Saturday 8 September 2012

I'm back! (Catch up post)

So I pre-epmted the fact that things might get a little quiet around the blog while I was working on the Olympic Ceremonies over the summer but I didn't predict almost 3 months of NOTHING! Working on the Olympics I think will remain one of the most incredible experience of my life, for the rest of my life but my oh my did it take over my life for those missing 3 months. Not that I'm complaining, I would not have changed a second of it and any time I wasn't there I was wishing I was! I'm planning a little follow up post so I can share with you some of my experiences of the games.

I may have done a  little lap round the workshop with this after the picture!
Anyway, back to stitching! I may have been forced to take a blogging and sewing sabbatical but that doesn't mean I missed out on the joy of seeing what all you have been up to. Thanks to the handy bloglovin' app on my phone I was able to make the most of my morning and evening (read night-time!) commute and catch up with the real world of sewing. I've really enjoyed reading about everyone's summer makes and fabric shopping trips and been itching to get started on my own. I have A LOT of plans and as I finished work a couple of week's ago I've already got some sewing to share! Expect posts a-plenty over the next couple of weeks (although actually maybe I shouldn't be promising that!)

I've been enjoying easing myself back into the world of sewing doing some long awaited and much needed alterations to some of my high street garments (including a disaster of a shortened hem on a jersey maxi dress! Even with a ballpoint needle my machine did NOT like that jersey). I don't know about everyone else but since I've started sewing and my own skills have been improving I find myself less and less satisfied with high street garments. Particularly when it comes to the fit. When shopping before I think it always used to be 'yes that's the right size' because the size up was too big and the size down too small. But now I think in much more detail about whether those darts are doing the right thing, if it fits the curve of my back correctly, is that particular length quite right for me? All these considerations have led to a dramatic increase in high street shopping for me, plus the fact that everything now seems so overpriced when I know I could make something very similar myself for half the price. So anyway, I'm slowly working my way through my wardrobe thinking about whether items actually fit or even actually suit me and thinking about if there is anything I can do about that.

I spent a leisurely afternoon on Goldhawk road (once I'd fended off the shopkeepers!) scouring the shops for fabric to make up a Sewaholic Lonsdale for my cousin's wedding. I found something I think perfect for the job; quite a robust cotton with a fun floral print which I think is a little bit different but not too wild for a quiet Cornish wedding. I've just finished a wearable muslin of the dress and can't wait to get started on the real thing!

I also managed to take advantage of a fab subscription offer to 'Sew' magazine. I've had a short trial subscription to this mag before and it's great because every issue comes with a free dress pattern! I did find quite a lot of the content of the magazine to be more craft based than dressmaking however so did not continue the subscription after the trial. Then I spotted an add for a 6 month subscription with the most amazing free gift I ever did see! For £27 you get 6 issues (with free pattern each issue), the Colette Sewing Handbook and two Colette patterns (the Ceylon and Parfait). What a steal! Of course I snapped it up immediately but haven't had a chance to do anything other than flip through the book.

It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and my wonderful fella did a super job at making me feel extra special for the day. He treated me to a surprise day out at Leeds Castle, the biggest surprise being my Mum, Sister and Stepdad waiting there for us when I hadn't seen them for nearly three months! We had a picnic in the gorgeous grounds as it was for once a beautiful summer's day. I'd highly recommend a visit there if you're looking for a day out. He then surpassed himself with my prezzie, a stunning antique Singer Sewing machine, fully working, complete with case! Not sure how much I'll be making on here as I don't think I could cope with one handed sewing while I turn the wheel to make it go, but I'll give it a try!

The most recent bit of excitement was of course the blogger meet-up last night at the V&A Ballgowns exhibition with a lovely stop off at the pub afterwards. It was my first meet up and I had an amazing time meeting people who I felt I already knew from reading their blogs! It was great to chat about all things sewing, pick up some tips and compare handmade items. I wore my version of the Grainline Studios Scout Tee which I only completed yesterday (blog post to follow) and was pleased to see two other versions within the group! The exhibition itself I thought was gorgeous, some really fantastic examples of a range of styles from the 1950s up to present day. Now my sewing skills and knowledge of construction is improving i find myself enjoying exhibitions like this so much more because I can pick up on and appreciate interesting construction methods or decorative techniques which have been used. I preferred the layout of the top floor of the exhibition as the dresses here were not contained behind glass so you could get a good look from all angles and your view was not distorted by the lighting hitting the glass. Thanks so much Karen for organising this great get together!

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