Two things I'd like to share from this lovely weekend, so soon over. Well, there's more, but there's no time for them. First, Nancy Mitford, the pink Mitford sister, is a fucking lovely author to read and I recommend her Louis XIV biography without hesitation. It's written with such an adorable style, in an extremely-clever-dilettante way rather than an academic way, with phrases like 'she would try and persuade the King' and 'Mme de Maintenon was loving the humiliation of Mme de Montespan'. Full of good stories and gory details. Top marks. Jessica, the red Mitford sister, wrote in a punchier (though still amusing) vein, and there's no doubt Jessica's my hero on many levels. But Nancy is nicer when your brain is close to breaking, as mine is at the mo.
Another thing: I've found a new Internet hero, the Media Tinker; she's posted a pattern for pyjama pants online, so she's automatically awesome. A free pattern took some finding, but I really didn't want to buy one as I'm so cheap and not fond of the notion of buying something that might be too difficult. But this one was perfect. The instructions were clearer than free pattern instructions usually are and it did exactly what it said on the tin, which is amazing in my case since I'm such an elementary sewing person. But I made a pair for the F-word out of a nice linen-cotton blend and he reckons they're ace. And there's about four other patterns on the site I'll be making - as I find the fabric, which also takes some finding here.
For instance, I wanted to make the F-word silk pyjamas, because nothing's too good for him, but the cheapest bolt of silk I've found in the shops here is 46 euros a metre - that's $74 Canadian, for those of you who are counting. For a metre. Uhm, yeah, nothing's too good for him, but he may have to wait for silk pjs until we move to Australia and I can hit one of those markets in Bali.
As it is I don't buy any fabric from the fabric stores in Brussels; even the flannelette for menstrual towels is prohibitively expensive, and I've got it over from Canada instead of buying it here. There's a charity shop that stocks fabric people bought and then thought better of - I rely on that, but it's not frequent I can find anything there, as the fabric people thought better of tends by nature to be fucking ugly. Or it tends to be synthetic, and we don't wear synthetics, which is a blog post for another day. When I do find quality fabric there, it's almost invariably white-to-cream - very nice cottons or linens that people realized were going to stain like crazy and be quite impractical. The F-word's new pyjama bottoms, for example, are ivory. I'm thinking of finding a way to dye them here - I've heard you can use dandelion heads or chestnut shells for that. Hmm.