Monday, January 23, 2012

European odyssey

Hard to know where to start with this post. I've just returned from 20 days in Paris, London and various parts of Spain with my 16 year old daughter who had just finished 6 weeks at school in Paris.
I had planned a travel wardrobe, but in the end I ran out of time and inclination. The only completed item is my striped t-shirt from Simplicity 3688 which I wore on the plane. Highly recommend this pattern and will definitely make again in a silk.  I also added a fur collar and made some length alterations to a second-hand overcoat.  I would love to have seen the original owner, maxi length legs and very short arms!
The main focus of the trip was art and culture. But would it been any fun without meeting up with blogging friends and fabric purchases? Of course not!  I was delighted to meet with Marie Noelle in Paris.  Marie Noelle lives in Normandy and we spent a lovely day together visiting fabric stores in Montematre and sharing lunch.  In Paris I bought two lovely pieces of silk (one habitae, one sheer chiffon) and 3 metres of very fine Italian linen.  I also bought some buttons, sans photograph.  I love that "Je suis la!" look I have in this photo.
London was also exciting from a sewing point of view.  First up I met with Jane at Goldhawk Road who bought along her pals, Alana and Suzy. Goldhawk Road is fantastic with many small fabric shops, including one Alladin's cave of last season Libery silks, voiles and cottons and some top quality, low price wool.
My loot included a fabulous piece of wool boucle, grey cashmere for trousers, some liberty silk, voile and cotton pieces.

 I was also excited to meet Eugenia a blogger who I have amired for a long time.  We met up outsite Libertys looking at the current lines, then went to a few of her favourite stores nearby. I bought just one more piece of very fine cotton spotted blousing and some trim for a planned kaftan.

Last up I met with Paco in Barcelona. Paco is a very talented designer who has recently branched into pattern making.  While Paco's English isn't great, we spoke a common language of fabric. He took me to Roger de Luria Street, which has three large caverns of fabric at great prices. I had to be fairly judicious about my purchases as my suitcase was already bulging with cloth.  In the end I choose a really interesting piece of patterned ponte to make up Paco's 'unique' jacket and two pieces of black wool with a flower pattern in the weave.
Off to unpack, and plan some sewing. Happy 2012!