Couldn't be there this year but I've selected some of my favourites. Sketchbook at the ready this weekend...
‘Affordable Housing for All or Aesthetics,’ screeched Elizabeth as she thrust the latest issue of The Comet under Rosemary’s round and now rather flustered face. After a year of working with, or under, Elizabeth she knew any attempt at self-defence was utterly useless. Rosemary would nod, apologise and then play her ace card. If there was one thing which interested Elizabeth as much as work it was acquiring the perfect house. Elizabeth's campaign against the expansion of The Garden City was, at least in part, due to the impact it might have on property prices.
Gradually, Elizabeth’s anger turned to annoyance and Rosemary knew it was time. This week’s property supplement was placed very satisfyingly onto Elizabeth’s well ordered desk. ‘The Ice Cream House,’ exclaimed an excited Elizabeth, momentarily allowing her sophisticated manner to slip. The front page of the supplement featured a property for auction which had occupied a place in Elizabeth’s dreams since childhood. As one of the most distinctive houses in the world’s first Garden City, everyone knew 52 Church Lane: the unique villa with its Neapolitan colour scheme was loved and hated in equal measure. Whilst Elizabeth's adult life had been spent in London, her childhood had slipped by in Letchmore. Passing this house as she walked to and from school everyday, Elizabeth knew it affectionately as The Ice Cream House. To a girl who dreamt of escape it symbolised summer, hope, frivolity and above all luxury. Contented with her diversionary tactics Rosemary turned to leave, Elizabeth was already reaching for the telephone receiver to dial the estate agent.
I love a good dart tip; I came across this one in 'Home Journal' (1954).
Fifties seamstresses were advised to use 'brown paper to press out smooth darts.' Admittedly, I haven't actually used brown paper, I didn't have any to hand, instead I just whipped some regular paper out of my printer.
Below I'm using paper to press a cotton linen mix. Despite pressing hard on a very high temperature, there were no telltale marks coming through on the right side. This also worked well on seams.
The most useful application is when you have those tiny, fiddly shoulder darts. Using paper allowed me to get the iron right over them without worrying that I'd be left with unsightly marks.
These pictures are actually of my final summer dress project, I'll be posting on the completed summer dresses next week.
Regular readers will know I have yet to find a fabric marker I like; I usually end up thread tracing everything. Whilst in an epic rush this morning, I made a useful discovery. Having totally lost patience with my tailor's chalk and only needing to mark a short straight line, I took a risk: totally unlike me! The nearest marking tool to hand was a bible Driliter by Swanson. Unbelievably, it worked perfectly: a clear, sharp line which didn't disappear and came off really easily when no longer needed.
This is my best random discovery since the whole hairspray buttonhole revelation.