My first self-drafted blouse!

I don’t care how much you humour me, I’m not smiling!

Oh wow, I was in a foul mood this morning. But I’d finished my very first self-drafted blouse and wanted my boyfriend to snap it for the blog. Not that I was going to co-operate with the shoot, you understand. I snarled, flounced, sulked and swore. Ian did his best to chivvy me out of my stinking mood and this is a shot of me almost – almost! – bursting out laughing. I managed to rein it in, like the good sulker I am, and swore at him a bit more. My poor, poor boyfriend. I love him very much and this is what he gets on a Sunday morning.

But anyway (tossing hair over shoulder in carefree manner!), let’s not dwell on my failures. We’re here to enjoy the successes! I traced this blouse from a top I already own, bought a couple of years ago from a cheap high street fashion shop. The bought version has an elasticated middle but I went with drawstring. I felt that my fabric was too light to cope with attachment of elastic and, actually, this drawstring is a gentler version. I love my new blouse and it goes perfectly with the skirt I just bought in the sales. I’ve noticed this summer that my sales shopping strategy has changed since sewing. A bargain – a real bargain – in my eyes now is something that I know I could never sew myself. In this instance, a skirt with rows of gathered ruffles.

I can’t hang about this morning. Part of the reason for my stinking mood is guilt. I should be working on my manuscript, not blogging and posing for photos. But as a quick additional update, there’s been more shopping! Yesterday I was in Bath and visited this place:

Fashion Fabrics, Bath

They had some really nice cottons, most for £5 a metre. So I bought a metre! On Friday I also popped into the Liberty haberdashery. For those of you who haven’t had the good fortune of visiting Liberty of London, this is what it looks like:

Liberty Haberdashery – The Place of Dreams

And if you peer over their central balcony, you can watch rich people buying very expensive items on other floors:

Cool, huh?

Liberty is pretty much the only one of London’s revered department stores where I actually buy into the hype. Selfridges? Great food hall, but otherwise – well, it’s just a lot of stuff. Harrods? Forget it. It’s a tacky theme park for tourists. But Liberty? You can really tell that a great deal of taste and discernment goes into everything they do. It’s all a lot of taste and discernment that I can’t afford, but I love to glimpse it. And that’s possibly what I like most about Liberty – I’ve never, ever been made to feel as though I don’t belong or shouldn’t be here. They’ve got too much taste for snobbery.

As I said, I can’t afford most of what’s there. But I can treat myself to some things. So I bought this lovely needle case. (The fabric comes from Fashion Fabrics.) Someone said to me, ‘Couldn’t you have made a needle case?’ Well, yes – I could have. But then I would have been denied the pleasure of climbing ancient, creaking wooden staircases to the fourth floor of a department store to gaze at lawn cotton fabrics at £19.95 a metre.

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2 Responses to My first self-drafted blouse!

  1. Tilly says:

    Ooh congrats on drafting a blouse – it’s a winner! That blue and pink gingham fabric is so lovely – I’m going to Bath in September so will be sure to visit that shop…

  2. Geogrrl says:

    I understand perfectly what you’re saying. Which is why I will be making a pilgrimage to Liberty when DH and I are in London in October. No matter how much grumbling he does, we will be going. And I may buy a needle case for myself. I will, however, be looking to buy my Liberty fabrics at Shaukat instead.

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