Sunday, September 15, 2013

Not even Crowded House gets a 90-10 split. It's unheard of!

WHO LIKES TO ROCK THE PARTY? I like to rock the party. Hey guys!

So, since my last post/enormous cry for help, I have been feeling a lot better. The weather has still sort of sucked, but I managed to climb out of feeling horrible and I am getting back onto a more even keel. I knew I was starting to feel more like myself when I got my sewing machine back out, and when I pestered Nic again to take some photos for my blog. Thank you to everyone to commented and emailed, it is good to know we're not alone in this.

Anyway - after the last post I'm happy to be more cheerful and to show you something more cheerful as well! I was working in London the week before last - I had to go to a meeting in Holborn that went on through lunch, so my manager told me when it was over I could finish for the day. As I was in town and already had a paid-for travelcard, I hopped on the tube to Goldhawk Road. I only had a little bit of money to spend and I was going with something particular in mind, and it was REALLY hot, so I only stayed for half an hour. But it was very successful, because I got just what I was after.

After seeing Alison's Hot Air Balloon Elisalex dress I roundly kicked myself for not buying some of that awesome hot air balloon fabric. I was with Alison and Rachel when they each bought some on Goldhawk Road and I don't know why I talked myself out of it. Anyway, I went back with the intention of buying some, and found some. GREAT STORY BRO. It's not all I bought (and I very nearly took the two lads who work in Classic Textiles home with me because OMG they are the cuteness) but anyhow, it's what I'm going to show you this evening. I bought 2 metres and at 60" wide, I had enough to make myself one of my favourites - Simplicity 2444 - but with the skirt as the pattern intended!

Passage Over Piedmont dress - Simplicity 2444, worn with Irregular Choice Oz shoes

It's actually been so long since I made this dress with the actual skirt pattern that I was a bit like lalalalolWUT when I got to sewing the dress up. Nothing major, but it required a bit more brain work than usual. As I did on my very first 2444 dress, I cut the skirt front on the fold instead of having a centre front seam. I still don't really get that element of the drafting of this pattern. To do this, I measured the 5/8 seam allowance on the centre front of the pattern and folded it - I could have cut it, but you never know, in some sort of blue fit I might decide to sew it that way. It could look good with diagonal stripes, I suppose. The other adjustment I made was to omit the pockets (So Sorry, So Lazy) and I increased the shoulder seams to 6/8. To compensate for the way that raises the neckline, I sewed the facing on with a 6/8 seam allowance as well. For the bodice, I decreased the side seams slightly to 4/8, mainly to give a little bit of ease so I can wear this in the cooler weather with a slip underneath. Oh, and instead of using the armhole facings included with the pattern, I used some pink bias binding (again: SS,SL) Sorry for all the detail - but I was teaching today, and one of my students asked me what adjustments I typically make to patterns, so I guess I'm thinking that way!

One of the reasons why I love this pattern and have made twelfty dresses from it is that the clean lines allow fun fabric to take centre stage. And you've got to admit, these little hot air balloons are pretty freakin' charming, eh?

Underbust wrinkle due to bad posture, I swear!

One August bank holiday a couple of years ago, Nic and I were on the train home from London. It travels through the beautiful Chilterns and the sun was beginning to set when we saw two hot air balloons. It was a beautiful moment, and this fabric makes me think of that. Of course, the other nifty thing is all of the colours in the print - it meant the dress matched my shoes perfectly, but of course I will be able to wear it with any of the brightly coloured shoes in my wardrobe. Also, I hate thinking about tights but I'll be able to wear this with pink tights when it gets cold.

Nic and I went down to Victoria Park to get these photos by this little paddling pool and to do the one mile walk (yes, in heels. Well, me anyway) but the paddling pool was locked. BOO!

Somewhat unimpressed, even though it's clearly too cold to actually paddle.

I love Victoria Park. It's close by our house and is home to a bowling green, that little paddling pool, tennis courts, a riverside walk and also some really cool swings and stuff. They were occupied, and the bowling green was full of men shouting things like "Mate! Mate! Mate! MATE! HURRY UP MATE! GOOD THROW MATE! MATE! MATE!" but it is still a really good place to go for a walk. One of the downsides to working from home is that I miss my daily hour of walking (added up - to the station from my house, and from the station to the office - works out to about half an hour. And then in the evening, back again) so I'm trying to get out of the house more on working from home days to walk. This is a good spot to do it. It's also nice for photos, at least until the scaffolding comes down from outside of our building.


I haven't worn this dress yet with my big pink fluffy Hell Bunny petticoat, but I think I have to. I'm so glad I went back for this fabric and tickled that me and Alison and Rachel are fabric triplets. I'm easily amused like that anyway.

So that's my lot for this evening. I was teaching at Berylune today and it was brilliant. I had two students. One of them could already sew and just wanted a little guidance, and she was making an Anna dress (hell YES) and the other had never made a garment before, and she made a Colette Sorbetto top. Both women did fantastically well, and I was particularly proud to see Fiona going home wearing the top she'd made, having only used her sewing machine once before! Teaching is really rewarding, and it makes me feel good about myself. Plus, I came home with another satchel (red, this time) and got to spend time with my friends at Berylune. It was a super way to spend a Sunday. And then to add an extra layer of awesome, my friend Char presented me with this, which she'd bought for me at the car boot this morning:


Yes, yes that IS in fact a board game based on The Sweeney. Job done.