I've been having a good week. Work is very busy as always, but I had my mid-year review this week and I'm very happy with the feedback I was given and with the development suggestions my line manager made. In a weird way it feels like a betrayal of previous me to say this, but I'm so much happier at work than I have been for a long time. It's good! I mean, yeah, getting up in the morning is still hard (I have to be in extra early tomorrow morning for a very early meeting...FUN) but it is in every job. I feel very grateful to be in this position. Long may it last!
So, anyway, you don't come here for work talk now do you. It's about the dresses, right? Well, that and my sparkling wit of course. Naturally. You may remember that earlier this year, I did a knock-off of a Bernie Dexter dress. Twice. I like her designs, although as the designs themselves are very simple it's actually the fabrics I like and it's fortunate that mostly the fabrics are commercially available. That makes it easy to recreate the look at a fraction of the cost! One of the dresses I've admired from after for some time is this one:
Bernie Dexter "Lush Landscape" dress
The fabric is beautiful, but even if I were in the market for a cotton dress costing £120, I couldn't justify this one as it's so similar to a Bernie Dexter dress I already own:
Bernie Dexter Happy Valley Jessica dress - I bought this on ebay nice and cheaply!
Still, though. I liked the Landscape dress a lot and when I saw that Annette Tirette had made a fabulous dress from the fabric, it put it right back to the forefront of my mind. Totally unprompted, Anneke kindly sent me a link to where she bought the fabric and then I was able to find a UK shop that happened to have some in stock. Miss Gingers is a new shop, and they have a small but well chosen selection of fabrics. I bought 2 metres of Park Landscape by Michael Miller and not only did it arrive quickly, but it came with a thoughtful note. I'll be shopping with Miss Gingers again!
I decided that, as the colder weather is approaching, I didn't want to make a copy of the Bernie Dexter original. Instead I used a faithful pattern mashup - the bodice of By Hand London's Elisalex and the skirt from New Look 6824. Here's the finished article - the Green Ginger dress:
Green Ginger dress, Mel 'Raspberry' shoes and that vintage wicker handbag was a gift from Emily.
I'm biased here because I made this myself, like, but I think this fabric is so much more beautiful than the Bernie Dexter dress shows it to be. It's so pretty, I'm almost tempted to go and buy the 3 metres that Miss Gingers has left in stock! As with all of the Michael Miller fabrics I've sewed with before, this was lovely to work with and comfortable to wear. I know a lot of people are wary of sewing with 'quilting' cottons, but it's been my experience that these designer US quilting cottons work well for some types of garments - you just need to make sure to prewash as there will be some shrinkage!
I wore this the Sunday before last, when the weather was unexpectedly glorious. Nic and I had a few errands to do in town and then we spent the afternoon rambling through the fields to the Saxon Mill, where we were able to sit outside in the sunshine. I changed into flat shoes for the walk, though! When I tried on the dress I wondered if I had hemmed it a bit too long, but decided to give it a few wears before deciding what to do with it. I love midi-length dresses in the summer, and I think the length looks good here but after wearing the dress to work on Tuesday I decided to take the hem up by a few inches. It sits just below the knee now - still cute, but it'll be easier to wear with tights well into the cold weather! I hand-hemmed the dress and I finished the seams by turning and stitching them. The bodice is lined but the skirt isn't.
Last Sunday was also the first time I wore these Mel shoes, and I looooooooove them:
I might have a problem with shoes with hearts on the front. I now have 6 pairs. But they're all different, kind of. I could stop any time I wanted to though. Probably. After I've bought them in a different colour.
So that's basically all there is to say about this dress. It's already a firm favourite and I'm looking forward to those lush green plants cheering up a cold winter. Also sorry for spamming you with lots of photos, but that Sunday was such a bright day that Nic got a really cool JJ Abrams style lensflare in the photos, and I love it:
If I have the lensflare, does that mean that Peter Bishop is somewhere nearby?
That's all my words used up for the evening. I'm away here to watch something silly and doze off on the sofa. Goodnight!