Lots and lots of lovely Spoolettes! It was a surprise hen party, with 16 Spoolettes in attendance. And I really was surprised - I had no idea that Clare and Sally were cooking this up, and I was totally overcome with shock and emotion that so many of my friends had come along to celebrate. It was amazing, and I played it very cool by immediately bursting into tears. Someone handed me a glass of prosecco and there were more tears - and then I was presented with this:
That badge reads, "Will flirt for gin" and Rehanon gave me a coaster that says, "This person is a gin whore."
It's my own personalised boke bucket, complete with a seductive picture of Alan. It was full of really amazing gifts too - individually wrapped chocolate penises, a bottle of champagne, a Tatty Devine gin bottle necklace, lots of sewing goodies and trinkets, some brilliant hen party paraphernalia and an astoundingly generous £100 voucher for Irregular Choice. So, yes, I cried again. If ever you were in any doubt that you can meet wonderful people over the internet, last night should shoo those thoughts out of your head. All of the women who came along to surprise me last night are people I have been honoured to get to know since I bought my sewing machine four years ago. I had no idea then that it would be a route for me to meet such kindred spirits, but of course I am so, SO glad that it has been.
Anyway, we got some tasty two-for-one cocktails into us before decamping to Topkapi, across the road, for more drinks and delicious Turkish food. If the owner was bemused to see me parading in carrying a bucket with a picture of Alan Partridge on it, he was kind enough not to show it. We ordered a few bottles of wine and busted out the teenie peenies that Elisalex had very thoughtfully provided:
It's not a hen party without penis-shaped straws, is it?
Anyway, all too soon it was time for me to dash through the rain to catch the last train back to Leamington. I'm sad that I can't adequately convey in words in this post how much fun I had last night, and how much it meant to me that Clare and Sally organised this surprise for me. It was the best gift I could have asked for. I really can't believe how fortunate I am to have such amazing friends, truly.
Thankfully, I'd had the presence of mind to book today off work. I was pretty wrecked by the time I got home - a combination of tiredness and the mix of alcohol I'd fired into myself in the few hours I had in London. I've been feeling gently crap all day, but it's been really chilled. I've caught up on Made in Chelsea (Mytton seriously needs to get off my fucking planet) and did some sewing and lazed around on the sofa. It's back to the old day job tomorrow, but who could complain after such an amazing couple of days?!
In terms of sewing - I will have to get photos of what I made today soon, because I love it. But in the meantime, here's another By Hand London Flora dress that I sewed last week:
Aoibhneas na Bealtaine dress and Irregular Choice IC O'Clock heels
Can we just talk about this fabric, though? My friends at Berylune have recently started stocking Cloud 9 fabrics. This is excellent, and terrible at the same time. Terrible for my bank balance, but fantastic to have another place to buy beautiful fabric in Leamington Spa. Even better that it can be from friends. I spotted this Rashida Coleman-Hale print when I went in to check the fabrics out a couple of weeks ago and didn't buy it immediately, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. It's a border print, but a fairly subtle one, and I couldn't resist pairing it with the beautiful Flora pattern.
Specifically, I loved the idea of the smaller-scale floral print of the edges running across the neckline of the bodice and the hem of the skirt front, like so:
To achieve this, I had to cut the bodice on the crosswise grain. As Sonja would say, it's a victimless crime. To be totally honest, though - I did notice a difference in how the bodice fits as a result. My usual size still fits but it's a slightly closer fit than I was expecting. No biggie, but this is not a dress I'd wear if I were planning to eat a big meal. In fairness that's no bad thing. I am a dropper.
Otherwise, not too much to say about the making of this dress - it was a very pleasant Saturday or Sunday afternoon activity a couple of weeks ago. The Flora dress has already become a sewing staple for me - in fact, I was wearing one yesterday, and I already have another one planned with some beautiful floral voile that Annie from The Village Haberdashery surprised me with last week. I tell you what lads, I'm totally spoiled here.
This photo included because vanity. My hair looks nicer here, although you can see the dress better in the other one. Blogging. So hard! Bloggers: SO BRAVE.
Anyway boys and girls, I have to go to bed. Last night's excitement and today's hangover have taken their toll on me, and I need to get the jammies on and watch an episode of something enjoyably shit like Blue Bloods before going to sleep. Night all!