The last of my weekend-trips this year (as far as planned), we headed up to London for a couple of days to visit friends of ours who live there. I was the photographer at Katrin’s and Mo’s wedding in Italy last year and now they’re expecting their first baby!
You can see the rest of their photo session here on my photography blog.
They live in a very cute area on the outskirts of London and we took some lovely trips to the surrounding areas.
We loved Waddesdon Manor house and the park and exhibitions.
Can you tell I like taking photos of flowers? I just love the quaint little market towns, the victorian houses and little gardens and of course the even older crooked little brick and wood houses in England.
We spent just one day in central London. I really wanted to visit Linley Sambourne house, because I’d read a book about the place some ten years ago and loved it. Not our most successful idea…after wandering around Kensington for an hour in the rain we eventually found the house. It was closed that day.
We then went on to visit the Victoria and Albert museum and the Science museum. Well, parts of it anyway. They are way too big to visit them both in an afternoon. The museums alone would be well worth another visit someday, so magnificent and beautiful.
I have a couple of days off from work and as the weather forecast very unobligingly predicts rain for the whole of next week, I’ll be spending them indoors, doing some much needed resting, reading, sewing, decluttering and working on my business. I have a few photoshoots lined up and also I haven’t yet given up the idea of opening a little online print shop before the year is over!
My last summer sewing project before plunging into fall and winter ideas (to be honest, I’m in waist deep already :) ).
As mentioned in my Kimono dress post, I’ve discovered Salme Patterns for me. I really like Elisa’s designs – simple with a touch of vintage.
So I couldn’t wait to make the Lydia blouse in this gorgeous lightweight cotton/silk mix feather print.
On the whole I’m very happy with this. I did have a few issues with this pattern though:
- The fit is good, but man, these patterns really do run small! I should have gone up a size, even though I made the size that should have fitted me perfectly. It still fits, but the back is a bit tight and with the thin fabric the seams already look like they won’t last forever. Next time (yes, there’ll be a next time!) I’ll go up a size.
- The instructions are pretty sparse. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get 11 pleats into the front, so I ended up with less
- That neckline is a lot higher than in the pattern picture. I don’t think I did anything wrong here and it looks ok but I really wish it was a lower.
Things I liked about this pattern: It was easy and fast to assemble while still teaching me new techniques. The sleeve cuff finish especially is a very interesting folding technique which I liked a lot (I should mention I did blindstitch the whole cuff by hand instead of doing only a few tucks as instructed). I omitted the shoulder detail but I’ll probably make it next time. The pattern comes without seam allowances, which suited me fine since I was free to add my own 5/8 ” and french seam the whole thing. On second thought, maybe that’s what made my neckline so high…maybe I should have added a slimmer seam allowance there.
Using Jen’s great tutorial, I french seamed the sleeve inset and it worked great! Now I’m wondering why I’ve never done it before…so nice and neat!
Now…off to buy fall fabrics!
Finally through with sorting and editing. I hope you enjoy looking at these as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Watching the sunrise in the dunes on a September morning is something else.
My friend who bought my old DSLR from me was making a first foray into photography and what better opportunity than this!
After the sun had risen we climbed down to the beach and even met a few early morning people like ourselves who had come to enjoy the crisp, quiet morning.
For Occupation – This –
The spreading wide my narrow Hands
To gather Paradise –
(Emily Dickinson, I dwell in Possibility)
I think poetry and photography were made for each other.
Getting up at the crack of dawn, throwing on a few clothes and hurrying up the hidden stone steps through the dunes to watch the sunrise at the beach. Perfect.
Another weekend at the sea, very much needed and very much enjoyed. Came back rather late last night, so more photos coming whenever I get a chance to sort through them :)
Have a great week!
***Edit: On a completely different note, I signed up for the online Coursera “Modern and Contemporary American Poetry” class from a UPenn professor which starts today. So exciting!
Some random photos from the last few weeks.
I never did get around to blogging our balcony garden this year but it’s there (past its prime already) and we had zucchini, and turnips and herbs and tomatoes and lots of flowers.
The peppers! I had high plans for these. I got ‘pimientos de padron’ peppers because I had liked them in Spain and started lots of plants from seed. Alas, they all turned out to be the hot type instead of the mild ones I was hoping for. I ended up giving them all away. If anyone in Spain has access to the mild pimientos de padron (the ones you fry in a little oil and sprinkle with sea salt), I’d be more than thrilled if you could send me some seeds! Do email me at tidytipsy.at.yahoo.de!
A little Oleander cutting my mom gave me is thriving and produced its first flower. Love it.
And finally, some down time with the cats amid some crazy busy weeks :)
This beautiful video by David Kong captures Italy, my part of Italy, so perfectly that I can hardly bear to watch it…it makes me ache for these parts so much.
My friends live near Macerata and when I spent two weeks with them in 2008 (gosh, how fast the years have passed!) I took the bus down to Macerata every day to take Italian lessons. Before and after the lessons I strolled the city, looked at the sights, shopped at the market and generally took this ancient, bustling little town in. Those two weeks were amazing and this video takes me right back there.
My Italian instructor was beautiful Elisabetta, who has since quit teaching and become a fashion blogger: http://thechicbeat.com/
That’s the down side of travelling isn’t it? It makes you fall in love with places and yearn for them years after. When I was seventeen I lived in Ireland for a year and it took me years not to feel homesick for it anymore after coming back.
And the next one, I’ll have to see that I post all my summer sewing before summer is actually over…
I’ve discovered Salme Patterns for me and have so far made two of their patterns. The kimono dress was a test for something I’ve had in mind for months. I came across this interesting blue silk and cotton mix fabric on the remnant table in my favourite local fabric shop for 4€/m and had to snatch it up of course.
I don’t much like elastic waists so I just taped the two pattern parts together and cut one long shape and made a belt in the same fabric. It looks pretty strange without the belt I have to say!
I found the pattern to fit well. Salme patterns have less ease than other patterns though, so I would recommend going up a size when between sizes. I didn’t even look at the instructions so I can’t say anything about them. I changed the neckline and cut it lower.
I’m not all that sure about the fabric…I’m forever telling myself to stick to solids and then I come across a pretty pattern and can’t resist. It is a nice change in pattern for me though and I’m finding silk or silk/cotton mixes much easier to work with than I anticipated. And silk is always heavenly to wear of course!