A Winner!

Hi there,

So just a short post to announce the winner of the reverse birthday present

My daughter pulled the name of the recipient of the "Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing" out of the hat and it was ...

Tatiana Vovchenko!

Tatiana, if you could drop me an email at charlie at nobleanddaughter dot com with your address details, I'll get it on its way.

Thanks everyone else for taking part and for letting me know the things you learnt about sewing this past year - both technical and about yourself and others.  It makes encouraging and fascinating reading.  

And thank you also for all the lovely comments about the blog and my sewing endeavours!

I'm already looking forward to a recap at two years. 

See you soon x


Noble & Daughter is 1! And has a present for you!

Today marks two anniversaries.  Two years since I moved to this incredible city and one year since I started writing this blog.

Central Park looking north from the Top of the Rock

I moved to Brooklyn with a 5 month old baby and a 2 and a half year old toddler and did not know which way was up.  In the past two years I have found my feet, established a different and happy life here.

I've learnt how to order a cheese slice (that's a slice of pizza for you Brits); that it's ok to talk to total randoms in the street without them thinking you're a weirdo; that New Yorkers are some of the friendliest and kindest people anywhere; I understand baseball; I've just about got used to how insanely loud the fire trucks are (and I call them fire trucks); I have kids who happily play in a paddling pool on six square feet of stoop because they don't know about gardens.

I can navigate my way through the endless packets of mac 'n' cheese in a supermarket to find non-orange food; I've gone past thinking cocktails are a bit different and glamorous and a margarita is now my beverage of choice; I've found out that New Yorkers love really good beer (and it is really good); that it is hard to have a bad meal in this city; that the sight of Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline will never fail to stop me in my tracks and make me feel so grateful for the time we are spending here; and to top it all off about six months ago when I was telling a shop assistant that I'd been living here for 18 months, he said, 'well you're a New Yorker then'.  I lived in London for 12 years and loved it but would never have called myself a Londoner.

I have also come to know myself in a way I didn't before.  A lot of this has been over the course of the last year as I have more actively engaged with the sewing community and documented my sewing and the thoughts sewing inspires on this blog.  

I love writing this blog.  I'm not good at sticking to a schedule for it - I'm not a big fan of routine and, as much as I claim otherwise, I'm a fairly chaotic person - but it's my blog and I don't have to follow rules.  But I do love it.  Even if no-one reads it. I love writing down my thoughts and experimenting with our wonderful language.  I even like the techy bits and the slightly embarrassing positions I find myself in taking photos for it.

Over the course of this year I have learnt a HUGE amount about how to sew, made some items of clothing I'm immensely proud of, made a fair few I'm not proud of and that haven't made it to the blog although they probably should, I have made new online friends, met some of them in person, loosely set up a sewing club, become published, and bared my soul on the radio.  

So as a little thank you to the community for providing encouragement, inspiration, advice, laughs, things to ponder, and sometimes even a social life, I wanted to give a present to someone to pass on the learning love.  

1978 edition

1978 edition

Along with Google, my Grandma's 1978 edition of the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing is my first port of call when I'm stuck. So, I'm going to wrap up a copy (well Amazon is) of the latest edition and send it to one of my readers as a, I suppose, reverse birthday present.  If you'd like to get that present (only one copy available), please leave a comment below telling me the most useful thing you have learnt about sewing this year. Please comment by midnight EST next Saturday 17th October.  I'll then randomly pick a name out of a hat (I'm old school like that) and let you know via a blog post shortly after who gets the pressie!  I'm afraid it's just for US and UK readers.

Thank you for reading my musings and I'm looking forward to the next year bringing more learning, more wearable and fun sewing projects and who knows what else.

See you soon x

ps:  there are no affiliate links or anything in this post, I just love this book and the easiest way to send it to someone will be via the behemoth that is Amazon.

One year in New York City


Today marks the first anniversary of my arrival in New York City.  As NYC in general and Brooklyn, my adopted home, in particular have provided me with a sewing mojo like I’ve never had, today seemed the appropriate day to start a sewing blog.

Moving thousands of miles away from your nearest and dearest can be a strain and spending the first six months of that time enduring what is widely regarded as the most ‘brutal of New York winters’ (read perpetual snow drifts, daily temps hovering around -10c, climbing the walls of a small apartment as it’s my fourth day on the trot without going outside and my two very small children are going insane) was at times challenging. 

But, it was all new and it wasn’t drizzle and greyish, and there are brownstones and stoops and the subway and the marvel of a US Hallowe’en and Brooklyn Bridge and brunch like nowhere on earth and Prospect Park and Nolita and the museums and Amy's bread and Music Together and Hudson River Park and food trucks and ad hoc glimpses of the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State and Crate & Barrel and the Hamptons and Shelter Island and Trader Joe’s and burritos and the Rockaways and margaritas and glorious glorious sunshiney summer days and, let’s cut to the chase here, the Garment District.

The first time I walked into Mood Fabrics I literally started hyperventilating.  I had never ever seen anything like it in my life.  Many many internet hours have been dedicated to its finery, so I’ll just say floor upon floor, aisle upon aisle, row upon row of the most luscious fabric.  For someone who had really only shopped for fabric in John Lewis (I love love love that store, but the fabric department is limited relative to the joys to be found across the Garment District), I could not get my head round the fact there are whole aisles dedicated to different types of silk and three floors of fabrics just for making clothes. Overwhelming.  

And since that day, and my subsequent discovery of more caverns of bankrupting-fabric-pleasure, something I’d never had before has entered my life; The Fabric Stash … an ever-growing hoard of beautiful fabric, which at some point will get made into something to wear, but in the meantime will bring me silent joy every time I open my trunk.

So the stash, plus a renewed sewing mojo means a lot of clothes have been sewn over the past year and my notebook is overflowing with ideas for things to come.  So by writing this blog I hope to keep a record of what I've made, how I made it and how it fits with this life in this city.

See you soon.