This time last weekend I was in London visiting my penfriend. Sam and I started writing to each other around 1977 when we were 12 years old. We connected through the Girl Guides, she lives in Brisbane, so about 12,000 miles away. We’re pretty proud of staying in touch for so many years, it’s waned at times but we’ve kept going! It’s helped that now I’m married to an Australian we’ve been over a few times and managed to meet up. Anyway Sam is now in London for six months so we’re having several weekends together, this time it was my turn to go down to London.
Sam is living in south London, I happened to notice there were a couple of nice fabric shops within walking distance of her house so of course we had to pay a little visit!
First shop was Fabrics Galore, it’s certainly well named – it’s a good sized shop full of beautiful fabrics, some interesting ones too, like cork fabric (apparently it’s good for bags!)
I was trying to be good and aim for plain fabrics, as having analysed my stash a bit I realised I’ve lots and lots of patterned lengths but hardly any plains. I treated myself to a length of fine cotton with the idea of making some culottes, and also a heavier cotton in a pretty shade of lavender, which I am still hoping to make into a wrap skirt for our holiday!!
Another 15 minute walk and we were at Sew Over It, the shop that goes with the sewing patterns! It’s only a little shop, but it did have some very nice fabrics. Obviously it stocked the full range of Sew Over It patterns, but it also had a rail of clothes made up from the patterns, which I thought was very helpful. There was obviously a lively sewing class going on downstairs too.
In the afternoon we visited the Horniman museum, which was a bit more child orientated in places than we realised, but it did have an amazing collection of musical instruments of all kinds, from all over the world, I never new there were so many types of brass instruments! There was also an amazing view over London from their gardens! It was lovely to see a museum that was so busy and bustling with families.
On Sunday we spent the whole day at the Victoria and Albert museum. I must admit I haven’t been for years, probably decades!! I was amazed, it’s a wonderful place, especially for anyone interested in textiles. The V&A is a museum of art and design, so we saw wall hangings woven in the 1500’s, clothes embroidered in the 1600’s, handmade lace, old samplers, needlepoint, as well as furniture, stained glass, sculpture, crafts from all over the world. These gloves and the embroidered casket were absolutely beautiful.
We decided to do one of their free tours at 12.30. Our guide was great, he chose about a dozen items all around the museum all on a certain theme. Our theme was lacquer, so he explained all about the process of applying lacquer (very time consuming, like some pieces would have taken years!) and then showed us lots of very different examples and explained why they were special. We were so impressed with the tour we went back for the 2.30 one! I would certainly recommend these tours as otherwise it’s very easy to just wander round thinking ‘Ooh, isn’t that pretty!’
All in all it was a great weekend, more time with Sam, fabric shopping and a day at the V&A, perfect!