Tag Archive | mori girl

Chester….a weirdo’s guide!

I wasn’t going to post about this, as it was just a two day break in a random northern city, but actually it was too awesome not to.

First of all we got a first class train up there. This is because for whatever bizarre reason it was pretty much the same price as standard for that particular journey…

train beer

Jon, having a beer on the train. Straight after that they gave us a free beer as well! 🙂

The hotel we were staying in was half way between the station and the town, it was a bit 80’s decor and had a very 80’s restaurant (breaded camembert, stuffed duck) that we avoided, but it also had an awesome swimming pool with a sauna, steam room and jacuzzi that we gave a good explore after settling in.

We then hit the town to find dinner and drinkies.

Chester is really weird as all the buildings even back to medieval are 4 stories high and the bottom floor and cellar are one shop and then there is a gallery you can walk along with a second shop at first and 2nd floor level. it is also a lot posher than I was expecting (Hollyoaks is not a good advertisement) and has a lot of interesting quirky shops……

including a Tiki Bar!!! I don’t think they even have one in London and I have been dying to try one out for like ever! This one was in the crypt of a building and was so pretty……

tiki bar chester 3 tiki bar chester 2 tiki bar chester

 

I had a Mai Tai and a Pina Colada and Jon had a Tequila Sunrise to drink. It was so cool, though the choice of happy hardcore style dance music blaring did seem a little incongruous.

Then we cleared off to a pub near the river to eat, it was recommended to us as really special and it was ok, however £10 for a 8oz steak and chips and a half bottle of wine each was pretty darn good, I’ve got to say. We were a bit too tired and cocktailed out to want to get really drunk, so, as it came with a handy lid, we liberated the bottle of wine back to our hotel and had it the next day while getting ready for the convention.

Next morning we went on a walk round the town centre again. It is such a bizarre place, even Debenhams is in like a really ancient building…this is the coffee shop in the basement….

Debenhams chester

Then I went to look at a shop that had caught my eye the night before…

morgan chester mori girl

Morgan is a little chain of boutiques in Chester and Wales that does what I can only describe as Mori Girl – a japanese youth style that involves dressing like someone who lives in the woods and is close to nature – clothing. Which is awesome cuz this is the middle of England. The shop is very pretty (I had a job and a half making that photo not reflective, there are far better pictures on their website) but ruinously expensive, serious designer prices. As inspiration it is lovely though, and although the workers there and the clientele seemed mainly my Mums age, one of them knew exactly what Mori Girl was and had a pinterest board full of it apparently.

So feeling inspired, we head across the road to Cancer Research and there I did what I have to describe as my best charity shop haul in ages…

In fact if more stuff had stood half a chance of fitting I would have had half the shop away with me….

Here goes then…

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The blouse is a lot more poofy and victorian style when you actually have it on. Left behind of particular note was a one shouldered 90’s top sewing pattern that only went up to a size 12, a Mansun/Manics fan green army jacket (Jon already has one) and a blue velvet jacket (too small for Jon).

On the way back to the hotel we ran into a town crier convention as well….

chester town crier convention chester town crier convention

 

So then the convention, which is what we were actually in Chester for. It was a celebration of the works of a 90’s band called Mansun. For anyone who doesn’t know they were a britpop-glam style band a bit like the Manic Street Preachers, but with a much more prog edge to them. They were quite big at the time but never made it massive, to a large part because their record company didn’t think they were pop enough to push. They split up about 10 years ago now, but amongst young kids (And there really were quite a lot at the convention) they’ve once again got a bit of a cult following as people who weren’t there at the time reevaluate everything that happened in the britpop era and decide what they think was good or not, 15 years later without the record label and radio 1/nme interference that was a major issue at the time. A phrase that got bandied round a lot at the convention was ‘Britpop’s Velvet Underground’

Anyway, it was very good fun, there were a few exhibitiony things, a few talks and panels on various aspects of Mansuns history, and then a gig in the evening. I didn’t take many photos as I was having fun…

jon six mansun guitar

Jon posing as the album cover from ‘Six’ and one of Paul Draper’s guitars.

It was really weird though, back in 2000/2001 there was a whole community based round liking this sort of music, there were multiple club nights in London playing Mansun and other bands of their ilk and millions of underaged teenagers, who wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a nightclub at that age these days, following minor rock stars around screaming. I kept recognising people vaguely who I’d known back then and been to the same gigs and clubs and pub meet ups as, but as Facebook didn’t exist there was no practical way of keeping in touch with. I do miss London having a functioning alternative scene! One of the things you don’t realise until you see them all in a room with you is just how many people have had to move away!

Anyway, journey back was a right pain in the neck as Virgin trains, in their wisdom, had decided to do track repairs over the bank holiday weekend and so a train would have involved 3 changes and taken 5 1/2 hrs, so we took a coach which took 6 instead. Which was not great and made me kind of ill.

I’ve been kind of ill ever since actually. I have finally blocked my knitting, but due to rather damp weather and having to dry it flat its drying rather slowly. I also intend to spend tomorrow working on my next top.

acorns and unicorns and pretty things!

So I’ve been really quite busy.

In between watching the olympics on the telly and avoiding the olympics crowds by hiding at my parents’ I have been buying things and making stuff.

Firstly..I picked this up a couple of weeks ago (£1.50 in a charity shop- nice!), but forgot to post about it,

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The acorns are made of little bits of polished wood. It is so pretty, and very very Mori Girl!

Then I made a couple of long sleeved t-shirts…..

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This one is a quick remake of a plain round necked purple job a friend of my mums gave me, it was too big and the neckline wasn’t flattering.

The unicorn was copied freehand from this colouring page and the lace is vintage i picked up ages ago.

I’m not sure about it, I think the neckline is too low, I didn’t actually cut it that bad, but it has stretched. i had the same problem with my cherries top I made a couple of weeks ago. It was the same kind of jersey too, the thick old fashioned sort rather than the thin modern sort, which I seem to be having no problems with at all. Does anyone know what i can do to stop this happening? I’ve stabilised the shoulder seams.

Also I made this for Jon….

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It is using the same sewaholic pattern as all the rest, which is technically a girls, but jon is going to wear it for goth clubbing and playing onstage with his band, so it actually works really well as a guys top for that purpose. It is the first renfrew top I have made I can say is pretty much perfect, there is nothing wrong with it at all, so I am really pleased! 🙂

So I already have a list of sewing projects taking over the flat, and then when I was out shopping in a local shopping centre (Which shall remain nameless, as this was too good a discovery) I walked past the £2 a meter stall, which I usually ignore because it is usually full of crepe style synthetics I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole and noticed it actually had a few interesting looking pieces on it….

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These three are all jerseys. I think I got 2 meters of each but in a couple of cases its a little more, cuz although the guy would cut it for you, there was no point if there was only 75cm or so extra in the piece.

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This is some kind of gauze, which is more the usual stock of this particular stall, but it has pretty feathers on it! No idea what I’m going to use it for yet, but at that price I don’t really care.

And this is the find of the century….

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About 5m of UNICORNS!!!! Sadly it is viscose, not cotton so is a bit shiny and see through and therefore better fro a Marilyn Monroe style Vivienne of Holloway knock off dress, rather than a Lolita number, but given I was revving up to spend 15 quid a meter on this (possibly if i could afford it) £8 for 5m of the viscose equivalent seems like a brilliant deal to me. The care label on it also says it is Japanese, so at least its quality viscose!

Apparently he got all this stuff cuz the samples department at Wallis were having a clear out. No idea what they would need unicorns for, but I am very grateful to where ever it came from.

Recently my sewing has lacked a bit of focus actually, but this month I have 3 actual deadlines for garments for the end of the month, otherwise I am going to have to go out and buy stuff, so given I have so much fabric to play with now its good to be forced to prioritise. I’m not going to say what the things are for incase I don’t manage them though! 🙂