Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's David Niven, it's Stewart Granger, it's Nigel Havers. It's a green blazer.

Evening all! Having had an day indoors of marking, with only the builder outside and The O.C. season 3 boxed set to stop me going mad with boredom, I'm really super glad that it's the end of the work day. It's been busy as ever, and set to stay that way, but things are pretty good. After being so emotional last week I feel like my equilibrium has been restored, which is really good.

I had a very lovely weekend, which of course helped. On Saturday morning, Nic and I headed to London for a day out with some sewists. In a nice coincidence, Solvi of Delfinelise and Anneke of Annette Tirette were both going to be visiting London at the same time, so we planned a mini meet-up with Kathryn of Kathryn's Busytown. We agreed to meet at Bill's on Brewer Street for brunch, before having a nose around the Liberty sale. As ever, despite never having met any of these lovely ladies before, within minutes we were all chatting like old friends - so much so that it took us ages to even look at the menus! After a very large and very tasty brunch in Bill's, we wandered over to Liberty (and Nic and Anneke's boyfriend Dimitri went to Gosh Comics on Berwick Street.) I'd never actually been to the Liberty haberdashery, which, I know. I must admit though, while I liked it, I didn't love it. The tana lawn is undoubtedly lovely to touch but a lot of the prints just aren't really me, so it was easy to restrain myself. Although I did buy some Merchant and Mills beeswax, which is something I have been meaning to do for ages.

Meeting up with other seamstresses makes you super-conscious of what to wear. Luckily, I had a new handmade dress ready to bust out for the occasion:

Funnybones dress
The Funnybones dress - worn with Office 'Love Me Tender' shoes

After I made my Rue Paul Albert dress a while ago, I still wanted a dress made from toile du jouy. I haven't impulse clothes shopped for a while, but I bought this Alexander Henry 'Midnight Pastoral' fabric from Fabric Yard one afternoon a few weeks ago when I was idly browsing. I was really impressed with Fabric Yard, I must say. They have a flat rate postage of £1 and my fabric arrived really quickly - I'd definitely shop with them again. Anyway, the fabric is really cool. I love the fact that from a distance it looks very traditional but close up, it's something a bit different:

I love the attention to detail - the little skeletons are just like the pastoral characters you'll see peopling a toile du jouy print, but they are skeletons! Anyway, typically of the Alexander Henry fabric I have sewed with in the past, this was lovely quality and beautiful to sew with. For the bodice, I used an old faithful, Butterick B5748, and went for a gathered skirt because WHY NOT. I fully lined the dress using a lovely cotton sheet, and I hand-picked a lapped zip. Standard.

Funnybones dress
New Dress Face

Derp Back

After a browse around Liberty we caught up with the boys and headed East to Brick Lane. Kathryn of Yes I Like That is always going on about The Shop on Cheshire Street as a source of cool and cheap vintage fabrics, so we made a beeline for there. It did not disappoint, and we all bought something there. The fabrics were cheap and plentiful, if a bit dusty and once I picked out something I had to go and stand outside. I'll definitely go back, though! All fabric-shopped out, we retired to the nearby Carpenter's Arms for a drink and a chat:

A very international group of sewists - Kathryn (Scottish), Solvi (Norwegian), Anneke (Belgian) and me (Irish) - plus our English photographer, Nic! How very cosmpolitan of us.

Afterwards we went back west to meet Zoe of So, Zo... who was in town teaching at Sew Over It. Solvi suggested that we go to Brasserie Zedel, which has a fabulous art deco cocktail bar. It's to my great shame that I didn't take any pictures in there because it was so beautiful, but Nic and I are going back next week to sample more of their cocktail menu so maybe I will then! It was really good to get the chance to meet Zoe - hers was one of the very first sewing blogs I ever read, and she is just as funny and charming in real life as she is on the internet. I particularly enjoyed her skills at recognising what sewing patterns we were all wearing! I was sad to leave Zedel, especially as the cocktails were so nice, but Nic and I had to bate it back to Marylebone to catch our train back up to Leamington. It was a really lovely day out though, and I made some lovely new friends. Can't be bad, right?

I did some sewing on Sunday, making a dress from a brand new (to me) pattern, so I'll post about that on Friday along with a sewing-related giveaway! But for now, well, I've been marking today so I went out this afternoon and bought myself a treat:

Someone is going to be drunkenly live-tweeting episodes of Inspector Morse tonight.