Monday, January 7, 2019

Do You Like to Read (Almost as Much as You Like to Sew)?

Hello, again.
I'm shaking my head at myself... I've disappeared from blogging before, only to return with lame excuses and apologies. Again.  Sorry, it's just that sometimes it feels like I failed, but if I'm being honest, I really needed to lighten my load and remove a few things from my "plate".  I could tell you the whole story, but it wouldn't make for a "fun and enjoyable" read, so I'll skip it and just hit the ground running.

Today was my first day back at work after a 2-week winter break. It was lovely. It was restful. It was relaxing. I read THREE books. I sewed TWO garments... FOR MYSELF (more on that in the next post).  I returned to work today not with an ounce of dread or regret, just a promise to myself to make time for the things I WANT to do, and not make excuses for leaving myself for last.

I stumbled across this book, "The Gown" by Jennifer Robson at Costco during break, and the back cover synopsis had me captivated!

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?  
With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

After dinner tonight, I threw on my comfy-cozies and my favorite blanket, thinking I'd just read for a little while. One chapter lead to two... lead to three...

Did you know that Christian Dior's sister, Catherine, spent time in the concentration camp Ravensbruck? Details here, but... I love historical fiction, it makes history so much more fascinating! I'm on page 24 and had to stop to tell you about it because I'm already convinced it's going to be a great read!  I also grabbed another title that day, "The Paris Seamstress" by Natasha Lester. That book will be next after this one, probably... Thanks, Costco!!!

Have you read these? Hear anything about them? Have other similar titles you'd like to share?
One more thing... If I fall off the face of the planet again, you can always find me in Instagram @couturebykristine  Fingers crossed, I come back and post again within the week!?


Maryissewfast said...

I love to read as well as sew TOO. I was going to recommend "The Paris Seamstress", but I see you have it queued up. I'm almost finished with it. I started it the other night when I was out on the groomer with my sweetie. Read until the Kindle died! It's really good!

Nancy said...

I've got both of those books reserved at the library - always enjoy a book with sewing in it. Have you read "The Time in Between" by Maria Duenas? Dressmaker/secret agent in WWII.

Bunny said...

So glad you're back! I need to read these! I think I will order the first today. I can't wait to see your two Kristine garments. Let's get blogging to resurge!

Nursebennett said...

Love seeing a blog post from you!