London, baby!

If you’ve noticed that my Etsy shop only has digital items at the moment, it’s because I’m on vacation in London. (But I am running a sale on all my sewing patterns while I’m away.)

We arrived at Heathrow yesterday morning around 6:30am. We took the tube to London and were able to check into our hotel right away. After ditching our luggage and grabbing some breakfast, we headed to Covent Garden for some antiquing and gelato. Then we hit the Victoria and Albert Museum, bought a few groceries, and came back to the hotel for a light lunch and a nap. Then we stayed in for a light supper and some relaxation.

The flowers outside Covent Garden were lovely.

Today, we walked from our hotel to Garden Lodge, Freddie Mercury’s house. Not that you can see the house … more like the brick wall (with razor wire) around the house. But now my husband can say he’s been there. We also walked by Alfred Hitchcock’s house.

Garden Lodge, Freddie Mercury’s house

Then we were off to the Imperial War Museum to see the World War II and Holocaust exhibits. The museum has a gorgeous rose garden surrounding the big guns in the front, as well as a piece of the Berlin wall. The exhibits were very well done … we spent several hours there.

The Imperial War Museum, a piece of the Berlin wall, and some gorgeous roses.

We took the tube to Oxford Circus, where the flags were still flying over all the streets from the coronation earlier this month.

Then we headed to my favorite store, Liberty. The 4th floor is where you find bolts and bolts of gorgeous tana lawn fabric in their exclusive prints. I circled the room twice before I picked out the fabrics I wanted to purchase. Many of their prints are also available in silk … for £65 a meter (gulp).

Liberty of London tana lawn fabric
My selection of Liberty fabrics. Barbie’s going to need some new dresses. I got two colorations of the London scenes. Sorry the color is not great in the photo … hotel room lighting.

Our feet were complaining, but we kept going. Our next stop was the flagship Cath Kidston store, which is going out of business. Cath Kidston is kind of the UK version of Vera Bradley in the US. Would have bought some of their housewares, but they don’t exactly fit in my little carryon bag, so I settled for a couple flat tote bags in pretty prints. On our way back to the tube station, we stopped at Fortnum & Mason, a luxury grocery store with extraordinary food. We just walked around on the main level, stocked with sweets, chocolates, teas, and more. The place was packed with people! We did a quick circle and then left. Maybe another day. Dinner was a steak restaurant known for having chocolate fed beef. Yes, you read that right. They feed the cattle grass and chocolate. Apparently, it makes for a sweeter meat. We ordered one to share, only to be told they had run out. So we got a normal steak instead.

At the end of the day, my husband’s Apple watch said we walked over 5 miles and climbed 15 flights of stairs. Tomorrow, we’re heading to Kensington Palace. Stay tuned.

Blushing Debutante

While I was at the Grant A Wish Barbie Convention last month, I was asked if I’d be willing to donate an OOAK doll to the charity auction for the Rome fashion doll convention this fall. (Wouldn’t it be nice to go to Rome? Alas, I don’t have those dates available this year.) The theme is something to do with debutantes, so I wanted to make a sweet dress befitting a teenage girl. I made the dress from shadow Chantilly lace layered over blush pink silk tissue taffeta. To bring out the black detail in the lace, I added black ribbon along the ruched seam lines and lots of bows. And of course she needed long gloves, a demure hat, and some spectacular jewelry. Before I box her up and get her in the mail, I thought I’d share her photo. Like the necklace? You can special order it in multiple colors from the Etsy shop, DollJewelsbyApril.

GAW Barbie convention preview

The GAW Barbie convention is just a couple weeks away! Here’s a little preview of what you’ll see from Hankie Chic at the convention.

Here’s a first glimpse of the doll I’m donating to the charity auction for the GAW Barbie Convention later this month. Her name is Juneau. Her dress is of Chantilly lace layered over silk taffeta. I found the lovely shade of pink silk fabric from Silk Baron. I love how it matches her hair. And of course the dress is sewn entirely by hand. I even stitched pearl beads onto the centers of the flowers on the lace.

I’ll be selling out of my hotel room and in the sales room. My dress collection is done (I think!). My color story is shades of pink, purple, and blue in silks, vintage printed and embroidered handkerchiefs, lace, and Liberty of London Tana Lawn fabric. No peeks at the collection until I arrive and set up my room, so stay tuned.

Now that the dress collection is done, I’ve been working on the smaller items. I’ve got about 80 hats made so far. So the question was, how do I display them? I was doing some antiquing this weekend and came across some vintage salt and pepper sets with large holes. That got me thinking about hat pins and hat pin holders … and what if I could display hats like a bouquet. So I stopped at a craft store to pick up wire and other supplies to make little hat stands that will stick into the holes of the salt and pepper shakers. I think I’ll be able to display about 24 hats per shaker.

I’ve also been working on little Barbie size shopping bags. I’ll have more designs available, but here’s a taste. They make great table gifts!