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.