I finally met a real, live sewing blogger – Marianna. I discovered her blog when I was searching for information about Pattern Magic. Marianna has written a lot about her experiments with this modern Japanese and highly interesting approach to pattern cutting. She told me that this is how most people come to her site. She tried lots of the PM “patterns” herself and also ran a challenge which many participants. I love that Marianna and many of the participants were somewhat doubtful about the patterns. That was my experience too.
So who is the person behind the blog that goes “from flops to couture”? A petit, pretty, smiley, chic, softly (slightly accented) spoken ball of enthusiasm, creativity and energy. Lovely arms and a runners’ body. Apart from the PM challenge she organised one that required participants to create Great British Sewing Bee items in a week; and another – the Vivienne Westwood Challenge. She writes beautifully and I really love what she makes and wears. Here she is just as she ordered the most interesting things on the menu – tapioca caviar, broad bean houmous and a duck egg – at the wonderful Grainstore restaurant in Kings Cross.
We had so much to discuss. She showed me what she had bought at Simply Fabrics and we discussed how to apply a shimmering metallic finish. We talked about family, jobs, ambition, how we learned to sew, where we live, holiday plans and our families. I am passionate about the regeneration of London so we also had a look around the Kings Cross redevelopment area where some young people were making a 3D map from the earth dug up during the building work. When it is sunny swarms of little kids run through those fountains, squealing and laughing. When we met it was too chilly for us to sit around. So we popped into the college – London’s Central School of Art and St Martin’s College merged and moved into Kings Cross a few years ago. I love to see Japanese students in enormous coats and shoes, men in skirts and teachers who wear more than their fair share of lipstick.
Marianna and I visited the degree shows and had a quick look at the textiles, and fashion design entries. The textiles included printed, woven and knitted fabrics – lots of art work, photographs and videos too. We weren’t allowed to photograph the students’ work. But there was a seaside nurse on show, so Marianna gamely posed again. There are so many short courses being run over the summer at Central St Martins – we picked up brochures and thought about going to learn something new together.