Friday, 29 October 2010

Sack dress update and a day out

The Victorian technical school

An interesting corner

Woman so happy to be out of the house for one day. Oh yes, I was in a building full of visually stimulating, and lovely objects and where am I for my photo of dress in action? By the toilets...
So I took the children out for the day and where does a die-hard sewer take their kids? The theme park, the safari park, the zoo? No silly, of course not, we went to Bilston Craft Gallery. Now certain relatives have sniggered when I announced we were going on a day out to Bilston because it is a fairly non picturesque place.
We walked past some interesting buildings that hint at Bilston's past - I always am taken with this one which has "Technical School" on the front and the words "Science" and "Art" above the windows. It makes me think of Victorian self improvement and education. So sad it is derelict now.

Back to the day trip, the craft gallery is great , and the best thing about it is this - Craftplay. It is a purpose designed space for 0 - 7 year olds. You have to book in and it is only open limited days of the week. There ia s a member of staff there who is lovely and parents have to stay and play too. There is making and loads of materials but it is not prescriptive craft where everyone makes something like a halloween mask for instance. Oh no, it is much more child centred and about exploring materials. So, there is a round table with materials and then other activities all around. Little I started with some glue and glitter, yoghurt pots and made a sort of 3d collage. T made a giant plastic tube with attachments. There was flubber and gloop to put your hands in and play. There was sand with glitter in for "cooking" and there was dressing up. There are lots of interesting corners to see and things to touch and listen. to T built a complicated system for ping pong balls using piping.
In a foyer space where we ate our sandwiches there was a notice board full of local opportunities for designer/makers, and a table with reference books. This was enlightening and refreshing for and I felt a bit like I had crawled out from a shell and realised there is a vibrant crafts scene in the West Midlands.
We went there on the train to Wolverhampton and then on a tram. They found this very exciting. Trams are a novelty to us as they don't have them where we live. It is fun to whiz past the traffic jams on the tram. I could have driven there (and have done before) but going by public transport made it into more of an expedition and adventure. It also made me feel like I had come out of my little bubble for a day.
And, finally, I wore my black sack dresss, I received some really great advice after posting about this dress. I took the pockets off and just thought I would give it a go. Maybe like Roobeedoo suggested I just need to get used to wearing a different shape. I wore it with thick tights, my flat green boots and a cardigan. Oh yeah, and I loved it. It was comfortable and easy to wear, I managed to bend down and play without feeling exposed. I think the pockets were perhaps a detail too far. One of those things that look good on paper or in my head but not so great in reality. Sometimes perhaps less is more. I still think the fabric choice was wrong as it is quite creasy and attracts dust but heigh-ho, I will take that as a learning point.
One last thing about the dress and then I will shut up about it - I found the neckline a bit too high and I hadn't fitted the yoke quite properly so I had to tug at it quite a bit during the day. I have an alteration in mind but it's in the wash now havingbeen covered in flour, glitter, and glue yesterday.


  1. Glad you had a good time. I really like your dress, especially with what you are wearing with it. Have a lovely weekend x

  2. Your dress looks great - I'm so glad that you decided to wear it to see how it feels. Can't wait to show my partner your adventures in Bilston - that's his neck of the woods & I think it's where he learnt bricklaying way back when! Enjoy the weekend

  3. You look great! It's a very relaxed looking dress - definitely suitable for a crafty day with the kids.

  4. Hooray for adventures in a homemade dress! :) I agree, it looks great, probably one of those dresses that will become part of your repertoire because of it's comfort and its versatility.

    And I loved your thoughts on shelves. Organization also makes me amazed at what I have (and thus, what I don't need to buy).