Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Sew, darlings, sew!


Spring time marks the beginning of lighter evenings, a hungry anticipation of the Easter bunny scurrying through the garden (although I've asked, and he still hasn't secured me my Guylian egg, so it's a sort of uncertain, edgy hunger*) and the annual Made by Rae Spring Top Sewalong. It's now three years since Adrianna pipped me at the finishing post with her wonderful prize-winning top and each year Rae kindly attempts to lessen the pain of this memory by inviting me to judge the wonderful entries of the annual competition.

You can find out more about the sew along competition here, but to summarise, if you'd like to enter you have until 22nd April to drop your handmade Spring top entry into the photo Flickr pool. There are prizes galore and they centre around vouchers to spend in online fabric shops...what more incentive could a girl need? Well, actually there are lots of other, altogether more wholesome, reasons to sew up a new blouse or smock. The year that I sewed along it kick-started my garment sewing early, so that by the time summer arrived I had several new additions to my wardrobe and I excitedly kept my beady eye on the ever-expanding Flickr pool and garnered inspiration for more tops that I'd like to sew and finally, I made some lovely friends who I had more in common with than just Spring tops (while I went to Russia for a holiday solely because I'd fallen in love with a fictitious man in a book set in St Petersburg, Adrianna used this as the basis for relocating her entire degree course to the city. Kindred spirits).

So do sew along - I'd love to see what you make.

Florence x

* I will be accepting bribes in the form of Guylian Easter eggs. I think Rae will understand and any air of scandal this may cause will only add an extra frisson to proceedings. I'm worried that my husband is delaying his egg purchase as part of a long-running campaign to try and wean me off this particular brand of chocolate which he deems to be 'a bit garage forecourt'. But I'm afraid my palate will not be made more sophisticated or discerning by the use of such a tactic...it will just become more perverse until I stoop to new lows and begin eating Vienetta and Sainsbury's Value range of toffees, which even I have previously conceded to be inedible.

15 comments:

  1. There's no such thing as an inedible toffee in my world!!
    On the Spring Top note, I have oft wondered if it is worth making a longer version to belt around the waist as a dress/tunic... but it has remained just a wonder in the corner of my mind whilst I munch on my "Bobby's" chocolate covered raisins. (Sainsbury's toffees will look positively gourmet compared to these, I promise you!)

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  2. That's probably true actually...I think I may have only decided that they were inedible because they cost about 18p for an enormous bag! In reality, it could have been the best 18p I'd ever spent (although the Werther's Toffees that we bought instead were utterly delicous)!

    I think tunics would absolutely be counted as a suitable Spring top entry - I think it's probably anything that covers the upper half of your body!

    Wishing you raisin-fuelled inspiration! x

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  3. Ouch! Since when did Guylian chocolates become something to sneer at? Enjoy them, they are lovely (and still quite pricey, in my book). Honestly, what a snobby thing to say.

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    1. No, I've never been quite able to understand it as I'd always thought of them as a rather luxurious treat. However, I think taste is such a subjective thing - whether it's disliking the aftertaste of the chocolate or not liking the font used on the front of the box- one small element can make one person's luxury seem like another's jumble sale ware. It's probably most unfair of me to air his small bit of snobbishness here on my blog, so I feel compelled to redress the balance for him and say that I am terribly snobbish about what I refer to as his 'dwarves and elves' books which have a certain kind of gold lettering on the spine. I've always found his snobbishness about my favourite chocolates rather amusing but my mistake was probably sharing it here - sorry if it offended you. And goodness, now I'm also so sorry if I've offended Vienetta or Sainsbury's Value toffee eaters. x

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  4. Noooo, not the Vienetta, don't lower yourself! ;o)

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    1. I'd always remembered Vienetta very fondly from childhood - in the early 80s I think I even remember it being served a very grown up dinner parties. A friend recently bought it for all our children to try as a nostalgic treat and let me try a bit...I think my tastebuds have changed!

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  5. ooohhh....I'm tempted to play along as i've recently printed out the Sorbetto pattern and got some fabric that i think would really well. Could be a good incentive o start sewing some clothes! I'll keep my fingers crossed that the Easter bunny comes good....I'm personally hoping to get lucky in the Hotel Chocolate post-Easter sale to get a dark chocolate ostrich egg!!!! Decadent? Yes! But tastes yummy and feels a bargain at half-price! x

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    1. I think sometimes it tastes even better when it's after the event and you know taht you have your hands on a scarce item that won't be available again until next year! Enjoy! x

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  6. You always make me laugh, Florence. I love that you shared that St. Pete story too. I can only imagine that there are other Alexander lovers out there who have spent thousands or reworked their college degrees to go visit as well. Maybe we could start a support group.
    As far as chocolates I do enjoy a Guylian shell from time to time. Though, as I'm currently and unsuccessfully trying to shed my baby weight, I would even go for a hersheys at this point. Carb starved people aren't choosy.

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    1. Gosh, poor you! I tried Hershey's Kisses as Newark airport years ago and found them to be utterly horrific (which is really saying something as I can pretty much eat any chocolate as I love it so much). I think if you're going to eat it, I'd just go straight for the Guylian and enjoy it thoroughly. I am sure, by the way, that you are still tiny enough to fit in Alexander's pocket and that you can treat yourself to the odd carb! x

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  7. I can kind of see Mr Teacakes's point about Guylian, but on the other hand those little shells and seahorses are so tasty. Have you tried the little Green & Black's praline eggs? They might meet his requirements and yours. Please, though, Florence, not the Viennetta!!

    If I get my mum to add some embroidery to my newly finished top, can I still enter it in the contest, do you think?

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    1. I KNEW you'd be a G&B fan, dear Nina! Do you know the odd thing - apart from the one with bits of butterscotch in - I really can't abide Green & Blacks because I can almost taste the quality and refinement of the bean. I think when it comes to chocolate, I don't want it to taste too grown-up if you know what I mean (and yes, before Woolworths closed I was totally an Ashford's Caramel Cup kind of girl and my cheeks would burn with shame as I loaded one of their pick-and-mix bags with them! It's possibly a good thing they went into liquidation...I think I may have been supporting them singlehandedly!). Ian would be totally with you on the praline eggs though - I may snaffle some out for him as an extra Easter gift - thank you for the recommendation. Is G&B your choice on the Easter Egg wishlist?

      With the top - isn't that a lovely idea to combine both of your skills on one top - you'll want to keep that forever. Are the arms not so tight as to be unwearable then? You don't show yourself in it, so I so hope it's only a mild irritation as it looks so beautifully finished. You'd have to ask Rae if it was okay if you'd worry over it, but I can't imagine why not as long as you'd be happy to share the prizes with her! I can totally imagine it with some embroidery on it and think it would look stunning! I can't wait to see it.

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    2. Oh no, I'm so predictable!! Actually, I have to eat my G&B's through gritted teeth since they sold out to Cadbury's who sold out to Kraft... And I must admit I regard Dairy Milk as quite edible. I don't eat much chocolate at all, though.

      It's just the bust of the Tova that's marginally snug, wearable since I salvaged an inch or so around by letting out the armholes. I'll try and get a picture of me in it when the embroiderer's done her work - a Florence-style headless shot, I think.

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  8. I used to be addicted to the Guylian seashells but have now seen the light. Madame Oiseau makes the most gorgeous chocolates by hand, many of which are praline - including a vastly superior seashell. Best of all, she delivers. Guylian taste oddly sugary and blah to me now.

    http://www.madame-oiseau.com/

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    1. Thank you so much, Romney - what a wonderful tip - thank you for the link.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x