Meeting Sewists & Bloggers In Real Life, oh and another Moneta

Colette Patterns Moneta

Last weekend I did something a little out of character. I left my house with the sole purpose of meeting people I’d only ever read about on the internet. Don’t get me wrong; I’m no stalker. I’m just a girl who loves to sew clothes! It’s part of my life these days. But it’s a solitary hobby, and our human condition requires us to seek out like-minded folk with whom to share our interests. So I did!

The meet-up was in honour of Lauren LLadybird’s visit to London. As well as Lauren, there were a number of other bloggers present who have provided so much inspiration and, frankly, good sewing company since I discovered the sewing blogosphere. Slightly star-struck as a meet-up newbie, I felt like I was rubbing shoulders with internet royalty. To the rest of the world we were just a noisy gaggle of shoppers.  I wasn’t sure how communal fabric shopping would work in practice, but it turned out to be more expensive than the solitary version! And so much chatting… I can’t tell you how exhilarating it was to strike up conversations with total strangers (whether I’d stalked their blogs or not). Within minutes we were scrutinising each others’ outfits, fondling fabric, examining seams, trading tips.

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I had to leave early so missed out on the post-shopping refreshments and gossip session, but not before I’d made a few friends and purchases. I tend not to buy fabric without a project in mind. Of late, I have also been giving lots of thought as to what kinds of garments I want to make. I embarked on this sewing journey to fill the gaps in my wardrobe with clothes I love and would not find or afford in high street shops. To date I’ve veered towards outfits that I wear for work, for example my Emery Dress. These patterns tend to be more exciting and eye-catching, and frankly more interesting to make and write about than wardrobe staples. But I want to increase the handmade garments I can wear in my leisure time too. New Year’s Resolution alert!

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Inspired by fellow sewist Rachel’s navy blue corduroy Grainline Moss mini skirt, I had to get myself some dark blue cord in A-One Fabrics. My favourite Goldhawk Road shop, Classic Textiles, didn’t disappoint either. I left with a few metres of blue cotton chambray with a Grainline Archer shirt with gathered back detail in mind. I also scored some fabulous elephant print cotton lawn and floral poplin for my future foray into children’s sewing. The final purchases were totally gratuitous: African Wax Prints in cherries on navy, and crazy cerise. I didn’t need either but the group thing was working its magic and 5.5m of Wax Print for £12 seemed like an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Colette Patterns Moneta

On the sewing front, I have been making slow progress with the birthday frock. For some reason I’m making a real meal out of this one. Googling pattern reviews has been akin to looking up medical symptoms: you begin to fear the worst. The spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down was the arrival of my latest Moneta. I don’t know how it happened! One minute I was busily preparing pattern pieces for the Vogue 1342, and the next I had cut out a Moneta in black jersey that I’d bought earlier in the summer. I am thrilled with this make. It was straightforward and provided almost instant gratification. It fits beautifully, and as it’s a black longer-sleeved version it’s both seasonally appropriate and stylish. I love it! Happy sewing!!

Colette Patterns Moneta

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