Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Nice legs. For a human.

Hello! As I type this, I'm half watching an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation where Bev takes up with some smooth new dude, and of course it turns out that he's a Trill, and that's complicated. But, also, there's a beauty salon on the Enterprise. That explains why Bev's hair is usually so awesome, right?

Anyway, it's been a good couple of days. My sister-in-law had a baby boy yesterday, so my little brother is a father and I'm an auntie to a darling little nephew. I'll have to get on with some sewing for babies before I go home next month (after my youngest sister has her baby) but for the moment, here's some more sewing I did for myself. 

As I said a few posts ago - and be warned for maybe some TMI here - my bust size has increased slightly lately. Not by a huge amount - I'm still more Dolly Clackett than Dolly Parton - but a bit. Enough to make me stop being lazy and do a full bust adjustment on my beloved bodice pattern from the Elisalex dress.

Getting technical about fitting is something I have shied away from before, out of a fear that my silly fluffy mind can't handle it, I guess? I'm sure that sounds totally lame to all you super seamstresses, but I needed to gain some confidence in my own abilities before I attempted it. My recent work successes made me realise that the analytical side of my brain does work, and that really did give me the confidence to give it a go.

Turns out that I don't really have a problem with maths. Or that doing this FBA didn't really use a lot of maths. GO ME.

I used the excellent tutorial on the By Hand London blog, which is broken down into such manageable steps that it's not at all taxing. I sat down after a pretty thinky work day, and after basically covering the living room with tissue paper (I was tracing the Charlotte skirt pieces at the same time) I came out with a bodice modification that I was happy with.

It took about a week before I cut into fabric, and I decided to have a crack at the new bodice using some super cheap cotton poplin I'd bought in Barry's in Birmingham. I reckon it's a knock-off of some better quality cotton - I think there might be a similar Michael Miller print - but at £2.50 a metre, I was happy to give it a go. It's a wee bit on the stiff side, as you might expect from cheap cotton poplin, but it washed well so it's find. AND it's nautical, AND it's red so I'm going to count this as a Red October make!
Rocksalt dress
The Rocksalt dress - By Hand London Elisalex dress, worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon shoes

Um, okay - try to ignore both the scaffolding and the pigeon-toed-ness here. I swear my feet point out the way they should. Look instead at how much better the bodice fits me now. Hurrah!

Rocksalt dress

Now to be honest, I'm still not totally done adjusting the bodice. I made and attached sleeves to this dress, but that caused issues. I'm going to need to drop the armholes a bit and make the sleeves a bit bigger at the top. But that can wait - and to be honest, with this print the sleeves looked a bit much anyway so I wasn't sorry to lose them. 

The slight stiffness of this fabric is perfect for holding the shape of the Elisalex skirt. I know quite a lot of people worry that the exaggerated tulip shape won't be flattering. To be fair, it might not be on some body types but I really like the way it creates an hourglass shape.

Rocksalt dress

I love this skirt. That's why I look so smug. That and the fact that I love my shoes. I loved the pink and navy ones so much that when I saw these for half price in Author shoes when I was in London, I bought them. I'm not going to lie, in the spring I'll probably buy the cream ones with the pink bows on as well. And I don't even care.

I wore this last Saturday to parade around town in. The woman who served me and Nic in the bakery told us we were the best dressed people she'd seen in ages. So that was nice! Of course, I was maxing out on the whole nautical theme by wearing the dress with this lovely jacket from Fever Designs.

Rocksalt dress

Importantly, the dress held up to a full day of fun - including an evening round at Amy's house eating Mexican food, margarita ice-cream and drinking gin. As eating Mexican food and drinking gin are important features of my life, this is pleasing.

So, on the cards for tonight is home-made sweet potato and chickpea burgers and Private Benjamin. Catch you all later, me hearties!