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I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon


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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Liberty of London

The end of next week I will be in London for five days. The nice thing about Halifax is that London is just right across the water which is convenient if you have a kid there, and I do. My flight to London is only costing me what it would to go and visit my mom and sisters in Winnipeg, although once you get there Winnipeg is a whole lot cheaper, but then again it's not exactly London.

And my son Nat isn't there is he? Nat is working in the financial industry and at 24 working very hard, I have to go over and make sure he isn't working too hard, and to see where he lives, shops (he's a big foodie and goes to all the markets) so I can picture his day to day life when he emails or calls me. Obviously I miss this kid, the middle one of my three, like crazy but this is an adventure if you are 24 and I have to keep up right?

I have my first day while he is working to do my own thing and of course that is going to be fabric related. I have my notebook and camera ready for clothing ideas (Halifax isn't exactly the leading edge and neither am I) and know for sure that I will be heading off to the Victoria and Albert to look at the fashion collection, going to fabric shops on Berwick Street (thank you Stitchers' Guild for archive posts on where to shop in London) and of course will be going to Liberty's of London. Liberty's has changed a lot in the 30 years since I was last there, as a pilgrim to Mecca on a post university trip with a sewing friend, and Nat didn't even know they sold fabric, they have become such a trendy accessory place.

Liberty's is having a retrospective show that I am really looking forward to and of course there is the question of buying fabric...

I have been on the website and looked at the prints, the wonderful classic prints, and considered my options http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/departmenthome/dept/fabrics?resetFilters=true

Predictably the fabric is not cheap, about $40.00 Canadian a meter, and tends to the floral which is not really me as a 5 foot 9 inch non-dainty type. If I bought it I know I would love to sew it, I made a dress years ago for an accountant friend of mine and the Liberty cotton was a dream to sew, I just loved the way it felt in my hands, but would I wear it? Should I get some on principle because if I don't I will regret it? I can see maybe a nightgown for summer in one of the lawns, but a floral blouse, I don't know.

Of course once I touch the stuff I will be struck by fabric fever, but I am trying to use my head these days too, involved as I am in the great closet clean along. I am one of those people who makes beautiful things in beautiful fabrics and then wears the old comfortable stuff instead. Drawing the line between nice to sew and compatible with my need to be at ease in what I wear is a problem.

Of course I need to go notions shopping, as in buttons and trim, in London too. Anyone have any idea of where to go?

I was in Tel Aviv in February on a work related trip (don't ask what I was doing there I wasn't really the most qualified person to go, my boss was being nice to me and thought I would find it interesting which I did of course) and bought mega fabric at the market. About 40 pounds worth, involving me running sweating in the wrong shoes to the tour bus before they left without me, and of course being hit with over weight at the baggage counter on the way home - not exactly the bargain fabric I thought I was buying. This episode made me realize that buttons are a great sewing memento from a trip.

Anyway back to the issue of the day. If you were me would you spring for Liberty fabric? And where in London do I go for buttons and trim?

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