I did my first fair at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall yesterday. A massive thank you to all the lovely people that came along! I met some lovely fellow traders too so I hope to see them again soon at other events.
For anyone that I spoke to about commission pieces please drop me an email and also check back here soon as I am working on getting my Etsy shop set up this week
Clutch Bags £25
Make Up Bags £15
All set up and ready to go!
Clip Frame Purses £10
Check out my beautiful new pinboard that I was amazingly lucky enough to win in a giveaway by Melissa of Melissa Smith Textiles on her facebook page! This is already getting settled in it’s new home behind my sewing machine where it is being put to good use to pin trims and things to whilst I work to hopefully save me from scrabbling round on the table under pieces of pattern paper and fabric every few minutes when I can’t find something! Thanks Melissa!!
I’m feeling very guilty for neglecting my blog for the last month but happily my excuse is I’ve been off exploring and having fun in the sun! Amongst my adventures I saw a lot of beautiful new places, some favourite old places, eaten yummy Portuguese food til I nearly popped (seriously I put on 7lbs in 2 weeks!! Thankfully 4 of them have fallen off again after being home for a week so I only have 3 more to declare war on!) and have discovered the only water sport I am not afraid of – I am in love with Stand Up Paddle Boarding!!
Whilst in Lisbon I did find time to sneak in a little sewing related shopping too. Mr Coconut had denied all knowledge of where the fabric shops of Lisbon might be located and ‘forgot’ to ask his mother (who happens to be a dab hand at dressmaking) as I think he feared losing hours of vitamin D time to my fabric musings. However, fate was clearly on my side and my sixth sewing sense guided us down a road off the main avenue and low and behold there were 6 or 7 little haberdashery shops in a row! They were beautiful old fashioned shops wall to wall with wooden cabinets and drawers full of treasures. If you’re ever in Lisbon seek out Rua Da Conceicao – just to give fate a helping hand.
I managed to be quite restrained and just bought some buttons. They did set me back about €30 (oops) but they are truly beautiful glass buttons and I will love and treasure them forever. The large ones with diamante stars look kind of art deco like to me. I was planning to use them for a swing jacket but I might have to research something more Great Gatsby inspired now that I have that in mind.
As mentioned in my post from Wednesday here is a little peak at what I purchased at the Fancy Silk Store. I used to love coming to this shop when I was at Uni (back then I was usually looking for plains to print on) so am very happy to be back within regular shopping distance. From the outside it is a pretty unassuming looking place but once inside you could lose yourself for hours amongst the 4 floors of fabric loveliness – especially if you are having an indecisive day! The pic below is just one corner of the ground floor so you will see what I mean when I say I was spoilt for choice…
…it is literally packed floor to ceiling. Now imagine that corner x 4 on the ground floor (which holds mostly dressmaking fabrics) and multiply that by another 4 floors (one for furnishing fabrics, another for bridal and occassion and the 4th I can’t even remember as I usually get side tracked before making it that far!).
I only had a few mins to spare of my lunch break on Wednesday so had to make some pretty snap decisions. First up I went for a blue batique cotton with my forthcoming holiday in mind that I plan to make into a second Hazel. My next choice was this floral which I am planning to use for my first ever Laurel. It was a bit more expensive than the batique but I fell in love.
As you can see I was obviously having a bit of a blue day! Now the only decision is which one to start on first this weekend?? Any tips for a Laurel first timer would be much appreciated!
Whilst watching the Great British Sewing Bee I had confidently decided ‘I can do that’. I got out a pattern I had bought some time ago but not got around to making and got to work. Two weekends later and I had a dress with sleeves, a collar, a zip, some slightly untidy but not bad for a first attempt sleeves and excitedly put it on… only to find it looked something like a sack. Something had gone very very wrong along the way with fitting, ease, seam allowances and who knows what else to end up quite so far off in size from the measurements I started with! I took it round to Mama Coconut to see if she could help make some magic adjustments but after half an hour and hundreds of pins the conclusion was that I need to take the arms out, the collar off, the top apart from the skirt, the side seams in… the list went on and essentially I needed to unpick the entire dress! Feeling deflated I couldn’t bear to do it right then so tucked it back into my bag. A couple of months later it is still hiding in disgrace at the back of the cupboard.
For my second attempt I decided I needed a little help to get things right and rebuild my confidence. Having been to the opening of the Guthrie and Ghani store owned by the lovely Lauren of Sewing Bee finalist fame I checked out the website to see the workshops on offer and booked myself onto the Summer Dress course.
The course includes a copy of the Colette Hazel pattern to take away as well as Laurens expertise to guide you through from start to finish for two Saturdays. I learnt so much more than you could ever get from a book. Having someone show you all the little tips and hints and (most importantly for me!) show you how to fit and adjust the pattern as you go along is worth it’s weight in gold! The studio above the shop is also an amazing space to work with huge windows pouring in light and original oak beams overhead.
A work in progress… I need to get me a machine with the amazing scissor function at home!
Having 4 other sewing enthusiasts there in the group learning the ropes and helping each other through (and laughing at each others machine cursing) was a great experience and meant we all learnt from each other along the way. We each had a beautiful new dress at the end of today and could barely contain our excitement as in turn we finished the hem and dashed straight to the loo to put it on! The first one finished prompted a round of applause from the rest of us!
Two lovely new Hazel’s!
I know we will all be at a loss as what to do with ourselves next Saturday morning. I’ve purchased the Colette Laurel pattern and plan to make a start on that so that I don’t get sewing withdrawal symptoms. If I’m feeling really enthusiastic I may even get the disgraced dress back out of the cupboard and try to put it right! It won’t be quite the same though on my own in my little spare room At least I can look forward to posting a picture of me in my new Hazel dress in Lisbon in 5 weeks time!
Just needs a final press!