Venice

I repeat the warning on the last post! Lots of travel stuff, and only a teeny bit of sewing content in this post. And image heavy..

Okay, where was I? Ah yes. Going to Venice.

The train trip there from Trento was an excellent harbinger of what was to come: I shared a compartment with a lovely family, who shared their guide book with me. And, I had a sewing magazine to read! (the Sewing Princess has posted a review of this issue).

Sewing and traveling. Two of my favourite things to do.

Back to Venice. Everyone knows about it and lots have been. So many expectations. We hear it’s romantic, enchanting, but full of tourists, expensive and smelly.

Well that’s all true. But, I loved it.

The water ways, the golden light in the evening, the foot bridges, the wonderful old buildings.

Piazza San Marco (St Marks Square) in the early morning, without all the tourist hordes, and late at night, with all the hordes and their cousins too, for the fireworks for the Festa del Redentore. Wonderful atmosphere. Fireworks that went on and on and on.

And you have to go on a gondola in Venice, don’t you? They are frightfully expensive, and clichéd, but, that close-to-the-water and under-all-bridges perspective is something special.

I met up with some colleagues and friends in Venice and here we are, pushing off from the wharf.

I was rather ‘stern’. Wonderfully placed for photos, though, at the front of the gondola.

Okay, brief sewing diversion. My top is Paco Peralta’s cowl top, sewn in a cotton voile. It was perfect for the very hot weather in Venice: over 33°C (over 90°F) every day with relative humidity of at least 80%. I thought it was a bit loose when I made it, but I was very pleased with its looseness in Italy!

An outfit of the day shot from earlier in the week. This top washes and wears well too. And yes I am trying to improve taking selfies and mirror shots.

The skirt is me-made too. Burdastyle 12/2013 #109. I must blog about it!

Okay, back to Venice and gondolas.

I went to the fish market too, and the fruit and veg one

So much delicious food in Italy!

Can you see the reflection? Cue another sewing diversion!

This linen dress was another fabulous addition to my travel wardrobe. I wore it three times in less than two weeks! Linen and loose – perfect for hot weather and fast to wash and dry. Thanks Lara and Anne. Jungle January rocked on in Venice as Jungle July!

Venice is amazing in many ways, but I found the novelty of canals instead of roads particularly fascinating. You expect to see ferries and speed boats

But, of course, everything is by boat.

I saw ambulances by boat, police by boat, speed detectors on the waterways, garbage pickup boats, delivery boats and the postie in a boat. And no ‘parking’ signs at the ferry terminals.

Delivering mail or parcels? Moor the boat, hop off and walk to the doorway. Not that different from park the delivery truck and ring the bell at the gate, is it?

I also visited the islands of Murano and Burano.

Murano is lovely, and so much calmer than Venice.

It’s known for its glass.

In the image below my colleague is assessing one of the less exuberant chandeliers in a glass foundry. The vast majority of the glass was very, very colourful, much more like the chandelier on the left.

I would have loved to bring a chandelier home. He Who Cooks is relieved I didn’t. Apart from the expense and difficulty with shipping, they are too over-the-top in design and colour. And he’s right of course. What looks great in Italy in a palazzo might not work as well in a tudor style home in Adelaide.

It was a festival weekend. Some of the locals were going to the beach. In their speed boats, of course.

Others were having family lunches at the many restaurants along the canals. So we did too. Scampi pasta for me. Yum.

The Keep Calm sugar sachets were unexpected, but they did well with my friend’s phone cover work.

It was hot, so dipping toes into the water was the immediate-after-lunch activity.

With the view, and the occasional jelly fish or two floating past, it was very pleasant.

Are you still with me? Let’s move now to another Venetian island; Burano.

It has the most amazingly brightly painted houses.

It is also known for lace making.

Of course I couldn’t go to a lace making island and not buy lace I could sew with! You’ve already seen my haul.

I want to tell you a bit more about the bigger piece I bought.

It’s actually café curtain lace but both the owner and I thought it would work very well as a top. She and the older lady in the shop were genuinely delighted that I sewed. Sewists are the best!

It was bought with this lace top for Felicity in mind.

Felicity was hoping to find something similar to the skirt fabric too. It would have made a great outfit for Grannies wedding.

But we couldn’t find any fabric like the inspiration skirt. And I was under a serious time constraint.

What did I do? Made something totally different of course!

I’ll tell you all about it in the next post, after the wedding. That’s if I’ve got any followers after these massively long posts…

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12 Responses to Venice

  1. Ingrid says:

    Wow, fabulous! Would you believe I was in Venice the exact same weekend as you? I managed to tag along with my husband on a conference to Milan and spent a night at Lake Como (on my own – only way to track down fabric shops in peace). We spent the last weekend in Venice and on Sunday went to Buranno where I bought some linen scarves and took in the lace museum; very interesting. I loved Italy; hadn’t been since I was a child and already plotting another trip sans kids/husband in the future. The only fabric shop I found was in Como; she had Chanel boucle and amazing silks ($$$) but I managed to squeeze some gorgeous linen into my bag. I also brought some Vogue 1250 dresses with me that stood me well in the heat and humidity.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Wow, your trip looks so amazing!! All of the photos really make me want to travel across the pond to finally go to Italy. Burano looks so heavenly with the lace and the beautifully painted homes. I love the Burda pattern, so much! How did the top turn out with the gorgeous lace??

    • SewingElle says:

      You should definitely go to Italy!
      I haven’t made the top yet. I used a different fabric and made a dress for Felicity instead. The top will be inspired by but not the same as the pattern. I don’t have enough for sleeves and both the front and back in lace.

  3. Tia Dia says:

    Venice has been on my bucket list since I was about 14 yrs old. Some day I’ll get there! Love all your pictures. Looks like you had a tremendous amount of fun!

  4. sewruth says:

    Your photos are excellent! You really do have a very hard job!

  5. Nonsuch says:

    All so beautiful – I especially love the pics of your Me Mades on Location

  6. franceparijs says:

    Lovely photos and inspiring prose! Your joie de vivre is contagious 🙂 Looking forward to seeing the lace blouse for Felicity.

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