Come Dance? Ballgowns at the V&A

I haven’t organised a meet-up in ages, and feel a sudden, urgent need to do so. Has anyone been to the Ballgowns Exhibition, British Glamour Since 1950 at the Victoria and Albert museum? Do you want to? I’d love to check it out. (And it wouldn’t hurt to stroll around their gift shop.)

If you need any extra persuading, below is an extract from The Guardian’s review:

… if you like a properly made frock and hanker, even just a little, for the days when a big night out meant long, silk gloves and a Dubonnet rather than T-shirts and cheap vodka, it will have you swooning with delight.ย 

Unusually, I’m suggesting a Friday evening meet-up. This is because my weekends are full until November (it terrifies me to type that) but I can squeeze in a Friday night out on the tiles!


Date and time: I’m asking people to pre-book the 18.30 slot on Friday 7 September. We’ll gather from 18.10 onwards in the main foyer off Exhibition Road. There’s a convenient ‘meeting point’ there. (Please note – there’s more than one entrance to the museum, so make sure you’re using the Exhibition Road entrance to find us. You can download a museum map here.)

Late arrivals: If you’re late, you’re late! We won’t hang about. At 18.25 sharp we will be making our way to the exhibition room. I only stipulate this because my concern on the evening will be to keep the majority happy and, hey, stragglers will easily be able to find us. We’ll be the ones gawping at the ball gowns! Don’t worry, I’ll give my mobile number to members of the final party.

Cost: ยฃ10. Attendees will need to book their own tickets online here.

Drinkie-poos, Karen? Oh, I think so, don’t you? In my opinion, museum cafes are ridiculously over-priced, so I suggest that afterwards interested parties can join me on the 10-minute walk to the The Anglesea Arms. If it’s sunny, we can hit the beer garden! If not, they seem to have plenty of big tables inside – perfect for sewing, knitting or crochet chats. Or any type of chat! In my experience, these meet-ups cover a wholeย gamutย of gossip.

If you’re interested in joining me, just leave a comment below. This might, even, finally give me a deadline for making the new dress I have in my head.

Talking of seeing crafting friends, new and old… This evening, I plonked myself down on the tube and pulled my crochet out. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I’d had a total Stink Cloud of a day. You know when the Stink Monster comes and sits on your head and eats stinky chips, farting stinky farts, wearing stinky clothes? That was my day.

But as I started crocheting, the woman next to me slipped me a smile. I smiled back, thinking not much of it. Then I spotted the quilting on her lap. I was crocheting next to someone sewing! On the tube! Take that Olympics, crafting is what really gets strangers talking to each other. So we chatted and discovered that we both know Catherine of Significant Seams, blogged about here, and then, and then… Suddenly my Stink Cloud had evaporated. Thank you, Wenna. You didn’t mind the mad woman talking to you at all. God knows what the other commuters thought.

Crocheting meets Quilting, in beautiful union on the tube.

This entry was posted in sewing, sewing and knitting, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to Come Dance? Ballgowns at the V&A

  1. Sounds like a perfect sewster trip! You will all have SO much fun ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sorry I cant join you – I shall be in London the following day (ticket booked) for some BBC proms event in a park (shh, with Kylie no less!!) …thanks for this idea for something to do the day after (maybe)

    • Gargh! If only I’d mentioned this earlier… Or maybe it would just never have fitted with your plans. This was a totally spontaneous plan, hatched on the way home tonight.

  2. Joyful says:

    It sounds a great idea to meet up. I have been
    to this exhibition and was disappointed. The gowns were not very spectacular and not that many of them. Anyway, that’s just my opinion and it’s probably best to check it out for yourself!

  3. soisewedthis says:

    reasons i wish i lived in the uk right now:
    1. olympics
    2. this exhibit
    are you all going to wear ballgowns to the event, because that would be amazing!

  4. Doh! I’ve already seen the exhibition, but will happily join you at the pub afterwards. Put me on your list under ‘vodka and tonic’ please. x

  5. Sam says:

    Oooh, I would LOVE to come – haven’t been to the V&A for sooooo long. But I might be away – it’s right in the middle of 2 weeks hubby and I have off work. Could I be a “possible” until I know what our plans are?

  6. Fiona says:

    I would love love love to come! It would be my first sewing meet up and I’ve been wanting to come to one for ages! Plus I haven’t seen the exhibition yet but was definitely planning on it. It would be lovely to mooch about it with some lovely like-minded people!

  7. Tamsin W-P says:

    ooh another get together! Please count me in for a possible – if I can wangle a night in London then i’d love to come, otherwise it’s the wrong side of London for an evening out.

  8. Jennifer says:

    Oh! So jealous. Gawking at pretty gowns and then chatting away with other crafty peeps… I really wish I could join you. If only that blasted pond wasn’t in the way…

  9. YES! I can work in London on that day and come after work. Hurrah!

  10. velosewer says:

    How wonderful. Let your tube people sit in amazement:)
    And take some cool pics of the gowns if you can please?

  11. gingermakes says:

    Jealous!!!!! Have a great time, gals!

  12. Debbie says:

    Sounds like a great meet-up. I will be back in Canada by then, but this has given me an idea if I have some free time next week in London!

  13. Helen Made says:

    Oh I’d love to come but I’m on holiday that week. I might have to pop in and see the exhibition when I’m down in London this weekend instead – it sounds fantastic!

  14. Joanne says:

    Count me in Karen – can you believe I have never been to the V&A?? I love the fact that you met a fellow crafter on the tube – and they were quilting such a beautiful quilt!

    • Oh, you’ll love it, Joanne. I think their fashion collection is open to the public again, so people can always pop in there also. And that gift shop…

      • Marie says:

        I’ve never been either and have heard so many great things about this collection! I’d absolutely love to come, but will have to confirm as soon as I can…there’s a slight possibility we’ll be out of the country that 1st week of Sept :o( I’ll keep you posted though!!!

  15. Steph says:

    I’ve already seen the exhibition – it was fabulous! But I would definitely be up for joining you all for a drink afterwards

  16. Saskia says:

    I would love to join you! Have been a bit of a lurker on your blog, but this sounds like a fabulous outing.

  17. ooh, would you mind if i came along too? i’ll just be a possible for the moment until I check that hubby doesn’t have plans, leaving me holding the (not a baby anymore but still) baby! i would love to meet you all!

  18. Dibs says:

    Can you count me in please. possibly for drinnks afterwards coz
    i have to wait for the Mr. to come home after work if he can’t come back on time, I might have to bring Noah.

  19. Joyful says:

    As I said, I’ve seen the exhibition but could I
    join you all later for drinks? I have never done anything like this before – am new to it all!

  20. yesilikethat says:

    I’d love to come along! I’ve already seen it, um, four times with various friends and family members (am a V&A member) but would be nice to come along and see again. Or actually, two peeps can get in with my membership card, would be happy to donate it to anyone who wants to come but is worried about the cost, while I go and check out some of my other favourite V&A stuff. And always up for the pub afterwards!

  21. Jenny says:

    I’d love to come but I’m on the other side of the world. So, can you check out the book of the exhibition if you get time? Let us know whether it’s a worthwhile purchase?


    Envious of Australia x

  22. Lucy says:

    As it happens I’ve already arranged to go with some friends of mine on the very same date at the very same time! If I see you and if I can combat my shyness I will say hello!

  23. Fiona says:

    I made a trip from Yorkshire especially to see the Ballgowns exhibition, and I thought they were beautiful! (Don’t understand why anyone would say it was disappointing).
    Coincidentally, I had the Crappest day in all Crappendom yesterday, must’ve been something in the air, but all dissipated when I met up with friends after work for a moan!

  24. Helen says:

    I’m in! Been meaning to go to this, and pledged to attend a meet up during the sewing social. Excellent timing Karen – thanks for organising.

  25. Sewingmrsc says:

    Hi Karen, count me in please, would love to come meet up with you all! And check out some awesome gowns too!

  26. Louise says:

    Hi Karen – just discovered you via the marvellous Oona! I’m on a bit of a mish to find my-kinda-blogs by fellow Londoners… Looks like I found one! Hurray! Now to tear myself away from the ‘lympics coverage and read lots more of your blog.
    Ps did you ever go to the New Look exhibition yonks back, think it was at the V&A too? Love that museum!

  27. Ally says:

    I’m game. Looking forward to it.

  28. melissa says:

    BOOKED! I really wanted to see this exhibit anyway, so this is a great excuse. That, and because I’ve got a race on the Sunday, I don’t have a long run booked for the morning after this for like the first time in months!

  29. Wenna says:

    Hey Karen, It was a pleasure to meet you on the tube, I loved our Victoria line sewing circle, hope to see you some time soon (ish) at Significant Seams. I love sewing on the tube, it makes the journey go so much quicker ๐Ÿ˜€

  30. Vikki Rose says:

    Right if there is still space (crosses fingers and hopes) then I will definitely be coming (I did the can I get to London from Oxford in 2and a half hours & yes I think I can). Very excited ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Tania says:

    I found your fabulous blog last night on another of my where-did-2hours-just-go? blogs-play-tag sessions (one links to another to another..!). I had forgotten I wanted to see this exhibition, and so have booked my ticket and would like to join you all if that’s OK! ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Vikki Rose and Tania – you are both very welcome to join us!

  33. Vikki says:

    Ticket booked see you then!

  34. alibobs says:

    I thought I had commented, but when I came to check the dates I discovered my comment didn’t work. Good job I’m not more organised!
    I’d love to come (my first blogger meet up too!) as an antidote to being back at work. Ticket actually booked now, so I shall have to decide on an outfit worthy of the occasion…

  35. Erika says:

    I’m so happy! I’m moving to London this thursday so I’m actually able to join! I’ve just booked my ticket, see you next friday!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  36. I’d love to come along. I’ve been meaning to see that exhibition for ages and also I love the V&A! ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Pingback: A Plethora of Pockets | Did You Make That?

  38. Is it too late to ask if I can join you? Can I also recommend that if you get there 5 minutes early you can pop along the road to the Natural History Museum and see some scary crocheted creatures?

  39. Pingback: CAL block # 2 and sewing plans | Another Little Crafty Creation

  40. Oh wow, I can’t believe this is this evening! I would love to come to drinks, having already been to the exhibit (check out the Giles Deacon pleated dress, my fave). Am I too late to be included in the intel?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.