In reverse order, here’s the Bear!
In time honoured tradition, started by Karen at Did You Make That, I managed to capture a sewing blogger at Paddington station with the dude himself! Now speaking of Karen …what better way to learn how to do something new than to do it with friends, with chocolate cake, a super calm teacher who has learnt from her mistakes, in Walthamstow, & even with some celebratory fizz to end!! I was so lucky to be invited by Karen, ostensibly to be a guinea pig for bound buttonhole teaching. You see she is helpfully writing it up as a step by step e-book & wanted to test her approach so far on some willing volunteers. Enter Handmade Jane and Marie of A Sewing Odyssey to complete the set.
Have you ever seen such owner-perfect umbrellas? Marie with animal print & Jane with polka dots? Karen has written up her side of the story here, & not to repeat, it really was the most fun I’ve had for a long time (oh, I know you’ll understand being fellow sewing enthusiasts!) & I think it’s fair to say that all of us now have much higher confidence levels in sewing bound buttonholes.
Karen’s gentle & dulcet instruction ….
Plus we have some almost finished examples. You see I have tried them before for my Vintage Vogue jacket, but they are a long way off being perfect! Karen’s comprehensive instructions & gentle teaching style (& massive amount of preparation) resulted in me coming away understanding a lot more about the why you do it that way, which bits are important & when I can rely on a “Badger Bodge” & when the impact of such a bodge would jeopardise the final result. So as soon as Karen’s e-book is available, I’d highly recommend it….
The opportunity to check we were doing it right at every stage felt like such a luxury. So much nicer to learn in company than to only have the internet or a book to refer to. Karen is not pretending to be the world’s expert by the way, she is just generously sharing her learnings, her trial and error from a very practical bottom up approach. But In my view, the bound buttonholes she’s made on *that* suit ( see the jacket on the dummy behind) have a finish I’d aspire to.
We’ve got bounty to take away:
- My almost finished buttonholes to complete
- Reading material & step by step instructions to test on our own, away from “teacher” & chit chat & chocolate cake
Karen, thank you, for putting in so much effort to make this work so well, even so far as to prepare all of the fabric pieces in advance. What a super fun afternoon & a wonderful meal at Eat 17 (seriously surpassing tasty!). Now I was suitably inspired, & as I was in London, to fill a spare 45 minutes soaking up inspiration at the V&A. I have never been & if I’d had more time would love to go to the ballgowns exhibition that is currently running. More time than that – I’d just spend all day there! However, I found a feast for the eyes just in the general fashion exhibit. First of all I caught sight of this beautiful evening Dior ensemble
And couldn’t resist closer inspection at the buttonholes!
Now that’s what I call delicate & precise.
Then some other clothing that had a mixture of bound buttonholes and hand sewn buttonholes I spied these, some of which is “utility wear” after the war.
But the top right is from the Dior display, I just loved all of these shapes. Hmm, bound buttonholes, tweed, suits, it must be coming up to thinking about autumn sewing plans! Interesting! And finally for some details that I snapped do you like this collection of all sorts of uses of lace? I’m sorry I haven’t made notes about them, as I was being too busy being inspired, but they represent a wide range of fashions from Victorian, right the way up to Chanel.
My head is buzzing! I’ve seen so much to inspire me, have learnt lots I want to try & I need to think about my autumn plans! Do you ever get flooded with thoughts & then find it hard to settle down & do anything? There’s SO much I want to do, but so little time ….
By the way, I shall also catch up with my blog reading as well ..something that I am rather behind with but I predict it will also add more inspiration/ temptation into the mix!!
For those of you who have a bank holiday off tomorrow, enjoy your long weekend! How FAB to have three days off