Sunday, 31 March 2013

Wedding Vows

I know this doesn't look like an inspiring pile of card but it represents a big tick on my mammoth 'To Do' list
Just remnants and off cuts left

  • Day invitations - DONE
  • Delivered to the Bride - DONE
  • RSVPs received - evening list revised - DONE
  • Evening invitations - DONE
  • Delivered to the Bride - DONE
Whew - cannot tell you how good it feels.

Now just need to crack on with confetti pouches, favour pouches, place cards, table names, order of service and seating plan!

I'm making a vow, a declaration, a pledge - I'm not doing any more weddings.
I love this particular bride dearly, a sweet colleague, but this is it, I'm done. Wedding stationery isn't a one off creative piece, it's solid days and days of work on the same thing. Actual work, I'm working for nothing, on my precious days off. It doesn't feel creative, it's repetitive. That's mad isn't it?
I'm pants at saying 'No' - I don't like disappointing people, this is not one of my better traits. Perhaps even a bit pathetic because this lovely bride checked it was OK and I kept saying 'Yes'. Oh dear, am I hopeless?
Please tell me I'm not alone - so, if you make things, how do you deal politely with the conversations that start "Oh, you crochet/knit/sew/bake don't you? Could you make .. ? By next week/tomorrow/this afternoon"
Every time I say 'yes' to something I don't want to make I take away from the possibility of doing something more positive - I have a whole heap of little dresses I'm waiting to make for charity.
I think I need to be a bit less accommodating - I'm not comfortable, I'm off to practice ... has anyone got any 'go to' phrases I can use?

Friday, 29 March 2013


I know, I know ... I don't actually need any more patterns but tell me, hand on heart, could you have left these in the charity shop? Seriously? They were 50p each - would have been rude to leave them there.

I'm actually not sure I'm going to make either of these but you never know -
they're both about the same age as me, I feel an affinity!

If you ignore the 70s styling, this dress is fab, perfect for work, I'm definitely planning to give it a go
I'm not entirely sure why the lady in the red dress is clutching a piece of pizza!
Please excuse the yellowish tinge, I've given up trying to find a good time to take photos in this persistently wintery weather!

I love this pattern - I'd definitely plump for
the suit as my favourite

There are a couple of gems - largely because of the clues to the sewists who owned them before, I love these kinds of details ...

Obviously the lady who made the pattern above was frugal and figured out how to save some fabric -
I don't think I'd have to lengthen the sleeves, I officially have short arms

And, because she made her own facings, I've been able to date this from the newspaper - 1971

Love, love, love these - I have a bit of a thing about the Woman's Realm pattern service - I know, total saddo!
Because people cut out coupons from their magazines they nearly always seem to have bits of paper and
things in the envelope - I was not disappointed this time ...

Not only do I love the coat - but look how the previous owner cut the photo out of the magazine
and stuck it on a filing card.  This is absolutely what I would do, I have an image in
my mind of her patterns all in a little box, sorted into types :)

Definitely pre-1971 as it's 'old' money - I can, sadly, remember this happening, the year my brother Yoda was born
I wouldn't hesitate to wear View C now, if I pluck up the courage to make a blouse!

Speaking of patterns, and general marvellousness of sewing people, I spectacularly failed to mention the pattern I won in the Sew Christine giveaway ...

It's a beauty isn't it?  This was my first choice, I was lucky to get it

The fabric behind it is a recent find, I have just over a metre, picked up in a second hand shop for £6.
It's quite thick cotton, I'm thinking of making a piped cushion - I'll just add that to my List!

Now, postage is expensive and if the postman has to come to my house to bring stuff I'd like him to make a worthwhile trip so I also had a couple of other bits from Christine's shop, bought and gifted.

Christine made the girls' dress patterns for her grand daughters - now I  can use them for A & C

I do love patterns - perhaps I should make something?

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Bloglovin' Housekeeping

Please bear with me, along with many of the blogs I follow, I'm just posting the link for Bloglovin' to claim my blog
<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Biba & Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki

P and I have been in Brighton for a few days. My OH has always been entirely open about his first love - Olivia Newton John. Given P's career and his usual taste in music (he has industrial deafness for a reason) ONJ is not musically credible but that's not why he's hopelessly devoted!
When I heard she would be touring in the UK I rushed to buy tickets and managed to get front row seats at The Brighton Centre. Keeping it quiet from October until Christmas was tricky but he was thrilled, and this has provided endless opportunities for friends and family to take the mickey - he cares not!
We had a fab time but it was cold so we tried to mix up the mooching outside in the weather with 'lets pop in here - it's warm', this mostly involved tea and cake. As an aside I think we're now officially old as 'tea' is no longer sufficient, we're both after 'a nice cup of tea' - honestly I sound like my Nainy!

Well being selfless pays off - how wonderful.

It was fine to take photos, without a flash, which was a bonus
I now have a dream where I stumble across a stash of Biba dressmaking patterns in a charity shop!
There were posters up for a Biba exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery so we went along. It's running until the 14th of April, if you get a chance to go. The Museum has free entry, the exhibition was £6 for adults. I really enjoyed it and P was very good and said it was 'interesting' but he does indulge me!
Because life is complicated in ways I won't bore you with I have an interest I didn't always understand or acknowledge that links Brighton, the 1970s, fashion and dressmaking. This exhibition was an especially interesting experience for me because of that.
Barbara's history is fascinating and her approach to design, not just fashion but lifestyle too, was innovative.

It's close but I think this was my favourite garment
The story behind the design
And the wallpaper - beautiful
Barbara brought fashionable clothes within reach of everyone and I loved that the clothes in the exhibit were donated and had notes from the owner about where they wore them and what they loved about them - a real living history.

Gorgeous outfit, and so simple
The outfit in the middle was worn as a wedding dress but the owner had to make a lining for it as it was totally see-through

The outfit on the right was worn with pride to a dinner dance - some time later the owner saw it in the catalogue described as a negligee set - she'd gone out in her PJs! Brilliant

Barbara still designs clothes today, after a long gap working on styling buildings/hotels, for Top Shop and George at Asda.

A skater dress designed for Top Shop

If you get the chance I would definitely recommend a visit. And the Exhibition is right next to the museum cafe so you could always get a 'nice' cup of tea ;)

Friday, 15 March 2013

For the love of boxes

Much better - lovely and tidy - the box is even pink :)

Sadly this isn't even the before photo - this is half way through - just imagine what it was like earlier!
I hadn't even confined the carnage to one room - I can't bear to show what the dining room looked like.
Let's just say the mess was disproportionate given my low productivity ;)

But it's official, I don't have too much stuff I just didn't have enough storage - sorted!

I've been fortunate to have a dedicated craft space for a couple of years, I claimed the smallest bedroom when we extended the house. At that point the only sewing I did was turning up curtains or making the odd cushion. I didn't really factor in needing space to sew (or store fabric). Oh, and I didn't crochet either - the yarn stash is new too! Everything needed tweaking a bit.
This is much better :)

Of course, it's abundantly clear I don't now have room for any more storage boxes, I could squeeze in one more high shelf - but I'd need to use a step ladder to access things - probably not ideal. Oh, and there's not really room for me and Doris, so she's still lurking in my bedroom!
I think I might have hit saturation point - time to start using stuff up. I have 6 things on the go - 6! but they're all gifts so I can't show them yet, but there is progress honestly :)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Health Warning - may cause nausea

I know I said I wouldn't buy any more fabric, I clearly don't need it (I am spending today sorting my stash) but this lot was free so that doesn't even count :)

So many quilting fabrics are just yummy
I was given a gift voucher by my colleagues when I left my old job, this was so kind of them but also a bit of a joke - I'm a notoriously rubbish shopper, could I manage to spend it before the expiry date - November 2013?

The floral is the same print as one Above, so good I bought it twice!
I had to spend the voucher on myself (so my immediate thought of using it for Christmas gifts went out of the window), I needed a tangible thing (so Plan B to use it in a restaurant was out) and I couldn't give it away because of course they wanted to know what I had bought for myself. The voucher was for Bluewater shopping centre, I had hundreds of options - for me this actually makes it worse, I know I'm a muppet!

Now added to this I had other vouchers for Christmas - seriously, what are people trying to do to me? Shopping centres are not my natural habitat. I'm allergic to clothes shopping - I come over all grumpy and that's infectious.

Well I've spent it all - the relief, I can't tell you! I got ankle boots in the sale in January, £20 reduced from £60, a bargain always makes me smile. I spent the other Christmas vouchers on jeans - I'm being realistic, I do not see me-made jeans sewing on my horizon, I just don't have the skills at this point, likely not ever!

Then I spent all the rest yesterday on the fabric - it's still for me, it's just not an outfit. Look closely though, just beautiful - and I even know what they're for.

There is more - but it's for a gift so at the moment it's under wraps ;)

I was ages choosing, P patiently carried bolts around whilst I dithered, and he did the mental arithmetic on how much money I had left if I bought 50cm of this but 60cm of that. My brain simply can't do maths in a fabric shop - sensory overload. Apparently the fabrics themselves don't make P feel heart-skippy* but seeing me in a fabric shop does - and that, right there, is why I married him!

And here, for your immediate use, is a bucket - in case my last comment was nausea inducing!

* Definition of 'heart-skippy' - physical reaction of crafter when buying supplies.
Common symptoms include repetitious stroking of craft materials, loss of ability to make a decision and flushed skin
Recommended treatment - regular exposure to the cause of the reaction will build up some resistance, 'little and often' is the key. Post exposure, a sit down with a cuppa and a cake usually restores equilibrium - repeat dose if required.