Monday, 15 July 2013

What IS the Collective Noun for a Group of Sewists?

... a spool? A bobbin? A bolt? A stitch? Who knows? These were the questions that were pondered on Saturday when a group of us sewing enthusiasts legged it over to Greenwich for sewing and cocktails at Clare Sew Dixie Lou's house. 

Well, it was really all cocktails, and no actual sewing . It started in a civilised manner, like this:

Clare and Emmie in the kitchen
 But soon it turned into this:

Clare, you rock SO HARD!
Yup, it deteriorated into a bunch of terribly well-dressed women (and a couple of guys!) jumping around to Stevie Nicks and R Kelly, while drinking margarita's and eating cheese and pineapple. I was too busy laughing and dancing to take many photos, but suffice to say everyone was dressed impeccably in their own creations. We had cowgirls from Roisin, fab flowers from Rehanon, nautical and denim from Jo, tie dye from Fiona, polka dots from Ali, houndstooth from Emmie, and a slinky cut away shoulder affair from Sally. There was even a visitor all the way from Oz, in the shape of Amy from Sewamysew, in her vintage polka dots. And Clare herself was modelling a creation made from vintage curtain fabric!

I decided to debut my Franken-patterened Gypsy dress made from a 90's(?) gypsy top:

 ...stuck on to the skirt of this 1950's Butterick shirt dress:

A few tweaks here and there - I left off the front button placket, pleated the top to match the skirt darts at the waistband, added a zip at the side - and TA-DAA - you have the Hot Tamale Dress! (Mr Needles named it...):

The striped fabric was something I acquired during the swap at the Spring London blogger meet up. And to reinforce the sewing sisterhood link, I found out the donor of the striped fabric was the lovely Fiona from Diary of a Chain Stitcher, who recognised it at the cocktail soiree. I was so happy to be able to thank her, because I love this dress!

A few details:

A close up of the ruffle around the neck/shoulders:

The skirt has a lapped split at the back, finished with a little arrowhead at the top:

 And I lined it all with a lightweight polyester, which I also used to bind the hem:

Anyway, back to the question posed at the beginning of the blog - it was decided that a collection of sewists is a 'spool'! And I couldn't be happier to be a spool-ette - I was laughing and smiling so hard that my face hurt! I can't really remember why I started blogging about sewing - as a diary of my projects? - but I never thought I would get so much back, in the form of knowledge and new friends

So here's to all the Spoolette's out there, and I'll see you soon!


  1. Oh that dress is amazing, I just love it! x

  2. Love this dress, makes me think of Rita Hayworth when they made her play the Spanish/Italian/basically any foreign girl. The colours in the stripes are really cool.

    Had such a blast cutting a rug with you last week xx

  3. Ahhhh I miss that amazing day already, we had such fun! This dress is so stunning, and I love the name. Well done, Mr Needles. You look stunning as always, the stripes are fantastic and it's so cool that it came from Fiona. We should do more mystery fabric donations to each other. xx

  4. It's so exciting to see some of my stash used to make something so fabulous! I would never had dreamed that lovely dress up! Can't wait for the next gathering!

  5. It's even more gorgeous in real life, that dress - such a great vintage vibe! Love the arrowhead stitching too, a really cute detail.

  6. How fun! Love the off the shoulder blouse. I remember always coming on your blog and complaining how I couldn't sew haha. But I hired a teacher and I got some basics down. Just haven't posted anything I've made but I will soon. Spoolettes unite. haha.

    1. Brilliant! So glad you're having a go. Can't wait to see what you've made!

  7. Gorgeous dress. I knew you would magic that fabric into a signature piece. x

  8. Hey fellow Spoolette! Just popped by to let you know that I've mentioned your blog in my article about using vintage sewing patterns in August's Vintage Life Magazine You're always creating something wonderful and thought that your blog fits in perfectly with the article. Hope that this is okay with you :-)

    1. Thanks so much! Which issue no. is it, so I can look it up?

  9. It's issue no. 33 :-).


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