Friday, December 13, 2013

You're swearing now that some day you will destroy me. Remember, women far better than you have sworn to do the same. Go and look for them now.

Evening all! Tonight's Dispatches from Dolly Clackett comes from the end of a very long work week and the end of a busy year. Yes, I know it's not 2014 yet, but today was my last day at work until 6th January and I feel like I've earned the break. I'm sure that as the old year creeps towards its end, I'll be in a better position to reflect on this year in general; right now I'm just relieved to have made it to the end of this week without punching someone in the face. I have a lovely weekend of fun ahead of me now, though, and some sewing time as well before I head off for the holidays. Hurrah!

I haven't done any sewing this week because I've either been too tired or too busy, but I so still have a few projects photographed and on my hard drive. Last week, Handmade Jane held a giveaway for 1 metre of fabric from Sew Scrumptious. She showed this fabric, and suggested making a 'Dolly Clackett style dress' with it.

Springtime in Paris by Michael Miller fabrics

I mean, who was I to argue? That description really made me chuckle, because Jane is not the first person to have used it - I've read this on a number of other blogs in the last few months. So, I guess that indicates either that I'm in a style rut, or that I've found my style and it works for me. Naturally, I prefer the latter! I didn't win Jane's giveaway, but I did go on ahead and buy myself a couple of metres of the fabric. I would have been rude not to.

It's actually not the first time I have sewed a dress using this fabric. My friend Lucy asked me to make a dress for her from it last year. I'm not normally much given to selfless sewing, but Lucy is a really excellent person and I'm always happy to make an exception for her. I didn't manage to get any photos of Lucy's dress, but I used the bodice of Butterick B5748 and gave it a gathered skirt, and fully lined it with some pale blue polka dot cotton. Is it breaking that great sewing commandment, 'thou shalt not copy' if it's yourself you're copying? Either way, I don't care, and that's what I did.

Boum! dress - Butterick B5748 bodice with a gathered skirt, worn with Irregular Choice 'Windsor' shoes*

This is the dress I mentioned in my last post. The one I spilled champagne on. I think that's a fitting way to christen a Paris-themed frock, myself! I wore this to my staff Christmas meal - minus the petticoat - last week, having sewed it the night before. Unlike Lucy's dress, I didn't fully line this one because I wanted to be able to wear it with a petticoat. Looking at these photos, I'm not sure how often I actually will do that, because it does kind of look a bit derpy sticking out the bottom like that? Oh well, whatevs. 

As soon as I finished the dress, I wanted to put it on, which is why I wore it to work the very next day. I really, really love it. I don't know why I waited this long to buy the fabric, especially as it is the companion to the Paris Ville fabric that I made the Nana dress from, and I wear that dress all the time. It is covered in totally fabulous ladies, as well as some lovely Paris landmarks:

This lady in the blue dress is looking at the Eiffel Tower in the distance, just as I did on my last trip to Paris. Also: PINK POODLE FTW.

I like this lady's stripy dress. It's a bit like a Tiramisu. I wonder if she's given herself an ice-cream headache, or, as she's standing in Place Saint Pierre, if she's trying to decide which fabric shop to visit first.
At the Arc de Triomphe in a nice green dress. Fucks given: NONE.

I could show you all of the ladies on the dress, but I won't bore you all. Although, as well as the pink poodle there's a schnauzer (which Nic has already named Asta) and some little cats. Awww.

Here's a little close-up of the bodice. There is one where I look less goofy, but where's the fun in that? I did consider cutting the bodice in a different spot so I didn't have any headless ladies on my dress, but that didn't really work out. Ah well, live and learn. 

I now have a ridiculous number of dresses with some kind of Parisian theme. There are seven that I've made and one shop-bought one. And I do have some more Eiffel Tower fabric in my stash. That might seem excessive. It probably is excessive! Still, as I'm sure you're used to hearing me say by this stage, I don't really care. The prints and fabrics are lovely, but also they make me happy. Nic and I have visited Paris three times, and I hope that we'll return many more times. I have so many happy memories of our times there. It's not some blogger cliche, I promise. I don't think I'm OMG SO FRENCH or that the French are more chic or any of that nonsense. Paris is dirty and smelly, and it's expensive and I wouldn't want to live there. But gosh, I love it there. I don't think I could get tired of visiting, and I really don't think I could get tired of making Paris-themed dresses.

Here I am at the Eiffel Tower in June 2010, with a Laduree Carrier bag. SO FRENCH. SO CHIC. I still have that stupid carrier bag, actually, hanging on my wardrobe door.

It's blurred because it was raining and it was taken on a phone, but here I am on Avenue Emile Zola, in March 2008. In a fucking beret, no less. It was quite cold, though. The lady who served me in Monoprix that afternoon thought I was French. In fairness, I was wearing a beret and buying champagne and camembert at the time.

And here I am in 2013. I haven't aged a day, I'm sure you'll agree.

Nic and I are considering going to Paris for our honeymoon next year. It's a great place to visit for people who have our interests of cheese, wine, fabric, history, jazz and comics. I'm sure I'll end up buying more twatty, touristy Paris fabric when I'm there, and I'll have no regrets. YOLO, as the young people say.

Right, this photo is purely for all you who said "oh yeah, it's good to see the back of the dress, Roisin!" because I hate this. I can't get it right with back photos. It's either like HELLO BACK FAT, or my back looks weirdly scrawny (which I think it does here) and, you know, my slip is showing. Sigh. I do love the way the back of this bodice scoops down, I think it's really cute. I love the fit across the back, and I think my hand-picked zip is the bomb. Just ignore the other photo faux pas, right?

One final photo; a close-up of the shoes. They deserve a photo of their own for being so utterly darling:

With those big floppy bows, they almost run the risk of being a bit Sloaney, but I like them anyway. I suppose I could tone down the Sloaneyness by making sure not to wear them with a floppy bow in my hair.

Anyhow, that's your lot for this evening. As I said up above, I'm on holiday! So I'm off now to watch Poirot, eat pudding and drink fizzy wine. Hurrah for Christmas!