Fabric on Rye

I'm back from my UK travels and, gratefully back to full health!!  I was overwhelmed with the well-wishes you sent and know they played a major role in my speedy recovery.  Thank you!

I have renewed gratitude for the miracle of good health.  I know my experience was minor on the scale of health crises, but it did serve to remind me that we can't take our health for granted.  I am so happy to be enjoying mine again and just in time for my favorite autumn season.

One of the favorite things that happened on my recent journey was the conspiracy of events that took me to Rye and my new favorite fabric store...Merchant and Mills!

Before I left for the UK I had come across (on Pinterest of course) a great rumply linen jacket that screamed, "make me for fall!"  I tucked it away with a note to find out more about it when I got home...

The second nudge came when I stopped in at Liberty of London.  (always my first stop when I visit...fabric and cream tea in the same place...duh...of course it's my first stop!) 

While trolling around in the fabric and yarn departments I noticed a series of patterns that I'd not seen before.  They are based on simple working garments, but with a contemporary edge to them.  Hmmmm....another 'note to self.'

We ended our travels with a stay in Brighton where we visited with my son, his girlfriend and her family who live there.  We decided to take a day trip to Rye, an old medieval village just a bit east of Brighton.  Knowing that I like to sew, our host recommended a stop at a place she had heard of but hadn't yet visited.  Our Google map took us straight to, yep,  Merchant and Mills!!!!  It is the actual first and only store...they sell their patterns in other fabric retailers, but the fabrics and notions are only available at the store (and a few things on line...but you can't touch them on line!).

Not being a teenager, I don't often use the term, "OMG"...but...OMG!!!!!!  I was in love!!!  All the patterns, incredible hardware for bags and jackets, vintage notions (I got the finest of fine black steel pins with little gold heads, they are used to mount bug collections!) and the fabric is to die for!  Before I could even pull my drooling self together my son and my husband had both picked out patterns and fabric that they wanted and asked if I could make them.  (can you say Merry Christmas?!)   We spent the next hour and a half trying on the sample garments, picking out which colors of oiled canvas to buy and collecting a huge pile...of course they can ship to the US!

Michelle, who was a bit taken a back by our exuberance, did an excellent job keeping track of us and all the yardages (meters!).  She even agreed to a photo before we headed out to explore the rest of Rye.  (which, btw, is charming!)

I was really thrilled that our package arrived within two days of returning, I don't think I could have waited any longer.  I'm so excited to dig into the patterns and projects, especially knowing that my boys are excited about them as well.  They always appreciate when I sew for them, but the fact that they actually picked out the projects means a lot.  I have a pile of work this fall!

Seeing the store was amazing, but when I opened the DHL box the experience kept getting better...just look at the darling packages...so English!

...And of course all the wonderful treasures inside.

I have no idea how to sew oiled canvas, but stay tuned, I'm sure I can call Michelle if I get into trouble!  Cheerio!


Easing into Fall

I've been laying low for the past few weeks trying to get my strength back frollowing my bout with pneumonia 😟 before we head out again for another adventure.  This time we are heading to England and renting a houseboat on the Thames River.  We have been assured that it will be easy and even with no boating experience we should do just fine.  I'm imagining an episode of Gilligan's Island!!!!  We'll see!  

While I was trying not to do very much I had some quiet days in my sewing room.  I'm not advocating a major illness, but it was a bit of a silver lining to have time to sew.  I thought I would share a quick post before I head out...

I have been eyeing a piece of decorator linen at my local Hobby Lobby.  I would check it out whenever I went in, trying to decide if it would soften up enough to make a dress.  Last week all the decorator fabrics were on sale (30% off!!! Yeah!) So I bought a couple of yards to see what would happen.  The first time in the washer and dryer a bit of the sizing washed out, a couple more rounds and it softened up really nicely and got that wonderful linen rumpled feel that I adore.

Since I had just spent a month honing my T-shirt pattern with Rhonda, I kept the ball rolling and used my favorite woven T pattern as the starting point.  When I decided that I wanted to add the collar, I measured the neckline and then measured the only piece of fabric I had left, and...it was meant to be.  It was exactly the right size, I didn't even cut it!  

Here's my first fall feeling project...I'm looking forward to a few more when I get back at the end of the month!

Bon Voyage!