Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Home and back in action

My absence from Blogland has been conspicuous (to me at any rate).  I've spent the last few months preparing to go away, going away and coming back again to a mountain of work!  

While ostensibly it was a business trip, with the opportunity to speak at conferences, work with colleagues in London and have a brief holiday in Portugal, I did spend a lot of time talking and thinking about sewing. 

The outfit photographed was self made for travel.  A self drafted black ponte pencil skirt, a Rigel bomber jacket made from a fabulous linen synthetic blend that doesn't crush and doesn't need ironing, and a black jersey cowl neck t-shirt.  I love this outfit and wish I had a photo that showed more garment and less of the Savoy.

I travelled to Paris for weekend (as you do!) and found stunning antique buttons at the Marché aux puces de la Porte de Vanves on the outskirts of central Paris.  I bought four lots for 20 euros and much haggling.  There is lace to be found at this flea market but the quality is variable. Expect to pay for the good stuff. I also went to my favourite fabric stores on Montmartre and was slightly disappointed.  But I did find 3 metres of interesting cotton blend for 10 euros. And am kicking myself for not buying the 3 metre 'coupon' of burnt orange faux leather indistinguishable from real leather.  I was worried about excess baggage.

Back in London I met up with the lovely Kate from Fabrikated.  We shared dinner at her house and I felt privileged to see her hand made clothes, sewing area, cloth stash.  Kate is wonderfully creative and has been dabbling in fabric printing and painting.  She is also a skilled pattern-maker and was finishing an amazing cotton maxi at the time of my visit. 

Another trip highlight was meeting Tany from Tricot et Couture.  Tany is utterly charming and amazingly generous and talented.  We spent time touring her home town in Portugal with her husband and son.  We clicked and talked about all sorts of things, including cloth...how could we not?  Seeing her work close up was really very special. Tany led me to her favourite fabric store Feira dos Tecidos which has branches all over Portugal.  A sample of my purchases is pictured below.  

 Tany also directed me to a very special supplier of trims and buttons.  I bought buttons for a Chanel jacket and the red and black braids on the counter. 

 I've just finished my first garment since my return, a tuxedo shirt which I'm pattern testing for my friend Anita McAdam at Studio Faro.  I have hundreds of buttons, but do you think I have 8 small black shirt buttons?  Fraid not!

I promise not to be a stranger again.  Please pop by and say hello.