Monday, April 04, 2016

One fervid whirl over her turgid error. Rural Juror.

Hello! How's the form with everyone this Monday, eh? I have had a pretty good one, to be fair. It's been some time since I had that back-to-school feeling on a Sunday night, but I did last night for whatever reason. I tackled it by figuring out my to-do list and heading into work early this morning to deal get some extra work done - right, that sounds a bit shit, I know BUT it meant that I was able to arrange my week so that I could book a day off on Friday. Hurrah! You have to love a four-day week.

Part of the Sundayishness was the fact that the weekend had been so very lovely. The sun made an appearance and on Saturday, Nic and I spent the day with some friends. We did a little bit of shopping in Banbury - by no means the most exciting place in the world, but home to a really good secondhand record shop and an even better independent book shop - and we had our first outdoor ice-cream of the year:
Sleazy ice-cream face. I was very happy because I bought proper, full-size flakes in the pound shop to put in our ice-creams. Immense.

Afterwards, we drove up into the hills to have a drink in a lovely pub and a picnic lunch at Burton Dassett. It was so lovely to be able to sit outside at a pub garden and even better when the pub in question was in an actual castle.

On Sunday, Nic and I had a lie-in, pottered around a bit in town, went for a walk and some cake with Rick and Lauren and watched a film. I did some sewing, too. It was basically all of my favourite things!

The forecast is for a rainy week, but that's fine. I found the sunshine and blue skies of the weekend to be very sustaining and now that we're officially into April, that means that our holiday is next month. So, that's very exciting! It's more than a month away - not until the end of May - but STILL. I'm sort of hanging onto that thought.

So anyway, that's the life update. Now for a dress. Longtime readers might be aware of my fascination with landscape border prints. I have a beautiful Bernie Dexter dress made with one. Here's me wearing it with my green Chuck sweater in November of last year:

A few years ago, I made a dress with another Michael Miller landscape print - the Green Ginger dress. Sadly, this became too big and I gave it away:

The fabric is called Park Landscape, in case you want to try to find some for yourself.

Last year, I made the Rural Juror dress. And, holy shit,  I love that dress:

Yeah. I like a landscape print and I clearly need more than one in my wardrobe. So, when Sian posted a picture of landscape fabric on her instagram, I was curious to know where it came from. 

It's the fabric on the left. The fabric on the right is In Theory by Jessica Jones barkcloth from The Village Haberdashery that arrived on the same day. Good post day, right?

It's a Michael Miller print called Meadow Path and, when I couldn't find it, Sian very kindly offered to pick some up for me from her local fabric shop. She has since started stocking it in her own shop and she makes dresses to order, so if you sew and you want some - she has it, and if you don't sew - she can make you a dress from it!

So anyway, yes. THE DRESS. I bought three metres of this fabric and, unlike other border prints I have seen, this had the pattern running selvedge to selvedge rather than parallel to the selvedge. This was a good thing, because it meant that I could sew a dress from it with the pattern pieces on the straight grain. It meant a little bit of pattern matching, but because I had bought plenty of fabric, that was no problem. I pondered a while on what to make with it and decided to go for V8998, mainly because I have been loving the panelled, gathered skirt option.

Urban Fervor dress - Vogue V8998 in Michael Miller 'Meadow Path' fabric, worn with Swedish hasbeens peep-toe sandals

So, yeah! I am pretty happy with this dress. The bodice is self-lined and, while the width of the skirt pieces and the width of the design meant it was difficult to pattern-match completely across the front of the skirt, I think it looks pretty good.

Because this wasn't a traditional border print, or at least - it isn't like the ones I have sewed with in the past - I wasn't sure how to work out the balance of the print across the bodice and the skirt. I settled on focusing on the sky for the bodice.

Well, Roisin. That's not exactly the sky. No, what happened was that after I had cut out the pieces for the bodice lining, I decided that I liked the green better. So that's what I did. Either way, I couldn't quite work it out so that it was all sky across the bodice and waistband, and I liked how this looked. Also I think the green works better for my colouring so looks better up near my face than the sky blue  would have.

I've sewed this pattern quite a few times now, so the most challenging part of this dress was figuring out the print placement. I used twill tape to stabilise the neckline front and back - I don't have a photo of the back of this dress, but it has a low scooped back neckline. The twill tape keeps the back neckline close to my skin and stops it from stretching out. I blind-hemmed the skirt by hand - this is something I often do because I enjoy it, and in this case it was no different. I thoroughly enjoyed sewing this dress and couldn't wait until the sun came out at the weekend so that I could wear it!

So, I have a couple of landscape prints now in my wardrobe and no plans to resist buying any more such fabrics I can lay my hands on. I love them! I have a couple of unicorn-like rare prints that I would love to make dresses from - Serenity Bridge and Primavera by Michael Miller are two such prints. Ah, a girl can dream...

Serenity Bridge

Primavera blossom 

I don't think I love this dress as much as I love the Rural Juror dress - I just love the trees in blossom on that print - but as it felt like a companion to it, I deemed it a sequel. It's nice to have another dress in my wardrobe that has me humming songs from 30 Rock all day.

So that's the craic anyway. I'm away here to spend the rest of my Monday night chilling out. Bye!