Aaanyway. It's been a good, and restful, weekend. Just what I needed after my week. I usually work at home on Fridays and this week was no exception, so coming home on Thursday evening always feels a bit like the start of the weekend. I was even more keen to get home from work this Thursday because I knew there was a parcel of goodness waiting for me at home...
I hadn't been shopping again - not this time, anyway. This was a parcel of gifts from the wonderful Sarah of Rhinestones and Telephones. In September she launched her 52 Dresses project and she and I put our heads together to organise a swap. As fellow dress-lovers separated by an ocean, it seemed like a fun way for Sarah to get closer to her goal and for me to, well, get some new dresses. We agreed to spend £40/$50 Canadian each on each other and to keep it a surprise. It seems Royal Mail is a bit quicker than Canada Post - Sarah posted her parcel to me on 23rd September! But it was extremely exciting when it did arrive and I tore it open eagerly. And what a treat!
The contents of the parcel were a complete surprise and I was floored by Sarah's thoughtfulness and generosity. Along with a pretty polka dot frock from Modcloth and a gorgeous petrol-blue knit dress from Tag, Sarah had included two dresses she'd made for me! I know I shouldn't be surprised that a gift from a sewing blogger would include handmade dresses but I was so thrilled and touched that she had made them especially for me. As well as the dresses Sarah had included a letter and some other gifts:
A handmade hair flower, an adorable kit for making a needle case and two Mirasol Farm soaps
Of course I couldn't wait to get wearing the frocks! Yesterday was bright and sunny, even if it was a bit cold, and I took the chance to wear the modified Colette Truffle dress Sarah had made for me.
The Pursuit of Love Colette Truffle dress and Carvela court shoes
This fabric is fabulous, isn't it? The combination of the Paris theme and the pinup girls is just darling, and it's why Sarah picked it out for me. One of the details reminded me of one of my very favourite books, The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford.
In the novel the heroine, Linda, runs away to Spain to be with her lover. This doesn't work out well and she is forced to make her way home. At the Gare du Nord in Paris she finds, to her despair, that her ticket has expired and she is stranded in Paris without enough money for even a meal.
Linda sank onto her suitcase and began to cry; nothing so dreadful had ever happened to her before. She cried bitterly, she could not stop. People passed to and fro as if weeping ladies were the most ordinary phenomenon at the Gare du Nord... She became aware that somebody was standing beside her, not an old lady, but a short, stocky, very dark Frenchman in a black Homburg hat. He was laughing. Linda took no notice, but went on crying. The more she cried the more he laughed. Her tears were tears of rage now, no longer of self-pity.
This is how Linda meets her darling Fabrice, the man who gives her Paris, a love of fashion and the happiest 11 months of her life. I know the lady on the suitcases above isn't crying, but she couldn't help but make me think of Linda in the Gare du Nord. If you haven't read The Pursuit of Love, you must! My copy is one of my most treasured possessions, as I bought it in Shakespeare and Company the first time Nic and I visited Paris together.
The dress itself is adorable and full of sweet details like the dobby cotton lining and the lace on the hem - and this pretty little button at the back:
I'm so touched by the effort Sarah went to in making this dress - it's so beautifully finished! The bodice is a wee smidgen big but this isn't a problem. Sarah switched out the skirt from the pattern for a full, gathered skirt and it's so pretty! It's just exactly my style as well, which is what's so touching. I love it so much, I got my copy of the Colette Sewing Handbook out on Saturday afternoon and traced the pattern off! I loved doing the swap with Sarah - I really enjoyed picking out dresses for her and I know she's planning a post soon about what I sent to her. It was a fun way to add a few more dresses to my collection and an excellent way to bond with Sarah. So, yay, basically. Thank you, Sarah!
So, I wore this dress out and about on Saturday. Not that you can tell from that photo but I had my hair done on Saturday (but then it was all windy) and spent the afternoon running errands in town. Nic and I met up with some friends for a drink in Wilde's in the afternoon and, well, that turned into a fair few glasses of the old house red. Which was excellent fun and actually just what we both needed, as well as being a lovely way to catch up with some loved ones. But of course coming back to the flat a little bit worse for wear in the early evening could only mean one thing - the Kate Bush records came out. Not that I have to be drunk to listen to Kate Bush - if you follow me on Twitter or even just know me a little bit, you know that I listen to Kate Bush a lot, but even more so when I've had a few jars. It was lush - we did Lionheart and then The Whole Story.
Again, I don't have to be drunk to want to dance to Kate Bush, nor to sing along to her songs. Nic took this picture of me singing along and dancing to In Search of Peter Pan without me realising it:
And I will be an astronaut and find Peter Pan...
Hey but you actually can see the dress really well in this photo! It made me laugh so much to find this. For one thing it gives me an insight into what it's like to be Nic but also, I think this might be my favourite ever photo of me. This is what I feel like on the inside - I'm this silly person miming dramatically to Kate Bush because I feel too happy not to! I texted this photo to my Daddy because I thought it would make him laugh, and his reply was "Wuthering Heights?" - ha! To be fair that is usually it!
I'm going to sign off here as I need to help Nic to make the dinner. I'm going to leave you with this photo of how beautiful Leamington was looking on Saturday afternoon:
I'll be back later in the week with another one of Sarah's beautiful dresses... see you all then!