Sunday, February 07, 2016

Okay, here's a little bedroom tip. Put a bag of popcorn in the microwave beforehand. That way, when you're done, you have a treat.

Afternoon, everyone! Remember me?! I ended up taking a bit of a blogging break after my last post - I was a bit burnt out by January madness at work and I ended up getting sick. But I'm back now: back and badder than ever! It's not that I have had a bad start to the year - far from it - but January was full of all-day meetings lasting for multiple days, pressing work deadlines, hotel stays in London and busy weekends. I'm glad that it's over and that spring is edging ever closer!

I did manage to see January out in style, however. Our good friend Rick's parents invited us and some other friends to spend the last weekend of January with them in Saddleworth so that we could visit The Old Bell Inn: a pub that has broken the Guinness World Record for the number of gins on its menu - an astonishing 600 different gins. When Rick's parents invited us to visit, I was naturally pretty keen:


Here's me and Lauren with one of the pub's three walls of gins. We were very well looked after by Sam, the gin expert barman. I tried four different gins, Nic tried five... and, well, I couldn't keep track of what everyone else tried, but there were definitely happy faces around the table.

This was my last gin of the day - Two Birds Cocktail Gin with tonic, lime and strawberries. It was very good but not my favourite. Both the name and the garnish matched my dress, though!

It was a wonderful treat to end an intense month. This weekend I have been celebrating the end of all-day meeting season (I had another week of all-day meetings this past week, you see) It hasn't been as Juniper-based: just Nic and I going to Birmingham to have lunch in Bistro 1847 and see a film in the Everyman cinema. Good times!

I have been fitting in some sewing where I can - mainly trying to sew the fabric that I am more inclined to buy when I am tired or stressed. This dress is the product of fabric such as this, bought in a weak moment when looking at the Village Haberdashery's instragram feed:

Nope Octopus dress - Sew Over It vintage shirt dress, worn with Irregular Choice Oz shoes

The fabric is Bluebird by Cotton and Steel, and it is fabulous. It's my first Cotton and Steel fabric and it will not be my last. The quality and drape is beautiful and it was wonderful to work with. Also. OCTOPUS. I didn't buy it with the intention of making another Sew Over It shirt dress, but as I was so happy with my last one, it seemed like a good pairing.

As with the Brownstone dress, I lengthened the skirt on this dress by two inches and I left the side seams to the last. I needed a bit more ease with this one, possibly because the fabric doesn't have the same loose weave of the barkcloth. This was an easier dress to make - the collar behaves itself better, not being quite as bulky - and I sewed most of it while Nic and I watched an episode of Rebus

I figured out the button placement myself and I could have done a slightly better job but, eh, I'm still very happy with this dress. When you're covered with octopuses, worrying about buttons seems a little bit foolish.

It's sadly a little bit too cold to wear this dress right now - I took advantage of a brief window of sunshine earlier this afternoon to get some photos of it (right now, as I am writing, the wind is howling and the rain is blowing sideways outside) but it will keep beautifully until spring. Practicality be damned: when I made this dress I wanted to sew for spring!

The weather really is shocking at the moment. Yesterday in Birmingham a freak gust of wind - forced between tall buildings and underneath a flyover - broke my umbrella and almost lifted me off my feet. It was horrible and it isn't much better now. I have to go out later and the weather got me like

Time now to huddle under a blanket, start balefully out the window at the rain and watch an episode of Law & Order. See you later!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I hope my legacy is a Sesame Street-type TV show that promotes illiteracy in girls.

Hello! Here we all are now, all the lads. I hope you've all been having a good weekend - I have been having a very relaxing one. Last week was incredibly full, work-wise. After the job interview on Monday, I had a standard-issue busy Tuesday and then I was off to London early on Wednesday morning to spend the rest of the week in all-day meetings. Staying in London for half the week is not my favourite thing to do, but it wasn't so bad this week as I had a comfortable hotel room and I was joined by Nic. He was also working in London and being able to spend the evenings with him made the whole week that bit more bearable. So did going to Amathus after work on Thursday night and buying a bottle of gin, like:

Bobby's Schiedam Dry Gin - very good with tonic, orange peel and cloves

Nic and I got home late on Friday night and I spent yesterday pottering around, getting the flat sorted out and sewing. Today we have done much the same - we put up some more retro tomado shelves (this time in the living room) and now I'm half-watching an episode of Rebus while the dinner cooks. Ken Stott as Rebus, because I have always found John Hannah unaccountably irritating. I'm enjoying it: it's less like a Scottish Morse than I thought it would be, but that's not a bad thing. Every time Ken Stott swears it makes me laugh, and you can't beat the beautiful Edinburgh scenery. I love a good 90s crime show, especially when it was made in 2006.

I have another busy week ahead; January is pretty relentless in my job. But that's okay, because I have fun things to look forward to, delicious gin to drink and a new dress to wear. As I said up above, I spent yesterday sewing and here are the results:

Brownstone dress - Sew Over It vintage shirt dress, worn with Irregular Choice Dippy Daisy shoes

It's another Sew Over It vintage shirt dress. I've been meaning to make another one ever since I made the Larry Vaughn dress last summer but I never got around to it. Not sure why, because I love that dress and really enjoyed making it. I had trouble getting to sleep on Friday night - I think it's because I was a bit over-tired - and as I was trying to sleep I remembered this fabric and it suggested itself to me as a good match for the vintage shirt dress.

The fabric is Cath Kidston barkcloth. I think the print is called Autumn Bloom, and I bought it on ebay. The barkcloth is really lovely to work with - it drapes well, presses well and stitches just disappear into it. Having used it previously on the Bearaigh dress (and having bought a few dresses made from it from their shop) I know it holds up well to washing. It's fairly thick as well, so despite being sleeveless, this will be a good dress to wear during the rest of winter.

While I am very happy with the finished dress, I'm not sure this fabric is 100% the best choice for this pattern. It's pretty thick and, as you can see from the photos above, getting the lapels to lie nice and flat is a bit of a challenge! It's a minor issue and it might not stop me from making another barkcloth shirt-dress if the right fabric came along, you know? When I finished the dress last night I felt a bit meh about it, but it was 11:30 and really dark - when I put it on in daylight I was pretty damn happy with it. I really like it!

As with the Larry Vaughn dress, I cut the size 8 and, as I said before, this pattern has a considerable amount of ease built into it. There's a good reason for that - Karen put it more succinctly than I could - but there is still more than is to my liking. With the Larry Vaughn dress, I ended up going back and taking it in at the sides, and I didn't want to do that here. So I basted the side seams and, when the rest of the dress was constructed apart from the buttonholes, I checked the fit and sewed it up. I ended up using a 2.5cm seam allowance on the side seams, but I made sure to check the fit sitting down as well before I committed to anything! I also lengthened the skirt by 2 inches and I used 12 buttons rather than the recommended 8.

Here's how it looks from the back

Slight issue with the collar aside, I am very happy with the dress. This is such a great pattern. I love the shape of the bodice - the pleats give it a softly structured look that I love, and the same is true for the skirt. As the name suggests, it has a vintage appeal, but it's not costumey at all. When I finished the dress last night, I wondered if it was too twee, but I think it's good.

So, that's the craic there. Obviously I will be keeping an eye out on ebay for more Cath Kidston barkcloth and the success of this dress has led to me mentally pairing it with a few other fabrics in my stash. There will definitely be more of these in my future!

So, I have more London days this week but no more all-day meetings until next week. And by then, January will be over. I mean, February is worse (I hate February: it sucks) but STILL:

Okay, now. That's all the craic I have left so I'm going to go. Laters.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Well, it's the first time I have used that particular chart actually. I got it free with a promotional crate of Carlsberg.

Hello everyone! I hope that this blue Monday hasn't been too blue for everyone. Mine has mainly been a tired Monday - I had a very intense week at work last week where I had to stay in London for a few nights and work on Saturday, and I am sort of catching up with myself as a result. I don't often have to stay away from home for work and I try to make the most of it when I do - but this past week it was too exhausting to do much apart from order room service and watch trashy TV in my pyjamas. I was very glad to get home on Saturday night.

This week is going to be just as busy but at least I'll have my whole weekend to myself. Also, I am feeling in a celebratory mood: I had an interview for a promotion at work today and I got it! The job is maternity cover for my line manager, so it's a temporary promotion for 14 months. It's a good step up for me and will be good experience, so I am pretty happy with myself at the moment - although I was too tired to do much in the way of celebrating apart from having a quick gin and tonic with Nic on my way home from work. Still though. It's a nice way to start 2016!

I haven't been sewing because work has been so busy - my sewing machine isn't going to see any love until this weekend - but I do have something I sewed during my christmas break to blog about.

So, long-term readers might remember this, but in March 2013 I sewed a By Hand London Elisalex dress from this beautiful Michael Miller fabric:

Wing Song by Michael Miller

I really loved that dress and, when it didn't fit any more, I took it apart and refashioned it. Now, sadly, that dress is also too big and I didn't have the heart to take it apart a second time. The fabric has also faded a bit. I missed this print in my wardrobe though, so I bought two more metres of it and made another Emery dress.

Feckarse Industries dress - Christine Haynes Emery dress bodice with a pleated skirt, worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa shoes

It felt a little bit extravagant to buy the exact same fabric again, especially as I am going to hold onto my the original (refashioned) iteration of the dress - for sentimental reasons - but I am glad I did it. One of the great joys of being able to sew is being able to make just what you want to, and this is just what I wanted to make. I love the combination of colours in this dress and the creepy little birds. The print is a winner, basically. 

The original dress was named the Feckin' Birds dress, in tribute to an episode of Father Ted

Fully crow-resistant

For the updated version, it seemed like a good idea to stick with that theme:

Chart provided by Slovakia's premier lens manufacturers

Basically, as I get older, I get closer and closer to the person I am going to ultimately become:

I'm okay with that, to be honest.

So that's the craic there anyway. I'll leave you with one more photo (because, fuck it, why not) and then I'm away. I am really tired and all I want to do now is chill out watch an episode of some kind of cop drama.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

You can try to change New York, but it's like Jay-Z says: Concrete bunghole where dreams are made up. There's nothing you can do.

Hey you guys! How's the form? My first week back to work has been grand, if a little depressing that it's so cold and dark and, you know, January-ish. My body responded petulantly to being back at work by getting sick, but not sick enough to justify not working. I can only assume that I'm allergic to doing anything other than watching Netflix in pyjamas. It's grand now though. I'm feeling better and Nic and I have had a lovely weekend - we had a quiet Friday night, spent last night round at our friends' house and today we put up some of these awesome tomado shelves in our bedroom. I know, DIY is boring, but it didn't take long and they look great. So, yay!

It has been a good week, though. On Monday, Nic and I booked a holiday to New York City! We're going at the end of May for two and a half weeks, and we're staying in a lovely apartment that's on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in Brooklyn. I'm super psyched as we've wanted to visit New York for absolutely ages, and we'll have loads of time to really explore. Hopefully having this super exciting holiday to look forward to is going to make the next few cold months bearable! At the moment I don't have a long list of things I want to do, but of course I'm going to be reading up lots over the next few months.

So, yeah, that's the craic there anyway! I haven't done any sewing this week - I was too busy being ill and stressing about finding the right airbnb apartment to stay in (I sent approximately 7,000 messages to lovely Sonja bugging her about which areas are good to stay in - I definitely owe that girl a drink or two.) I did manage to get lots of crafting done during my long Christmas break though, so here's the last thing I made in 2015:

Space Dog dress - McCall's 6696 in purple Liberty Carline fabric, worn with Red or Dead Lindy Hop shoes

Hey, another McCall's 6696 in Liberty fabric. Predictable, your name is Roisin. Whatever though, seriously, because it's a perfect match and I love this. LOVE IT. Emmie alerted me to this fabric on eBay in about March of last year and I immediately bought it. It was listed as lawn, but it's actually poplin - now, this would have probably been disappointing for some people, but I am all over the Liberty poplin and it's the perfect weight and hand for this pattern. I bought the fabric with the express intention of making a McCall's 6696 but for some reason it took me months to get around to actually making it. It wasn't that I had changed my mind about pattern and fabric, I just kept putting it off. Anyway, as you can see, I finally made it over Christmas.

I have nothing new to say about this pattern. I'm really happy with the fit with the bodice shortened. As with the Chronic Town dress, I sewed the buttonholes horizontally and I added in the hidden button at the waist. I'm considering moving the buttons so that they're off-centre to reduce the slight pulling on the button band, but it's no biggie so I'm not in a massive rush.

As you can see, I used fairly bright green buttons on the dress. It's brighter than the green of the leaves, so it's maybe not quite the right shade for the dress? I quite like it though - I think it adds an extra bit of retro charm to this dress. Anyway, again, I don't care because I really love this dress and I am very happy that I finally got around to making it. This pattern is the best. I like it so much so that I have bought myself a backup copy of it as I didn't trace the original. That's perhaps a little bit obsessive but, hey, you know that's how I roll.

Nothing more to say. I just liked this photo.

The weather has turned pretty cold now, so I probably won't wear this dress very much until it warms up a little bit but I'm glad it finally made it off my 'to make' list. 

One thing that is going to make it a little bit easier to wear is that the one of the first things I made in 2016 is a purple cardigan to wear with it - an Andi Satterlund Miette cardigan:

Miette is a free pattern. It's a top-down seamless cardigan with raglan sleeves, and some lace detailing around the yoke, button-bands and waist. It was actually the first knitting pattern I ever followed and now that I am a much more confident and proficient knitter, I wanted to revisit it. I actually knit a blue one last summer that I never blogged, mainly because after I finished it I realised that I had fundamentally misunderstood one of the instructions and the raglan shaping was jacked up as a result. I'm always learning! When I understood what I had done (raglan drift, yo, the struggle is real) I knew how to fix it, so I wanted to knit another one.

The yarn is more Malabrigo worsted, and the colour is called Jacinto. The yarn is lovely but I must admit to not fully loving the colour - or rather, not fully loving the way the variegation looks in this colour. It's fine, though, and a purple cardigan is going to be really useful.

Sadly you can't really see the cute lace detail around the button band, but it is there! I cast this cardigan on on New Year's Eve while Nic and I were drinking champagne and watching Shall We Dance, and I finished it on Tuesday - thanks to the holiday, I was able to knit this in five days. It's cropped, and it's mainly stocking stitch though, so it's not like I have some kind of X-Men knitting skills.

Here's how it looks from the back! I followed the instruction for the 34 inch bust and I really like how it fits. I like it so much that I almost immediately cast on a yellow one, so watch this space for that!

So that's what I've been up to! Having successfully completed both DIY and tidying and, having bought a new bottle of gin this weekend (Daffy's, if you're interested), I'm going to treat myself to a cocktail in the bath and a read of a New York guide book. Have a good week, everyone!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Ugh, I hate January. It's dark and freezing and everyone's wearing bulky coats, so you can do some serious subway flirting before you realise the guy is homeless.

Hey everyone! Happy New Year! I did mean to post again yesterday, blankets, the sofa, pizza-making and champagne intervened. Ah well! I hope that you all celebrated the evening in the way that suited you best: for me, that was drinking champagne and watching an Astaire and Rogers film - Shall We Dance.


It was a good evening and I woke up without a hangover. Hurrah!

So today I'm going to share with you one more dress that I made in 2015. It's not quite as fabulous as Ginger's frock above but I only have Roisin to make my gowns, not Irene. This is a party dress, though - I made it to wear to the Sewists' Christmas party and my work Christmas party, and I also ended up wearing it to have Christmas dinner with friends on the Sunday before Christmas. As party dresses go, it's done good work.

Perdita dress - By Hand London Kim dress with a circle skirt, worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon bow shoes

It's another Kim dress! Not sorry. I love the bodice, especially now that I have sorted out the fit of the straps. This fabulous fabric is polyester crepe with a slight stretch to it, and I bought it from The Man Outside Sainsbury's on a trip to Walthamstow in October with some sewing friends. I had previously seen the fabric in action when Karen made a top from it in September, so when I saw that TMOS still had it, I was all over it. It was something like £3 a metre and I bought 3 metres of it. My original plan was to make a knock-off of a dress that I had seen in L.K. Bennett:

I still kind of want to make a knock-off of this dress, to be honest, because it's beautiful. However, this polyester crepe was not the one for it. It just didn't feel right - the springy, bouncy crepe felt like it would resist that lovely pleat at the front of the skirt. So I dithered about it for a while before deciding that a circle skirt was the way to go and paired it with the Kim bodice.

Bodice view! I took the belt from another dress but I think I'd like to make a little bow belt to go with it.

I nearly always sew with cotton because it's what I like to wear. Working with this crepe took me out of my comfort zone slightly - but, to be fair, only slightly. It did take a press fairly well and didn't fray too horribly. It was fairly irritatingly slippery to cut out but it was grand. The very best thing about this fabric though is that it just does not crease. This was perfect for each of the parties I wore it to, as for each of them I had a decently long train journey to get there. So this is kind of a magical party dress for that reason. I really love it and I think it might be one of my favourite things I made in 2015. It's hard not to love a polka dot party frock, right?

So yes: my party dress! Which, by the way, looks great with my just-finished pink Chuck over the top of it, so I'll be able to wear it on more everyday occasions. Yes! (imagine the Benton fist-pump gif here as I don't think I can justify using it twice in two posts.)

And that was 2015. I counted up my finished projects the other night and the total came to 61. This was composed of 14 knitted garments, one crochet blanket (a giant granny square blanket that I made as a Christmas present for my father-in-law), a skirt for my friend Lucy and 45 dresses. I'm not going to do a top 5 best and worst list (although I am enjoying reading everyone else's) because, with a few notable fails (hello Marion cardigan, I'm looking at you) I'm very happy with almost everything I made this year. I have a few favourites, obviously - I mean, I'm not being funny, but I think the Rural Juror dress is fucking awesome:

I also totally love the Larry Vaughn dress - the Sew Over It vintage shirt dress - and I must make another one:

In terms of knitting - I am learning all the time and enjoying it more with each project. I don't wear all of the knitted garments I have made this year but I have been really proud of them all, especially the ones I have made in the latter half of the year. Although my Marion cardigan was a fail, it meant that I learned how to knit cables, which I'm very proud of. 

So, crafting-wise, I think that 2015 was a good year. It was a bit of a weird year personally. The first few months of the year were really challenging at work, and it took a while for me to get back into a good place emotionally with regards to my job. I did, eventually, and I feel pretty happy about it now although I know that 2016 is going to bring lots more changes and challenges.

Quite a few sad things happened in 2015 - by that I mean in my personal life, not just in the wider world - so it was a year of real personal growth. Despite this, I'll look back on it as a good and happy year because Nic and I looked after each other throughout it and managed to have a lot of fun in the process. You can't say better than that, right?

I don't really do New Year's Resolutions and my hopes for 2016 are simple: that Nic and I are able to continue to meet our challenges together, that I am able to carry on sewing and knitting joyfully, that I can keep on blogging in a way that entertains me and that I can continue to make things that I am proud of, like this drawing that I made last night of Bradley Walsh in Law & Order UK:

I'm only partly joking about that last one. I'm quite proud of this drawing. I mean, YOU try drawing a man with that hairline in black ink without accidentally drawing Hitler.

So that's 2015. I have some exciting adventures lined up for 2016, and I might spend tomorrow making my first dress of 2016 too. Can't be bad. 

Now, on that note, I'm away here. I'm going to drink tea and knit and watch a silly film. Thank you to everyone who read and commented in 2015. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I do admire Wonka; he is a true capitalist. His factory has zero government regulation, slave labour and an indoor boat. Wonderful.

Evening all! It's been a windy, rainy, chilly Wednesday and I haven't left the house today at all. It's not something I'd like to do every day, but every so often it's good to not have to engage with anyone other than Nic. It means that I have zero craic though, so sorry about that! It has been a good day, though. I finished a dress - probably the last one of 2015 unless I take a notion to sew tomorrow - and, well, that's been about it really.

Luckily, although I have no craic at all, I do still have some dresses to blog about. This evening it's one I made on Sunday in a pleasing bout of post-Christmas activity. The real star of this particular dress is the fabric, which I bought a few weeks ago from The Village Haberdashery:

The fabric is 'Regatta Border' by Michael Miller and I think it's currently out of stock - I bought it as soon as Annie listed it on their website - but I believe they'll be getting some back in before too long. Anyway - as soon as I saw it on the Village Haberdashery instagram I bought 2.5 metres to make myself a nautical border-print dress - much like I did last year when I bought Michael Miller flamingo border-print fabric and made the Nora dress

The only thing for this fabric was going to be a dress that would show it off, so naturally enough I decided to sew another Emery dress. It really is my favourite pattern for when I want the fabric to really be the star of the show. I knew that the shape of the bodice would work well with the striped portion of the fabric and the gathered skirt would really show off the beautiful boat-print section. So on Sunday afternoon, off I went!

Precious Things dress - Christine Haynes Emery dress in Michael Miller 'Regatta Border' fabric, worn with Swedish hasbeens Frederica sandals

I spent a little bit of time on the pattern placement before I cut the bodice out as I wanted to make sure that I'd be able to match the stripes at both the side seams and across the centre back. I did do that but I didn't get any photographs of it so you'll just have to trust me! I wanted to use the narrower stripes for the bodice so that there'd be some graduation in width down to the skirt. Ideally, I might have had a slightly wider band of navy across the top of the skirt so that the stripes flowed a bit more naturally but I didn't have quite enough fabric to do that. In any case, that would have affected the length of the skirt, which I think is pretty much spot-on, so it's all good.

Here are those little boats!

I ended up with just enough fabric to make this dress as I wanted it and to match the stripes at side and centre back seams. I had a moment where I thought that I didn't have enough fabric for the full gathered skirt that I wanted and, of course, with a print like this, pattern tetris just isn't possible! However, it all worked out perfectly and I really love the finished dress.

I had to cut the whole thing on the cross-grain in order to have the stripes running horizontally like this. It shouldn't give a closer fit: the cross-grain generally has slightly more stretch than the straight, but I have found that it does often give a slightly closer fit in the bodice and I'm not sure why. The bodice on this dress doesn't feel too tight (and fit is a personal thing anyway) but the fit around the bust is definitely different to when the bodice is cut on the straight grain.

Anyway, that's boring. Fit waffling notwithstanding, you can be sure that I will wear the shit out of this dress. Despite the fact that I had planned to wear something else on Tuesday (a dress completed in 2015 that now has missed its chance to be photographed this year) I tried this dress on in the morning and didn't want to take it off! Tuesday was a very mild and pleasant day, and I wore this dress to go for a good long walk and a pub lunch with Nic. Hey don't be worried though: I wore a cardigan AND a coat. Those bare arms were for photographs only.

This dress looks fab with my navy Hetty cardigan: happy days! It was definitely worth having to knit that shit three times.

This is the cool thing about sewing, though, and it's the thing that never stops being awesome: you can make exactly what you want. Before I knew how to sew, I would have been seriously hanging out for a dress like this (see my 'Sailor Dresses of Dreams' pinterest board for evidence) so it is a major thrill to be able to make one myself. YEAAAH BOI.

I know this is like the fifth time I have used this gif but I don't even care. BENTON FIST PUMP.

I can't foresee a time when I'm going to become tired of slightly nautical-themed dresses (currently lurking some of that Robert Kaufman anchor-print chambray with dreams of it becoming a shirt-dress) so I am very happy with this dress. I look forward to wearing it in the spring, when it's going to look a bit more appropriate to the weather!


So anyway lads, I'll be back tomorrow with my Christmas party dress and a little 2015 round-up. See you then!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Up in Dublin they’ve things called buses. Big yokes. With wheels. Big long things. Called buses. With wheels!

Evening pups! What's happening? Right now I feel like I'm living my best life: Nic and I are watching an episode of The Fugitive, I have a glass of champagne on the go and I'm full of roasted chickpea and broccoli burritos. Yassssss! Our friends Amy and Barney bought us the Thug Kitchen cookbook for Christmas on the basis that it is very sweary and holy shit, the recipes are awesome. Happiness! I've had a lovely day of pottering around and sewing. Being on holiday clearly suits me.

As I said, I've been sewing today (yet another McCall's 6696) and last night I finished the pink Chuck sweater I mentioned yesterday, so I'm feeling particularly productive at the moment. Less so on the blogging front, as tonight I am going to show you a dress that I made in October but never got around to photographing. This dress:

Soupy Norman dress - New Look 6776 in wax cotton

I do have photos of it on me too, but I really like how this dress looks flat! So, it's another New Look 6776, and I made it very soon after making the Ball and Chain dress - like, I think I made it in the same week? So, with this one I wanted to have a go at adjusting the pattern by narrowing the midriff band slightly to see if the waist hit me at a more flattering place. It's only a slight difference and I'm not sure that it wasn't better as it was, although it is honestly difficult to compare as the way the dress looks is so different because of the difference in the fabric.

Worn here with tights from H&M (they have gold polka dots on them but you can't see that in this photo and anyway they ripped so I've had to put them in the bin FFS) and Swedish hasbeens ankle boots

I bought this lovely wax cotton when Nic and I were in Paris in August. I bought it in a shop called Festival Tissus, which is on Rue Pierre Picard in the 18th. It was quite a strange little shop where, although the fabric was all in 6 yard lengths, the owner seemed reluctant to sell you the whole yardage. It was kind of a strange transaction, although the man in the shop was very nice. Anyway, I bought 3 metres of this thinking that it would be nice for an autumnal dress and you know what? It is! I've worn this dress a lot since I made it and most commonly like this, with ankle boots.

As with the Ball and Chain dress, I really like the way the bias-cut midriff looks with a geometric print like this. And, as you can see, I decided to have the shapes running in the opposite direction on the bodice to on the skirt, just to give this dress an extra bit of optical illusion chic. 

I'm still not sure how I feel about the fit of this dress - it still feels like there's a bit too much fabric in the curved midriff. That said, this has come in handy in these post-Christmas days - there is definitely room there for a bit of Christmas indulgence! Judging by how often I have worn this dress in the last few months, though, it's definitely a winner. I might have to make another one. 

The first time I wore it was to a gin tasting at my local wine shop and I subsequently wore it to go to a gin bar in Glasgow. So it's put in some good work already. Nice one, dress! If I were wearing it now, I'd honour it further by drinking more gin, but I'm not, so I suppose I'd best carry on with the champagne.

I'll be back tomorrow with another dress. Lads, it's a good one. So I'll see you then. Bye now!