Thursday, 24 November 2011

The great November Goldhawk Road meet-up

Last Saturday seven intrepid sewing bloggers met up at Goldhawk Road tube station to discuss fabrics, patterns, books and generally get frustrated with so much lovely fabric and not enough cash to buy it with!

Organised by Stevie, I finally got to meet her, Dibs, Santie, Alana, Steph and Claire (who came as adviser to all, making sure we spent our cash wisely, encouraging us on our purchases!)

Strangely, I didn't take a group photo, apart from this one...

Cocktail anyone??

We started along one side, Santie being so organised as to bring a shopping list! After a couple of shops, bump Dibs was asking for food, so out came the chocolate to tie Mum and bump over until lunch. Lots of lovely fabrics, so many ideas and thoughts, but what to buy. I went with only a little cash and a determination no to buy much.

Lunch in Vesbar, cocktails and lots of chips! So far so good, I've still not bought anything, although I've seen plenty!

Mm, lunch over and back along the other side and perhaps the cocktail wasn't the best idea... In the first shop we go and downstairs while Dibs buys some gorgeous jersey, I see some lovely fluorescent orange vest fabric, oops, plaid/tartan. There's only one a half metres, but I have to have it (no of course I don't mind paying the cost for a metre!) Not sure what I'll get from it yet, what do you think?

After drooling over silk galore we head on down towards the tube again. I thought I'd made my singular purchase, but no, while browsing materials with Claire in one shop, while she hunted for something specific, I spied this...

I don't think the photo has come out very well, but it's a lovely soft denim, a grey colour with the applique already applied. It's slightly stretchy too. I'm itching to get it cut out and made up, but it must wait for now, I've enough to be getting on with! I've got two metres, originally planning to make a skirt with a basque, but I'm wondering if I might be able to get a half circle???

So finally, we reach the dizzy heights of Shepherd's Bush market. No I won't buy anything here, although I was sorely tempted by the green polycotton at a bargain price which the others bought. No I'll be good... That is, until we find the stall with loads of haberdashery... The big buttons were brilliant (did you get any Claire?), then I got carried away... After seeing Karen's post about the snood, I felt I had to start knitting again. It possibly didn't help with Dibs wearing her snood... I saw this wool and had to have it, convincing Dibs to buy her own, I only wish I'd got the green too. Oh well, I'll have a lovely pink snood once I've bought some needles (yep, I've decided that I need needles to actually knit something!)

What a day, my poor purse felt decidedly depleted (OK, not really, since I think my lunch cost as much as the fabric!)

I'm so glad I went along, I managed to meet some of the UK bloggers before escaping the country for pastures green. I met a blogger from the country I'm heading to as well! Saying goodbye was sad, but reminded me of a nursery rhyme, as to me it felt like we were losing a person one by one on the tube until I got to King's Cross!

To finish, I felt I had to investigate the lego tree at St Pancras, mainly to check they'd built it properly and also to go back to where we'd sung the Beethoven at the beginning of the month.

Yep, OK, I reckon it'll pass!

So thanks Stevie for organising the meet up last Saturday. I'll get my fabrics made up once I've unpacked the sewing machine!! :-)

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Sewing and little singing...

Very little sewing has got done in the past few weeks, but I've been busy in other ways...

I've been wanting to learn about pattern drafting having been encouraged by drafting Sew Country Chick's pencil skirt and how that seems to be working. I've drafted the pieces and have put together a muslin. I know it's meant to be made in similar fabric to the finished version, but... The first muslin was decidedly too big around the waist at the front. Not sure why, I've checked, double-checked and triple-checked my measurements and the instructions and still can't work it out. So I've taken in the front darts more and now have a workable muslin which fits.

Mm, methinks my mirror needs a clean!!

I've even managed to cut out the fabric and lining. This lovely woven fabric and lining I found at Goldhawk Road when I went in September.

I've also been trying to finish off Colette Patterns Voilet blouse. I'll hopefully be able to post about this soon. I daren't start too many projects, they'll never get finished, plus I have a tight timescale at the moment (it's a big secret which hopefully I can let you know about soon!) No you won't convince me to tell...

So to help me with pattern drafting, I've been into London today. I treated myself to a trip to MacCulloch and Wallis. I really didn't know what to expect. It was like an Aladdin's Cave with basic shelving and boxes crammed full of haberdashery, materials, ribbons, buttons, etc. So what did I buy... A Patternmaster and a set of French curves! I'll be well away now!!

However, the main reason for going into London... Well I described it as a little singing, it was quite a big sing really! The BBC is doing a series on BBC4 on the Symphony and to launch the series, they put together what they described as a Pop-up choir. So this lunch-time at St Pancras International in London I was part of a choir singing the final movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Choral). For those who know the piece, it's quite a hard sing for about 20 minutes. We had the BBC Symphony Orchestra downstairs and the choir upstairs.

St Pancras International is not known for holding concerts, but with the numbers standing watching, I'd love to know how many missed their trains and what those getting off the Eurostar thought of their welcome to London!

Sorry, no photos of me, but here are a couple of the general event.

The orchestra taking their seats

 The soloists grand entrance down the escalator!!

An edited video is here on YouTube. No pictures of me, the glass screen was too high!! 

Any readers who happened to be in St Pancras this lunch time, I hope you enjoyed the impromtu concert. It was quite an experience I have to say and quite different to our normal concerts in the Barbican, etc!!

Time for some reading...

Drafting the pencil skirt with Sew Country Chick, I've been interested whether I may be able to draft more.

I can't really afford to go on any courses, plus because of the big secret I can't commit long term. So I've made use of being a librarian and have sourced lots of books to have a look through with a view to getting my own copy. I think there's still two or three on their way, currently I have...

Pattern-drafting for fashion:  the basics by Teresa Gilewska. I quite like this book. The images and instructions are clear and simple and easy to read and as far as I'm concerned, perfect for a beginner. I've also requested the advanced version to have a look at too. I have to say, I'm sorely tempted.

Make your own patterns by Rene Bergh. Another book which is perfect for a beginner. It also has different patterns and images to the Gilewska book and compliments it well. I almost think it's worth getting both!!

Metric pattern cutting by Winifred Aldrich. I think this is quite a technical book and ideally suited for those doing a pattern drafting course. For me, however, I think it's really far too technical and far too advanced for me.

Sorry, I've not posted photos of the insides, I didn't want to be caught with copyright issues...

I've also been going through a book I got last Christmas, which has been a god-send.


The sewing book by Alison Smith. This basically shows tips for sewing, such as how to insert zips, putting in pockets, etc, etc. There's loads of information in it with really clear images. Alison Smith runs a sewing school in Leicestershire in the UK (Alison Victoria School of Sewing), where they run a number of different courses, covering pattern drafting, boning, simple day-to-day sewing, etc. If I had the money, I'd be there tomorrow, but...