Continuing with 2013's unofficial theme of 'why buy when you can sew', this make is inspired by another dress I have seen elsewhere. A number of weeks ago I noticed Stef of Diversions (one of my favourite blogs to lurk, I think she's awesome) wearing a rather adorable frock from I Know by Isabel Knowles. I was immediately charmed by the fabric and I recognised it as Fox Hollow by Monaluna. Don't tell me that lurking around fabric websites won't teach you a thing or two. Now, it's not my intention to be grabbing money away from hard-working designers, but at £130 the Isabel Knowles dress was just too rich for my blood. I'm not saying that it's not worth it, far from it. If you don't sew you're getting a dress made to your measurements in gorgeous fabrics. But that's something I could do for myself for a fraction of the price. So that's what I did. I should say at the outset this isn't a copy, and it's not even inspired by in the way my faux Bernie Dexter dresses are! I just liked the fabric.
I bought the fabric from M is for Make and their customer service was brilliant. I emailed Kate to ask if she had enough of the fabric in stock for a dress, and she emailed back to say yes, but to warn me that the fabric had no drape to it. I knew that, and that this would be fine for what I wanted, but I appreciated her email all the same. It shows that she valued good customer service over making a sale! But getting the fabric was a bit of a saga as the parcel being mislabelled meant that it got lost in the post. Kate was great but I kind of gave up on the fabric ever showing up, but thankfully it did a couple of weeks later. Hurrah for my postie!
After the success of my Stay The Course dress, I did exactly the same thing with the Fox Hollow fabric. I reckon I could sew the bodice of Simplicity 2444 in my sleep now, so this came together very quickly. The only real difference this time was that I didn't give the dress such a deep hem, and hemmed it instead with some red bias binding, same as the armholes.
Hounds of Love dress - Simplicity 2444 with a gathered skirt, made from Monaluna 'Foxy Too' fabric and worn with Carvela Assemble shoes
I wore this on Saturday to the pub to celebrate Nic's birthday, and before it turned properly bitterly cold again. Sadly, I don't think this photo does this lovely dress justice because I was so cold that I'm not even standing up straight or anything! But I'm sure I'll get lots of photos of it again when the weather warms up a bit. The blue of the dress doesn't really go with the blue of the shoes, but I wanted to wear them because they're mental and fabulous, and also they're reeeeally high, so are easier to walk in after a few glasses of wine.
Slightly blurry bodice view - how cute are those little foxies?!
After some back and forth in my head about what to call the dress, I settled on Hounds of Love. I know they're foxes, not hounds. Hounds of Love is my favourite Kate Bush song and I was listening to the album on repeat while sewing this dress. One of the lines is sort of relevant...
I found a little fox, caught by dogs
He let me take him in my hand
His little heart, it beat so fast I'm ashamed of running away
from nothing real, I just can't deal with this
but I'm still afraid to be there...
The video for Hounds of Love is wonderful in the way that only a Kate Bush video can be. There's lots of seriously awesome dancing, and the video itself is a homage to The 39 Steps, with a bonus reference to Night of the Demon. So that's cool. And I have a big old crush on Kate Bush and she looks incredible in this video. Anyway, Hounds of Love is a song that always makes my heart leap with delight. I love Kate Bush and I don't care if y'all think that's lame. She's amazing.
I'm not throwing these shoes in no damn lake, Kate.
And I think this dress is awesome, too. I wore it to work today (with more sensible shoes) and the cute wee faces cheered me awfully. That's what it's all about for me, really.
I'm going to leave you here with another Kate Bush reference. My love of her music has been both tainted and enhanced by this. Enjoy.
Heathcliff! It's me! Cathy! Come home!