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… Saturday morning, Antwerp, running slightly late, Margot and I found Viggo’s coffee bar and a whole crowd of sewers…

… the lady at the next table, apparently a local politician, asked me curiously “what is the event? a school reunion? an association? I have never seen so many people in this café?” I had to explain further when I answered “a sewing blogger’s meetup, and no, most of us don’t actually know each other…”

… from the coffee bar we headed out to explore the local fabric shops, a small place with a good selection of African wax, on to the incredibly organised and well stocked Moens, passing via an intriguing looking haberdashery that was unfortunately closed. I think most of us left Moens with something, I bought a couple of things, but even 25 enthusiastic customers didn’t make the sales lady smile…

… next stop. Madame Tirette, shop, atelier and where we met Hanne. Once we had all succumbed to some of the lovely bright and beautiful jersey they had to offer, the bolts of fabric were put away and we took over the atelier’s cutting table for the much anticipated fabric swap. It is never clear whether people are more excited to be getting rid of their extra fabric, or about the new pieces they are picking up… either way, it is a win win!

… all swapped out, we packed up our bags, put back on our coats and headed to an Indian restaurant for lunch. What a fabulous place, really genuine, full of Indians, delicious food and amazing mango lassis! I think we all ate too much!

… once we rolled out the restaurant, we propped ourselves up in front of a couple of garage doors for the group photo, and then continued on with the program, to the fashion museum. Here the group split with half deciding they would rather keep shopping and visit a couple more fabric shops, while the rest of us went to learn about the rise of Antwerp as a fashion capital…

… I came home with 7 pieces of fabric: 3 bought, 4 swapped. I had taken 3 pieces to the swap that all went to new homes. I had planned on buying a piece of jersey for another self drafted cardigan, which is the green jersey I found at Moens. I also couldn’t resist a beautiful grey broderie anglaise cotton, I expect this will become another scout tee. I have a thing for jersey scarves, wearing them almost daily to work, so I snatched up a lovely piece of floral jersey at Madame Tirette, and another small piece of blue floral in the swap. The other pieces I picked up in the swap were some blue/grey jersey that will be great for a t-shirt or some other knit top; a lovely light weight brown knit that I think will make a wonderful summer weight cardigan or sweater for travelling; and a huge piece of modern geometric floral green knit, that I have no idea what I will do with, but no one wanted it, and I am sure I will find a good use for…

grand day out @ grt*escp… home and waiting for friends to go out for the evening… I have 30 minutes, my sewing machine is out, so I quickly sew up one scarf, then the next… two down, five projects to go!

grand day out @ grt*escp grand day out @ grt*escp… the (possibly in)complete list of bloggers that met: the fantastic organising committee – Anneke, Lieke, Hanne and Ilse; and the rest – Heidi, Karolien, Ivy, Annie, Sofie, Lieselot, Lieve, Lindsy, Regina, Riet, Caroline, Emily, Eline, Jo, Joost, Kim, Laura… and Erika and Margot who don’t blog…

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