So I’ve decided to join a sewalong. I think I’m being a bit silly clothing wise at the moment, I’m doing what one should never do which is buying clothes that don’t quite fit because I’m losing weight (well…slowly putting it back on but that’s just failing to get out of my Christmas over-indulging) and I’m going to do the same with the skirt I’m going to make as part of the sewalong. I’ve been kind of keeping my eye on knitalongs and sewalongs and there are blogs that I absolutely love that have initiated them but they’ve seemed always to choose projects I’m not in love with. I am in love with this project – http://shop.byhandlondon.com/product/charlotte-skirt and I’m really looking forward to making it and have to admit I kind of just want to charge on with it but…the whole reason I decided to join a sewalong was to make sure that I do this properly and learn more about making adjustments etc. I’ve already learned something – you should never cut the pattern printed on the tissue paper you should always trace it out to something else! Makes perfect sense…particularly for someone like me whose size and to a lesser extent shape is on the move. Anyway, I haven’t even got any fabric for this project yet so I can’t really get too ahead of myself.
This isn’t a well thought out blog – this is definitely a ramble. I’ve been working on my tax return all day and my stall accounts and meant to get to this earlier but I am snowed under! Anyway, I plan to make more things for myself this year, and to spruce up my look a bit so here’s to that!
So sweet. The kids (young adults) are busying themselves cooking supper for their father’s birthday. We’re having roast beef with all the trimmings and a lurid pinkish red sparkle covered birthday sponge. I can hear them downstairs preparing, they’ve both dressed for dinner, and I think it’s going to be (their version) or a rather fancypants evening.
Strange to think that in two weeks they’ll both have left. I’m a little bit heart broken. Still…I know this is how it’s meant to be and I know that they’re both off to have adventures and that they will be fine.
The sewing blog world seems to be full of people at the other end of this parenting malarkey with pregnancies being announced by people I don’t know personally but nevertheless feel very happy for…the internet’s a strange beast. Check out Joanne and Casey I’m looking forward to see all the baby stuff they both make.
Well, we’ve had a really stressful few days. My son did well in his a-levels but not as well as he needed to get in to his first choice university nor his second choice. It appears that his school didn’t cash in one of his grades which meant that his first choice uni was waiting for ages before it could make a decision and once it did have all his grades it still took ages to decide and it then took another age for the negative decision to come through on UCAS. Ditto second choice university. He had to go through clearing but had already secured a verbal offer from a university he was interested in going to, one of the ones on his original list of five, and all he had to do was apply via UCAS…..here’s where the stress really began because it wasn’t until 8.30pm that he was released from his second choice uni which meant that his application to where he is now going couldn’t be processed until the following day (late in the day) and we were fearful that all the places would have gone.
I’m meant to be getting ready to head off to the market – http://sosusieyarns.blogspot.co.uk/ - so I can’t write anything particularly insightful at the moment. Suffice to say, it hasn’t been fun, I’m so relieved it’s all sorted and well done son.
So this week saw me do the first of three sewing classes at the sickeningly gorgeous Ray Stitch on Essex Road. I met Mrs Ray, not her real name, at a Selvedge Magazine Craft fair in June 2010 – I’m not quite as stalker-y as I sound I just remember because the fair was held across the road from a friend of mine and having not seen her for a while I thought it an opportune time to pop in on her too only she had buggered off to Glastonbury Festival (a distant memory for me now, expect I won’t go there again). Anyway, Mrs Ray and I got to talking about selling wool amongst other things and she said she was looking for premises for a shop but had recently lost out on somewhere.
Jump forward a year, and my not having made any purchases from the Ray Stitch online store whilst still lusting after the just so Ray Stitch lifestyle or even just style, and my friend J (a very cute hip young slip of a girl) knowing that I liked all things sew-y and knitty told me about this shop she’d noticed that was due to open soon that she thought I’d like. Well, even though I was excited about the prospect of Ray Stitch in the flesh it still took me a couple of months to visit the shop – all I can say is I need a new better paid job because it’s like fabric porn in there and the little café is pretty good too with a lovely and very friendly young man behind the counter – their flat white was even, dare I think it, better than the one I get from Shoreditch Grind!
Desperately wanting to take one of their new sewing courses, and yet able to sew from a commercial pattern already so definitely not a beginner and maybe not really an improver, I plumped for the make a blouse improvers course run over three weeks. I reasoned that I lust after the Ray Stitch look because on the clothes and projects they feature the lines are so clean and simple and they only work because they are beautifully made. I can make more or less anything but I’m not the most careful crafter on the block so I thought that this lesson would get me back on neatness track.
I’d gone in to the shop the week before and bought some beautiful Anna Maria Horner fabric from her Little Folks range so that I could pre-wash it (shown below at the cutting stage) and now I was ready for my class.
- Cutting out the Anna Maria Horner fabric
The lessons take place in the basement, a lovely space – though I found it not big enough for cutting out the paper pattern and the fabric, set up for six students one of whom turned out to be Mrs Ray!!…hehe. We were offered wine and there were nibbles including some delicious bruschetta topped with a sweet red onion relish and a generous couple of slices of meltingly soft goats cheese and smoked salmon and cream cheese.
We all introduced ourselves and got on with measuring ourselves, deciding which version of the blouse we wanted to make, cutting out the paper pattern, one of the cult Colette
patterns, and cutting out the fabric. That’s as far as I got because there wasn’t quite enough space for us all to cut out at the same time and I’ve realised that I tend to think because I’m the biggest person in the room, usually, I need to try and make sure I take up as little room as possible so I preferred to let the slip of a woman sitting opposite me and the one to my side (both of whom seemed really pleasant) have first dibs at the space. In other words I didn’t finish everything we were meant to by the end of the night so I’ve got homework!!…Serves me right for being all – I do know how to sew you know.
I’m really looking forward to the next class and I promise I won’t leave my homework until the very last moment.
Posted in Crafts, General, Projects, Sewing
Tagged Anna Maria Horner, Colette Patterns, drink, Essex Road, Food, Ray Stitch, Selvedge Magazine, sewing, shops, Shoreditch Grind
We’ve got a lovely new flower stall on Saturdays at Archway Market and when I was last on the market, it’s my turn again this Saturday, the stall holder gave me some beautiful Amaryllis at the end of the day because she said they were too open and she couldn’t sell them.
White Amaryllis - dining table cheer
One week on and they’re still going strong and brightening up my dining table.
Hmmmm, this post was meant to come after this one – nevermind.
Whilst in Deal recently we went fruit picking and whilst we initially thought there were slim pickings we did manage to get enough redcurrants to make a few jars of redcurrant jelly and enough raspberries to make a good number of jars of raspberry jam with extra left over just for eating.
Weighing the raspberries
We also got gooseberries but those were destined for the freezer. I cannot tell a lie though, when I talk about we here in terms of the jelly and jam making I really mean my mother and father-in-law. I didn’t do all that much to help, washed jars;
Jam jars drying on a rack
poked fruit around a bit, added my twopence worth when we had a problem with the sugar – you get the idea.
Here’s the sugar warming on the hob!
The wrong way to warm sugar perhaps
And here’s the resultant caramelised sugar – YUM
Burnt sugar sweets
Redcurrant juice dripping through cheesecloth
Redcurrant jelly drop by drop
Raspberries all ready to be boiled down
Raspberries in a pan
Filling the jars
Ladling the jam into jars
Summer in a jar
Raspberry jam ready to be given to friends
Posted in Cooking, Food, General
Tagged Cooking, Deal, Food, fruit picking, gooseberries, jam, jam making, raspberries, redcurrants
Whilst at the beach on our weekend trip to Deal we spotted a trio of people walking on water
Walking on water
Ok, so you can see in this picture that they are on boards and they have paddles but when we first sited them we couldn’t and it was very strange indeed.
The other strange sighting? Having a quick drink at a canal side drinkerie for a colleague’s leaving do Dr M and I decided to take a wander up a pathway along the canal running beyond a closed gate. I thought this rather daring of us as I suspected the closed gate meant no entry (ok I admit we asked permission before we set off) in any case it was very tranquil and green. There was a disused pedalo hauled onto its side propped against a wall and then this…
Canal side loo
I guess if you’re a barge or narrow boat dweller this won’t be an unfamiliar site to you? But I’m not one and to happen upon a proper flushing toilet on the banks of the canal – this was it, there weren’t any doors or walls for privacy, and the hole is rather high up so I can’t really imagine you’re meant to sit on it waving to passersby as you do your business – was a cause of much mirth to Dr M and me.