Utrecht Fabric Market

Monday, July 30

Has everyone been watching the Olympics? What did you think of the opening ceremony?

I watched it with a mixture of pride and trepidation. Pride because I loved the whole set up, so typically British and I thought it was well executed. The Queen as a Bond Girl? I'll take that anyday. Trepidation because I was worried not everyone would get it. True enough, my Cameroonian friends on Facebook did not get it.

I did not watch all of it though because the following morning I was going to Utrecht Market, and I had to wake up at 5am. My guide for the day was Jhuriene from Julys Diary. Way back in 2009 when I had my wordpress blog, Jhuriene was one of the few (very few) people who used to read my blog. She was one of the first people I started following on the blogosphere, and it was so nice to finally meet her. As it turns out, she lives about 30 minutes from where I am at The Hague. Small world huh?

A straight skirt for a pear.

Sunday, July 22

Okay, so here I am, trying to go against all the image consultants.

I have been told, via books and blogs and TV, that as a pear shaped woman, I should steer clear of straight fitted skirts. I do that, but then again, sometimes I wear shop bought straight skirts, and sometimes it fits me ( maybe 1 in every 50  I try on). You would think that making one for myself that fit would be easy right? I thought so too, and ended up here

Millinery day 4: Sinamay flowers

Thursday, July 19

Today marked the end of my four day millinery adventure. We made roses from sinamay, and used some straw to cover a headband. More rolling. My fingers will be glad its over I tell  you. I had so much fun though, and I hope I can get better at rolling. It produces such beautiful pieces if you get the rolling right.

So Today, I painted more sinamay leaves and squares for the roses.

Millinery day 3: working with sinamay

Wednesday, July 18

Another day another millinery adventure.

Today we worked with sinamay. I got to class 3o minutes late, so had to spend time catching up. Not good Dibs, not Good. I did not do so well today. We had to cut out sinamay shapes and dye them. Since I was late, I missed part of the instructions, and paid for that later. We were told to cut the shapes on the bias, which I did, but was not aware we had to stretch the bias strips before cutting out the shapes. When we finished rolling the sinamay shapes, mine had become so thin. The teacher said it was okay, but that I could cut bigger ones if I want, and that it all depends on what I want to make. I cut out bigger shapes afterwards, this time, stretching to sinamay to within an inch of its life. I will work on that one tomorrow.

White sinamay......

Flower Making Day 2: Seeing red

Tuesday, July 17

Today was the last day of the flower making class. Yesterday, we dyed fabric and carved lino blocks.
We went on to make the flowers today. The pictures should give you an idea of the steps involved in transforming the fabric to a flower.

I ironed some bondaweb unto some fabric and cut out petals and squares for each petal.

Next we embossed the petals, using the lino blocks we carved. When embossing the petals, you have to insert some paper covered wire into the grooves.

Flower making Day 1 and a surprise encounter

Monday, July 16

Today I started the first of my two millinery sessions at Kensington and Chelsea college. Monday and Tuesday will be spent flower making while Wednesday and Thursday will be used to explore the use of sinamay and straw in millinery. 

Our teacher is Bridget Bailey, a really talented and down to earth milliner. I really loved the way she taught us today. I went in thinking she would be very uppity, especially as she is well known, but I was pleasantly surprised by her teaching style. I've decided I like her....very much actually. You can see some of her work here. These are my favourite of her pieces

The Blogger Series: Sew Incidentally

Sunday, July 15

I was really touched by all the lovely comments you sent my way yesterday about my hatmaking attempts. Hopefully I go on to make nicer things. I am hoping when I get more confident about my millinery abilities (non-existent at the moment), I could do a couple of tutorials for you, so you could make your own little pieces at home. Would you want that?

Today's guest on the Blogger Series is Claire, from Sew,Incidentally.

What can I say about Claire? Phew!!. Those of you who have met her, would know about her organisational skills, and her selfless nature. She's always willing to help people ( thanks for the chocolate bar when I was preggers Claire) and is quite generous at swaps ( I have an impressive jersey stash thanks to her). Her IT skills are good too, as she turned the Sorbetto sleeve pattern Mena of Sew Weekly fame used for her Sorbetto challenge into a PDF, and also helped So Zo, with digitising her free vest/camisole,singlet pattern.

What I did today

Saturday, July 14

What a day I've had.

My day started with me waking up at 7am, and going across town to spend 6hours with a legend in the millinery world. Those of you who have been bothering to read my ramblings will remember that last year I was going to take lessons with this living legend but unfortunately, I got knocked up, and due to complications could not attend. Many of you said I could always do it the following year. And I just did. Yay!!.

Today is the start of a number of classes I will be having with her. My next class will surely be sometime in August after my holidays, but no matter. Today was everything I hoped it would be and more.

I am dead tired, so without further ado, here are a few pics of my day.

In which I moan again

Friday, July 13

I know, I know.

It seems like all I do these days is moan. That is what happens when you are at home all the time. Not everyone though. Some people sit at home and make wonderful use of their time. Not me. All I do is plan things I want to make, start making them, and then get distracted by all your lovely blogs. Lovely blogs, which fill me up with intense envy. Ha! I said it. Yes I get envious when I see some really cool stuff on blogs, and wish I had the skills to make those things, or had access to some of the cool gadgets I see on those blogs. The american blogs are most often the guilty ones. Yes you Americans, with your Joanns and Walmarts.

And they asked me to bring these.....

Thursday, July 12

Rubber gloves MOST important!
Sewing kit
Paint brush (one inch)
A piece of towel 2 ft square to paint on
Sinamay -  pale coloured is fine not black. half a metre
Parisisal straw cone

A bucket or large plastic bowl to dye fabric in.
Cotton or silk fabric bits if they have them
If they don't bring gloves and a bucket they won't be able to dye silk till other people have finished with theirs.

The Blogger Series: House of Pinheiro

Wednesday, July 11

Howdy people?

I met up with House of Pinheiro for the second interview in my Blogger Series feature. If you are new to my blog, I decided to start this series after receiving my new Nikon 3100 camera. I love taking pictures with it, and since it comes with a video option, I thought a fun way to use it would be to interview as many fellow bloggers as I can. If you missed the first interview with Pincushion Treats, you can see it here.

For those of you who don't know about House of Pinheiro ( not many I'm sure), you can find her here,   baking, sewing, quilting and doing many more things than I would ever dream to do, and to top it all, she is in the final stages of her MBA program. Is there anything this girl cannot do? I could almost hate. ALMOST....

A few lacy bits.

Monday, July 9

I made some undies. YAY!!

I was sort off forced into making these. Due to the fact that I had an emergency C-Section when having Noah, I was advised by the midwives to invest in large undies. I'm talking full briefs here people, those that threaten to reach your chest. So I did just that, handing out a couple of pounds for shiny new size 16 undies from M&S. 

Thank God for John Lewis

Thursday, July 5

Today, my junior brother and I went into John Lewis on Oxford Street, because I wanted to check out what they had. Thank God I did. They are currently having sales on some of their fabric.

After settling Noah with my brother, and went off to explore the sale area.

Weekend in Review Pt 2

Tuesday, July 3

I can't even begin to describe how much fun I had on Sunday. I was like a kid in a candy store. You have no idea how much I have been wanting to go out and just have some me time. As much as I love my young one, I do need some time once in a while to feel alive, and in control of myself.

Noah, sensing I would be having fun without him, decided to pull a fast one on me, and was fidgety all day. Unfortunately for him, he underestimated my determination to have a baby-free outing. Oh, there was alcohol to be sampled, and there was no way I was not going to treat myself to a few cocktails. So, despite his tearless crying ( Gone are the days when I fretted when he cried), I impatiently dumped him into his father's arms, and sprinted for the door. Does that make me a bad mother? Yes? Can you in all honestly blame me? Yes? ....well you have never tasted Mela's baking or cocktails. Believe me when I say that girl could bake her way out of trouble. When I was with child ( can you tell I read the Bible?), she came to visit me often, and brought many delights. Her chocolate macarons had Junior Mr.Dibs salivating for days....and that by itself, is an achievement.

Weekend in Review Pt 1

Monday, July 2

I know I said in this post that I will reveal what I have been working on, on sunday, but I can't do that. The project is unfinished. I was too busy having fun.

This weekend has been quite an interesting one for me. First, my friend from Portsmouth came to spend the weekend with me, then we got to hang out with Claire on Saturday, and then on Sunday, we met up with some cool chicas, ate some cake ( LOADS), and downed some cocktails. Details of sunday's meet-up will be in part two of my weekend review.  Sadly, all good things come to an end, and my friend has returned to Portsmouth, and once again, I'm back to living my life through your blogs....yes I know, I am a stalker.....I'm getting help from the NHS, so fear not, I will not be doing anything drastic soon.