Thursday, February 27, 2014

Why would that cheer her up? Does she look like a 22 year-old frat boy?

Hello hello hello! Happy Thursday evening everyone! I am so glad it's nearly the weekend, I tell you what. I've been finding work really stressful this week and I'm so looking forward to kicking back and trying to forget about it over the weekend. Preferably with a big glass of wine. I hate getting stressed about work because it seems like such a pointless waste of energy, and because I am very mindful of the fact that things could be a lot worse. I've been getting stressed because I'm invested in what I'm doing - whereas previously, work-related stress was due to feeling totally disenfranchised. So I'm fairly confident that this will pass, and I'm trying my hardest not to comfort shop my way out of it - instead I'm comfort sewing or knitting my way out of these feelings! I had to frog what I'd done on the Agatha cardigan because I was finding it too difficult to concentrate on a challenging pattern while I was feeling freaked out, so I've cast on Hetty instead. I may have been - no, I totally was inspired by Busy Lizzie's adorable Hetty cardigan. Agatha has just been benched. I'll come back to her when I have more experience and less mind clutter.

So, I promise I have been sewing other things apart from five million Emery dress - but, fuck it. I have also been sewing Emery dresses because, you know. This is me we're talking about. After Sarah, Char and I spent the day sewing her raccoon Emery, I bought myself some of the fabric too. It's 'Raccoon' from the Acacia collection by Tula Pink, just so you know. As well as not wanting to be a total copycat, I was pretty sure the pale blue 'sky' colourway wouldn't suit me, so I went for 'blueberry' instead. And to try something a bit different, I decided to omit the sleeves on this version.

Bread and Jam for Frances dress and Irregular Choice Lady W shoes

The fit of the bodice is slightly different on this dress to my other Emerys. Like duh - the sleeves obviously make a difference! There is a little bit of a gape at the back neckline that isn't there in my sleeved versions. It's nothing major and no biggie, but that duh was aimed at me because I didn't even click that would happen when omitting the sleeves from a bodice that is drafted to have them. Yes, I know. I'm a sewing remedial. 

I opted to use a concealed zip on this dress, too. All my other Emerys have lapped zips and that's because I generally like the way they look. But, real talk. It's also because inserting concealed zips has never been my number 1 favourite sewing task. I sucked it up here though, and BOOM. I'm now somewhat converted to the concealed zips. It's Christine Hayne's instructions for inserting them - she makes it so easy! 

Back view. I'm mainly including this because it means you can see the backs of these crazy shoes - they have wings on them!

I named the dress after one of my favourite books, Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. I had this book as a child and I think my copy of it fell apart from rereading. When Nic and I first got together, he bought me a new copy in Blackwell's in Oxford on a day trip.

I think the Frances in Lillian Hoban's illustrations is actually a badger, not a raccoon. But I think you can see why the raccoons remind me of her. I love Frances. We have a lot in common - we're both bossy but loving big sisters, we both have limited patience and unlimited capacity for fantasy, and we're both faddy eaters. I think my favourite bit in the story is when Frances gets mad food envy looking at her friend Albert's lunch. I can identify with that. In fairness, Albert is kind of awesome - for lunch he brings a cream-cheese, cucumber and tomato sandwich on rye bread, with a pickle on the side; a hardboiled egg with a little cardboard shaker of salt; a thermos of milk; a bunch of grapes and a tangerine and a cup custard. Albert makes sure he tells Frances he has a spoon to eat the cup custard with because: BALLER. Clearly. 

Spoilers, but Frances sure shows him at the end of the book when she rocks up to school with a thermos of cream of tomato soup; a lobster-salad sandwich on thin slices of white bread; celery, carrot sticks and black olives, and a little cardboard shaker of salt for the celery; two plums and a tiny basket of cherries and vanilla pudding with chocolate sprinkles AND a spoon to eat it with. She lays this all out on a doily, along with a tiny vase of violets. Albert tells her, "I think eating is nice." Like, YEAH. 

Um, Albert? I ALSO think eating is nice. Pass the rye bread, pls.

Anyway. The print is mainly green but the colourway is called 'blueberry' and there are lots of blues in the print - teals, turquoises and sky blues. It's really lovely, and I'm so glad I bought it. And I'm going to include this in Sew Blue February, even though I wore this outfit with green:

And I'm going to leave you with one more totally unnecessary photo because it was a beautiful sunny day last week when these photos were taken. It's still chilly but these sunny days are so happy-making.

We were on our way to get some coffee and cake at The Larder here. One of the things I love about living in Leamington, apart from the fact that it's so beautiful, is that there are so many really nice independent shops and cafes. The Larder is reasonably new - they opened towards the end of last year - but they endeared themselves to me immediately because the owner gave me a free cake one evening because I happened to be passing. Last week when we went in, he also gave us free cake and complimented my accent. Free cake and compliments and the coffee is really good. I'm going to live in Leamington forever. FOREVER.

Okay, I'm off to spend a bit of quality time with Hetty and to watch some more of S6 of Mad Men. If my hands are busy with my knitting needles, I'm less likely to throw something at the TV when that massive fuckwit Harry Crane behaves badly. Probably.