I had completely forgotten about Beltane until Nic and I watched Doctor Who: The Daemons last week. I think it was the only third Doctor and Jo story I hadn’t yet seen, and it has just fairly recently been released on DVD. It’s a really enjoyable romp, tying ideas of pagan ritual to capricious alien invaders. It’s really a load of old nonsense, but very good old nonsense at that.
We didn’t light any fires, but in Ireland Beltane was traditionally a festival of optimism, and there was lots of that around over the weekend. The sun finally showed its face on Sunday and any plans I’d had for a lazy morning went out the window. Nic and I got up, tidied the house, did some grocery shopping and went for a dander in the sun. It wasn’t warm enough to eat ice-cream but it did make a change from all of the rain and grey that has characterised the last few weeks. I didn’t wear one of my handmade dresses, but I thought I’d stick with the handmade theme all the same by wearing my Grace dress from Call Me Betty vintage:
Call Me Betty Grace in Stars dress, Irregular Choice Mermaid shoes and vintage vinyl handbag
dress in action
I bought this dress last Spring and I love wearing it. It’s not the most comfortable dress ever because the bodice is boned front and back, but on the plus side it has a gorgeous shape and keeps me sitting upright! I’m wearing it here with a petticoat underneath it but the skirt also looks good without. It’s hard not to be happy in this dress! I’ll be honest, though. It was slightly impractical for the afternoon’s activities. Nic and I met some friends at the Jazz Jam in Wilde’s – it was really busy and a full, fluffy petticoat made getting through the crowds more difficult than it might have been otherwise! That aside, it was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. Wilde’s is a gorgeous setting for the music, and it’s hard to beat sipping mojitos in the sunshine and chatting with friends, and knowing you don’t have to go to work in the morning! After the music a group of us went for dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant before Nic and I took our sleepy selves home.
I woke up early to more rain on Monday morning, and Nic had marking to do, so I got down to some more sewing. Using the discount code offered over at So, Zo I’d treated myself to Simplicity 2444 and I thought I’d give it a bash.
I got the whole dress made in the afternoon and I’ll share it with you when I wear it later in the month, as well as my more detailed thoughts on the pattern and everything. I’m certainly very pleased with the finished dress and I like the concept of being able to personalise it to such an extent. That said, I realised I have been totally spoiled by the fantastic directions in Colette Patterns and Sewaholic Patterns. More than a few times I was baffled over the wording of the instructions, only to find that what I was being directed to do was really simple! So I’d say that sewing this dress wasn’t as enjoyable an experience as some of my other makes. Still, though – it means I have already met the challenge I set myself to sew two more dresses in May, so I am super pleased with that. I have the fabric and notions for another Colette Hazel dress and I certainly will get down to that sometime soon, but for now I think it’s time to take the foot off the pedal (fnar) and enjoy the fruits of my labour.
A weekend's work...
When I set myself that goal, two garments seemed like a manageable but still fairly respectable challenge, so it has surprised me a little bit that I managed to get through both in the space of one weekend! I didn’t cut corners, either, both dresses are finished to a high standard and fitted to a good standard, too. I suppose it means I’m getting better at this, and I suppose it also means that I work better when I’m not worrying about it. It also shows me that it’s totally possible to fit more sewing time in around my regular life. I won’t always have wet bank holiday Mondays to take advantage of, but both the dress I made on Friday afternoon and my Foux du Fa Fa Chantilly were made in a few hours after work. It is doable. So that’s nice to know. I have a lovely short work week this week (I’m halfway through it now) and I’m hoping that the weather holds, as Nic and I are off to the seaside for a few days. I’ll pack my bucket and spade, and I’ll see you all soon!