Walk Like An Egyptian
This evening I attended a book launch in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. Book launches sound glamorous but can be awkward social events. You’re there to support someone you know and like, but heck that person will be in demand. They’re signing books, giving speeches, shaking hands… It’s a bit like being at a wedding. It’s your job to turn up, smile, clap and go home.
So I was really impressed by my friend’s choice of venue, with LOADS to look at. After checking that it was okay to take photos, I put on my Sewing Spectacles and thought: What can my fellow Sewists and I learn from the Ancient Egyptians?
Well, there’s the beaded net dress, for starters. Full image here:
Isn’t it divine? I’m guessing that’s jade. Worn over a sheath of some sort? I hope so! It reminds me of a 1920s flapper dress.
Then there were the accessories:
Eight rows of beads. You can’t get that in Anthropologie.
And the most intriguing item of equipment:
I stared and stared at this for ages, thinking: What’s ‘fulling’? I figured I’d never find out. I hadn’t counted on the wonders of Wikipedia. Turns out, it’s a way of cleaning and felting wool. See for yourself, here. From Ancient Egypt to a 21st Century free information website. How can you beat that?
I’ll tell you how! By sitting in a classroom. On Tuesday, I turned up for my first ever sewing lesson at Morley College:
I can’t tell you how lovely it was to be back in a learning environment. I’d baulked at the prospect of a three-hour evening lesson. Would my tired brain keep up? I shouldn’t have worried. In contrast to my workaday, commercial world of deadlines, the luxury of inductions, library tours, toilet breaks and gentle hellos was a delight. I met Nancy, who reads this blog (hi, Nancy!) and she kindly lent me a pen when I realised I had nothing to write with. (Doh! I can make myself a tote bag for lessons, but turn up with pen and paper…) Nancy and I took each other’s body measurements. If you can’t break the ice with a tape measure down another person’s back, I don’t know how you make friends. I also met other students working on an interesting variety of projects: a men’s shirt, a vintage Vogue pattern, and a coat.
I turned up to class with my Lady In Red dress as an example of previous work. The tutor’s assessment? Very good. I nearly leapt out of my seat and punched the air. But my plans to make the Simplicity 2443 jacket will have to go on the back burner. (Don’t worry – I’ll be responding to everyone’s BRILLIANT linen suggestions when I announce the winner of the Giveaway.) For the class, I’ve been asked to make a dress. I’ve chosen the V8667 dress.
Shame. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it out of jade.