Sunday, 17 May 2015

(There'll be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover

Days 9 - 16
I've just had a wonderful week away in Kent with a couple of friends - a great cottage, with a lovely garden, and a visiting rabbit
and Colin, our pet robin, who ate the cake crumbs that we'd missed ..
We had (mostly) fine weather, lots of eating - some healthy, some not, long walks and almost continual laughter.  And, of course, fabric dyeing - doesn't everyone do that on their hols??
Anyway, I have to say that packing for MMM resulted in more careful planning than usual - I have lots of fancy frocks and silly skirts, but my wardrobe is not particularly well-stocked with handmade walking gear or outfits for potentially messy dyeing incidents. Consequently there was a bit of frantic sewing to make another pair of ultimate trousers, a pair of leggings and some pyjama bottoms. Definitely time well spent, and I managed to dress in me-made items everyday (without even counting the pyjamas!)
And, of course, I had someone on hand to take photos all week too.
Day 9 - my Merchant and Mills Factory dress for travelling
Day 10 - On Sunday I am afraid I only managed a hand knitted denim jumper - for a walk around Stodmarsh National Nature Reserve in the morning 
and a trip to Sandwich after lunch
with a bit of live music in the sunshine.
Day 11 - Monday and a trip to Margate - unfortunately we picked the day that the Turner Contemporary gallery was closed, but the Cupcake Cafe was open, so there was cake.
Me-made black and white Jalie top 
I managed to convince my obliging companions that they should pose by this poster ...
Day 12 - Tuesday was fabric dyeing in the garden.  Knowing how messy I am I didn't want to risk getting splashes on my decent clothes, so I wore the recently made grey leggings, on the basis that the dyes wouldn't show.  
I'd put my cardigan on by the time the photo was taken, but underneath I was wearing this tee shirt - it's a bit synthetic, but I knew that meant the dye wouldn't stain it, and even if it had, it's not like it would notice.
We left the fabrics to 'stew' in the dye, and went for a walk with typical Kentish views
returning in time to rinse and hang the fabrics out to dry.
I was delighted with the results - the colours  were stunning.  The subtle, tasteful pieces belong to my friends, and needless to say the lurid, in-your-face pieces are mine.

Day 13 - Wednesday was spent at Goodnestone Park Gardens 
really worth a visit.
I wore my new Ultimate trousers made from dark blue denim sprinkled with white stars
Day 14 - Thursday - was our one rainy day, so we went to Canterbury to visit the Cathedral - beautiful stained glass, and such grand architecture 
for which I wore one of my Coco's, and black Ultimate trousers, with a knitted denim cardie
Day 15 - Friday was Deal, with lunch on the pier, followed by a walk along the white cliffs of Dover to the South Foreland lighthouse 
made from this fabric.....
You'll no doubt be pleased to know that I refrained from singing.
Day 16 - Our week was over all too quickly and Saturday meant it was time to go home.  We decided to take a group photo using the self timer.  I can't tell you how many times I hurtled across the lawn, only to be beaten by the timer.

Eventually I realised I had the camera set on two seconds delay, rather than ten. Doh! 
I'm wearing a self drafted skirt with machine appliqued and embroidered paper dolls and a hand knitted red Miette cardigan.

My NY resolution this year was not to buy any new clothes for the month of January.  At the end of the month, I decided that wasn't exactly a massive challenge, so I extended it for an indeterminate period, and so far I haven't bought any new clothes since before Christmas.  It hasn't been too difficult - until yesterday, when we spent the day at Whistable on the way home.  There are so many independent shops and boutiques there with really lovely clothes, it's true that I was sorely tempted. But I am proud to say that I resisted.  I'd better not go there again until next year.

(There'll be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover - Dame Vera Lynn 


  1. I'm feeling pulled to get back into dress making. And you're inspiring me! I need a simple shift dress for some African fabric recently acquired. Any recommendations for a pattern?

  2. What a lovely post, it looks like you had such a great time xx

  3. It sings out what a fabulous time you all had!