A stitch in time……. at the NEC

Are you a fan of crafting?  Then get along to Sewing for Pleasure, Fashion Embroidery & Stitch and Hobbycrafts where you can be a part of Britain’s best stitching, beading, knitting and textile art show.

Taking place at the NEC, Birmingham from the 22 – 25 March, the show will bring together over 200 exhibitors including some of the finest craft experts from across the region who will have the latest supplies and advice for all your crafting needs.

Sewing for Pleasure and Fashion Embroidery & Stitch at Birmingham NEC

Sewing for Pleasure and Fashion Embroidery & Stitch at Birmingham NEC


Local dress designer Karen Delahunty from Coventry will be headlining one of the many free catwalk shows hosted by Brenda Killigrew from the Inkberrow Design Centre in Redditch.  Karen, a previous student of the Inkberrow Design Centre will wow the crowds with her Cadbury couture creation, a corseted gown made entirely of Cadbury Dairy Milk wrappers, hand woven with fabric and yarns.   Karen’s inspiration for this spectacular piece came from learning about the history of Birmingham’s trademark chocolate brand and in particular Cadbury Dairy Milk, which launched in 1905.

Karen’s Cadbury creation, entitled the Queen of Chocolates, will feature on the catwalk shows at 1pm on Thursday and Saturday and at 11am and 3pm on Friday and Sunday.

The Alison Victoria School of Sewing, the largest school of sewing in Europe based in nearby Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire, will be offering top tips and advice in the Sewing Clinic.

Local yarn specialists The Toft Alpaca Shop from Dunchurch will be on hand at this year’s show with expert advice; a range of luxury British knitting yarn made from alpaca wool; plus fashionable patterns and knitting kits perfect for any knitting newcomer.  Kerry Lord set up the company in 2006 after graduating from York University and wanted to be able to turn alpaca fleeces into products that would appeal to both crafts enthusiasts and fashionistas alike.  She is now the first UK manufacturer of luxury Alpaca products, turning their fleeces into yarns.  She has launched both a well designed ‘Ready to Wear’ collection which includes accessories, cushions and knitwear and a affordable collection of ‘Ready to Knit’ kits allowing customers to either buy the finished item or knit it themselves for less.

As well as this, The Toft Alpaca Shop will be embracing ‘the Best of British’ in time for the Diamond Jubilee with special patterns available for everyone to try.  Kerry said, “Our aim is to promote knitting to a new audience and encourage beginners to pick up the needles. No longer associated with grannies, knitting is now appealing to teenagers and young professionals desperate to create their own chunky accessories to rival the ones they see on catwalks.”

  • A collection of costumes from the first hit TV series of Downton Abbey, showcasing the exquisite needlework and craftsmanship that went into their design.
  • Mr X Stitch from Kirstie’s Handmade Britain will be bringing new trends in embroidery and needlecraft to the show.
  • The new Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles collection, The Romance of Words celebrating the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’.
  • Reveal your inner fashionista at The Sewing Hub – a haven for dressmakers and style fans looking for something unique on a budget.
  • Learn how to update and re-invent your wardrobe in the Stitch Diva’s Den.
  • Choose a new pattern and start from scratch with inspiration and guidance from The Dressmakers’ Pattern Bar.
  • Poetry in Stitches 3 continuing the collaboration of words and craft with the most recent round of this ever-popular project from the National Needlework Archive.
  • Glimpses of Blighty is the theme for this year’s prestigious Madeira embroidery competition, which will be judged and displayed at the show.
  • Experts will be on hand to give their top tips and advice to those exploring a new craft.
  • FREE programme of Quick & Easy Workshops and Talks each day of the show.


Brenda Killigrew, owner and founder of the Inkberrow Design Centre, Redditch will be hosting the many catwalk shows at Fashion Embroidery & Stitch. These exciting free fashion shows will feature the exquisite work of talented local students and exhibitors giving them the chance to show off their garments on the catwalk and inspire show goers.

The centre has been running since 1992 and offers courses in fashion, textiles, both City & Guilds and recreational as well as a programme of one, two and four day workshops in a variety of textiles subject, covering Millinery, Fashion, Fashion illustration, Tailoring, Pattern cutting, Corsetry, Machine Embroidery, Soft furnishing and interiors.

The catwalk shows will take place daily at 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00 – each catwalk showcasing a different selection of textile garments and pieces.

Sewing for Pleasure, Fashion Embroidery & Stitch and Hobbycrafts

22-25 March 2012
Open 09.30-17.30 (Sunday 17.00)

Adults £11.50 on door (£9.50 advanced price)
Seniors £10.50 at door (£8.50 advanced price)
2 Day Ticket (advance only) Adults £16 Seniors £14
Children under 16 free if accompanied by parent, otherwise £5

Buy tickets on-line at www.ichf.co.uk  or Phone Ticket Hotline: 01425 277988