Sunday, 28 April 2013

What Have I Done?

Apparently two weeks have passed since I last blogged, and I keep threatening to show you what I've made; so here's a summary of what I've done since we last spoke.
I finished the Sew Liberated Schoolhouse tunic.  It was a lovely pattern to use, and went together really easily, and the fit was good too - didn't have to make any alterations, which was just as well as I didn't bother with a muslin.  I like to live life on the edge.
I'm not sure about the pleats at the front and the back - maybe it would be better in a softer fabric, but in my lightweight denim, they stuck out a bit, so I stitched the pleats down at the front and the back, and when I make it again, I think I will leave out the back pleat altogether.
Photographed in Pam's garden during our knitting session, while the sun was shining 
Mmm, maybe I should have posed for photographs before I had been sitting down in it for a couple of hours and got it all creased up.
I quite like the neckline pinned open as opposed to this, when it tends to flap a bit.
I'm not sure the little matching diamante brooches were terribly appropriate, but they were all I had  at the time.  I think I may make embroidered covered buttons, like I did for this denim coat, and stitch the revers in place
I've also finished the RetroRogue shrug that I saw on Ravelry
Really quick to knit - about two evenings - the most time consuming bit was learning how to do a long tail cast on in rib. 
While I was at Pam's we made her try on her 'nearly-finished' knitting smock.  I drafted the pattern (which didn't exactly push my skills to the limit, being as it's meant to be pretty shapeless) and just needed to know exactly where she wanted the big box-pleated pockets, which are designed to hold your yarn so that you can walk about knitting.  (Listen, don't ask me - this was Pam's idea, not mine!)
Obviously, I made the usual promise that I wouldn't put the picture on my blog, and equally obviously, I didn't mean it. 
So my first job once I've written this post, is to stitch the pockets in place, (I've adjusted them slightly so they are now level) and hem the smock, and it's finished. Fortunately, I've only had to make it - Pam's actually going to wear it!
To briefly summarise the rest of my makes, I made a stitched paper collage at the last Spectrum meeting
I've progressed the Spectrum 'round robin' stitched challenge.  I got this from Margaret -
Black felt with holes cut out,  stitched onto white cotton.  I wasn't sure what to do with it, but as you know, I do tend to think in song titles, and Bobby Vee and "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" came into my head, so I did this
and I will pass it on to the next stitcher to complete at our May meeting. (Sorry some of the pics are rubbish, but I haven't got time to re-do them.)
The first piece for our Spectrum exhibition is well underway - a eight gored skirt, self-drafted, with printed and hand embroidered flowers
A machine embroidered pewter box stitched last Saturday at a great Embroiderers Guild workshop with Ann Parr - no website but she is the author of this brilliant book on Stitching on Metal.

Yesterday at our Stapleford Beading group I finished this zig zag bracelet, started months ago at a workshop with Jean Power
And, just so that you can see that not all of my activities are stitch related - I made these plant labels with broken bits of china and a pen which is fixed by baking it in the oven
I was going to write a review of the Bowie exhibition at the V&A - but I need to get on and do something constructive now,  so all I'll say is -  Go, it's absolutely brilliant, and watching Bowie and Mick Ronson performing Starman on TOTP in 1972 is certainly the closest  I'll get to feeling 17 again. 
Gina did an in-depth post here so I recommend you read that for a proper review.  

Finally, how many of you heard the predicted minus 2 degrees on the weather forecast at 10.30pm last night, and spent the next 15 minutes wandering up and down the garden by torchlight, to bringing delicate little seedlings indoors from an unheated greenhouse. 
Just me then.

Took them back this morning.  So, my baby plants are safe from frost damage, but beginning to suffer from travel sickness.
What Have I done - Carl Barat

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Norfolk Coast

If you are visiting Norfolk this summer, can I recommend you pay a visit to Holkham Hall on the North Norfolk coast.  I went last week, mainly because I had heard about the Glamour and Gowns exhibition  of clothes designed by Belinda Belville and Belville Sassoon, that runs to the end of October. Belinda Belville is the mother of Viscountess Coke, the present 'lady of the house'.
I loved the exhibition ....
and I'd forgotten that Belville Sassoon designed patterns for Vogue (I really want this elaborate gilded 'thingy' for holding cotton reels, with a pin cushion on top)

So for me, it was well worth the admission for the exhibition alone.  But as an unexpected bonus, the house is probably the nicest I've ever visited.  
The interior was fabulous .....

(if you've seen "The Duchess" with Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, some of the scenes were filmed in the  room below)

.... the grounds are beautiful, although as it was blowing a gale I settled for looking out of the window ....
and the staff and stewards were lovely. Not only were they happy for me to take photos, one of the gentlemen even offered to take my picture in one of the rooms
I think I look quite at home there, in my charity shop fur coat.  
I had a lovely day, and if you do visit, and the weather warms up for your visit, you can walk down to the wide expanse of beach. And if not, there's always the restaurant or coffee and cake in the tea rooms.

NORFOLK COAST - The Stranglers

Friday, 12 April 2013

You Were Made For Me

Sorry, been away a while.  Just a very quick post to say I've signed up for Me-Made-May '13.
Last night,  I was searching the web to find info on fabric shops in Walthamstow, and happened upon Zoe's blog HERE and read about a challenge she is organising, whereby you pledge to wear handmade garments/accessories every day for the whole of May.
Now,  I have been dressmaking/knitting/refashioning for about a hundred years, or at least since I was 11 - but for some reason the things I make largely seem to hang in my wardrobe, unworn.  Even my Mum says "I never see you wear the things you make".  So, this morning I made a decision to sign up and actually wear them.
'I, Gill of Vintagerockchick, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item each day for the duration of May 2013'

Hopefully, whilst I doubt I will post daily, I do intend to at least partly document the results of this challenge by taking some not-too-hideous photos and posting them on here. 

More later about what I've been making, and doing since we last chatted.

You Were Made For Me - Freddie and the Dreamers