Friday, December 12, 2014


Going to work is never ordinary.  I suppose an extraordinary space was never going to acquiesce to commonplace.  I think a few actors (and film crew) unfortunately work on their very own version of this supposition.

Friday, November 07, 2014


I have been a little obsessed with Natasha Goldenberg's instagram.  I harbour a fancy she is distanced from the rest of the Russians and am wondering what happened there?  I love a conspiracy theory.
Her label Tzipporah, AW14 shown here.

White trousers


Saturday, October 04, 2014

Rashida Jones

I saw Jesse and Celeste Forever this week.  I liked it. Rashida Jones carried it, wrote it, produced it.
I wanted to post about Rashida as she is ivy league smart,  funny and talented, not to mention completely stunning.  But trying to find a photo of her,  I had to bat my way through the inevitable shots of her lolling about on the lounge carpet having been surprised in sexy pjs.  Whilst I am sure that doesn't dilute her achievements or does dilute my case set out to my girls that they can do anything they want in life without needing to do it wearing only tiny, pink, sparkly underwear.
The sexualisation of our girls.  It's so relentless.
Rashida.  Stop it immediately.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Neapolitan Kate

When is the right time to wear a knitted tee?  A window that I have yet to catch.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Maggie Laine

Something about the grain on this photo... And yes, I can put my denim shirt on tomorrow but it won't look this good. Plus. I note that she has the little rucksack that I keep meaning to buy in for the shop.  I missed a lovely eggshell one on ebay the other week.  Must try harder.

Thanks for the lovely Photo

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Natasha Goldenberg

Pulling off pregnancy dressing gown chic to the point that I want one.  The dress not a baby.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

The perfect tee.

The one my mum wore in the 70s that I stole to wear in my 20s, until it got lost.  I am still looking for it.  Navy blue, long and fitted in the arm and the kind of scoop that is only there to give your collarbone a role.  And after decades of washing, the only thing that happened was that it just got softer and softer until it was like putting on silk.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Made a dress

Butterick 5145 made up in a yard and a half (no wastage) of slubby 80s raw silk off Etsy that seems to have been tea dyed.  In real life, where I and the dress transcend this image, it is classic 80s The Cloth style textile design that has a certain lustre and fall.  What you can't see is the beautiful Victorian seal etched into glass set in filigree brass round my  neck that my husband bought for my birthday.  How constantly surprisingly he knows me well.

Sunday, June 22, 2014


Young girls from the Bronx in the early 80s (the early 80s, listen to it again.) making amazing music that was then later sampled and monetized by the boys. I am more than a bit fascinated by their story. I was reminded of them by my friend Clare who saw them live just the other night and said they were amazing.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Just a peep

Throughout the rooms of the eighteenth century mansion house where I work I am fairly sure that I walk a little differently.  A more deliberate step, a more elegant hand, even if rushed.  Maybe it's the eyes of all the oil stroked faces that follow me around.  Maybe after a solitary morning, passing through the still house with the only real sensory changes having come from weighted scents, I allow myself an indulgence of imagination...

Sunday, June 08, 2014


See the watchtower in the distance?  Sardinia colonised inland, in fear of Saracens and Pirates - on a Mediterranean island, you would expect a culinary culture born of the sea but the traditional dish we were hunting for was boar (roasted with myrtle).   I want to go back and explore inland - look at that beach, I can't believe how happily I would turn my back on it.  But the mountains were calling...

Thursday, June 05, 2014

A honeymoonin'

I can't quite tell you exactly where we went in Sardinia as it neatly circumnavigated all the points of the equilateral triangle least, I will wait until we have gone back with our girls. Oh! They were missed.
I made the swimsuit and am quietly pleased.  Please note that our camera failed and we had to like, use i-stuff and stuff? Sorry for the images.
Sorry for lack of posts - work is taking precedent. Today involved the winch gear of an eighteenth century chandelier and carpet beetles.  It was a good day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Milena Silvano

Look at that.  This is surely Milena's year?  If only I could afford it...

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I have just been offered the seasonal post of Conservation Assistant with the National Trust. 
I have coveted this job since I was a little girl...beyond happy. 
With no relevant qualifications except an inherent passion for heritage it felt, at times insurmountable with hundreds of MA qualified graduates in the race each time a job is posted.  But I persevered to gain as much experience and knowledge as I could through volunteering (conservation and room stewarding) and knew I couldn't give up.
Never give up.
By the way, the amazing lock up above was on a door (pick a door, any door) in Goddards. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Oh my.  The night we arrived, black rain was lashing the windows, breaching the lead panes and the chimneys were thundering.  Locating our rooms from the cosy hub of arrival required looking at a map.  The voices of family faded to chatter and footfall as we intruded further into the empty house, until it began to feel impolite.  I could see my children peeking at me for reassurance, unfamiliar with the unconfined space as I fumbled for switch after switch to light our way.  I peered out of the gallery's windows into the stormy night and saw a house close by - in the morning I realised it was merely the South Wing.
What a place were were inhabiting.  Cutting edge design - medieval simplicity with largesse. Wonderful Arts and Crafts details at every turn easily overlooked due to their parity.  For instance, each oak door was slightly different in its furniture.  The inglenook fireplace in the lounge has a brick arch to one side, behind an asymmetric portion of which is a recessed window with a curved ceiling that you can only really see if you care to go and look up at it.  Now that's an artist enjoying himself.
Lutyens was commissioned to make this for a Mr Merrilees, a man who once owned the Harrods of Russia.  Described by Lutyens in a letter to his wife as "a good sort of a small sort"(?), he built it as a philanthropic holiday home for 'ladies of small means' before shooting himself in the garden.  That was him knocking at night, no,  the central heating,  surely all houses talk at night.
I have never, ever had the privilege of experiencing having the run of an historical property which neatly offset the intermittent moments where things got weird.  Waking in the night to see a boy child in a sailor suit by the bed, the bedroom door which consistently whipped shut too hard behind me until the time I mentioned it and it closed softly,  that kind of thing. Pfff just my imagination. The wind.
It was the best stay and too short.  I finally got behind the ropes to sleep.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Vertical bust seam adjustment part 1

Clockwise from top left: 
Take the original pattern pieces and work out the bust point on each.  
Cut vertically through both pattern pieces - I angled them so the bust points were aligned and drew a straight line across both upper and lower cups. 
Paste the sides together matching the edge back up.  The bust curves are now separated. Trace a new pattern piece as shown and recreate the missing edge using a French curve.  Theoretically, the more shallow the curve, the less volume with the inner cup favoured as more shallow.  I think the idea is that this will need playing with but whatever happens, each piece will need to measure the same length.
Here is the new cup with a vertical seam.  But will it fit?
To be continued...

Tutorial thanks to this blog
Photos no thanks to my ipad or the bafflingly user unfriendly blogger. 


Second in the pile marked 'to do'.  The navy, cashmere/wool, ex Seville Row suiting fabric in my stash should do the job.
Image from Ter et Bantine via Honestly wtf

With the Landmark Trust weekend stay approaching, today I am going to try and change a perfectly fitting bra pattern from horizontal seaming to a vertical seamed cup with a view to making it up in a nice navy silk later this week.  Or camisole it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

He had her eye on him...

A Georgian fashion said to be inspired by George IV's illicit love for the widowed Maria Fitzherbert.  He had a habit of surreptitiously wearing a miniature of her eye beneath his lapel.
Opalescently beautiful and compelling en masse.
Collective term? A gaze of eyes? A lash?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

And the bride wore Vogue Couturier 990 in white organza and voile


I think it all went rather well considering I had no prior experience of pattern cutting.
The hem, however, was a complete nightmare as I had gone off map with the fabric.  I liked how the toile was looking with the organza (ebay, 99p for 10m...) so abandoned the plan to use matt satin.
The pattern said to face the main fabric and then hem and stitch the lining to it.  But as you can see, the outer layer being transparent and checked meant that this was never going to work.  In the end after deep googling and hand wringing for many days,  I found my answer of a blind zigzag hem in Gerties better blog for sewing and also this Sewing sequins blog tutorial for which, I am eternally grateful and will be using again.  I was then able to leave the two layers loose and faced the lining instead.
Another brilliant trick learned on my 'journey', as they say on the realitytvdocudramas, was to not iron the faced hem but to merely show it the iron so that it has a loose 50s bagged quality.  Bosh.
I made the garland using an 80s dried flower crown from ebay and sewed in silk and velvet flowers from a wonderful shop Leaf and Petal in Hastings that has the original presses from the days when people needed silk velvet flowers in their lives.  The veil I shortened using the same blind hem method.
So now, I hope you can see why I haven't posted lately. 
Next sewing project is to cut and sew lingerie.  I have some beautiful navy silk with a gold microdot just waiting.  See, there's a night or two at a rangy, old Landmark Trust house coming up and I would like to swan about in it there. 

Photos by the lovely Lowri Pendrell