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.