I had a superb time on Craft Camp at the magnificent Sewjourn this Queen's Birthday Long Weekend. I made some garments that I'm very happy with, ate a lot of scrumptious food, had a fab massage followed by a restorative bath, and enjoyed the company of wonderful women. But I think I should tell you that appearances are deceiving. They may look like they are beautiful and talented and nurturing and funny (and they are!) but the conversations they have when they go away for a lovely spot of sewing would make a sailor blush. I'm not joking.
Here's what I made. I really wanted an empire line dress but the only pattern I could find was for stretch material, so there was modifying to be done, because I really wanted to use the gorgeous fabric that my Mum had de-stashisfied to my benefit. Luckily I was surrounded by clever seamstresses who helped me adapt, and so I give you The Purple Dress with Empire Line and Pleats...
This is me wearing it today.
My friend, who works in fashion, took one look at me and said enthusiastically oh is that what you made at Craft Camp? which was mildly dashing, but I love it anyway, even if it rather obviously hand-sewn.
I also made a little skirt, which is more than a bit wonky but I'll definitely wear it because I am more than a bit wonky myself ...
I decided to use one of the fancy stitches on my lovely new machine (which was completely delightful to sew with) so check my fancy hem. It's leaves, but the other girls suggested they looked rather like little pairs of tap-shoes dancing round my hem.
The family survived just fine without me, except that Cherub needed to ring me on Sunday night because he was missing me so badly. Which resulted in a rather lovely homecoming; after the rapturous hugs there was a little quest with clues for me to find the card he'd made.
(Lisa, Suse and I all came home to tired menfolk who had risen at 4.30am on Monday morning to witness the Socceroos get mauled by Germany. Cherub could hardly lift his head by dinnertime.)
A big thank you to all the chicks who made the weekend so ace. Sue, who makes the BEST trousers, you should see the pinstripe ones. Kate C, who never got cold because she was hand-quilting a fantastically lovely queen-sized quilt that lay over her lap for most of the time, Kate M the crossover queen, swapping from knits to skirt-making with aplomb (she churned out 2 skirts both of which were funky and functional), who is young and maybe should not have been so exposed to all the terrible tales we told her about childbirth. My dear friend Jenny, who made wonderful things for her Fete Craft Stall including a really good tea-cosy that she somehow rescued from Georgia O'Keefe-ness, and who helped everyone -but especially me- so generously. Lisa who kept saying she wouldn't finish the friend's quilt and then proceeded to whip it up like a dervish. A dervish who was bad at maths (why have I got one extra in this row? Now this row is one less? Maths is the devils work etc). And who berated one of her sons over the phone for cruelty to animals and then within 10 minutes suggested that the best way to kill a chicken was to run it over with a lawn-mower. Janet who was doing an amazing job of clearing her backlog of sewing projects, churning out good thing after good thing whilst all the time thinking wistfully of new projects (but now she has a clear conscience!) Suse who whipped up a skirt, then embarked on a very nice green floral quilt of which we'll all have a bit of ownership because we made suggestions about which strip went where, in between running her now-famous and very clear and helpful Zip Tutorial, Magda who also quilted, seemingly by just creatively throwing some gorgeous fabric together but there must be more to it than that surely because the quilt she made (for the exciting bump in her tummy) was quite wonderful. They really are great fun, these girls. They're all very funny, and creative, and good at cooking, all very easy to be with, and all entertaining whilst at the same time being appreciative when someone else was being entertaining. Big thanks once again to Suse and Janet for inviting me. I had a great time again, and am feeling more than a little sad that this is my last Craft Camp for the year.
NB. All photos featuring the children are now classified as "private" on Flickr and can only be seen by my Contacts (that is, if you click through to Flickr for a better look at them). If I know you or your blog I am happy to be friends with you on Flickr . Joining is free and easy, and you can store up to 200 photos there.