Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch 


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Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch, NEC March 19th - 22th 2015

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This is the 3rd year I have had a stand at the Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch show at the NEC. This year was the busiest year yet and it was great to see so many D&T teachers.

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Thanks to everyone who came and saw us on the stand, it was great to put a face to some of the names on my mailing list. Apologies to anyone who couldn’t get onto one of my mini workshops or who didn’t get the chance for a more detailed chat because it was so busy. 

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My stand was sponsored by Coles Sewing Centre in Nottingham, which is the venue I use for many of my courses.  They provided the machinery used at the show, including the embellisher that is the prize for my competition. The embellisher was one of the machines I was demonstrating during the show along with an Opal and a H Class 100 machine. 

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Kitronik also sponsored the e-textiles demonstrations and talks that I did throughout the 4 days. Each day there were a number of informal mini workshops along with adhoc demos at other times. Participants had a go at doing a basic e-textiles circuit using a PCB LED, and a switched cell holder. I then talked through potential project ideas and everyone went away with the resources to make either a decorative light or a LED cuff. 

A big thanks to both sponsors as their support is much appreciated and enables the 4 days to be much more interactive and exciting. 

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The 3D printer was a popular new addition to our stand last year and proved equally as popular this year. My husband, Paul, is the real expert in this area so he was very busy talking to members of the public many of whom had never seen one before. It was also great chatting to D&T teachers about how they are using 3D printers in their classroom. As a textiles specialist, it was particularly interesting to be able to share ideas on how 3D printing is relevant to textiles. 

As in previous years a big focus for the 4 days was e-textiles, and just like the 3D printer, this generated a lot of interest from members of the public for whom this was a new idea. As well as showcasing all the free e-textiles resources on my website, I also introduced some new project ideas that can be bought from the website. These included some LED fabric torches, LED cuffs, and decorative lights.

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Over the four days there was a prize draw to win a copy of the The Design Student’s Handbook by Jane Bartholomew and Steve Rutherford. This was only open to teachers or other D&T based staff and the winner was Caroline Prothero from Great Barr School in Birmingham.

It was a lovely surprise to meet up with Jessica Lloyd, who was one of the runners up in my postcard competition last year. She was one of the finalists of the competition for schools that the show holds each year. 

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Along with the other finalists she modelled her work on the catwalk and I was delighted to hear that she was the overall winner! It was great to see Jessica again and to hear about the textiles work she has been doing over the last year. 

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As well as the many stands selling a wide range of textiles items, the show also had a lot of display stands showcasing different designers and makers. There was some very inspirational work using a variety of textiles media. 

Some of the costumes from the Mr Selfridge series were also on display along with some background information on the show and how the costumes were produced. 

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A big thank you to everyone who visited us at the show. We hope to be there next year so look out for details on the website. 

Click here to visit the Fashion, Embroidery & Stitch website

More About the Show


This is a huge annual show held at the NEC mainly aimed at a craft audience, but which is also very relevant to textiles teachers. There are a wide range of exhibitors which include those selling equipment and products, designers and makers, workshops, demonstration stands as well as fashion shows each day. 

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There are also a variety of other events including a schools design competition. 

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As well as the more traditional side of textiles there are also lots of high tech equipment, materials and ideas being showcased. No matter what your interest in textiles is there is something for everyone and the show is a great day out. 


There are actually 3 shows on at the same time and entry to one show gets you into all three (Sewing for Pleasure and Hobbycraft are the other two). Each show has a slightly different focus but all have links to textiles (the Hobbycraft show has a greater focus on card making etc. but it is still worth a visit as there are many textiles related stands). 

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