My sister’s on the phone. “I thought I’d visit this weekend,” she says. “We could go to the NEC baby show on Saturday? And do something fun on Friday night? You choose what.”
The pressure’s on now. Normally this is no problem – we could go out and sample Nottingham’s delights. But as you may have guessed Claire is also pregnant – due in December – so drinking and dancing the night away is out of the question.
The solution comes from Hannah and Bella (www.hannahandbella.typepad.com/). Hannah runs a course making frilly knickers, which is suitable for beginners (like Claire) and not too confident middling ability sewers (like me) and she has two places left. We’re on.
We arrive at the studio and buzz up. I feel faintly ridiculous standing in the street in Sherwood saying loudly “We’re here for the frilly knickers” into the intercom but luckily this feeling passes. There are six of us on the course, all seated round the table and surrounded by piles of lovely printed fabric.
It’s not too hard and the atmosphere is nice and chatty – plus there are biscuits, which always goes down well. Claire isn’t the only complete sewing machine novice but the two of them soon get to grips with the technicalities. My knickers are a nice blue stripy material and Claire’s a delicate purple flower pattern. The other sewing machine novice makes a vibrant retro orange pair – they look great and she’s so encouraged by her efforts she enquires about how to make a matching bikini top.
The two hours fly by really fast – we’ve got the basics done but Claire needs to finish sewing the elastic to the second leg of her pair when we get home. We also decide to add ribbon embellishment to the front of each.
Hannah and Bella have just put packs containing instructions and everything you need up for sale on Etsy. They’re easy to make and brilliant fun. http://www.etsy.com/shop/hannahandbella