Tell me about it, stud…

Sandy from Grease

Let me just dream for a sec this is really me

I’m back. And I’m head to toe in black leather with fierce red lippy and a dodgy perm to boot. Ooh isn’t ONJ just fabulous? Sigh – I’d mortally wound for that waist line.

Why have I chosen Sandy from Grease? Ooh I dunno – maybe it’s because it feels like new beginnings, a transformation, a second chance. Maybe because it feels like the summer is right around the corner and if we all flip the collective bird at the rain gods we’ll get a chance to see the frickin season.  Altogether now! We’re one of a kiii-ind like doo wop…

But onto other things. You might remember I took a month-long break from blogging, citing crazy shit happening all over April. This is true. Amongst other things, I:

1. Went home for some mama love and a cuddle with the nipper nieces and nephews which was just lovely and long overdue.

2. Celebrated my 34th birthday and received all manner of amazing sewing-related goodness from my sisters – more on that another day.

3. Went to Paris for a luxury weekend (a present from the current husband for said birthday), and (get this guys) stayed in the SAME suite that the short film Hotel Chevalier was shot in. If you’re not a Wes Anderson fan you might not recognise it but it’s at the beginning of The Darjeeling Limited. The suite was awesome and we set up the ol’ tablet to play Where Do You Go to My Lovely while we gazed at Paris from the balcony. Gorgeous. The real hotel is called Hotel Raphael.

4. Spent about three hours in Montmartre’s fabric shops and FAILED to buy any fabric. I was totally overwhelmed – has that ever happened to you?

5. Celebrated my first wedding anniversary with a yummy dinner at Moro in Exmouth Market on Saturday night, again with the husband funnily enough. He keeps cropping up at these things.

So… yeh… it’s been busy round these parts recently. I did however still lurk you all via the googleweb. But what’s that you say? Did I get any sewing done? And am I ready for Me Made May 2012? To the first I say yes, but not much – there is so much more to be done. To the second I simply say:

I, Joanne of Stitch and Witter, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I endeavour to wear at least one item made or upcycled by my own two hands each day for the duration of May 2012

Let’s get to work.

**Stubs out fag under monstrous wedge shoe, winks and exits camera left***

Time for a siesta…

Keef

You know sometimes – you just need a break? I need a break.

April has turned out to be something of a surprisingly craaaaazy month for me, so I’m taking a short break from blogging (but not sewing… hopefully!) before Me Made May 2012, to refresh myself and get back to being enthusiastic about making stuff and that.

Right now, about all I can do is peer into the sewing room and sigh at how quiet it is. I have a long list of stuff I want to make, challenges I’d love to join (like Karen’s pyjama party) but I just… can’t. Not now.

I’m looking forward to recharging my batteries and getting some perspective on life in the meantime, plus getting down with the cats for some quality kneading sessions. Keefy – Imma coming for ya baby! *runs at terrified cat with arms outstretched*

I’ll see you gorgeous people in May xxx

Completed project: A teal Ginger

A teal corduroy Ginger

Well, I’d like to say I did a better job of the zip on this version than I did on the Ginger Bodgers… and I did… to begin with! Unfortunately I did it rather too well, with the annoying result that it was really tough pulling the zipper head up and down the teeth. Eventually, dear readers, it broke right in the middle of hemming the damn thing. I’d finished everything else, so heavy was my heart as I took the seam rippers to the zip. Luckily enough I had another concealed zip in the same colour.

I basically did a total hack job – ripping out the zip and just a bit of the top facing. It was SUCH a hack that my zipper left a good inch of fabric waving free at the top, so it was time for a hook and eye. Needless to say – the zip wasn’t so invisible now…

Ginger zip

Eurgh – I think I’ll leave invisible zippers for a while. They are not my friends. Hope you had a lovely Easter peeps!

A teal corduroy Ginger

P.S. Have you seen the new patterns from Sarai at Colette patterns? Gorgeous huh? My favourite is Lily – so retro-glamorous. What’s yours?

Warning: This post contains fabulous vintage fabric

The Shop, Brick Lane

Shelves bursting with fabric

Hello pop-pickers. Have you all recovered from the style-fest that was the weekend? Not only did we see a multitude of amazing OWOPers on Tilly’s post; we also had the most glamorous round-up of Mad Men dresses ever from Julia Bobbin. My, these posts just keep on giving – every time I go back I see something else I want to sew or another blogger I want to add to my reader. Thanks to both Tilly and Julia for a dazzling end to March.

In other news, I went for a wander around Brick Lane on Sunday with some friends who were staying with us. If you haven’t been over there in  a while and you like vintage clothes, great music and fabulous food, I can heartily recommend it.

We dandered down the main drag, pottering off into little streets to explore tiny boutiques and hidden markets. There’s tons of stuff to do, see and buy. One shop I recommend seeking out is just off Brick Lane at 3 Cheshire Street. Called simply The Shop, it stocks an amazing range of vintage fabrics, clothes and trinkets, plus lots of gorgeous Scandi-style linens for making up adorable aprons. I’m looking at YOU House of Pinheiro with your fantastic vintage apron tutorial! Plus The Shop has one of the biggest range of silk scarves I’ve seen in London. That’s a pic above of some of the shelves – good for a rummage.

Here are my finds:

Floral cotton poplin

1 metre of seventies-style floral cotton poplin, to be used for cushions in the living room. I’m thinking hot pink neon piping. Just £3.50.

Peach square

2.5 metres of this man-made fabric (not quite identified) from Rose & Hubble – to be used for a dress I think. Crucially – it doesn’t feel nasty. A snip at £9 for the lot.

Silk dupioni

My favourite – just under 2 metres of this gorgeous silk dupioni. I’ve been looking for a checked silk dupioni for ages (I was thwarted trying to buy some of this from Harts – they informed me it had sold out over three weeks ago but rather annoyingly seems to still be on the site hmph) and whilst this is a different colour scheme from what I wanted I think it could be a very pretty dress or a luxe tulip skirt? A bargain at £7.50.

I love finding vintage fabric – any tips for other shops/markets in London? Share ‘em!

Blogger shout-out

I’ve been remiss. I received a couple of lovely awards from bloggers a couple of weeks ago, and in all the excitement of Mad Men and OWOP I quite forgot to say thank you. So without further ado:

The wonderful Sue from Sewin’ Steady nominated me for this award. Have you checked out her website yet? If not you are a lunatic. Her Joan dress is to die for, seriously. I really love her style – her Violet blouse, her Peony… all divine.  Thank you so much Sue – ’tis an honour. As discussed with lovely Sue by email – I have NOTHING more to give in terms of random facts about myself so we’ve agreed to leave it there and just feel the love!

Second up is one of my favourite and funniest commenters on this site – Symon Sez who nominated me for a Liebster award.

Liebster blog

Symondezyn is a slow-food fanatic and a fearless stitcher – check out her blue chiffon blouse for proof! She’s also a brilliant contributor to so many blogs – I always look forward to her funny comments and her crazy ^___^ thingies she does. :)

In honour of both these lovely awards I’m going to give a shout-out to some of my favourite new blogs that I’ve chanced upon. No pressure on doing the same dear bloggers – it’s just a ‘well, hello there’ from me… to you.

True Bias - check out her gorgeous Negroni ‘n’ neck scarfs

Four Square Walls – because I want her wardrobe, naturally

Lucky Lucille – she has the best print dresses in town plus a lovely little accessories shop

I. KNOW – atmospheric photography, enviable lifestyle, beautiful designs

As always there are squillions more and too many to mention. At the last count I follow 167 blogs in Google reader. I’m curious – is that a lot, or slim picking in comparison to you guys? How many blogs do you follow?

Giveaway winner!

Butterick giveaway

Thanks to all those who entered my giveaway for this lovely summery pattern.

The winner is…

The 32nd comment on the blog was Alison from Peggy’s Pickles! Yay! Although I suspect Alison, it may have to wait to be made up, eh? :) Not much room for baby in there!

I’ll email you later to get your address! Congrats and thank you to all who entered :)