Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A very long list of links


Hello lovelies, it's been longer between posts than I'd intended due to our broadband hub losing the will to function, but order has finally been restored and I've spent what in retrospect, from the position of person now smugly back in possession of an Internet connection, feels like a blissful few days of sewing in an isolation bubble. I've been drafting a pattern for a top and three experimental muslins and one vaguely wearable toile later (or it would be wearable if it wasn't a low quality polycotton) and I think I've nearly finished it and am now looking forward to sewing it up in a material that I'll actually want to wear. So in the meantime, I bring you links:


  • This morning I read on True Up that Liberty are releasing a range of quilting weight cottons for the first time. This is super news for those times when you want to mix some Liberty in with regular prints and wish to keep a consistent fabric weight, although I have to say that I actually love the idea of a Tana lawn quilt as this quilt that I made from voiles is one of my favourite quilts, despite it's very basic design, purely because it's so buttery soft.
  • There's a fantastic tutorial over on Grainline which demonstrates in the most wonderfully clear way how you can 'french all your seams', including the curvy armhole ones!  If you don't have an overlocker and generally try to make your dressmaking seams look a little lovelier from the inside then you're probably already very familiar with a french seam, which is fairly straight forward on a straight edge, but I don't remember using a french seam on an armhole before, so I'm now feeling inspired.
  • I read an article in The Guardian by Eva Wiseman about women's magazines earlier in the week which really rang true and made me think about what I want from a magazine. I've always loved magazines. Even though much of their content is now available in some form online, curling up with one's laptop doesn't have quite the same feeling of cosy evening comfort and self-indulgence. However, I'm increasingly left feeling disappointed when yet another magazine that I'd thought of as being fairly down-to-earth sets about normalising Botox and other cosmetic procedures to make them seem akin to putting on make-up and whose Twitter presence offers a singular stream of calorie-related tips. I mind when a magazine publishes an amazing article intended to inspire confidence and then a few pages later undermines their own words with a titbit or article that seems to imply the opposite is true. The disjointed ethos feels as though they're paying lip service to important issues and as though it's been created without an editorial focus to bring some kind of homogeneity to the magazine. But still I love magazines and don't feel quite ready to give up on them and their bite-sized offerings that don't require the same mental commitment as reading a book. But I'm convinced that there's a gap in the market for a women's magazine to strike a better balance and in some ways I wonder if it might be something akin to a paper version of Radio 4's Woman's Hour. What do you think of magazines in this country? Or if you're overseas, do you have a magazine that you feel gets it right?
  • I've just started reading Caitlin Moran's How To Be a Woman. I feel like she may have something to say on these matters to provoke further thought.





  • Did you enter Rae's Spring Top week last month? There were so many lovely tops and so much inspiration - one of which was Nina's lovely Tova top which was unique in that it was made with a marriage of mother-daughter crafty skills, as Nina asked her mother to embroider her design on to the front yoke of the top. I'm guessing Nina will still have that when she's an old lady. Lovely. I mention Sprint Top week because it's now skirt week, or at least it will be soon!Adrianna and Susan are running their annual skirt making competition, but the timetable is a little different this year as it will be proceeded by two weeks of wonderful skirterly inspiration and tutorials starting from the 21st May and then the actual competition will close on the 8th June. There are different submission categories to cover anything from A-line skirts to children's skirts. I'm delighted that they've asked me to help judge the lovelies again this year and it will no doubt set of sparks of skirt-making within me (as the Spring top making has now - I seem to work a month behind everyone else).
  • Kat who you may know from Twitter (as she's such a warm and friendly sort, so tends to get around) has started a new business venture, Capturing Childhood, offering online eCourses in picture and film. I could tell you lots about it, but you may get more of a flavour of what it's about by watching the beautiful video that her and her partner (also named Kat) have put together here (you may wish to turn your speakers on - the music is perfect). I love the snails, the bouncing on the bed and the plaited hair. It's the familiarity of the back of someone's head that can often capture the most memories.
  • This week I've been drinking such a obscene amounts of Teapigs' Licorice and Mint tea that I realised I should share the loveliness of it with you here. If you've read my blog for a long time you'll know that I've always had a favourite brand of herb tea...but somehow any other tea now just tastes dead next to the fresh flavours of a Teapig. It is like heaven in a mug. Expensive, but cheaper than a bar of chocolate. That's how I'm justifying it to myself anyway.
  • Finally, it's my lovely papa's birthday today and, as he often reads my blog (which is very dear of him, as he has no interest in sewing whatsoever, so I'm always incredibly touched by that) I feel I should wish him a happy birthday here too. Popsie: we began celebrating at 11am by sharing a piece of flapjack in your honour! Happy Birthday! x

I've just realised that this is an exceptionally long post. That's what happens when a girl is kept in isolation for too long.

Florence x

    12 comments:

    1. My mother-in-law gives me her copy of Good Housekeeping when she's finished with it and I joke with my husband that it's always 20% 'How to be super-confident and love your amazing self!!' and 80% 'Here's everything that's wrong with you, especially your weight, and what you need to do to fix it'. The Christmas one is especially fun, articles about how to let go and relax and enjoy Christmas, then pages and pages of detailed recipes and decorating ideas and how to make the PERFECT Christmas cake.

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      1. I'd always thought GH was one of the safer ones in this department, but you're right - recently even their good sense seems to have been lost.

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    2. Always love your links, there is always treasure in them! I have How to be a Woman on audio book via Audible, thoroughly recommend Audible by the way, and it is a great, by funny and thoughtful book. One I want my daughter to read in the future, maybe around 14 when she can cope with the terminology. thankyou x

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      1. Oh good! I've never heard of Audible so will have to look that up.

        Yes, I've been thinking what a wonderful book it is for empowering teenage girls...but some of the language and descriptions are a bit graphic at times.

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    3. Thanks for the link and sweet words, Florence! And thank you even more for pointing me towards the French seams tutorial - my big sewing book says that they're difficult to execute on curves and then gives no advice on how you might tackle the task. Maybe it just expects you to be put off. Also enjoyed your use (invention?) of the word 'skirterly'.

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      1. I love that they just tell you it's hard and offer no advice...clearly one the author couldn't get to grips with (which I find endearing - I hadn't meant that mockingly). Grainline makes it look easy though...

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    4. Popsie clearly realizes what a lovely, warm, and funny writer you are. It is always a pleasure to read your posts, whether they're about sewing, brick ovens, or bath remodels.

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    5. Have you tried reading The Lady magazine?!!
      I love it!
      Salx

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      1. I've always steered away from it because of the name - which is a shame as when my sister wrote an article for them a few years ago I realised it was quite a different magazine to the one I'd imagined it to be.

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    6. I've had Good Housekeeping all my adult life but I've been increasingly thinking that it's lost its way - began to think it was just me getting older! I've always loved magazines - just a small indulgence which I kept up even when we were really broke by getting subscriptions for Christmas and Birthdays, onine versions aren't the same.
      Loved the French Seam tutorial. I was taught to do these at school - a very long time ago - by a frankly horrid woman whose one aim in life was to humiliate anyone who made a mistake in front of the whole class. It's a wonder I've continued to sew when her voice still rings in my ears 'look at what this silly little madam has done, girls!' I'd got out of the habit of using french seams but I'm going back to them now to make some baby clothes.

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      1. Oh gosh, that sounds horrible. It made me feel sligthly ill as I read that as I so remember how it feels to be treated like that by a teacher.

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    Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

    I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

    Florence x

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