Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Little Holiday - London & Glasgow

So! I'm supposed to write my last Bread&Butter sewing post, but I haven't actually taken pictures of all my makes yet, so that'll have to wait a couple of days. Instead I'd like to tell you about the little vacation I took during the Easter week! The first half was spent with all of my family in London, a 60th birthday present for my stepdad, who we took on a Gin Journey. The second half was spent with my love in Glasgow.

Even though the weather wasn't the best, I had a lot of fun, visited quite a few fabric shops, charity shops, vintage shops, pubs, tearooms, had lots of tea and ale and gin... oh yes, I felt very British! I even tried some (fried) Haggis (nibbles) in Glasgow and liked them!

I also got to meet Katie from What Katie Sews while I was in London, and we spent a fun couple of hours at Ray Stitch and went for a pint afterwards and Katie showed me a bit around Islington, which was lovely! In my excitement, I managed to take exactly zero photos of that, so you'll have to believe me...

So, first things first, right? Ray Stitch had a very pretty fabric selection, lots of nice jerseys and wovens and some very nice haberdashery. The best thing about it, I think, was the selection of indie patterns. They had a lot of Colette and Named, Papercut, Tilly&The Buttons, By Hand London, Sew Over It... And some lovely sewing books! I actually was a bit overwhelmed with it all and conscious of my one suitcase that I shared with my love, so I only got some Merchant&Mills glass head pins and a little Package of Liberty scraps, to be used for little details like fabric-covered buttons or plackets and stuff like that.
The next day, I went to visit Cloth House in Soho, which Katie had recommended to me. Honestly, it's maybe the most beautiful fabric shop I've ever been to. I could have stayed there for hours and bought almost everything...

In the end, I went away with a length of selvedge strech denim (look at that pretty selvedge!), for a new pair of Ginger jeans, and some thicker non-strech striped cotton fabric (twill?) for a bag/purse.
I also had to visit Liberty of London, mostly just to have a look around. I love-love-love touching that wonderful Liberty tana lawn, but I really can't imagine wearing a whole blouse or dress made from it.

 Oh well. But I bought the possibly prettiest tape-measure on earth!
(As well as some tea from Fortnum&Mason, some more tea and lemon curd and a fascinator from M&S and some very yummy as well as prettily bottled gin from the Maltby Street Market. Btw, does anyone else love checking out grocery stores in other countries? I could spend hours doing that, no kidding...)

One other stop that I definitely wanted to make was Sew Over It. I've had my eye on the Joan dress for quite a while (I have the perfect black double knit with flocked polka dots for it!) and one of the branches is in Clapham, only two tube stops from where we were staying. They also had a lovely fabric selection, mostly an incredible amount of pretty woven blouse and dress fabrics...
I almost bought some of the mint polka-dot fabric on the left above picture, but the colour was a bit too pastelly to really go with my skin tone. But so pretty! I the end, three patterns (the Joan Dress, Betty Dress and Vintage Shirt Dress - and a Sew Over It tote bag!) went home with me.
Yes, I know, I hardly ever wear woven dresses anymore - but the two I do wear are in style pretty similar to the Betty dress, and I've been dreaming about the perfect shirt dress pretty much forever...

That of course I had to buy the perfect fabrics for those two patterns while I was in Glasgow. :-)
The one on the left is a cotton lawn fabric, which I bought it at Remnant Kings in Glasgow. Navy and polka-dots and roses! Remnant Kings has a smallish but nice selection of dressmaking fabrics amongst a lot of home decor fabric. I also saw some very pretty royal blue linen, but knowing that I also wanted to visit Mandor's Fabric Store, I refrained from buying anything else. 
At Mandor's, I found the navy polka-dot rayon fabric. So soft and silky! It reminded me of a shirt dress that I tried on years ago at a market in Sydney, which sadly didn't fit right, so I guess I really had to buy it. :-) Mandor's is also a really amazing place, they stock pretty much every fabric you can dream of. I was fascinated by all the bridal laces, so pretty! And woolens, tartans, jersey fabrics, cottons... 
Although there are surely a dozen more fabric and sewing shops in London and Glasgow, that was it for me. I had to leave something for the next visit, I guess, and I didn't want to stretch my family's patience too f ar. As it was, I may have visited one or two charity shops too many (without buying more than a bangle and a dress, both in the very first shop), and got several rolled eyes for it. ;-)

Overall, though, I think we managed to indulge most everyone's whims, found a nice balance between the obvious sights and the less obvious, fun places.


Such a wonderful holiday! I could talk much more about it, but I had better stop here, since it's really already past my bedtime... What's your favorite place for a holiday? Have you ever been to Glasgow or London? Did you like it? Any important bits that I should definitely visit next time? (Oh and thanks for the recommendations for Glasgow on Instagram - we did visit the Kelvingrove Museum and the Willow Tea Rooms and had a lovely time!)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Bread & Butter Sewing so far

It's half time at the Bread&Butter sewing challenge, so let's see how far I've got:
Apart from the three Oslo cardigans, I've made:

- two pairs of PJs (patterns used: a shortened Cake Patterns Espresso Leggings and my Ottobre raglan top)

- a long-sleeved Victory Lola with an added collar

- a yoke dress, losely based on my modification of the Colette Macaron pattern

- a very simple knit skirt with an elastic waist, based losely on the Paprika Patterns Jade skirt pattern

- the refashion of a men's shirt, based losely on the Deer&Doe Bruyère pattern

Yes, it does seem that I'm playing fast and lose with my pattern collection. It's fun!

I have planned on writing a bit more about some of those garments. I have another yoke dress cut out, another Bruyère planned (not to mention, I haven't blogged about the one I made last spring) - but maybe you don't need to hear much more about the Lola (already exhaustively covered) or the PJs (cute, but not that intersting). I've also a half-completed Paprika Patterns Jasper pullover in the works (which I need to take in, it's huge). And then there's that handbag!

Funny, how much faster "Sewing with a Plan" seems to be... ;-)