Yesterday my crafty buddies and I went up to The Handmade Fair run by Kirstie Allsopp, hobbycraft and Mollie Makes. It was a glorious day, which was lucky given that it was all outdoors in the beautiful grounds of Hampton Court and once I'd manage to contain my excitement and pushed my eyeballs back from their stalks, we had a great day looking at wonderful stalls, taking part in workshops and generally loving being surrounded by such creativity. Highlights were the wonderful Rosy Nicholas in the Pom Pom class who was thoroughly engaging and made everyone titter with her 'every knob needs a pom pom' line! Zeena Shah was simply the nicest girl you could hope to meet as she talked us through the art of lino cut printing. Mine is the splodgy girl with a balloon, ahem. We also enjoyed Kaffe Fassett's talk on fabric, painting and his abhorrence of beige! I believe the longest pom pom record was beaten (#worldpomination) and Kirstie looked as pleased as punch with that. Roll on next year!
For the last few months, I've been working my way through a collection of patterns that I've acquired; some were free in magazines, others in my fave shop in Chepstow 'Serendipity' so I hadn't spent loads and I always enjoy trying to match something in my existing fabric stash to one of these patterns. A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to collect many many big bags of vintage dress-making fabric courtesy of the friendliest estate agent in Bath, what a coup! I rummaged through and whilst it was was all lovely, mostly plain cottons, corduroys and some viscose, there wasn't anything particularly hippyish or what I was hoping for from those crazy days. However, when I spotted this gorgeous white fabric with cute lemon and blue flowers I knew I'd found my treasure. It's super thin, so I'm not sure what it was intended for but I used it on Simplicity 1609 as it has a retro look to it and I knew the style would set the border off well. It was a straightforward pattern and apart from lengthening the front facing to protect my modesty I love the dress!! It's a very fitted shape, with 2 pairs of front darts and a long rear zip. I had to purchase an M&S full length slip to go underneath, you know, like your mum used to wear, but I have to say, it's one of the most comfy pieces of lingerie I've ever owned!! Who'd have thunk it?! Please excuse the criminal photo below…
For this dress I was mostly listening to: Burning by The War On Drugs
Wowee, it's been almost a year since I last blogged. No points for consistency there then, but now that the schools are back it feels like a fresh start here and I can regain my 'me time' and get back to spending some quality time in my lovely shed. Although I haven't been sharing stuff here, rest assured I have been a busy bee sewing and crocheting (sp?) and generally keeping the craft vibe going around here.
Last week my son decided he wanted to spend some of his birthday money so we bimbled up to the high street ready to invest in some more quality plastic or tiny figures or yet more lego, aaaghhh! Anyhoo, I digress, halfway up, I asked him if he had his money and he said yes, it's right here in my pock…. ahem, no it's no longer in your pocket, so we had to retrace our steps and unfortunately didn't find the lost tenner and didn't have to further add to the clutter (see, every cloud has a silver lining!). However, on the way home for the 2nd time, I spotted a rolled up bit of paper next to the bin and it was only his birthday money, cunningly camouflaged next to the other debris. Hoorah! After a chat about the value of money we decided to make a safer option for my son to keep his money, that is also very cool looking. I found this great tutorial here which is big enough to hold his pocket money and will be visible and safe on his write. It's basically a big lined pocket with velcro closure. Simples! I used this cute vintage car fabric that I had lying around waiting to be put to good use. Hoorah! Mum and son both happy, apart from the inevitable return visit to the toy shop and the house closing in on us a tad more each day...
Where I live, I'm lucky to have 2 great cities to visit for craftsperation and there are a wealth of classes and workshops to get stuck into, whether you're a crochet girl or a baker, budding florist (do you see what I did there?!) or blacksmith. A few months ago I went along to the Folk House in Bristol and with Ruth from Quincy Lampshades made a lovely lampshade in Amy Butler's Gypsy Caravan fabric, which I was thrilled with. They offer a huge variety of day and night courses there with bright facilities and a yummy cafe. www.bristolfolkhouse.co.uk
Some friends of mine recently gave me some vouchers for The Makery in Bath. However, I did struggle a bit to find something that I really wanted to do there, not really needing any help with totes or cushions, so I signed up for the rather swankily entitled Dress-Making Masterclass. It was held over two Sundays and what better way is there to spend a day than mingling with like-minded people and learning shortcuts and improvements on ways to make clothes. Whilst I wasn't particularly impressed with our tutor's opening intro that nobody had ever completed the top over the two days (really?!) I enjoyed the chit-chat amongst fellow sewers and learnt a few useful tips about pinning. Well, it appears I like a challenge and became the first person to finish the top, but it's rather an unflattering little number that unfortunately wasn't correctly tailored by our tutor so it'll no doubt end up being taken apart and remade into something else. The lovely Kate Smith offered me the chance to return to the Makery for a more successful experience, so I'll let you know what I decide to do, possibly a bit of screen printing or knicker making. Saucy!
Hi, thanks for dropping by, welcome!