Dress Making Class

I’m so excited to tell you about my weekend sewing course at Raystitch in London. They were very full days but who doesn’t love a weekend of sewing right! It was also really nice to meet other like minded people. There were six of us as well as a lovely instructor, who was very patient. Don’t we look a happy bunch!…

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The pictures below are of the Deer and Doe patterns that we aimed to make in two days. Check out their website here

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On Saturday we started with the Chardon Skirt. Moyna Hamilton, the instructor, made this example for us to check out…

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It actually turned out to be more work for a skirt than we thought but I learned a few things. I was thrilled with my invisible zipper for example…

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See, all smiles!

The belt loops were a bit tedious as well but in the end I’m glad I did them because I think it looks nice with a belt. I got to sport it today, yeah…

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Sunday’s Sureau Dress didn’t turn out as well but I think it can be fixed. I learned I’m smaller on top than the bottom, typical right. I chose to cut the larger size than the model Moyna made but it looked a bit sloppy. I am going to adjust the darts at the back. Here is my semi-finished version…

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It should look a little more fitted…

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The bodice of the dress was fun to make with the gathers. Here of some of the others in the class…

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I love the bird and moon fabric from Cloud 9 fabrics. Unfortunately, another sewer got the last of this fabric so I’ll have to order some online I think!

So many things I want to make now! I want to do another version of the skirt in a more summer weight fabric with a bottom contrast fabric like the sample and the dress in a funkier fabric with short sleeves for the summer. If I feel up to it I may fix the dress tonight so that I can wear it tomorrow.

Ottolenghi

John and I are spoiled to be able to go into London for dinner! I’m taking a weekend dressmaking sewing course at Raystitch in London (Islington area) on the weekend so we went in tonight to get fabric. I suddenly realised last night I needed to wash the fabric first so off we went after work tonight.

I know I’ve mentioned I love going into St. Pancras before but it really is such a nice vibe (probably because I don’t have to do it everyday for work)! It was a nice evening tonight and a few sights filled me with joy at being here…overflow pubs and flower stalls…

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Of course Raystitich is around the corner from my favourite restaurant, Ottolenghi! Did I plan it that way…hmmmmm. I can’t even explain how I love the flavours here. I adore the roasted eggplant salad with this yummy yogurty dressing sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. We had a gorgeous corn fritter with a side of pickled beet and yogurt. The courgette (zucchini) and broccoli salad was to die for as well. We also splurged for the rum chocolate fondant cake! I’m in food bliss right now writing this post.

I have a lovely chambray fabric to wash, a heavier blue twill and a lovely faded red Robert Kaufman cotton. I got all three because I couldn’t decide which I would use on the weekend…

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On this course I will be making 2 patterns by Deer and Doe, the Chardon Skirt and the Sureau dress. Not sure about how the skirt will look on me but am eager for the dress. I hope to just gain some extra confidence in making my own clothes. It’s 10-5:30 Saturday and Sunday so it better be worth it or a weekend lost!!!

Multiplication

My summer hexagon project is slowly growing. Here’s a quick update…

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Aren’t they a pretty wee garden! If you look at the last picture the flower at the bottom right has the steel grey that I chose as the fabric to connect this crazy idea of a project. I’m still making more flowers though, not done yet!

Quick Baby Quilt

We actually had a quiet weekend, shocking! I feel like I’m coming down with the inevitable beginning of school cold so I was happy to chill out at home and sew.

I decided to start a new baby quilt project. I had a cheater panel from Birch Fabric and thought I could just do a quick square quilt. I cut out the squares of picture and then added in the stripes. I’ve had so much fun playing with stripes in my hexi project that I thought they would give this little number some visual appeal…

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I love the back because it reminds me of going on a summer holiday…oh the summer, I miss you! Just have to sew down the binding and it was a great day project.

Prague Castles

Thank you everyone for the kind comments from my last post. Today we decided to check out the Royal Palaces of Prague. Again a place heaving with tourists so go early! Apparently, it’s nice to walk around the area at night too. It’s an absolutely amazing area of Prague. We hiked high up the hill and got a short stay pass for the palace area…gorgeous views…

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We headed first to St. Vitus Cathedral…wow!…

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Next, the Old Royal Palace of the Bohemian Kings with a good view of the city below…

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I actually thought that St. George’s Basilica was the most interesting church on the site as it was by far the oldest…

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Finally, the Golden Lane. Houses of palace workers built into the castle wall. It’s amazing how little space one actually needs! I loved the Seamstress’ house best of course. Up until around WWII people still lived in these…

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It’s amazing what you can see in one morning! I’m at the slalom course now watching the C1 men’s semi-final. I’ll leave you with some other city shots from this fairytale city…

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Prague

Did I mention I do work as a teacher? School started last week but this week the World Canoe Slalom Championships started in Prague and John and I had long planned to go away for this. (Many will know John has been involved with British Canoeing on and off for years and is now writing articles for Sportscene.) I think it’s quite hysterical that I’ve taken 5 days off at the beginning of the school year. I’m sure the parents are thinking, “teachers, don’t they get enough holiday!” Oh well, the kids will survive and they are in good hands I’m sure.

Now to the good stuff, Prague…John has always wanted to take me to Prague from the moment we said we were going to move. It’s his favourite city and for good reason. It really is historic and magical. It’s also very easy to navigate and feels very comfortable, even though the city centre is heaving with tourists. On our first day we dropped into the slalom course to get our media packs…

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Then we grabbed the subway into Wenceslas Square (yes, I can’t stop singing “Good King Wenceslas…”) and what do we see first thing up…

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Now trust me I’m NOT one of those touristy tourists that eats at a McDonalds because it’s all I recognise but come on who can resist a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) in it’s 10 year anniversary year!

After a taste of home, we hit some of the top sites…a bridge built in 1357, a famous astronomical clock, views of the castle etc…

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Today, before we went to the course for the first heats, we spent some time in the old Jewish Ghetto area. It was amazing to see. It’s one of those places that you can’t comprehend because of it’s age and history. It’s actually unreal that it wasn’t all destroyed in the Second World War. For some reason I wasn’t quite aware of the rich Jewish history in Prague. Synagogues in the area date back to the 13th century, I believe. One of the most chilling sites is the Jewish cemetery which is a very small area that is about 10 layers deep (you can imagine through history they weren’t given much space)…

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The below Synagogue was not the most beautiful (that’s the Spanish Synagogue) but it was the most moving. It has written on the walls the names of some 80,000 people that were exterminated by the Nazis in WWII who were from Prague and the surrounding area. It was interesting to note that we were seeing the names written for a second time. During the communist occupation of Prague the names were erased from the walls. They were only to be put back after 1989 when the Iron curtain fell…

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I think John was glad I dragged him on this particular excursion. I think it’s important to see places like these. We must remember.

Afterwards, we found an amazing cafe to debrief. Mmmmmmmmmm…

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Back to the UK

The first week of school is finished so now I feel like summer is truly over and the autumn has begun. I flew back to the UK last week and bizarrely had trouble with my WordPress app on the iPad so was waiting to make my first post back after the summer. Magically, as all things computers seemed to do, it just started working again.

I had a wonderful summer at the cottage and was lucky to also be able to see many friends that I haven’t seen in some time. It’s always nice to catch up with people. I was even able to give another dress away to a very sweet peanut…

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Yes, she’s a dancer!

At the cottage mom and I worked hard on our hexagons too! We didn’t finished, of course, but we sure did sew a lot. I actually didn’t get as much reading time, my only regret! I can’t complain though because I think I probably had the most beautiful place to sew on earth…

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It was funny because I couldn’t stop taking pictures of my little finished hexi pieces. They were so cute all piled up and then sewn together…

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I also got pics of mom’s fabric way as well…

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We did so many that I even had to take out some of the papers from the inner flower…

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Tip: take the time to hole punch your pieces for easier taking out.

I will leave you today with some cottage shots. Especially check out my pet frog in his interesting housing choice, my dad’s kites and as always the amazing Georgian Bay rocks and sunsets…

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Goodbye cottage, hope to be there next year!

Mom and I keep sewing away on our hexies so I will definitely keep you updated. I’m also trying to convince mom to do some “Mom Monday” posts so we’ll see what happens there. She’s making so many neat things that it would be a shame not to show the off too!