A Melody Of Maidens

What is the collective noun for a gathering such as this? A bevy of beauties? A scolding of seamstresses? (True collective noun, apparently.) I think I’ll go with a melody of maidens. All I know is that I spent last night surrounded by a bunch of truly beautiful women. For example, just LOOK at Roisin of Dolly Clackett

Someone give this woman her own fashion line, please.

Last night was our gathering at the V&A for the Ballgowns collection. I have two top tips for visitors to the Victoria and Albert museum:

  • Friday night at the V&A must be one of London’s best kept secrets. It’s so civilised – no marauding school groups. They serve cocktails and have a DJ! The whole place has a really chilled vibe.
  • Whatever you do, don’t try to go out for a Friday night drink in South Kensington. It was rammed, and if it hadn’t been for the magnificence of Fehr Trade, our evening plans would have turned out disastrously.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! First, we gathered in the main entrance of the museum.

Then we peered at beautiful dresses:

There was much inspection of sewing items in the museum shop:

After which, we retired to the Pub From Hell, from which Melissa led us to the Restaurant Of Salvation.

We were extremely privileged that The Secret Life Of Seams brought along her copy of Gertie’s new book, freshly delivered to her office. Never has a book been passed around with such reverence. See how everyone is gazing adoringly!

And, of course, there was the requisite and highly necessary flirting with waiters. Dibs and the Machine didn’t let us down…

The evening had its stressful moments. (NEVER try to go to The Anglesea Arms in South Kensington.) But, otherwise, it was heaven on a stick. I met so many wonderful people and feel very privileged to have made yet more new sewing friends. It really was a Melody of Maidens.


Handmade Jane

Fehr Trade

Dibs and the Machine

Yes I Like That

Josie and May

Another Little Crafty Creation

Jane’s Sew And Tell

Lizzy Likes Cake

Sew Little Time

London Calling

Sew Incidentally

Dolly Clackett

The Secret Life of Seams

Beads and Barnacles

PLUS a new blog soon to come from one of our attendees!

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47 Responses to A Melody Of Maidens

  1. Nessa says:

    I’m so glad you had an inspiring night and that your lovely gathering was a success!

  2. Zoe says:

    Looked like a lovely shindig. Glad you had a great time, what a group of honeys! xxx

  3. Sam says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time, I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to make it.

  4. Helen says:

    Thanks again for organising Karen – I had a lovely time at the exhibition and meeting everyone, and am especially sad I had to leave early now I know there were waiters to flirt with! I promise not to double book myself next time!

  5. alibobs says:

    It was such a fun night! It was great to have fellow seamstresses to discuss the exhibit with, and reassuringly we spotted a couple of chopped-up prints and non-bound buttonholes! (I’ve forgotten the name of the lovely lady who was critiquing some dresses with me- any chance of a register of attendees?)

  6. MrsC says:

    Now that’s a class act for a Friday night in London, Ladies!

  7. sew2pro says:

    I wonder what everyone’s favourites were. When I went in July, I was struck by how beautiful, yet simple, Helen Mirren’s dress was.

    Hope no one bankrupted themselves in the gift shop!

  8. Tamsin says:

    I’m sorry to have missed it! Looks like a lovely time was had by all.

  9. Marie says:

    Sounds heavenly Karen!!!

  10. jill ballard says:

    Soo Jealous! Been wanting to visit the V&A exhibition all summer ..but with lovely sewing ladies sounds like a dream to me! I hardly know anyone who bothers to sew and love to read all the blogs about sewing!

  11. L. Weimer says:

    When I first saw the group picture, I was impressed by the lovely woman in the blue dress with white polka dots. The length is perfect. So many retro sewists make their dresses too short, and the proportions are all wrong then. It looks as though you all had a good time!

  12. Looks like you had great fun. What a great chance you have to meet these lovely ladies. Exhibit seems fab… I’d love to go

  13. Ah, the unparalleled joy of being with kindred spirits. It’s quite possible, if unlikely, that nobody else cares about such construction details as chopped-up prints and non-bound buttonholes, but to be able to discuss it with someone who knows and cares and then carry on talking about it over dinner afterwards and get to droll (I trust metaphorically only) over Gertie’s book – now THAT sounds like paradise to me!

  14. yesilikethat says:

    Thank you so much for organising! It was awesome to meet people again and make connections with new sewing friends. Sew-ists are always such nice people. Really sorry I had to leave quite early. Also, am slightly concerned that I appear to be 8 foot tall in your photo above…

  15. Shams says:

    What a great outing!

  16. I am laughing so much right now because when I first read that invitation quote I thought it said “dress bitchingly” and I just about died.

  17. Thank you for organising this Karen, it was lovely to meet everyone

  18. Maybe a ‘giggle’ of seamstresses? Glad you had a good night!

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  20. Lovely to meet you guys! A very nice evening with some lovely ladies.

  21. Boo, wish I could’ve gone. Looks like a great evening. I hope I can make a future meeting!

  22. Ruth says:

    I miss London! Looks like a fabulous evening. And you all look fab too. Was everyone wearing Me-Made?

  23. Tilly says:

    Oh bums!!! I totally forgot about this! I really wanted to come but have been uncharacteristically disorganised recently 🙁 Those ladies all look lovely, melodic even! xx

  24. Joanne says:

    it was a great evening. i was really sorry to have to go early as there were loads of lovely ladies i didn’t get to speak to! i think honourable mentions on the outfit front as well as roisin’s have to be helen’s gorgeous flowery dress and melissa’s fab peplum top. really lovely group of ladies – thanks for organising karen., i would also love a list of who was there so i can pick up their blogs!

  25. ooobop! says:

    Oh what fun. So sorry I couldn’t make this. I think I am probably going to be the last person on earth to get round to seeing it! x

  26. Sann says:

    Looked like a very fun day, pity I am so far away, maybe one day if I am on your side of the world I will join you all.

  27. gingermakes says:

    Wow! What fun! I’m super jealous!

  28. velosewer says:

    Looks like a great outing for everyone. Dolly should have her own fashion label.

  29. Joanne says:

    Awh I’m so sorry to have missed this! Looked fab 🙂

  30. Tania says:

    I had a fab time! I’m the red stripy lady 🙂
    Thank you Karen for arranging- and managing to get 20 women around Chelsea together on a Friday night!

  31. Ally says:

    Karen it was lovely meeting everyone! Such a talented group of wonderful ladies!
    Thanks for organising!
    Any chance of a blog list of everyone present?

  32. melissa says:

    It was so much fun, and so fantastic to talk with everyone, too! Thanks again for organising! I always mean to get to V&A exhibitions but far too many times they finish before I get a chance…

  33. Karen, it was a fab night, thanks loads for arranging it :)!

  34. Thank you so much for organising this, Karen. I had SO MUCH FUN – sorry I had to miss the pub, though! x

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  36. Meg says:

    What a lovely time!

  37. I had a great time meeting some super-talented ladies on Friday, great start to the weekend! Plus I love playing ‘spot the make’; think I identified 3 Scout tees. This is the 2nd outing I’ve been on that you’ve arranged, and I really appreciate the time and energy that goes into it. You’re a very generous lady!

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  39. thanks for the blog list – i am stalking everyone i wasn’t already!

  40. Tania says:

    As Karen hinted in her blog list, I’m the newbie blogger! You all made it sound like I’d enjoy!

  41. Lyndle says:

    Ooh, that looks like fun! And thanks for the blog list!
    In the photo the woman standing 4th from the right is wearing a dress I love… That’s right, you with the glasses and the blueish paisley kind of dress! What’s the dress? Does she have a blog? (I’m not a stalker, promise)
    I’ve just read about your week in San Fran and am going o et looking or th finished outfit. What I’ve seen so far looks cool!

  42. Hi Lyndle… the dress with the ruffle down the front yeah? 🙂 It’s a free pattern called ‘The Coffee Date Dress’ by Elaine May (aka The Selfish Seamstress) – available here to download: http://selfishseamstress.wordpress.com/downloads/

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