Saturday, 18 August 2012
I don't think I mentioned my trip to Melbourne earlier this month. It was squeezed in between moving out of one house, putting artworks in storage, seeing P off, re-arranging my studio, and *big sigh* moving into another house. I was trusted enough by the gallery I work for to help out at our Melbourne Art Fair stand. While I don't have much to say about the fair as it felt more like work than fun, I'm sharing some of the nicer memories of Melbourne. If I couldn't enjoy Melbourne by day I was determined to enjoy it by night.
After standing for more than eight hours at the fair, a lovely friend was kind enough to show me a few places to put on the 'cute' list for future visits. One of them was The Seamstress. Even by the name I was excited. When you step through the little door you are presented with a staircase that just keeps going up and up. The multi-levelled venue reminded me of my Bali days when our family lived above my mother's textile workshop (not the sweatshop kind, mind you). There was the odd vintage Butterfly sewing machine placed on one of the numerous stairwell landings - setting the scene for what was to come - and bobbins stacked in secret corners.
Then came the rosy-hued cocktail bar that had a ceiling full of hanging cheongsams. It made me smile. The Seamstress, or The Sweatshop as the bar is called, brought back that excitement from when I used to sneak into my mother's fabric stockroom to see what bits I could claim for my next dress. I would negotiate secret orders with the head dress-maker, convincing him that my sketches weren't that complicated and he could still finish his work for my mother too.
So in the spirit of things I ordered what I thought was the least grown-up sounding drink, 'grapefruit julep'. It was pink. I'm sure I'm putting an innocent twist on quite a cheeky-themed bar, but I'll leave the mischief for my next visit. Only one drink was had with the Seamstress before I returned to the Nunnery preparing for another long day at the exhibition building. (I didn't realise my itinerary had such a girly theme to it!)
The Seamstress/The Sweatshop
113 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
images courtesy The Seamstress