Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Fabric... and French or maybe Fondant Fancies

Fabric.  Let's talk fabric.  I rather like it but then you know that already.  I think my first love will always be the fabulous florals of the 1940s and thereabouts.  I also like the modern reproductions of those cute fabrics of the 1930s and '40s and I am partial to some full on 1950's blowsy roses.  More recently, I've found I also have an appreciation for fabrics of a more faded and gentle nature.  I had a few here in my Den and I rooted for some more at the outdoor fair the other week.  I was submerged in "the look", being decidedly French, faded and floral I'd suggest, when I went to the Cabbages and Roses brocante  a few weeks ago so I think it's all just an inevitable snowball of influences.

Order book cleared and "time for a rest" declared,  I have found myself spending a little bit of time in the garden, when the sunshine has permitted it.  I was accompanied by some delicious fudge and some delicious French scraps.  Oooh fancy!  (I had an aunt whose favourite declaration that once was.)

When I just have to be doing something with my hands (not popping piece after piece of sea salted caramel fudge in my chops), a little project like these raggy brooches fits the bill.

Whilst I'm idly selecting scraps from my comfy garden sofa, I can look right to the bottom of the garden where the roses are gaily blooming away with wild abandon.  That's my absolute favourite at the front: Jubilee Celebration by David Austin.

If I'm lucky and Mr HenHouse is at home, he might join me and play some of our growing collection of Glenn MIller 78s on the wartime gramophone.

I inevitably have company of the furry kind, too.

Talking of France and all things French, the Munchkin was away on a school trip to the very same place last week and finding ourselves child-free, the Mr and I decided to hop over ourselves and collect our wine which had been trucked up to Calais from Bordeaux.  It was an utterly glorious day for crossing La Manche.

We made the obligatory stop at the hypermarket where we ended up with yet more wine, fizzy this time, and all manner of weird and wonderful goodies.  Violet liqueur anyone?

Back at the ranch, it was time to get sampling and make the most of these light evenings.  Love it when good fizz is so cheap you don't have to save it just for high days and holidays.

All this Frenchy business got me thinking and I decided to retrieve and sort out my rather meagre collection of old (mainly) French fabrics.  Well, it's meagre in comparison with everything else.

I was in need of a new bag for Summer.  Something pretty to accompany me on my trips.  It didn't take long for a spot of patchworky magic to take place.

The very next day, the bag and I went on a little pilgrimage.  Hopping off at Sloan Square tube station, I strolled up Chelsea's Kings Road and found a little side street I must have passed many times,  by the name of Sydney.  There I found my destination.

For those of you who want to know, it's two little shops joined together side by side.  One has clothing (not really my bag), the other has homewares.  Oh yes.  It is very beautifully arranged, I found myself wishing it was bigger.

I walked round many times, taking it all in and seeing all the fabrics in the flesh.  A little disappointingly, you cannot buy any fabrics  there and then, they are all kept in the warehouse and have to be ordered.  I guess that saved me a few (a lot) of pennies and I came away happy with a hyacinth candle and some fabric samples for me to make my choices.

The bag enjoyed its trip (but oh!  I lost that beautiful vintage brooch).  Full of inspiration, I didn't need to be asked twice to get sewing.

Bags, bags, bags.  Well, ok, four of them to be precise.  Red themed French Fancy ones.  Oooh, I like them.

Pinky pastel, Fondant Fancy ones.  Hmm, maybe I like those more?

I can't get enough bag making at the moment!  I have quite an enviable collection of bags I think, but then when you make them yourself, there's nothing stopping you.  Good job my taste doesn't run to the Mulberry!

I've also finished some raggy brooches.

Thanks for reading. Xxx

P.S.  Yes, a couple of bags, along with some raggy brooches, currently remain in my Etsy shop here.