A New Year and New Challenges


'Long time no see' - I know, but HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE.   Hope you guys all had a fun christmas.  I have to say that I had so many plans for my blog in December and everything got pushed aside due to plumbing disasters and tonsillitus - need I say more.  Anyhow, let's not dwell on all that, suffice to say that I felt I didn't have a chance to round off my sewing year or anything to do with the year really.  In truth, it was a long and challenging year for us as a family - moving countries, returning home to live in England after 13 years abroad, buying our own home, finishing up with school and our youngest son off the launchpad to university.  Other things got in the way too - my husbands secondment to his company's office in India for the greater part of 5 months and a rare and random medical problem with our oldest son, meant that as they say 'the best laid plans of mice and men.....' didn't always come off.  But we are at the beginning of a New Year and I have lots of ideas and plans for things to make including some design work.

But before I get started on all of that, I wanted to share with you some of the amazing 'sewing' presents I received this christmas.


A month or two before Christmas, I came across a website that was a real WOW 'Merchant & Mills' is a newish business centred around the idea of an old fashioned Haberdashers.  The whole look and style of their shop is quite fascinating and totally refreshing in this crazy world of cheap and nasty 'everything'.  They sell wonderful fabrics, amazing sewing 'notions' beautifully packaged and their own range of patterns.  It turns out that they are situated in Rye, not far from my big sis (so jealous)  and just look what she got me for christmas.......yummmmmmmmm.  Check out their website for sewing heaven www.merchantandmills.com  I have BIG plans for that pattern....you know I'm thinking embroidery......

I also got two absolutely fab books:


 Both are packed full of inspiration and ideas.    The 'Charles James' story documents the creations of a rather eccentric designer of gowns in the 1940's and 50's and what has struck me so far is actually how technical the construction of a gown can be.  As I plan to take a little trip into the world of dressmaking this year, this book gives me a perspective on the idea that making clothes is about moulding and manipulating the fabric to produce the look you want and it doesn't have to be exactly like the pattern.    The 'Paris Haute Couture' book is an amazing record of everything to do with the vintage world of specialised needlework and embellishing clothes.  Bascially nobody does it better when it comes to this sort of thing than the Parisiens and the illustrations are alone are real eye candy.  I think it will take me all year to digest - how simply lovely!! 

Finally, a new addition to the sewing room and rather a special one.  My daughter found this set of metal 'patchwork' trays that fit together and move around in any number of combinations.


 I love it to bits and how cool is it to have all my embroidery tools set out in front of me at my workspace.  This is a modern thing... but somehow, it blends in with all the vintage stuff around and this for me is the inspiration for the New Year - using modern ideas and fabrics, with a vintage twist that can never quite let go of the days when things were beautifully made and worth treasuring.

I'll be back soon with some new projects and a look at trying my hand with some designing. See ya soon, Ruby x