It’s a Total Stitch Fest – New Alternative Craft Show Celebrates Handmade in Ireland!

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A new craft event for Ireland will be taking place in Belfast for the first time on Sunday 9th March, when TOTAL STITCH FEST – THE ALTERNATIVE CRAFT SHOW appears at the Ramada Plaza in a big celebration of all that is handmade and unique. Brought to you by the creative folks behind Frock Around The Clock, the new event aims to bring together a community that fosters a burgeoning handmade and DIY culture, and will be the perfect place to shop for one-of-a-kind goods made right here in Ireland, in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere with designer makers who exude a special energy.

TOTAL STITCH FEST will feature a curated marketplace of around 60 designer makers and artisans from all over Ireland who combine new and traditional craft techniques to produce fresh, innovative work not found at mainstream craft shows. There will also be sellers of craft supplies, various craft demonstrations running throughout the day, a Designer Fashion Exhibition by UNIFY, and a fantastic competition to enter. As a nation who lament the loss of our manufacturing heritage, it is time to make amends – forget mass produced and head to TOTAL STITCH FEST for the best in local and Irish handmade products for you, your family and your home!

Creative Director Becky Moore says ‘the idea for TOTAL STITCH FEST was born out the growing success of the handmade element of our Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fairs over the last 5 years, and also the popularity of our craft workshops which we ran with textile artist Rosie Moore of Cut Out Doll. Through this new event we seek to provide inspiration and learning to both a new generation of crafters and seasoned craft addicts, as well as a quality handmade shopping experience which features Irish creative talent. Our commitment is to showcase the best and brightest in indie craft and design so TOTAL STITCH FEST is aimed at shoppers who seek niche and handmade products in opposition to mass produced items, and all handcrafted products available at our Alternative Craft Show will be made by Irish crafters, designers and artisans. With the growing interest in buying local we hope to encourage socially-minded consumers to boost the local economy by purchasing unique gifts handcrafted in their own community and by connecting with the people who made them’.

The craft marketplace will include suppliers of craft materials such as Abacus Beads, The Textile Studio, Simply Spun, and Fine Fish Yarns as well as many designer and artisan stalls selling a wide variety of high quality, unique handmade products including clothing and fashion accessories, furniture, home décor & soft furnishings, art & photography, jewellery, gifts, toys, artisan foods, bath & beauty products, candles, and much more! Exhibitors will include Ewe Sir, specialising in giclee prints, greetings cards and felted original artworks of native Irish wildlife, Petite Jou Jou, creator of unique toys and baby accessories, Vintage Aggy and Molly, selling gorgeous one-of-a-kind miniature teacup dolls, Purls of Colour, creating unusual handknitted accessories using natural fibres, handspun yarn and fabric strips, B-Louise, specialising in crocheted fashion accessories, birds and upcycled lampshades, Colour and Cloth, with handmade designs in scarves and cushions created from naturally hand-dyed textiles, Smudge Illustration, showcasing beautiful textile artworks produced from recycled fabric and thread, Junk Jewels, an upcycling duo who create a variety of funky upcycled items including old suitcases turned into chairs, and Koko Designs, architects of hand painted silk lampshades, scarves, notebooks and bags.

TOTAL STITCH FEST will also include a Designer Fashion Exhibition by Belfast-based collective fashion studio UNIFY. A collaboration between designers of different disciplines, the exhibition will include cutting edge designs in fashion, bridal wear, millinery and jewellery from exciting young designers including David Henderson, Shaua Fay, Kiera Ann Marie Phillips, Marie Claire Millinery and Melanie Bond Jewellery. Visit www.unifyni.com for more details.

The event will also feature various craft demonstrations running alongside the craft marketplace throughout the day. Visitors will be able to see designers and artisans in action, demonstrating many crafts including spinning, fabric strip knitting, appliqué, fabric flower making, wet felt making, fashion upcycling, and much more. Some demonstrations will be interactive giving visitors the opportunity to ‘make and take’ a small something away with them. It is the perfect opportunity to meet the makers in person, and talk about their handmade goods and creative processes.

Visitors to the event will be able to enter a free draw for the chance to win a collectible Irish wildlife print from Cork based textile artist Molly Ellis of Ewe Sir, and 2 runners up will each win a pack of wildlife cards. Specialising in needle-felted illustration, appliquéd textile art, and native irish wildlife, Molly’s foxes, deer, and badgers are all made with a unique fusion of contemporary and traditional felting techniques. She also makes all her Giclee prints from start to finish and, by using archival paper and pigment, the prints are often mistaken for the originals.

TOTAL STITCH FEST – THE ALTERNATIVE CRAFT SHOW will take place from 12-5pm on Sunday 9th March 2014 at Ramada Plaza, 117 Milltown Road, Shaws Bridge, Belfast BT8 7XP. Admission costs only £5. More information on the event and the exhibitor list can be found at frockaroundtheclockvintagefairs.com

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