Sunday, 1 March 2009

A not so successful shopping trip

Yesterday we headed over to the Living History Fayre at the Warwick Exhibition Centre and I was very good. I did not buy wool. Nor did I impulse buy an example of every lucet on sale, or pick up any of the spindles I spotted for sale. I even resisted the charms of Wicked Woolens (AKA Sally Pointer), albeit only by pointedly telling myself that I haven't knitted up any of the yarns I picked up from them in November...

I did look at books and was very taken by the range of Janet Arnolds on sale, plus various other primers on how to make historical costume and stage costume.

A few years ago, finding books on costume or with sample patterns was hard going but there seem to be quite a few out there now, even if you only see them at specialist events with very focused booksellers, such as Felicity & Warnes (who incidentally also do a very good range of crochet, knitting, lace, beading, millinery, bags and general needlework books). This was the first time I had seen so many of the Janet Arnolds in one place and were I actively making much costume at the moment, I'm doubtful I would have resisted.

Dave and I were on the look out for fabric. Dave has been after a new frock coat for his Maelstrom character for ages and as we were heading to the fayre, he told me he wanted a new naval jacket for Ascendancy as well.

Sadly we were out of luck.

We did find some pillarbox red fulled wool which would have been perfect for the naval jacket, but with only just over two meters left on the roll, there wasn't enough.

The frock coat was proving to be more difficult. It has to be in exactly the right shade of canary yellow. Not too creamy, not too pale, not too green or too lemony, nope it has to be bright yellow, possibly hinting towards orange but definitely not orange. Can you hear me sighing?

Suffice it to say we looked at yellow fabrics and none of them would do.

Previously, Dave has eyed up a piece in my stash but I didn't have enough of it for the style of coat Dave was asking for. He did spot and try on a yellow frock coat at the Historical Costume Company, but it was too pale and washed out, as well as looking a bit worn for what Dave had in mind. What I did note was the cut and style, which was very different from everything Dave had described as wanting and therefore completely changed how much fabric might be needed. I pointed this out to Dave, saying that we may have enough of the previously eyed up brocade only to be told it was a bit creamy.

Imagine more sighing at this point.

All of this meant that I came away from the fayre without fabric and we'll have to wait for TORM (The Original Re-enactors Market) in a couple of weeks to try again.

I did buy some ginger and whiskey fudge (yum) and some traditional gingerbread from Angela's Pantry. Dave bought some epaulets and that was it! Admittedly he did try to buy other things, but they were either the wrong colour or far too expensive for his budget.

I also helped Richard to buy a hat.


  1. Sounds like a fustrating day fabric wise, but hope it was ok really, with lots of nice things to look at and people to see?

  2. Frizbe - it was a good day really, honest. I did get to see interesting things and fondle fabric. I just didn't get to buy any! ;)