Post 2 of 5
I then said we needed to get cracking on the fabric shopping. Setting a date for this was tricky, life always gets in the way, but eventually Jackie was able to join me and my cronies on a fabric shopping expedition into Birmingham. I can’t recall the date, but it must have been late May by now, time was ticking on! I think that the group consisted of Hazel and Alice [steampunk seamstresses], Karen [work colleague who does historical re-enactment], and Kim [seamstress, blogger, and runner.] Plus me and Jax of course. If you were there and I’ve forgotten, don’t shoot me, just nudge my memory and I’ll add you in!
I had told my sewing buddies that Jackie wasn’t sure about what she would be looking for, other than the vague ‘skirt, top, coat’ agenda, and that she was a bit nervous about the process. Most people who don’t sew themselves, are oddly scared of lengths of fabric lol! It’s really about not knowing what all these weird ‘technical’ names means, so first call was a roam round the market stalls, with instructions to touch, feel, fondle all fabrics that caught her eye, and to ask us what they were called. We ambled happily for the usual hour or so, then went for lunch as Jackie’s eyes were starting to glaze. We were all in 7th heaven of course.
Lunch was great, and we noshed, drank, and chatted for AGES, until we realised time was ticking, and headed for the Fancy Silk Store. Jackie boggled! We hauled her straight up to the first floor, evening/bridal/silks/theatrical fabrics. And then we all got to work. We all just kept dragging out bolts to show Jackie, for a quick yes/no decision. Within about ten minutes, we had a definite ‘YES’ for an amazing bolt of paper silk, in a rich clear turquoise, with ‘tie dye’ style random splashes and smears of deep purple. Very boho. Jackie was smitten, we all exchanged glances, and the hunt was on.
Now every bolt had to be compared with the chosen one [it screamed ‘skirt’ to me] and Jackie was getting into the swing of things. Quite quickly, we had three bolts on the cutting table, and were looking for contrasts. Suddenly, Jackie started to look all emotional, and was grinning a Cheshire cat grin. We all stood back, and knew we’d found the magic selection. And here it is. The paper silk in tie-dyed turquoise and purple, a luscious silk charmeuse in a true vibrant violet, a deep raspberry pink lamé, and a lovely crystal organza in metallic pink/turquoise just brought them all together.
Guessing yardage was a bit hit and miss as we really hadn’t nailed down the styles, but I guesstimated, and Jackie seemed happy with her purchases. Bargain! We then went on to Barry’s warehouse, and Jackie found some nice crinkly purple stuff which went nicely, to add to the mix. The prices were good too, but you’ll have to ask Jackie for that detail!
And then we were all burned out, and the day came to an end. I suggested to Jackie that the fabrics should live with me, in case Rich had a look and wasn’t immediately enamoured, and she agreed. I sorted her out with swatches for matching accessories etc.
And then the fabrics sat in a bag while I cracked on with marking season, and until we could schedule a first fitting/sitting/consultation, whatever.