I have been awake for an hour but I slept well so although it is very early I decided to get up - I don't want to go off to sleep again and then sleep too late for my carer's arrival. I lay awake after a good sleep anyway.
I am an avid watcher of the Sewing Bee programme on television. For anyone who doesn't know it has been a competition to find the champion needle 'person' in the UK. This week was the semi-final - three women and one man left in. One person to go.
There is a theme each week and this week was 'The Forties' - three challenges. The first one was to make a pair of 'Oxford Bags' in four and a half hours. Then each week there is a challenge to make something from an existing garment in ninety minutes- this week to make an evening dress from a wartime parachute, and finally to make a garment - this is the big challenge -the next day - in almost six hours to make something inspired by Christian Dior's New Look.
When one gets used to watching a programme like this each week one tends to get 'hooked' on one personality and just hope all the time that they are going to succeed. The bags went well although they looked so complicated - pleats in the front either side of the zip - and that itself looked impossible - it had so many pieces (an extra piece to protect one's 'personal bits as the final male contestant delicately put it) and the parachute challenge was impossible (especially in ninety minutes) - then the Dior challenge the next day. Now that was really interesting and resulted in four fantastic garments - one not finished, one with a bad mistake on the front. But it reminded me of the old times.
I remember the old days. I was fifteen in Dior's time of bringing in 'The New Look'. My friend and I were in the chapel choir in our village - I played the organ but for the choir we also had another organist because I sang too. We gave concerts in the surrounding villages and we always sang a duet (she Soprano and I Contralto). A really special one was coming up and I vividly remember what we wore (and what we sang - 'Sheep may Safely Graze') - we thought we were the Bees Knees in 'The New Look . We wore what were called 'Two pieces' - identical in everything but colour - a shin-length frilled skirt and a jacket with a nipped-in waist and a frilled piece below the waist. Her outfit was green with brown velvet buttons and mine was red with black velvet buttons. She wore brown shoes and I wore black shoes (identical with a strap over and high heels) - she had red hair hence the green and brown outfit and I being brunette wore the red - conventional to the last.
We thought we were The Bees Knees.
When one watches a programme each week one does tend to become attached to one contestant and hope that they win. So it was with me and my 'chosen one' was eliminated. She had tears - everyone loved her and everyone had a tear in their eye as they gave her a hug. She spoke of her pride at staying in until the semi final and how proud she was of her achievement. I needed to wipe my eyes and I suspect there wasn't a dry eye in the house in many homes.