28 April 2013

Guthrie and Ghani is Open for Business!


OMG you guys, yesterday was one of the best days EVER!!!! Lauren opened her Birmingham haberdashery, Guthrie and Ghani, and the place was MOBBED! Talk about roaring success, this was unbelievable!! Lauren has worked so hard refurbishing the building, getting the stock in, sorting out workshops - it's so wonderful that it's all paid off.

When I told Lauren I'd come along to the first day, I expected it to play shops a bit, hopefully a few people would turn up and need serving, maybe have a cup of tea and a catch up with Lauren and the gang... err, no chance! As the taxi drew near 169 Alcester Road, I was keeping my eyes peeled in case I missed the building... again, no chance!

Me: "161, 163, oh... umm... I guess it must be that building there with the QUEUE OF PEOPLE DOWN THE STREET."
Taxi driver: "Woah. What IS this place?"
Me: "Umm... it's a fabric shop."
Taxi driver: "Err... okay. [WTF?]"

This was the moment I jumped onto the cutting table and told everyone to wave to the camera

Embarrassed to be labelled a diva, I slipped past the queue and squeezed my way through the crowds to be reunited with Lauren and Stuart. The next five hours were spent signing autographs (crazy, non?!!!), being photographed, cutting fabric and writing out till receipts. Quite a few of my lovely blog readers were there (so great to meet you IRL!), and so many people were kind enough to say that we'd inspired them to get into sewing, from shy, giggling 5 year olds to pensioners. Debi and David flew in from Scotland especially, and one family had driven all the way from Devon as a surprise birthday treat for their young daughter. The queue outside was long, and the queue for the till was even longer - it went along three walls of the shop! But there was such a wonderful atmosphere in the place, everyone chatting, smiling, laughing, snapping shots and talking fabric, that people didn't mind hanging around for 3 hours or more to be part of it.



Having a giggle; and Lauren wearing her Miette skirt

At one point as I was head down cutting, I heard a familiar voice say across the crowds, "You'd better cut that right!", looked up to see gorgeous Sandra who'd come straight over from her cleaning shift at the hospital. Ann popped by too - I'd forgotten how much I missed her warmth and energy.




It was seriously inspiring to see the impact that the show has had on people's interest in sewing. Furthermore, it was incredible to see Lauren realising her dream. I must admit at one point I totes welled up and nearly started blubbing from excitement at her success (I don't think she spotted that!).

Huge congratulations to Lauren, and thank you to everyone who came along and made it such a special day. Best day ever?

94 comments:

  1. Oh Tilly, thanks so much for sharing these photos with all of us who live too far away, but were there in spirit. Eeek - So many people!!
    Looks like a tiring but exhilarating day for you all.

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  2. That day looked amazing! Great Job, Lauren! I wish I could have just hopped across the pond to be apart of it! If I even make it back to the U.K., no.... scratch that... WHEN I make it back to the U.K. I will be sure to visit.

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  3. It looks like an amazing day - if I live in Brum i'd have been there

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  4. Thanks for sharing those wonderful pictures. Looks like you all had a realy good time !!

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  5. This literally does look/sound like the best day ever. I am totally gutted that I couldn't come, considering I live pretty close! I will definitely be paying Lauren a visit at her beautiful-looking shop soon...in fact, I may try pop over next Saturday. Must have been lovely to see so many fellow sewing contestants as well...eeeep!

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  6. If I lived closer then I would have been there! looks amazing :)

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  7. That looks a great day, wish I lived near.

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  8. Just visited her online shop - makes me want to do something like that when i'm older... :o)

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  9. Wow what an exciting day! Have signed up for the Guthrie & Ghani newsletter - well done Lauren!

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  10. I just love you Tilly, and Lauren and Sandra and Ann. I'm all the way in America, or I would have gone out of my way to make it to the opening.

    Thank you for sharing all these photos, so lovely seeing you all again :)

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    1. And Stuart, how could I forget Stuart lol

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  11. Oh wow, how wonderful! I would have loved to be there, I was thinking of you and Lauren and wondering how it went! A roaring success by the look of it.

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  12. Congratulations to Lauren! Believe it or not, you have lots of friends here in the US too thanks to Ann Rowley and her involvement with Stitcher's Guild. We've been watching you on YouTube et. al. Great good luck to all of you.

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  13. I was there and enjoyed it so much - a perfectly fabulous way to spend a Saturday morning (or any morning actually!).
    Loved seeing you all from the Sewing Bee and everyone was so lovely & friendly.
    Looking forward to following your lovely blog now too :-)

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  14. How lovely! What a beautiful little shop.

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  15. What an absolutely fantastic day! It looks like a seriously beautiful shop and by the looks of it she isn't going to have any trouble in business. :) x

    lemon-freckles.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. Many greetings from Germany, I've seen the great show and I think it was excellent, now I'm following your blogs. Thank you for so much "sewing love", yours Britta

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  17. Oh Tilly! I did well up thinking about how perfect the day must have been for Lauren. What a perfect storm of timing, show airing+store opening=total success. I am only surprised that anyone was able to see anything to buy at all, as the shop looks so crowded.

    If I had been anywhere near England I would have been there too. If only.

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  18. I wish I'd come and said hi to you bit I was a bit too shy! Wasn't it an amazing day? Really looking forward to Lauren's workshops...

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  19. I'd have loved to have gone, but I was in London on a study workshop day, plus I live in Brighton, miles away from Birmingham! Glad you had such an amazing time together!

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  20. Wow Tilly it looks amazing. This is like sewing coming to life!

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  21. How fab and its not too far fom me so maybe this is the answer to my inability to find anywhere near malvern to buy fabric

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  22. Wish I could have been there it looks like it was an amazing day. Glad to see it went so well, and it was lovely to meet you last week :-)

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  23. Such an amazing turnout for Lauren and so nice of her sewing bee friends to attend! Thanks for posting.

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  24. AMAZING!! What a stunning shop! Of course peeps wanted your autograph - I would have asked for it, too! Isn't Ann a legend??

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  25. Oh Tilly, how cool of you to share the excitement! Although, how could you not really, as you must be brimming over. If you're like that, imagine what Lauren must be like, although completely exhausted is probably closer to the mark for her. Good luck for the future of your shop Lauren (she'll have to read your blog now to see all the great things we say about her :-) )

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  26. Wow! That sure is a successful shop opening! How lovely for you to be reunited with your sewing bee peeps :)

    www.mancunianvintage.com

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  27. Lovely post and pictures - it was good to see what went on through the whole day. Everyone I know who went certainly enjoyed themselves and I learned all about quilting in the queue, too! How lovely, too, that all the Bee-ers pulled together to help Lauren on her big day, I found that inspiring and moving!
    Liz B

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  28. I love the pictures and post, well done! I have been enjoying your blog, and of course the Sewing Bees!

    You have all inspired me so much, thank you!

    Bec :)

    www.spinningtopboutique.co.uk

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  29. What a joyous day. It all looks so happy. Jo x

    http://joeveryday19.blogspot.co.uk/

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  30. Hey Tilly, I wished I could have been there, too. Even here in Germany the whole sewing bloggersphere is crazy about the sewing bee show! Thanks for sharing!

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  31. Tilly, so great that you published these pics. So glad to see you're all so close still and major congrats to Lauren. The hab looks awesome. Please pass on my best to everyone when you talk to them. Andrew (as in interrogating vox-pops Andrew)

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    1. Andrew!!! I'm still having nightmares about those interrogations!! But I will indeed send your very best to everyone. x

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    2. Post Traumatic Sewing Disorder?? Sorry Tilly. You know I'm nice really :-) Blog is great BTW… X

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  32. What a fab day - just shows that the sewing bee was no ordinary contest, the way you all bonded and are encouraging and supporting one another now! Would have loved to have been there and love that the sewing bug is getting spread far and wide!
    x

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  33. Fantastic! I am so pleased it all went well for you all :-)

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  34. I think it is fantastic that there is a new interest in sewing. I'm 51 and I did dressmaking at school and got a CSE grade 1! I did a lot of sewing before I had children but I haven't made an item of clothing for over 25 years until I watched the Great British Sewing Bee,I have been knitting & quilting but I have now made a skirt & am planning to make a dress.

    I wish Lauren & yourself the very best for the future.

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  35. I wish I could have been there - it looks fab. It seems that sewing is 'cool' again, of course those of us who have been sewing for years always knew it was cool. Best of luck to all the sewing bee ladies and gents in all their sewing ventures and adventures.

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  36. I followed the great sewing bee on youtube !!! I loved it... I am from the north of France and i sew a lot... I even have my patterns for big size ! I hope to come to the shop one day ! Thanks a lot for your blog;)

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  37. Lauren must be 'sew' proud (and relived).

    I just wanted to thank you, Tilly, for introducing me to Collette Patterns, I've been sewing forva few years and never come across these until reading your blog, I love the vintage inspired designs and will be getting some once I have busted some of my UFOs.

    I've recently decided to be a full-time mum so hoping to have more time for sewing and refashioning, especially as we are now living off one very average salary. Will post pics to my blog as I finally finish items.

    Can't wait to see what you make next.

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  38. Lucky for me I live close by so mooched around the farmers market first then headed over and couldn't believe the line of people! It was so rammed I couldn't get close to meeting you :( although I did meet Stuart outside. The atmosphere was amazing and like you couldn't believe how many people were there. I'll be heading there in the next few weeks to have a look around once its quieter. I hope I get to meet you when you come to do one of your classes x

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  39. Such beautiful encounters on behalf of sewing - that's really a lovely community. Thanks for sharing!

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  40. totes welled up just reading this post all the way in NZ where I've had to watch each episode on you tube! so wonderful x

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  41. How wonderful to see you all fulfilling your dreams :-) and keeping in touch. The show has done so much to make sewing popular again. I took it up a year ago and haven't looked back!

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  42. It was an amazing morning so busy and what a great shop. That is my gorgeous little girl Iris getting Ann's autograph she was sooooo excited x

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  43. I have a grin on my face THIS big and a (happy) tear in my eye while reading your post :) What a fabulous success this has all been!

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  44. Don't I just hate that that silly Atlantic Ocean is between Canada and the UK would have loved to have been there. May be over 'the pond' next fall and if so I'll be certain to make my way to Guthrie and Ghani. Congrats on the roaring success.

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  45. I've just finished watching all four episodes from the States, and having owned a fabric shop of my own for three years, DID tear up at the news of Lauren's big turn-out and gorgeous opening day! What an amazing job of inspiring folks and getting them excited to be sewing--completely awesome. Next time I'm in the UK, will absolutely make this one of my stops! Huge congratulations to Lauren and to all of you. Lots more of the same to you all in the days ahead!

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  46. I wish that I could've been there. I only know you guys from TGBSB, which I've watched on YouTube, because I live in Denmark. ;-) It all looks wonderful and I'm certain that the shop will be a hit.
    Thanks for sharing all the pictures from a wonderful day where dreams may come true.
    :))

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  47. Brilliant selection of photo's, everyone looks so happy, I won't feel so odd now when I say 'I made it'!!!
    Suex

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  48. I love love love all of you!! Thank you Tilly for sharing this grand opening day with Us, and I wish You all the best and that your dream come true too! :) Xo, Giusy

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  49. Fantastic blog Tilly, really enjoyed reading and seeing such fantastic photo's. Everybody having a fab time and feeling the love of sewing. I'm so pleased some of the other members came along to support Lauren on her fantastic journey. Congratulations very jealous I live in Devon and can't get to the shop weekly!!! xxx

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  50. Massive congratulations to Lauren on opening her shop. Having owned a fabric shop for ten years, I know how much work she has a head of her, but how totally rewarding it's going to be and how much she will love it! Can't wait to pay a visit myself!

    Sammy xxx
    http://liveitloveitmakeit.blogspot.co.uk/

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  51. Hi Tilly, I am 17 and just learning how to sew. I am self taught so could you do maybe some simple tutorials? You are amazing and such an inspiration! xox Kyliie

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  52. Wow! A Sewing Bee reunion! Thanks, Tilly, for sharing the excitement of the grand opening with those of us who couldn't be there.

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  53. That's awesome how the grand opening of a FABRIC shop was packed! Really gives me hope that home sewing will become more popular in the years to come.

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  54. It was an amazing day at the shop! This is elle - the girl in the John Lewis check skirt :)

    I am very excited that you are doing some courses at Laurens Tilly!
    Thank you for serving me :)
    Elle

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  55. Wow! Unbelievably cool. I would've loved to be there...

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  56. Thanks for taking such great photos, Tilly, and I wish I could have been there, too. Alas, I live in the USA, so a bit far to travel.

    You and the other Bee'ers have done such a great job in promoting sewing with your enthusiasm and cheerfulness to say nothing of your talents.

    I'm glad to see that your class is fully booked at Guthrie and Ghani. Even though I've been sewing a long time, I can always learn from the younger generation.

    Again, thanks for the brilliant photos..........Laura

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  57. Amazing Tilly!! I found the show on You tube and watched it all in one go. Well done to all of you, you've done such an amazing job :)

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  58. Love GBSB! Best of luck to Lauren with her shop and to you too, Tilly. More people sewing is a wonderful thing! Hope you can visit us at Mood soon.

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  59. So fun to see these pictures! Huge congrats to Lauren!!

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  60. What a bummer that I don't live in England! I would have loved to have been there. I can't believe how many people attended... that's extraordinary!
    Suzy Turner, YA Author

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  61. It's lovely to see that Lauren's shop had a great opening. Unfortunately I don't live near Birmingham, but I've had a look at her website which has lots of lovely goodies on it.
    I bet you needed a strong cup of tea by the time all those people left! Great to see some of the other GBSB people there too.

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  62. What a beautiful day you all seem to have had - I can feel all that happiness through the photos. Big hugs to all of you for spreading the joy of sewing. Liz xx

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  63. My insides are fuzzy! And craving a shop in Lauren's shop!

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  64. Ooohhhwww that looks like so much fun!!

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  65. Oh, Tilly how wonderful ! I wish I could have flown over.
    I'm ever so happy for you and wish all your dreams to come true.

    Very Best Regards,
    Elise

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  66. What a lovely blog, delighted to see how you are all doing after the Sewing Bee! Wonderful that Lauren's new venture is so successful already!

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  67. congratulations! this is so exciting!

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  68. WoW! What a great turnout!! I must admit, I was so jealous looking at these pics. I wish I could have been there. It seems like sewing is so big in the UK. I just don't feel the same level of excitement for sewing here in the US. We have fabric stores closing instead of opening. I'm so happy for Lauren. Her haberdashery really looks amazing and it looks like you all had a marvelous time.

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  69. Wonderful! What a great day! Wish I'd been there! Thanks for sharing Tilly xx

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  70. Hi Tilly! I love you all and it is lovely to see that you all turned out to support Lauren!

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  71. how fantastic, good luck to Lauren I hope all her dreams come true!

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  72. Yay! I just finished the last episode and loved every minute of it! I so enjoyed you and Lauren and everyone else on the show! Congrats Tilly on all that will come from this exposure. You're a national star now :)

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  73. Wow, looks like it was the best day ever. Will definitely be checking out the store next time I go home, where in Birmingham is it?

    http://quirkyprettythingz.blogspot.co.uk/

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  74. Hello! I am a reader of your blog here in the United States (Alabama, to be precise), and I watched the first three episodes of the Sewing Bee back to back, then harassed my husband with endless inquiries as to when he thought the fourth episode would be available! I loved seeing the pictures today from Lauren's debut as a shopkeeper! It makes me wish I wasn't a continent away so I could have joined the shoppers!!!! Best of Luck to Lauren and thanks for your lovely blog.

    Jennifer

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  75. It was a fab day and I really enjoyed meeting you and Lauren and Stuart. I will definitely be back to the shop soon.

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  76. DEFINITELY BEST. DAY. EVER. It was so great catching up with you!!!

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  77. Hurrah for haberdashery! If only I were closer to Brum, one can only hope success will lead to a G&G north of the border!

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  78. good luck to Lauren! my fiance and i both agreed although Lauren didn't win she is also so young compared to the wisdom on Ann, and Lauren seems to be so dedicated... so each to their own! plus she has the courage to go out and open a shop! wish i could visit and buy buy buy.

    :-)

    Allison

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  79. Tilly, thank you for sharing these lovely photos.. I watched each show, and Now... I am totally missing them.lol I am so happy for Lauren, and proud her opening day was so successful.
    Happy sewing to each of you.

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  80. This is so cool ! Everyone is smiling ! I am just so happy for Lauren !

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  81. Oh the shop looks just amazing! Cannot wait to visit when I'm next in Birmingham.

    http://myprettyyorkshirelife.blogspot.co.uk/

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  82. Was completely inspired by all of you in the sewing bee! So happy to have found your website! So happy for Lauren!

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  83. What a fabulous day! Thrilled it was all such a success!! Just wish I could get there.

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  84. Awww - so heartwarming. Almost brings a tear to my eye!!! Here's hoping the opening night success will continue for her little shop!

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  85. I've just found out about this show! Where have I been to have missed such a great show, and now I just found out about your Blog! Thank you so much for sharing all the pictures of your friends on The Great British Sewing Bee. So heartwarming to see the show and read more about here. Thank you!

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  86. Wow! What a happy bunch! This is so lovely, I smiled and cried with happiness for you all... So nice to see something fun and positive going on! Best of luck and congratulations to all you 'Bees'! Catherine...x www.catherinescountrycottage.net

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  87. so much fun! what a brilliant day. crossing my fingers i'll be lucky enough to visit one day.

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  88. HUGE congratulations to all of you! You are seem such a lovely bunch of people. I've always loved sewing and can be quite creative with it, but never had the technical side of it; you've all inspired me to sign up for a dressmaking course, so thank you all of you. Well done Lauren, and thank you Tilly!

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  89. Hello Tilly I am a qualified fashion designer , Love your blog .. I do bespoke as well as complex alterations on bridal wear . wishing you all the very best :) X

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  90. Wow that looked like fun! So happy for Lauren, I really thought she was so sweet on the show. Even better that all of you are so thoughtful and encouraging to each other. Cheers from the states!

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