9.8.14

Parcels of Fabric

Dear Laura,




There is nothing that makes me happier than parcels arriving which are full of fabric. I have a little problem to be fair and really need to stop buying so much fabric but it is all so pretty, I can't not buy it, it would feel sad and left out. Yesterday, I got into work and there was a lovely package waiting for me, I ripped it open and above are the contents. The nice thing is that I have started looking up the designers of the fabric and all of their stories are really interesting, it definitely adds to my joy of the fabric. From the fabrics I have chosen most are small businesses and female designers.  I suspect that you don't make a lot of money from fabric design but I certainly get an enormous amount of joy out of it. 

This time I bought fabric which had been designed by two designers. The first is a collective of 5 women called Cotton + Steel. There designs are really cool and the colours they use are right up my street. I bought 2 designs by Alexia Abegg (the tiger fabrics) and I am going to make the best dress ever in the whole wide world, I am pretty excited. The second designers are 3 women called 1canoe2. I just loved the pig fabric, I am going to make some tee towels from it and the bees are brilliant, I don't know what to do with that yet but I am excited to think of something.

Lots of love

Annie


3.8.14

Little Bea's Patchwork Quilt

Dear Laura,




A while ago I bought about 15 fat quarters of fabric, just because I loved the designs. I had no idea what I was going to do with them but I didn't care because they were so so pretty. Well after having realized that my stash was getting a little too big I decided it was time that I got it together and finally made the patchwork quilt I had been meaning to make for a not so new baby of one of my oldest friends. I still have an unfinished quilt for a 3 year old, but she is about to have a new brother or sister so maybe I can make that one in time for the second arrival! 

I enjoy making quilts but I don't make very complicated ones, just squares of lovely fabric sewn together. As I sewed I listened to Radio 4 whilst making this quilt which is appropriate for the little girl it is going to, I know her mum is a big fan, I didn't manage to listen to The Archers though. I love sewing for others because as I sew I think of them and what they might like and how they will laugh at certain things, and how they are going to enjoy the item coming their way. Being so far away it still gives me that connection with the oldest of friends even though we barely get to see each other anymore.

Lots of love

Annie

26.7.14

Summer Dress #3 - I Think it Looks Like Tweed

Dear Laura,



(me at my desk working hard)

(lunch in the park and some dog cuddling)


When I first started working I used to wear some smart grey trousers and a shirt, sometimes with a tank top (or vest as I am slowly learning to call it over here in the US) to keep me warm. It was a pretty dull life dressing for work. I work in an industry which I think is around 80% men and I didn't have the confidence to stand out amongst them, I wanted to blend in, to "be one of them". Well it is many years on now, my confidence is much higher and I realized that my brain is what counts not what I wear or how I blend in. So over time I have let my sartorial style loose on the office. Sometimes with success, other times not so much.

I have discovered that I love fitted dresses, they are comfortable and smart but also allow colour and pattern to be worn in the workplace. I am very fussy and generally clothes shops sell dull, ill, fitting impractical work clothes especially here in the US (It's 100 degrees with 90% humidity people, maybe its time to loose the black suit jacket). And so of course I must make them myself. This is where summer dress number 3 came into my mind.  I was really drawn to this fabric for this dress because I thought it looked like a modern tweed. You need a lot of imagination to go there and a lot of people look at me as if I am insane when I say it, but it really made me think of tweed (it is just plain cotton). I loved the idea of a modern tweed for the office. 

So far I have ripped it twice, once whilst playing football against a 6 year old (who totally beat me) and once when walking the dog. Now it is true that this dress is an office dress and I shouldn't have been doing either of those activities in it but I like it so much I didn't want to get changed. Also of course I can mend it in a flash so I don't mind one bit. The dress came together pretty quickly but I rushed the hem a bit and it is a little wonky I need to resew it, the split up the back is just right and putting the zip in the back instead of in the side makes life so much easier when fitting the dress. Although only three dresses were planned in this series I have my eye on two more already! Summer isn't yet over so I might be able to squeeze them in.

Lots of love

Annie
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