On Saturday 11th August I decided to attend a meet in Regent's Park, London. It was organised by the Otome Sewing Bee, our local lolita fashion sewing group. There were crafting activities to try, as well as a bring and buy area where people were free to spread out picnic blankets covered in all the lolita clothing accessories they wanted to get rid of. I knew a couple of my friends would be there so after a train and tube ride later, I found myself rounding the corner across from Madam Tussauds (which was, naturally, absolutely heaving with visitors) and heading off down the road to the large, lake-filled park.
The weather was OK to begin with-- gentle sunshine and a pleasant temperature. Pretty soon, however, it became very cloudy and a little chilly, blowing my hair all over the place and making me wish I'd thought to bring a jacket. I didn't let this dampen my spirits, however, and as I waited for more of my friends to arrive, I found myself engaged in pleasant chat with Manda, a lovely goth from the South West comm who I hadn't seen since last year's Minori tea party, and Lucy, who was a fellow business owner. It was fun to chat with her about the items she sells and events she attends. I also met someone called Duckie, who flashed me her bloomers to show they were bought from my shop (!), and Kerry, who came prepared with her own lunchbox of leftover takeaway pizza!
There wasn't really that much in the way of food, and what was there was largely sweet things like cakes and cookies. I suppose it was to be expected, and I couldn't help thinking I should have stuck to a plan I'd been weighing up earlier in which I simply turned up to the picnic with a McDonald's Happy Meal! Manda brought some yummy Indian food, though, which pretty much saved the day. The Doritos and salsa dip I'd brought with me also went down a treat with everyone clamouring for something that wasn't sugary!
Jessica, the organiser of the picnic and the sewing group at large, kindly brought along a ton of crafting supplies so that people could make either fluffy pom pom earrings, or a fluffy strawberry. I mainly just sat and watched so that I could learn the technique, as there wasn't quite enough in the way of templates to go round for the number of people joining in the activity. I had a nice catch up with Reina, who made me laugh so much as she struggled to make her fluffy strawberry!
I barely took any pictures at the meet and was pleasantly surprised to find myself in a few taken by others! A few colour edits later and here we are:
|A group of us in the crafting area! Despite what a pain it was, I really liked my hair that day, which is the result of 3 years of natural growth and no chemical relaxers anymore. Just oodles of curls. Photo by Suzanna.|
|The obligatory "funny" picture! I was really surprised by what a great turnout there was. Photo by Suzanna.|
|As with previous craft meets, we matched very well, even wearing the same necklace!|
I opted for a very cherry retro themed coord based around my skirt (available here!)
The day got progressively chillier to the extent I found my arms covered in goosebumps, and I was beginning to shiver. It was clearly time to pack up!
Wing turned up at the tail end of the picnic, and it was great to catch up with her after so long, even though I was freezing by this point and could barely see as the wind continued to whip my hair around! We chatted about art and small business stuff, lamenting the woes of getting back into the creative swing of things after both of us had taken breaks due to our full time "serious" jobs.
The evening was approaching, so I bid my friends farewell outside Baker Street Station and started my journey home. At Paddington, I look at the train timetable and saw my train was leaving in 7 minutes. I took one last wistful look at the McDonald's I definitely did not have time to get food from, and made my way to the correct platform so I could get a seat on the train before it departed.
Overall, I had a lovely day-- much better than I was expecting! As well as enjoying catching up with the people I knew already, it was nice to talk to some new faces and get into some interesting conversations. There is something special about meets like this: I love knowing you can turn up with zero expectation and always find someone to talk to who you never would have had the chance to meet otherwise, and the craft and bring and buy aspects added to the community feeling. While I know I will never go back to the constant meets I indulged in in the past, it's nice knowing I always have a community to come back to, whenever I feel ready.
Thank you so much for reading! Have you been to any nice meetups recently? What did you enjoy about them? I'd love to hear all about it!
See you next time ❤