Sunday, February 20, 2011

This whole world has made me crazy, crazy as a loon.

Hey you guys! It's been nearly a week since I wrote a blog and, truth be told, I feel a little bit guilty. Last week was a bit of a slog. My creaky old RSI shoulder was playing up BIG STYLE, I had a lot of boring and fairly physically demanding (as far as, y'know, an office job gets physical) work to do. By Friday evening I was up for a fun time, but a slow-burning headache that had started on Thursday morning kicked off into a horrible migraine on Friday night. I took myself to bed at 9:30, feeling very sorry for myself and very worried I wouldn't be fit for a day out in London on Saturday. So that's what's up with the old radio silence last week, but you weren't missing too much. I did get a new dress (well, I received a dress I bought from Brandalley back in January) and you can see it when I wear it.

Anyhoo. Thankfully the migraine was gone by Saturday morning. It was raining and dull, so I can't say I was up bright and early, but I was up early. Nic, Alysa and I were off to London. Nic had a writing day planned with his friend JP and Alysa and I were taking part in the fabulous Karen's Walthamstow Shopping Frenzy. I was super-excited to finally get to meet Karen, whose blog I have been reading and enjoying for ages. Lysy and I pitched up late thanks to an absolutely horrendous queue to top up Oyster cards at Paddington (Nic to me: "It's a good job you don't have a weapon.") but we caught up with Karen and her enthusiastic band of sewists at Saeed's fabrics. Shopping-wise, Walthamstow Market did not disappoint. Lysy and I both managed to score some excellent fabric finds. In Saeed's fabrics, Lysy found some jersey with a gorgeous drape to it for £2 a metre, and I made my first non-cotton fabric purchase with this beautiful Hobbs-esque pure wool:

It was £5 a metre and well worth it. It's not exactly Spring-y, but I plan to make myself another Rooibos with this, which should be good for these chilly not-quite-Spring days. I'm going to make a few adjustments to the pattern (I'm going to change the neckline a bit) and pipe the pockets and the neckline to pick out the beautiful turquoise in the wool. Saeed's fabrics alone would have been well worth the trek out to Walthamstow, in my opinion. And not just because of the selection either. The people running the shop were incredibly helpful and friendly, as well as knowledgeable and interested in what you were doing (a far cry from my experience in Birmingham's Fancy Silk Stores, although their selection is so good I will give them another try at some point) I will definitely be back to Saeed's fabrics.

The next stop was the fabric stall outside Sainsbury's, and again we both managed to score. I bought some beautiful gingham for my planned Dorothy dress:

There's no place like home! This will look awesome with my sparkly shoes.
This was £2 a metre and it has a really nice drape to it. I can't wait to get sewing with it! Again the stallholder was so friendly and helpful - I think nearly everyone found something nice from this man. We wandered on up, I picked up some notions and so did Lysy. It was a good day. Better than the shopping was meeting the other sewists. Everyone was so friendly and so fun! I was so intent on shopping and chatting that I didn't get my camera out all day, but Karen wrote up a post about it, which you can read here. She has linked back to the fantastic ladies I met yesterday, and you can be sure I'm going to be following up what they get up to with their purchases.

Lysy and I didn't join the ladies for lunch because we had other plans - to head over to Angel to catch up with Nic and JP and some other friends. Looking at the tube map, I noticed that the Holloway Road was on our route there so it seemed like it would be rude not to pay a visit to the Vivien of Holloway shop. Well, okay. I admit it. It wasn't strictly on our route to Angel. We had to change at Finsbury Park, but still. They had a sale on! We went for lunch and a drink first, back to that awesome pub The Coronet that Nic and I went to before Christmas, fortifying ourselves before a session of twirling around in dresses. I had been pretty pleased with myself for not succumbing and buying something in the sale when it was announced online on Friday, but faced with all the dresses and with some cash in my purse, my resolve crumbled. In any case, the dresses were a bit more reduced in the store than online, and without having to pay the £5 postage... well, I have no discipline. What can I say? I'd have just spent that £35 on a dress anyway. I'll show you a photo of what I bought when I wear it, but here is a sneak preview

Peachy keen, jelly-bean.
Shopped out, we headed on over to Angel to the Old Red Lion Theatre. I had a morning of making new friends, and the afternoon was all about meeting old friends. Gathered in the pub with Nic and JP were some awesome people, among them one of my favourite ever people, a gentleman by the name of Dave. We had a few hours of catching up with good people, and I even got a present! A somewhat belated birthday present from JP and his lady Han. A permanent calendar by Sukie, which even has a little window for weather:

And these amazing sewing notions:

Those little crayons? They're buttons. So are the little sewing machine and the spools of thread in the other package. Aren't they awesome?

Nic and I were tired but very pleased with our day when we caught the train back to Leamington, and we finished up by getting takeaway masala dosa from Kayal. It was such a good day, and I am so grateful to Karen for organising it. She was fab, and I hope we can do it again sometime.

Today has been all about catching up. It was too cold and miserable to get out and do much, so apart from some grocery shopping and some chores (a lot o'ironing) I've been chilling out. However, I still managed to save a pair of shoes as part of Shoeperwoman's Shoe Challenge:
Sunday 20th February 2011
Fever Asturias dress and Irregular Choice Hermia wedges
I try not to play favourite with my dresses, but this one is special to me. I dreamed about it before I bought it, which I know sounds crazy, but it's true. Needless to say, I love the enormous pockets and the pleating, and the colour. It's a good'un. The shoes are more Irregular Choice shoes, they're a few seasons old now but I bought them new on ebay. I really like the asymmetrical strap and, although you can't see it in the photo they fasten with the cutest button. You can see better here:
Shoes No.26 - Irregular Choice Hermia wedges
Irregular Choice Hermia wedges
They have the same funny little demi wedge as my mermaid shoes, and I really like the contrasting white heel. Some Irregular Choice shoes are mad, but I think these ones are quirkily classic. I'm pretty happy to have saved them.

That's your lot from me for this evening, but I'm hoping to be more on top of things this week. I didn't manage to answer the Friend Friday questions this week, but I might get around to them in a day or two. In the meantime, go and have a look at Franca's post on the subject and Amber's as well. And when you're done doing that, Ria's blog About Your Dress is having a birthday and running some giveaways too, so go and have a look there too! That's enough link-pimping from me. I've got a hot water bottle, a book, and a cup of tea to be getting on with. I'll see you all soon.