Sunday, 18 March 2018

Shopping at the Vintage Bazaar

Last time the Vintage Bazaar was in Devizes I missed it - we go to the butcher in Devizes, and on that occasion we bought a bag of pricy giant prawns and I needed to get them home, so no shopping for me. Yesterday there was no such problem As I made sure we went to the Bazaar before the butcher.

Lots of the sellers had vintage fabrics and notions for sale. I hadn't expected to find fabric I liked, but I saw this blue rose fabric and liked it - then as soon as I put it down another person showed an interest and I came over all IT MINE! It's a very silky fabric, so probably won't get used much faster than the slippery silk I bought in India, but it's nice to have it for inspiration. It's got that late 50s/early )0s vibe I really love.

I also got a couple of old books, which I'm very much looking forward to reading.

Today I fired up the sewing machine for the first time. I've got a Butterick repro 60s pattern and a fabric remnant. The idea was to make the top using the remnant, just to get a feel for my machine; I wasn't expecting it to look any good. However, after doing the front and back darts, neckline stay-stitching and even putting in a zip, I'm feeling confident that the top will be genuinely wearable. I might make the top properly using the lovely tile-print cloth I got from Gertie Gusset's Vintage Drawers if the practice one is any good.

More on that for you next week, probably.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

The Parasol Protectorate [books]

I'd heard about Gail Carriger's 'Parasol Protectorate' quintet ages ago – it's one of the more highly-regarded steampunk series – but didn't get around to reading it till my trip to India. All that time on longhaul flights and trains meant plenty of opportunity to read, however, and I got through all five: Soulless, Changeless, Blameless, Heartless, and Timeless.

The novels are set in an alternate Victorian era, mostly in London, and follow Alexia Tarabotti, a young woman unfortunate enough to have been born without a soul. Her touch can turn werewolves and vampires mortal, and as she's soulless she's incredibly practical, lacking in imagination and able to tackle problems head-on. As she ends up passionately in love with a supernatural being, there are plenty of problems to be tackled.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Growing my vintage fabric stash

This has already earned me a bit of side-eye from Mr Robot, but before we went on holiday I ordered some vintage fabric from Etsy seller Gertie Gusset's Vintage Drawers. (What did he expect? He bought me a sewing machine!) It arrived before I went to India, promptly and beautifully wrapped, but I've only just had time to blog about it.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Caves, more caves, and a fort

A white man standing in the entrance to a buddhist cave at Ellora

I hope you like caves, because the reason I'm in Aurangabad right now is to see the Ellora and Ajanta caves.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Oh, Kolkata!

The Post Office, BBD Bagh, Kolkata
The Post Office, BBD Bagh, Kolkata

We've arrived in Aurangabad after a mammoth train journey from Kolkata - about 36 hours from one hotel to the other. So I thought I'd blog a little about Kolkata.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The scandal of Georgian Calcutta

A cup of tea
Grab a cuppa, this is a long post.
Who’s Eliza Lane? She's a woman who scandalised Georgian Calcutta. (I'm calling it Calcutta in her story 'cos that's what it was called when she lived there; obviously I will be visiting Kolkata!) Eliza’s my ancestress. Normally family history can be a bit dull for non-related people, but I think she is pretty interesting. Over the years I’ve dug up more information on her, and I’m really hopeful that we’ll be able to visit either her memorial or her grave when we’re in Kolkata.

Sunday, 11 February 2018

I'm getting a sewing machine!

singer sewing machine ad from the 1960s
Yes, Mr Robot told me he's going to get me a sewing machine for my birthday. Why tell me now? We'll be in Kolkata on my birthday, so we'll go and pick one out together either before we go or after we get back. I'm unbelievably excited about this, as I've wanted one for so long. My friend Naomi is really talented with her machine, and she said to make sure whatever I get has one-step buttonholes, but not to worry too much about fancy stitches as she only ever uses four or five. If you have any other good advice, please do comment. All I know is I'll be getting a Husqvarna as there's a Husqvarna shop in Bath. Beyond that, I've no idea.