Saturday, 15 March 2014

Afternoon Tea

I always think that a day that starts with buttercream  is probably going to be a good day.
It wasn't that I deliberately set out to have buttercream for breakfast, but I was icing cakes, and someone has to lick the utensils, right?
I may have overdone the tangerine food colour - or maybe I should have gone for a more lurid pink to match?
The cakes were for the Afternoon Tea Party and  Private View of the Spectrum Textile group's second exhibition held at Art Van Go today.
It was a proper vintage style tea party with lashings of homemade cakes
 and tea served in pretty vintage cups.
and I wore my new 'Dolly Clackett' inspired frock - the Christine Haynes Emery dress, made in black and white gingham, decorated with my Russian Doll fabric that I got from Fondant Fabrics a few weeks ago (I bottled out of making the whole dress from it).  This is my first Emery Dress and I have to say I love the pattern.  I made a toile just of the bodice, and my only alteration to the pattern was to leave out the back waist darts as I don't really have a waist.  Unsurprising really, given that my diet is largely buttercream based.
Check out those dollies ....
It turned out to be a brilliant afternoon - we had more visitors than we could have hoped for and everyone seemed very complimentary of our work - although I expect they were really there because word of our cakes had gone around after our previous exhibition.  I am ashamed proud to say that I had four during the course of the afternoon, but they WERE small(ish) and one was only a biscuit.  I say 'only a biscuit' but in truth it was a homemade custard cream made by our group's mentor, Gina .  
The work did look really good - if we do say so ourselves - and if you find yourself in the area of Art Van Go - art suppliers to the stars - in Knebworth, there's an added incentive to go there in the next few weeks to see the exhibition, which is on until 5th April.  Here's a taster of what you'll see ...
For this exhibition, I've gone back to my dressmaking roots, and I made two dresses, a skirt and a tunic, with the theme of "Print"
The tunic behind me is a Schoolhouse Tunic pattern made from fabric that I screen printed, and the dress - a Merchant and Mills Camber dress (another fab pattern to make) is machine embroidered with flowers, with inspiration taken from vintage embroidery transfers.
The shift dress is made from a self drafted pattern, decorated with cut-out dolls from a newspaper fabric
and the skirt is a self-drafted 8-gore skirt decorated with block printed flowers which I then embroidered by hand
Thank you to all our friends and families who came to see us today; to the girls who make up Spectrum; to Art Van Go for allowing us to completely take over their gallery space today; and most of all to Gina for being a fab mentor and friend.  And cake maker.  And for sending me this card as encouragement when I told her about my frivolous frock -

Afternoon Tea - The Kinks


  1. Wonderful stuff! I agree, if a day starts with the icing on the cake, it's going to be a good one. I'm going to look up that first dress pattern: I've just finished making myself a calico potato sack, and desperately need a different pattern!

  2. For lots of reasons I'm sorry I missed it! Glad it went well. I was just starting to get over my desire to print some dressmaking fabric, after my visit to FTM and starting to focus on what needs to be done and now reading your post has set me back weeks! They look great

  3. Can vouch for the fabulous exhibition and yummy cakes
    - no surprise there then.

  4. You don't look bad for an old bird who lives on buttercream! I'm glad you decided to "overdress"... because you looked fabulous!

  5. Your dress is beautiful - I'm so inspired by it!x

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