And what a weekend it was! I'm still smiling and laughing to myself whenever I think back to all the great times I had in Darwen with all these beautiful, talented bloggers and the generous team at Minerva.
I set out at an uncivilized hour - 5.30 am!! - from chez Needles in order to get the train to Darwen, where Minerva is based, just an hour or so outside Manchester. Luckily, I had some company on the way - Clare Sew Dixie Lou, Crafty Ali Bobs, Emmy Oh Sew Vintage, and Sally Charity Shop Chic:
|Emmy and Clare - are we there yet?|
|Emmy discovering the joy of covered buttons|
|The humongous warehouse next door|
|Just a small selection of the ladies who attended|
|Our venue for the evening - Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers!|
|Pre-dinner drinks and mingling - still pretty civilised at this stage...|
|Sequin sisters - Vicki and Emmy|
|After dinner dancing! Non-stop great tunes courtesy of DJ Paul|
As is the way when you have a number of Spoolettes in attendance, we managed to squeeze in pre-pre dinner drinks, where we had an opportunity to get a good look at each others creations:
|Rehannon and Clare|
|Sally (just seen), Marie, and Ali|
|Emmy and Sally|
|Emmy and her gorgeous sequinned dress - the patience she must have had...|
|Kathryn in her 'Rachel' pose|
|Emmy, me, and Clare, also attempting some 'Rachel' poses|
|Me, Katie and Kathryn|
What I love about these ladies and their outfits is that they all look absolutely brilliant and completely different. Everyone interpreted the idea of 'evening' in their own way, from jumpsuits to pencil skirts, florals to abstract, and a sprinkling of sequins. We even had a dress inspired by one worn by Cher in 'Mermaids'! (I'm looking at you Rehanon!)There was no real theme or one type of shape, unless you count looking fabulous as a theme.
Mine was inspired by the mambo scene in 'West Side Story', so that meant ruffles would be included. I also wanted some bare shoulders, but not strapless, so I used the Sewaholic Lonsdale as the top. I adapted my pencil skirt block into a wraparound, with a curved front edge at the front. This was all topped off with a curved skirt frill at the back, and an extra curved piece for the front. If this doesn't make sense, here are some photos to make it clearer:
|I used the top from the pattern on the left, but with a pencil skirt. Then I added the frill from the skirt on the right. I also changed the bodice to a side zip. so the back wasn't disrupted with a seam.|
The dress was a joy to wear, mainly because the fabric was so comfortable - it was a cotton with a little stretch added, so it could fit closely to the body, but moved with you. Which was totally necessary, especially when dancing to 'Proud Mary' by Ike and Tina Turner - that was like an aerobic workout!
I had a great time hanging out with my fellow bloggers, and finally meeting Vicki and co. was a pleasure. It was such an inspiring experience that as soon as I arrived home I wanted to get sewing straight away. If you can visit Minerva, I urge you to go!
See you soon!