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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Scarecrow Festival

Every two years on the August Bank Holiday Monday, there is a Scarecrow Festival at Wolferton on the Sandringham Estate.  The whole village takes part by giving over their gardens and properties to the display of comical scarecrows in aid of charity.  The best one this year, I thought, was the Scarecrow Olympics (image to follow).  I also had the opportunity to get a topical photo for my latest sewing creation, a 1970's style top.  Luckily for all, the weather was glorious and the perfect opportunity for an after lunch stroll.

Can you spot which one isn't the scarecrow?!

A cute souvenir of the day.
 

Friday, 26 August 2011

Ely Cake and Knit Crawl

I tried really hard to eat all that cake but had to take the chocolate home with me!

Last Saturday, I spent a whole day touring the cake and wool shops of Ely with a group of like-minded enthusiasts!  What a great day - made another addition to my wool stash and also found some stuff to make samples from for my City and Guilds, which I really need to get going with again.  I need to have my fourth module finished by the end of September.  Anyway, this got me going again.  For anyone else interested, there will probably be a future event, listed under Cake Crawl on Ravelry.

We toured The King's Arms, The Almonry for lunch, (looked at Dotty's Cake and Tea Room) and ended up at Peacock's down by the river for afternoon tea.  There are three main wool emporiums in Ely, consisting of two major shops, Yarn on the Square and the Ely Wool Shop, as well as an outlet in the back of the City Cycle Centre.  There's also a kiosk in the main shopping centre - can't be bad for such a small 'city' (Ely is a city because of it's cathedral ...).  The following photos tell the story!

Meeting everyone in the garden at the King's Arms

Dottys - you can have your shoes covered here with an assortment of fabric scraps.

Porch of Ely Cathedral

Sweet house!

Sam, Robert and Ruth 


Peacock's tearooms and the queue to get in!

Martin and ?

Dorothy et al

My tea!  Complete with Peacocktail!  Iced tea, lemonade, peach schnapps, gin and vodka - heaven on earth!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Treasure from Pakistan

My Dad's workmate brought this back from Pakistan for me.  I've had it over 20 years ... it's gorgeous isn't it? 

I've written a bit more about the creative process that went into cutting it out at Sew Weekly, suffice it to say it took me a loooong and deliberate time to decide whether or not to take the scissors to it.  Someone even suggested that I could have put it on the wall, but it would have been too big for that and anyway, I could always do that as it is now in it's current garment shape.  I still  have a lot of work to do on it.  I'm going to hand roll the hems, like silk scarves are done, as well as put covered buttons on the cuffs and neck opening.  I'm also going to bind the neck and cuff openings with edgings similar to those I used on my western shirt.

Overall, I'm glad I have this to wear now - with trousers or a simple shift dress underneath - something else I need to make!



Thursday, 18 August 2011

Portobello Market

Although there had been trouble earlier on in the week in London, I went down to Portobello Market on Saturday 13 August and even took my Mum - she had a great time.  It was packed with tourists, particularly Italian - perhaps they liked the name!  The weather was gorgeous and perfect for browsing outdoors.

This post is mainly pictures, as they speak for themselves - all of the stuff was very reasonable there and on average priced between £5 - £10.  I came away with a couple of antique prints, brooches and buttons (for a planned winter coat). 


My purchases ... anchor buttons for a winter coat, cherry brooch, art-deco fan brooch and topaz coloured stone

I was torn between anchors and a royal crest ...


All handmade - has given me ideas for my own bags ...


There were loads of these kinds of stalls.

Hatpins - also being sold as stickpins, scarf and pashmina clasps.

Yummy colours.

Scenes of Venice long lapel coat.

The shadows hide the details I wanted to capture a bit - the bodice in the centre for example.

Monday, 15 August 2011

The Regency Napkin and Tablecloth Dress (as inspired by Veronica Darling ...) and Happy Belated Birthday Oona!

I found a set of 6 napkins and a large rectangular tablecloth in a charity shop near work last week.  I was really stuck for the Sew Weekly challenge, to make something inspired by one of the regular contributors ... I was going to make a tailored top a la Adey Lim, with all the polka dots matching at the sides etc .. but I couldn't summon up the energy.  Then just by chance I happened upon  this set.  I didn't know properly what the pieces looked like as they were all sealed up in a bag - never been opened before.  Lucky me!  Next dilemma, which pattern?  Since I'd been given a bag full of 1970's little numbers by a friend at work, I sifted through them and found this one.  Fits lovely and glad I chose it.  It was really easy to sew up and finish - all I had to do was make sure I placed the napkins correctly for the bodice (making sure to avoid a front that looked like the back - how embarrassing would that have been??  For me anyway ...).  Another reason why I  like this dress is the fabric design which is by one of my favourite 70's designers, Pat Albeck - she used to design all the National Trust teatowels etc - I love her drawing style.  This design in based on a Robert Adam ceiling in one of the properties.

And so, a double celebration, Happy Belated Birthday Oona!  I'm toasting you with Guinness, my favourite tipple, in a dainty teacup!  You know, it's good for you - has lots of iron in it (or at least that's my excuse!).




Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Nautical Thingy ...

I decided to be gentle with myself after the frenzy of activity last week.  I've made something a bit like this before, but from a kit.  This time I got together some of my weekly challenge leftovers and had a fiddle about with them until I came up with this rosette.  I think it's destined to be attached to a bag ... I've still got quite a bit of the red, white and blue satiny stuff left which could be a lining or a bias trim, so that's what I'll do ...

Very patriotic!

Thursday, 4 August 2011

My Debut!

This week I made my debut over at The Sew Weekly with a 'North Western Shirt'.  I am pleased with the outcome - it was a bit of a nail-biting time getting it done and ready for the deadline - especially as it was appearing on the front page but I have a nice sense of achievement now.  It's the culmination of over 6 months of sewing, which I've enjoyed and have learned so much in the process (particularly about how much I don't yet know about sewing!  There are some very talented people out there ...).  Here are the pictures.  I've written all about it's origins and the story behind it at:

http://www.sewweekly.com/2011/08/the-north-western-shirt.html

Can you tell I'm not around horses all the time?!!!

I think we are both at a safe distance ...

The bandana is 100% cotton too - made in the USA

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Some Beauties

I'm always glad when it comes round to sale time at John Lewis.  I'm lucky enough to work not far from the Cambridge branch and they have a large haberdashery and fabric department.  I managed to get these beauties for £5 per metre - Liberty Art Prints - enough to make some aprons and a couple of shirts from, probably Amy Butler's Liverpool.
Teapots - I think these are destined for Aprons.

Roundabout and Paisley Swirl