Sunday, November 17, 2013

Why are my arms so weak? It's like I did that push-up last year for nothing!

Evening, hombres! I've come to the end of an extremely busy week here and I am currently chilling out with some fruit tea and an episode of The X-Files. Right now, Mulder's world is being rocked by bees and aliens and his missing sister. Standard.

It's only been work that has kept me busy, nothing exciting, and the fact that our friend JP was staying with us for most of the week meant that my evenings were packed, too. I was out all day yesterday and teaching all day today. My sewing machine is starting to wonder what it's done to offend me! It's been a good week, in spite of the rather painful tumble I took on my walk home from the station on Wednesday night, but I am rather looking forward to my three-week break over Christmas. I feel like by then I'm going to need it!

Anyhow, things are good. I haven't had time to sew this week but as ever, I'm behind in blogging the things that I have made. This make dates from last week, and I wore it last Sunday. Spoiler: it's another By Hand London Anna dress. I know. However, since making the Beauty School Dropout dress in the summer, I've been wanting to make another maxi dress. I love that dress, but a white maxi dress with a thigh-high split is a bit special, even for me. It took until a trip to Goldhawk Road in October for me to find fabric I was happy with, when I found a pre-cut length of beautiful cotton lawn in Classic Textiles.  I love Classic Textiles, it never disappoints! Anyway, I've been wanting to make an autumnal maxi that could be layered up with tights in the cooler weather, and worn again in the spring. This fits the bill perfectly!

Winter Fire dress - By Hand London Anna dress, worn with Solea shoes

I wore this last Sunday, when we had a beautiful day, to go for a pub lunch with some dear friends. It held up well to a bit lunch and an equally big pudding, which was very pleasing! I was worried that I'd feel like a bit of a dick wearing a maxi dress in November, but it turned out that I didn't feel any more of a dick than I feel all the rest of the time. Let's say about 85% of a dick. So that was fine. I wore this with a slip, tights and a cardigan and was more than comfortable temperature-wise, too. Hurrah!

Just to prove that I wore a coat!

So, obviously I have said everything I have to say about this pattern, so I won't repeat myself! I french-seamed ALL of the seams, which makes this dress look really pretty on the inside, and that makes me happy. The fabric is light and floaty and it took well to being french-seamed. I had originally intended to make the skirt a bit longer so I can wear with with my boots, which have a very high heel, but in the end I balked at the idea of this pretty hem dragging on the ground so I kept it at a length to be worn with medium height heels.

Here I am, looking goofy in close-up. Isn't the fabric beautiful?!

I think this is my tenth Anna or Anna variation by now. I guess you guys might be done looking at me in this pattern but I'm not sure I'm done sewing it - I want to make another maxi, but maybe with long sleeves and a v-neck. Again, it'll be a question of waiting until I find the perfect fabric for such a project but I know it will be satisfying when I do! This make was very satisfying and sewing it over a few nights let me really enjoy the process as well. I like learning new things and sewing new patterns, I do, but as my sewing time is quite precious, there is something very satisfying about knowing a pattern well enough to just sew. 

One of the things that makes me happier as I get older is knowing that it's okay to like the stuff you like. It doesn't matter if other people don't get it. In my early 20s, I thought that I should outgrow some of the things I liked as a teenager; the bands I liked then weren't cool enough, I should read more intellectual books, I should dress in a certain way. It's good to be in a place where I know that none of that matters. Over the last couple of years I've been getting back into that music; when I was at home in the summer I dug out all my Crowded House CDs and they're excellent. I've re-read some of my old Stephen King favourites and, of course, I've been enjoying sewing the things I like to wear. As I finished this dress, Nic and I watched the TV miniseries of Stephen King's It. This was my introduction to Stephen King as I watched this when it was broadcast in 1990, when I was definitely too young for it! Even at that age I could appreciate how totally lame the ending is, but the rest of it terrified me! The book did too, in fairness, and it did again when I reread it recently. Ben's haiku for Bev seemed to fit with this dress:

Your hair is winter fire
January embers
My heart burns there too


That's all the craic I have for you this evening, now. It really is time for me to flop on the sofa with a mug of tea. Adios, amigos!