I have had a really good time of late – but very little sewing has been done. I had a lovely day in Birmingham at a meet organised by the magnificent Demented Fairy which she talked about in her post here . She is a great encourager of fabric purchases (as if I need the encouragement), and I came home with all of this despite not really intending to buy anything. The fabric from Barrys for me was really not necessary but it begged me to bring it home – I am still deciding what to do with it. The blue patterned fabric was from the ‘Liberty’ man in the outside market on a previous visit and I was delighted to see how well it went with this lot.
The Management is in need of a couple of new pairs of PJ’s so I was happy to buy these lengths with that in mind. I really hadn’t considered that when I made the first pair in silly fabric it would mean he wants all his PJ’s made to order in future. At least this lot would be OK if he ever needed to go into hospital – I’m not sure what would be made of the tractors or helicopter pairs! The ‘bird box’ stripe and the fine black and red stripe were both from Barrys, but the other stripe was from a new fabric store which was new to all of us – EU Fabrics – still unpacking fabric but happy to take our money. They appear to be mainly wholesale but didn’t object to selling me 4 meters. There was some interesting stuff in here, maybe factory surplus? Anyway, we spotted neoprene and waxed cotton among other goodies and I will certainly be adding this to my shopping circuit.
I spent another few days in London last week. The Management had work based in central London and I bummed in on the trip. He seemed to enjoy the company but it must have been a bit galling to be told about my daily adventures when he had been working!
Tuesday was spent at the V&A, I love that place. I wandered through the underwear exhibition again and have to say I enjoyed it more this time. The photographs of Paul Strand were wonderful, I spent a good while in that exhibition. If you want to see this you will have to hurry as it closes early in July.
Wednesdays treat was a visit to the V&A’s sister site – The Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. There were toys going bag to before my childhood and coming up to date. It was amusing and thought provoking to see how ‘safety’ has become much more of an issue recently. I’m sure we all remember having sewing sets and knitting Nancy’s like those pictured – child services would probably get involved if you gave a child needles now. Sad.
On Thursday I had a swim at the magnificent Kings Cross Pond Club. The weather certainly helped but it was wonderful to swim in a ‘natural’ environment rather than a chlorinated pool. Kings Cross has changed immensely since my days living in Watford and traveling into London. There was an exhibition of punk, which was current at around the time I lived in Watford. It was a very enjoyable time in my life but I was never a punk. I probably wasn’t brave enough, and I’m not convinced that the bank which employed me would have approved 😉. This closed on Saturday so if you didn’t get there enjoy my pictures. Sorry that the quality isn’t great.
The Sex Pistols t-shirts relate to a single and album the are in our collection. I really enjoyed looking at this exhibition, and contemplating how the look was diluted and ended up in mainstream. I know that many people didn’t like punk but I think it was just the ‘disruptive influence’ of that particular time and there always needs to be one. And it gave us some great designers – Westwood being the obvious one (and very visible in this exhibition) but not the only one.
I spent some time around Soho in the fabric and haberdashery shops which I thoroughly enjoyed. Since I was sans Fairy I got away without buying fabric – and incidentally the prices make Birmingham shops look positively bargainous – but also without the zips I had hoped to buy for my ziggi jacket. Back to internet sources for those I think.
It will be good to get back to sewing this week. Strangely I have started to feel the creative itch – I just need to get active before it goes away again!
Whatever you are doing I hope it’s going well. 😃
I haven’t been able to post recently – partly because I had nothing really to say, but also because I am still buried in client work.
I did have a trip to Birmingham to buy supplies needed for said client work a couple of weeks ago and despite good intentions of buying NOTHING that would end up in the stash – even if only for a short time – I really couldn’t walk away from this….
I could barely believe it when I spotted a pile of fabric bolts that couldn’t be anything but Liberty (the name had been scratched off the end of the bolt) at £8 a metre. I’m not a big fan of fussy Liberty print but I really liked this one which looks a little like a sea shell – and as a bonus goes brilliantly with the orange twill which may become the Stacie jacket. I came away with the end of the bolt which was just under 2m for £12. Score.
In addition I made a detour to the Birmingham City Library, which I had visited on the way to the theater a while ago, with all the necessary information needed to obtain membership. I was amazed on my last visit to see just what a large fashion/tailoring/dressmaking section they had. In the local library it is lucky to cover a shelf – in Birmingham it was two bookcases. Oh, happy Hoody. It was quite difficult to make the choice, but I knew I had to carry whatever was chosen back to the car park which was quite a way away. I eventually limited myself to the three on the right which I will review in good time.
Despite still having lots which really needed to be done I escaped over the last weekend on a planned visit to my daughter in West London. The plan was a visit to the V&A and whatever else I could fit in. I did get to the V&A on Friday and managed to get round both Underwear, and Botticelli in the time available. Kate, at Fabrickated , has reviewed both of these exhibitions very well so I wont go over old ground. I confess that I wasn’t as impressed with either as I have been by other similar sized exhibitions at the V&A. Had I traveled only for this visit I may have been disappointed.
On Saturday we decided to visit the Tower of London and Kensington Palace. The Tower is always good fun, and this time we went into the torture exhibits (yes, we really are little boys in real life), and the White Tower, but had to miss the crown jewels as there was a large queue and we wanted to eat!
My main reason for wanting to visit Kensington again was that the Royal Rules exhibition had been renewed – so lots of new Royal dresses to be seen. Jess is very tolerant and came willingly (although as you can see she was probably happier at the Tower!) The dresses were fabulous, as one would expect of our Royals, and even though you may not actually ‘like’ them all it is almost impossible not to be impressed by the thought and work that has gone into them all. I think that over all I preferred this exhibition to either of the others this time. I have just made a slideshow rather than trying to put the pictures in individually so I hope you like it.
I was absolutely exhausted after we got home and needed a little doze before going out to eat which my darling daughter documented on Twitter. Doh!
The following day was spent at the London Marathon before driving home (which I documented on The Old Bat so I wont say more here) and getting stuck into the client pile again. Hopefully it will start to show signs of shrinkage soon!
I spent last weekend with my daughter who kindly allowed me to invade again. It was the last weekend of the McQueen exhibition at the V&A and I really wanted another look. Can I say now that it didn’t disappoint.
Even just after 9am the queue for day tickets was already snaking its way around the block so I was very glad of my members early entry ticket. The exhibition space was more crowded this time than on my last visit but my guess is that it was going to be much worse later! We were able to enjoy the garments all over again, check out the close detail on some of the ones I identified from the book, and retire to the members room for a tea and pastry before hitting the shoe exhibition.
Whilst the shoes are fabulous I would probably not have made a trip to see them all on their own. The abiding memory will be the torture that must have been living with ‘Lotus feet’. The shoes are small beyond belief. There is some fabulous information on the V&A website which is well worth a look.
Inspired by my last visit I revisited a download that had sat quietly on my computer for a very long time waiting for me to feel brave enough to tackle it. This was the McQueen kimono pattern download from Show Studio (still available – McQueen Kimono pattern. ) I didn’t feel up to pasting all the sheets together for the pattern so had it printed at a local copy shop. The lady who printed it was very puzzled by it and asked what it was!
These images belong to Show Studio.com
The pattern download is one size, European 40 which wouldn’t fit me but would fit my dear Jess. Regardless of whether she would like it I wanted to just try making this up so cut it in calico. It fits into about 2.5m of 150cm wide fabric which isn’t in the download info. There are about a gazillion tailors tacks to make, not all are essential but I wouldn’t like to have missed any as this pattern is not for the faint hearted.
Once I was finished marking the jacket didn’t really take too long to sew. This was a definite case of ‘stop thinking, start sewing’ as the instructions are a bit ‘sketchy’ . Anyhoo, the pictures. Sorry for the quality but they have been photographed off my Blackberry as the blessed thing just wouldn’t be recognised by the computer and I had wasted too much time already.(That will teach me to check the camera batteries before I go away!)
I was delighted to find that the jacket fitted Jess perfectly – I’m not sure how I would have altered it – and she likes it! The plan now is to make it in a good but casual fabric so that she can use it through the autumn over jeans. Naturally I won’t be leaving the tailor tacks in the final version.
I love this design and may try adjusting the pattern to fit me – but not until I have moved this version.
We will be visiting her again in a few weeks so I will show the finished version then. Off to shop the stash for 2.5m of suitable fabrics before posting samples for her to choose from.
I went to stay with my darling daughter last weekend and managed two visits to the V&A to see the Alexander McQueen ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibition. Please don’t let the fact that it has taken me a week to get around to writing anything about this make you think it wasn’t any good. It was superb. Better than that even. If you have any chance of booking a ticket and getting to London do it. Sell your firstborn, or hock your husband – it really is special.
I wasn’t able to take photographs as that wasn’t allowed but if you go here there are lots of fabulous pictures. Probably my favourite element of the entire show was the Peppers Ghost feature with Kate Moss which I understand closed the Widows of Culloden show. Spine tingling. If you click on the image you will (hopefully) be taken to the youtube video. In case you want to know what the wonderful haunting music is I can tell you that it is the theme from Schindlers List. I just loved it.
Just in case you think I haven’t been doing anything this week I can confirm that my pattern blocks still fit, and when I get through the heap of ‘but I need it!’ stuff from my clients I will be charging on with something for me. I just need to get through this pile…..