The Handmade Fair 2015 – live Q&A with Chinelo Bally

THF_2September 2015 saw the second Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Fair grace the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Last year was really fun. I spent most of the weekend occupying the Mollie Makes tent teaching people how to crochet, but this year was going to even more fun.

I had a very important job to do – interview Great British Sewing Bee finalist (and Simply Sewing cover star) Chinelo Bally, on stage no less. How exciting (and frightening, obvs).

THF_3THF_4I spent the best part of the fortnight before making myself another Anna dress and rehearsing my interview questions. But when I got there, talking to Chinelo was such a charm that most of my planning went completely out of the window and we relaxed into a total gossip.

THF_1We were first up on the main stage (and boy did those metal steps leading up to it feel wobbly!) but much to our surprise that didn’t deter a chirpy early-morning crowd. The audience were so welcoming and delightful, it was an absolute pleasure to talk in front of them and involve them in the Q&A.

THF_collageScreen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.09.50 PMA few laughs, a measuring demonstration and a couple of shameless magazine and book plugs later and we were back in the green room. What a blast! Chinelo even made a dress for Kirstie. I really wish they’d have filmed it so that you could all watch it back!

What’s best, just a few weeks prior to the show Chinelo came to Bristol to be our beautiful cover model for Simply Sewing issue 9 - such a stunner. You can still buy a copy of the issue, which includes an exclusive batwing top tutorial from her new book Freehand Fashion (Pavilion Books).

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 12.16.09 PM

Psst! Don’t miss the Handmade Christmas Fair (20 – 22 Nov) at Manchester Central. You can get £7.50 OFF the price of the ticket to the show (normally £17.95) using our special discount code at

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