Now, that’s a title I never thought I’d type. It’s taken me ages to get round to writing this blog post, mainly because I can’t quite allow myself to believe it’s true. But there it is – I’m soon to be in San Francisco for a week, enjoying the most self-indulgent sewing time ever, tacked on at the start of a holiday!
For most of that time I’m going to be sewing under the tutelage of Beth, from Sunny Gal Studio. Excited? I can hardly sleep.
I’ll be working on Simplicity 4934 vintage pattern I saw after Kestrel Finds and Makes posted about the pattern supplier, Miss Betty’s Attic. I’ve really wanted to take the plunge into working with vintage patterns, and working one-on-one with a teacher seemed a good way of easing myself in!
I’ve already made a toile of the jacket (including deliberate mistake – can you spot it?) and am working on a toile of the dress. I am utterly enchanted by the construction of the jacket. It has underarm bias strips, kimono sleeves and a curved hem. There will be bound buttonholes. The collar construction was fascinating – my first true experience of using fabric as engineering. And guess what? The construction is deceptively simple and non-stressful. I can’t wait to make this for real.
The dress is intriguing also, using a combination of darts and gathers, with in-seam pockets. How much fun is this going to be to put together? But first, I’m working on my toile, which is much more challenging than the jacket. Not only does the pattern need adjusting significantly to my dimensions, but there are details I want to amend – a boat neckline instead of a jewel neckline, roomier armholes and possibly a tapering of the skirt. (I haven’t got that far yet, still being on my third toile of the bodice.)
In my suitcase, I’ll be taking fabric bought in London. I found it too stressful to contemplate shopping for fabric in a city I wasn’t familiar with, not seeing what I wanted and buying something as a compromise. That would be SUCH a shame. So I hit Goldhawk Road.
I went with a fairly open mind, but a definite flutter in my stomach. This was my one day for scoring the right fabric and I was feeling the pressure. As is always the way, I fell in love with some wool in – ooh – the 5th shop (out of 13) I entered. I then spent the next two hours seeing if I could find anything else to compete with my heart’s desire. I didn’t – of course, I didn’t. So I went back to the original shop and bought far too much of this wool:
Then I went to A One Fabrics and bought lining to go with it. The paisley is for the jacket, the solid for the dress:
So I’m going on another journey – this time literal as well as with needle and thread! If I sound a bit downbeat in this post, it’s because I’m still reeling from what awaits me. I’m not sure I feel I deserve it or that something won’t go horribly wrong. So I’m playing things down a bit for the sake of my nerves. Normal service and enthusiasm will undoubtedly soon be resumed!
Now, onto the important things. I, um, don’t have any friends in San Francisco. Yet. Would any San Francisco-based readers like to meet up for a drink and a chat with Beth and I on the evening of Wednesday 9 May? I’m all ears!