from Naomi Ito's official website
I've named the screenshots slash neck, plunging neck, Vogue, Simplicity, McCalls, empire line, vintage, Vogue copy.
Yes, retirement time is becoming sewing and sowing time. Giya was here for a week and we had a lot to catch up on. Flowers and clothes. I was tidying up the edges of a shirt I made her, amending a shirt she bought. I was listing summer (end of July) flowers and what's either side because summer as we know has become unpredictable.
Then the dress of the day. I went into google, coming back endlessly to the same thing - nothing was quite right. Initially she asked if I could adapt a Liberty pattern I made up for her before she left for the Netherlands but I was reluctant. Was I good enough? After all, this is for a garment that's going to be in photos for the rest of our lives. And the fabric will be pricey. Yes, I'm making the wedding dress.
The latest pattern is beautiful, the pattern itself provided as a downloadable PDF by a newish French company. Given that Giya and I spent a disappointing day in London, the internet saved us. Or at least I hope it has. Did she find the pattern scrolling through Instagram on the train on the way home, or when we were sat by the fire later? After hours with one idea in our heads, plunge neck, slit skirt, interesting sleeves, she found a design that fired her up.
I haven't made up the pattern yet, neither did I print off 50+ pages of A4. I took it to a copyshop. The biggest challenge will be drapery. Technical but important. As for London... We headed first to John Lewis in Oxford Street because in my mind was an entire floor of fabrics and pattern books. My best Saturday job when I was a teenager was in a fabric shop in Farnham. To me a fabric shop is still a preview of paradise. Fabric, after all, is human history. But....John Lewis.
Tucked away beyond kids stuff, including gruesome toddler clothes in the style of a country gentleman, is a corner with a single amalgamated pattern book and a range of fabrics I'd describe politely as an excuse. Yes, we found dupion silks Giya and I both liked the look and feel of, there was nothing else I couldn't find in Brighton. Onto Liberty... The prices, another world neither of us is part of. I should have known my past really is as lost as the blouse I made out of tana lawn decades back....
Onto a small haberdashers nearby where I bought sashiko thread, hooks for a vintage lace coat I've pressed onto Giya, and a helpful young assistant who recommended looking for patterns online.
Disappointed, a bit tired, shocked by crowds, by a man collapsed outside Liberty surrounded by police and paramedics, a helicopter circling overhead, by the unfamiliar consumerism of Oxford Street we decided to buy our fabric in Brighton. My task now is to try this pattern out and see how it falls. It's going to take more than one dry run.