Monday, 17 March 2014

The love and hate of dressmaking

This dress and I have a history. The fabric and I first met in a Margate bric-a-brac shop just after Christmas. We thought we'd get on well. Then I noticed the pattern in the February issue of Burda style. We introduced ourselves over a cup of tea and decided to give it a go. The dress progressed, friendship blossomed. All was going so well. Until, dress completed, we had a major argument during the first proper fitting when it became apparent that instead of being a lovely, low-fuss, 60s inspired shift, she was actually a big brown swirly sack. With pockets. And frilly sleeves. 

Feet were stamped, nasty words were said, we decided to never speak to each other again. 

Then, after a good night's sleep and a bit of perspective, I decided to be the bigger person (after all, I was actually the person in this relationship). We talked it out and  realised that instead of making alterations, the only thing to do was to take the whole dress apart, cut it out in the next size down, and then, finally stitch it back together again. 

Two nights later, dress finally finished,  the relationship was well on its way to being mended. It's been hard work, but I feel I've grown as a person, while the dress has, well, become a smaller but better dress.

In the end, it was worth it.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Retro tunic

There's no denying it, Esther is most definitely not our baby anymore. Making this tunic reminded me how big and grown-up I felt Freya was when I made her a dress from the same pattern a couple of years ago. I'm starting to understand that thing they say about second children never really growing up in their parent's mind. It's something we've got to watch out for, I know - to see Esther as she really is, right now - not just in relation to her older sister or to our own sense of her as the "baby". 

Anyway, the tunic looks looks nice too.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Grown up adventure

February was a momentous month in the Loulabelle household, because the grown-up Loulabelle's got to go away on a little trip. All. By. Themselves.

Turns out sleeping in a gypsy caravan, with a view of a helicopter, a London bus and a groovy 70s caravan,  is pretty awesome.  Mice ate our bread, and the gypsy bed was half a foot too short for Mr Loulabelle, but I'm still glad we had this particular adventure and didn't just go for a luxury B&B. It's more wierd camping than glamping, but Blackberry Wood in Ditchling was just the right kind of odd-ball, slightly scruffy-round-the-edges place we were looking for.

Fuelled up on a bacon sandwich made from the bits of bread the mice didn't fancy, we spend an epic day in Brighton - vintage bric-a-brac browsing, pub dipping, movie watching and food eating for a wonderful 10 hour stretch.

Snoopers Paradise and To Be Worn Again did us proud. We left the South Downs on the Sunday several pounds (stirling) lighter, several pounds (in weight) heavier, and with a lot more holding of hands than when we got arrived.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Le weekend

Good stuff happened this weekend, including this..
Ken Law print from 60s of Hampsted High Street via H is for Home. Our new favourite bit of wall candy.

Squidgy yarn, tiny little going-to-take-ages-to-knit yarn, and tortoise fabric. If I was a tortoise, I would join this tortoise gang. For real.

Happy feet, and quilted work in progress. Already getting use even though it's not finished. A good sign!

Four special words: snack in a den!


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