Despite being a grown-ass woman with a mortgage, I still love spending my money on pointless, nerdy things. I go around to my friends’ houses, and their homes look like they just picked them right out of the Dulux catalogue – they look like places where grown-ups live. My house is full of tat and action figures. But hey, it makes me happy to be surrounded by my treasures.
The current craze going around my office is Funko Pops. I’ve liked these cute little figures for ages and I always like to look at the Funko Pops for sale at conventions. I’d bought some as presents for people before, but I didn’t buy my first one until I watched Guardians of the Galaxy last summer and decided I had to own a Groot in some form or other. Then I happened to win one in a game of pass the parcel at a New Year’s Eve party (yes, that’s how I like to party), so that brought my collection up to two. I still wasn’t all that bothered about taking up collecting them though, as I don’t really collect any specific item, I just buy stuff I’m interested in as I find it. But I happened to find a tiny Marvel keychain Pop on holiday in Florida (little baby Thor), so I bought that too, bringing my collection up to three.
Last week, one of the girls in the office started looking into Pops and their value as collectibles, then she bought a couple, and it kicked off some sort of Pop fever in the office. I don’t know what it is about them that gives me the compulsion to own more. They’re all super cute, they’re nerdy, and you can buy Pops of almost every movie and TV character you can think of. One of the other girls in the office bought a Mary Poppins one, and I bought another two to add to my collection. This is my current line-up:
They’re a little bit of a mishmash of all the different Funko Pops which are available. I love the Marvel movies, so Groot, Loki and Thor were must-haves. I won the He-Man one (and now must get She-Ra to go with him) and then I had to have Snow White because I’ve recently become obsessed with her, and I am dying to dress up as her for a convention at some point. I will be adding to my collection very soon, but I don’t know who I’ll be getting next.
Me and three of my colleagues have all signed up to popinabox.co.uk. It’s a subscription service that sends out Pops every month to its subscribers, even sending out some of the rarer and more expensive ones. You can choose how many you get, from one to six a month. I just went for one, as a nice little monthly treat for myself. I’ve had a totally rubbish couple of weeks, so this was exactly the sort of pick-up I felt like I needed. I don’t think I’m going to go too crazy over avidly collecting each series like some people do, I think I will just get the ones I like. Some people have gone crazy for these little suckers, the leaderboards on popinabox show the top collectors as owning over 1000 of them. Some of them re-sell for over £100 each, which blows my mind a little bit.
You ‘thumbs up’ all the Pops you would like to own, and ‘thumbs down’ the ones you are not interested in, then once a month they send you a cute little surprise in the post. I am a sucker for blind packaged things where you don’t know what you’re going to get until you open it, so this is the best of both worlds – I get a surprise, but I know it will be one of the ones I definitely want. And, who doesn’t love getting post? We are all SO EXCITED to receive our first Pops, the reaction yesterday when we all saw that our bank accounts had been debited was ridiculous, I don’t think anyone’s ever been so excited to see money leave their accounts before. My mum will not stop making fun of me for getting so excited over what is essentially a little dolly.
Now I have a couple of weeks to wait before my next little desk buddy arrives in the post. Please let it be Captain America, please let it be Captain America, please let it be Captain America…….
I’m still working through my Love at First Stitch book, and the next project I was going to tackle was the Delphine skirt. I found myself some really cute red cotton denim on eBay and set about creating my skirt. As usual, I had to cut two different sizes in order to fit my strange proportions, but in hindsight, I think I would have scaled both sizes up one, as the skirt came out a bit tight in the end. I have to wear it much higher on my waist than I would have liked, and it is still a bit on the snug side. It creases like hell too.
I have yet to attempt an invisible zip, because I have yet to master putting in a regular zip. I have trouble every single time, zips are my nemesis. But aside from the usual zip troubles and a little bit of twisting on the waistband, I am quite happy with my Delphine skirt. I just wish it was either a bit bigger, or I was a bit smaller, preferably. I even made the bow belt from Tilly’s book too, which I thought looked super cute with my skirt.
It isn’t the most flattering garment, but I will definitely wear it. Look how high I have to wear it though! Chubster.
Next up was the Megan dress.
I was excited to make this one because I love the shape of it. It has a cute vintage feel to it, and I love the idea of doing colour blocking for the bodice and the skirt as well, which I might try in the future. I happened upon some awesome fabric in the Frumble sale, called Rocket Scientist Spaceship Flight. It is possibly the cutest fabric I have ever seen, and I’m actually tempted to buy another couple of metres of it to make something else.
It actually really reminds me of Tomorrowland in Disney World, Florida, with its colour palette, and with its vintage ‘vision of the future’ kind of look. So, it has become known as my Tomorrowland dress, and I really wanted to get it finished before I go to Orlando in May. Yeah, baby. It’s Floriday time again!
I am SO PLEASED with how this dress turned out. As soon as I woke up this morning I felt excited that I could wear my new dress to work, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt like that about any piece of clothing before. The fit is nice (not too loose, but not too clingy), and I feel like the shape really suits me. The sleeves were much easier than I expected too, I think Tilly’s instructions are so clear and easy to follow. She gives some great tips in this book.
I am short and chubby, with big hips, so this dress goes in at all the right places for me, and out at all the right places. I will definitely make another version of this dress, in fact, I have been scouting out some more fabric today. I have my eye on the new Spellbound range at the Village Haberdashery, which isn’t on sale until later this month or early May. They have a print of tiny mummies in bandages, one with magic potions on it and one of a haunted forest. What’s not to love about all those? I can see an expensive online shopping trip in my future…
The only thing that went a bit wrong with this dress is the zip. Quelle surprise. I always thought I had bulky shoulders, but since I started making my own clothes I’ve realised I have a really narrow measurement across my shoulders. Like, really narrow. With this dress I tried tapering it where the zip goes in, so it was narrower at the top, but this has caused the zip to lie a bit strangely, like I have a bit of a hunchback! I think next time I make this I will draft the bodice patterns again and add some darts across the back shoulders instead. It means adjusting my facing too, but I think that’s the way to go. I still haven’t had the courage to attempt an invisible zip, opting for a regular one again. Maybe one day…
To top off my sense of triumph at managing to make a cute dress that fits, with gathered sleeves and everything, I put a photo of my dress on Instagram and Tilly – Goddess of Sewing, liked it. Excuse me while I flail in a corner for a few hours.
So, for my next project, do I remake the Delphine or Megan (I already have fabric and a zip for another Megan), or do I attempt the Clemence skirt which is gorgeous, but looks like it’ll be made mainly of gathering and tears?
I’m 33, but I unashamedly still refuse to grow up. I adore theme parks and rides, I love movies, and I love being able to act like I’m still a kid. So this is why I love Orlando, Florida, so much. I am going back to Orlando in 16 days, and I am so unspeakably excited that I cannot think about anything else.
My Florida holiday (or ‘Floriday’ for short) which I am going on with my bestest mate, has utterly consumed both of our brains. It’s all we can talk about. It’s all I’m thinking about. I’m even dreaming about it. Almost every shopping trip I’ve had in the past month has been to get something that I’m going to take with me, from new underwear (themed for the parks – to go to Hollywood Studios I have Muppets pants and for Universal I have Spider-Man ones) to very expensive new sunglasses. I have bought so many Floriday clothes that I don’t think I will be able to take them all.
I really don’t know why I’m this excited, since it’s our fourth visit. Yes, there are a few new things we haven’t done yet, and there are a few things we haven’t done since 2006 which we’re going to revist – but the rest of it is largely the same. I’ve never understood those people who go on holiday to the same resort every year, and keep going back to all the same places they’ve visted before, but perhaps I am turning into one of them. But, then, there is nowhere else on earth that’s quite like Orlando. Where else could we plan, on our lovingly illustrated and very packed itinerary, to go to eight theme parks and three water parks during our two week holiday? Where else could we go to play crazy golf and feed baby alligators, then swim with manatees?
A Floriday is exhausting. Our itinerary is so packed that we only have two free days where we’re not doing anything. On two days we’re doubling up on theme parks, and on a theme park day you can expect to walk about a half-marathon. But it’s FUN, and that is just so refreshing for a big kid like me.
The first time I visited The Magic Kingdom I expected to find it cheesy and childish. It’s mostly for little kids and there aren’t many of the big thrill rides that I enjoy at the other theme parks. But when I walked into the park and saw that castle, I was completely won over. I felt like I was 6 years old again. When they talk about ‘Disney magic’ it sounds dreadfully corny and hackneyed, but there really is a bit of magic in that park.
I never went to Florida as a kid, I was 26 the first time I went. But it was great, I got to do whatever I wanted. I could ride the same rollercoaster three times in a row without a grown-up telling me to steady down. I could demand to be driven to Baskin Robbins for breakfast. I could eat jelly beans and candyfloss for my tea while I watched the parade and cried at the fireworks. I could forget about all my responsibilities, like work and mortgages and all that adult crap, and pretend I was a kid again. Only as an adult, I think I appreciate it so much more. I absolutely cannot wait to experience that feeling again.
Bring. It. On.