After a stressful week, I've had a very pleasant Saturday. I had a haircut this morning, a stroll in town with Nic, coffee and cake in our new favourite cafe and a walk in the sunshine to do some very essential shopping:
This was just my shopping. Not pictured is Nic's shopping, which consisted of a different bottle of gin, a bottle of whisky and some Tunnock's Tea Cakes. Priorities. We has them.
I spent the afternoon sewing and watching Inspector Morse, which was a real treat. I finished off a dress I started on Thursday and sewed across these last few evenings as a stress-buster. Sewing really does make me feel better! It did on Monday afternoon, when I was coming round from the lurgy that had hit me when we were in Cardiff last week. After not being able to do much of anything on Saturday night and on Sunday, it was good to feel like I was being productive. I find it hard to sit still without having a project to work on, so being sick is very frustrating.
The dress I made on Monday was made with some of the fabric I bought in Cardiff. Again, this is a case of seeing a dress in a shop, liking it, not buying it and then making my own instead. The dress ins question was this one from Cath Kidston:
Cath Kidston Mushroom dress. It's sold out, so I'm not linking to it.
I had afternoon tea with Sarah and Charlotte during the summer. Both had just ordered this dress and were very excited about it, and I could see why. The print is charming, the fabric is pretty nice (it's listed on the website as a jacquard but it's not really. It's like a soft barkcloth) and, at £65, it wasn't unreasonably priced. Still, I've kind of got out of the habit now of buying dresses and then it turned out that I'd missed my chance. It sold out. I sort of half-heartedly searched for it on ebay but any that were listed were at ridiculous prices - upwards of £110. I mean, come the fuck on. It's a cotton dress. Jog on, ebay sellers!
Cath Kidston do sell fabric so I knew I'd stand a chance of being able to make my own. Somewhat annoyingly, they don't sell the exact fabric the dress is made from (probably to dissuade chancers like me, eh?) but they do have this print available in a heavier weight cotton, designed for home furnishings. But I laugh in the face of recommended uses. I knew I could turn this shiz into a dress and I DID.
Madarch dress - By Hand London Elisalex bodice and the pleated skirt is from none other than Simplicity 2444. I'm wearing it here with Poetic Licence 'Backlash' boots.
Yuss, that's another Elisalex bodice. Not only do I really like the fit of this lovely princess-seamed bodice, but I thought it would work here with the heavier weight fabric than a bodice with darts in it. The same reasoning led me to the pleated skirt from Simplicity 2444 - the softly gathered skirt of the original dress just wasn't happening here. That's fine by me, though. I like the way the weight of the fabric makes the skirt stick out!
with a cardigan. It's getting to that stage now where taking photos outside is somewhat uncomfortable!
The cool thing about the fact that this is home furnishing fabric is that it's super wide. I only bought 1 metre of this fabric and even with the print running one way, I had absolutely no bother getting the dress out of that amount. The fabric was £20 per metre, so I was very happy not to have to buy any more than that, although the girl in the store in Cardiff did cut the metre generously so I had a little bit extra. It's not really fair to compare prices with the RTW dress as the fabrics are different, but I know I will wear and love my £20 dress a lot more than I would have the £65 shop-bought one. Plus, sewing it made me feel happy.
Here's a close-up so you can see how cute the mushrooms are. Also, I'm so happy the landlord painted the front door blue again. It was blue when we moved in, then was painted black and I never liked the black. The blue is much more elegant.
I've lost weight since I did the FBA for my Rocksalt dress, and my bust is a little smaller now too. So you can see a little bit of wrinkling under the bust in this bodice. I'd like to say that's irritating, but it isn't. I left that bit of ease in deliberately in this dress because, although I prewashed the fabric, I think it could still shrink a bit in washing. Also, it's getting cold. I need to be able to layer this baby up!
I think the biggest shift in my sewing over the last year has been paying closer attention to fit, but at the same time I'm not neurotic about it. It's not that I don't care. It's just that I don't care that much.
I wore this dress yesterday when I was working from home. I had a very busy and pretty frustrating day, and Nic took these photos for me at lunchtime when we popped out to buy some bread. I'm smiling in relief that it's finally lunchtime! I wore it to the pub later that evening to have a quick drink with Sarah and Charlotte, which was lovely. It was brilliant to get to spend a little bit of time with them, and it felt a bit like it closed the circle a little bit on this dress. Also, you know, I had gin. That's always good.
Sorry about all the photos, but this blurred out-take made me smile. I can't remember what it was Nic said to make me laugh, but this is why I love it when he takes these photos for me.
Anyway, I have to go. Nic bought us a copy of Runaway Jury on DVD for 50p from CEX today. It stars Gene Hackman, John Cusack and Dustin Hoffman and it was written by John Grisham. I mean, I prefer the works of his brother Kevin Grisham, but you can't have everything. And there's that small matter of consuming some of the shopping I did earlier. Toodles!