonging to the Studio Art Quilt Associates push the limits of quilting with such skill that I struggled to decipher the techniques used, and with the incredible photo-realism of the piece above it’s easy to forget it’s even textile-based.
I have not been able to credit the individual artists. I couldn’t make sense of which caption related to which piece, if you happen to know then please contact me so I can credit them properly.
My final discovery and the person I most enjoyed meeting is textile artist Suzanne Redois, whose vibrant is inspired by the melting pot of New York City.
Suzanne’s work spans art, fashion and surface design, and has such a tactile quality, so I was very happy she encouraged me to look with my hands.
I was extremely surprised to learn that Suzanne recently graduated (from Nottingham Trent, where I studied graphic design and many of my friends studied fashion no less). Her exhibit is accomplished and style well-developed and confident. Definitely someone to watch!
To sum up my trip, despite many folks feelings that The Knitting & Stitching Show has become too busy, too commercial and too sewing-y, I had a fantastic (albeit quite intense) couple of hours and left with so much inspiration, and a feeling that the show is still providing a great platform for independent businesses and artists. I’m looking forward to next year already.