Piping, ruffles and edging
I think some of the elasticated edgings may be intended for lingerie, but I can't see any reason why I shouldn't use the straight band as an insert, so all that's left showing is the tiny picot edge.
I love these pipings.
In other news, on Thursday I met with the loveliness that is Christine Haynes. If you don't already know of her, then I can tell you that she is a multi-talented LA-based seamstress who has her own line of dress patterns; teaches Craftsy classes and writes for their blog; is the writer of two sewing books (the second is yet to be published) as well as her own blog; teaches sewing at the fabric shop where she works and makes almost her entire wardrobe from scratch, watched by two cats. She is also an all-round nice-girl, cutie and fellow addictee to the Laurel pattern. I'm unsure how she fits in basic things like breathing, but she appears to be alive and quite sane on her extreme diet of fast-paced sewing-related activities (I am like a tortoise by comparison and Christine did - kindly - tease me over my tendency to spend four weeks painstakingly sewing something two inches big that may or may not be intended for a grasshopper that I saw at the bottom of the garden several weeks ago. It's true. My sewing is often total non-sensical self-indulgence).
Anyway, she and her man took a few days out from their annual stay in Paris to come over to England and it was lovely to be able to meet up with them for lunch. It's always an odd thing to be finally meeting with someone who you feel you know through their photos and blog posts, but have never actually met, but Christine was just as lovely and warm as I'd imagined her to be with the added surprise of being incredibly funny and leaving my face aching with smiling. Ever since I'd known she was coming to England it had been rolling happily around in my mind that, if in reality she seemed to be the kind of girl who wouldn't shoot me down for asking such a ridiculous question, then I could put my ever-burning question to her: do all Americans whiten their teeth? Is the application of bleach advised upon in the same nonchalant way as braces? Is this a procedure that's seen as no more serious than having one's hair cut or one's leg-hair removed? I was delighted to find that both she and her partner arrived armed with three of their own, far more bizarre, questions about Englishness. She did give me an answer to my question but, selfishly, I'm not sharing it here, because I've gained new confidence to pose superficial questions and would like your independent opinion if you happen to have personal knowledge about American dental habits (but don't limit yourself to the USA - I'm happy to hear about any nationality if you have inside knowledge).
Did you follow anyone's Me Made May photos (where the challenge is to wear handmade for every day in May and take selfies to show off each day's outfit)? There seemed to be so many lovelies taking part this year (and indeed there are over 5,000 photos in the Flickr pool!) and it inspired me to make more things that are 'everyday wearable'. Because of my obsession with fabrics that have a good drape, I'm often drawn to crepe de chine or other silks (they are just so lovely to sew with), but I do find that although I've made a great many garments, often they wouldn't actually be practical or appropriate for an ordinary day without having to wave my hands at small children, dogs and fresh-from-the-garden husbands in a 'this is my dance space, this is your dance space. I don't go into yours, you don't go into mine' motion (affectionados of the film, Dirty Dancing, will know exactly what I mean by that. I'm Patrick Swayze - silk, rather than muscle, clad - and the rest of the world is Jennifer Grey with spaghetti arms that threaten to leave greasy paw marks on my clothing). With this in mind, my self-made clothing aspirations are to make more items that could be worn without having to guard against close-proximity interactions. That doesn't seem too lofty an ambition. I've worn this top (which I'd said was my least favourite Laurel, but is actually now my favourite) a lot and last week I whipped up another cotton top which I'll share with you in my next post. When I met with Christine, I also fitted in a quick trip to Liberty, where I was able to stroke Amy Butler's rayon challis fabric in person: this is the thing of dressmaking fabric dreams. It's practical and looks easy to sew with, but has the most amazing drape and feel. It's soft and swishy, but not sheer and insubstantial. It took all my willpower not to buy it, as the colour and pattern were all wrong for me, but I wanted it so, so badly.