Sunday, April 27, 2014

I understand what Becky sees in you. You look like that Fonzie fellow who's so popular these days.

Hiii everybody! What's the craic? Not too much here, I've mainly just been chilling out this weekend. That's nice because - gasp - I have to work a full five-day week next week. Oh no! Mind you, in the grand tradition of bank holiday weekends, last week had five days worth of work squeezed into four days. I spent a solid two of those days proof-reading spreadsheets and a third day checking a database against another spreadsheet. It was perversely satisfying but totally exhausting. I'm glad I can squeeze some enjoyment out of tasks like that because otherwise my job could be pretty depressing!

I have been having a weird week, though. I've been trying to psyche myself and get prepared for the next couple of weeks at work. It's always busy where I work, but May is a difficult month. We work in cycles, with four cycles running at the same time. One goes live in May, and two others move into significant development periods. It's a lot to hold in your head at the one time, and a big logistical challenge for everyone involved to keep everything running. I know that what needs to be done in the next couple of weeks is possible and that it will happen - mainly because it has to - but the whole thing has been making me anxious and I've been a bit of an emotional wreck. I'm not unhappy - far from it - but I've been sleeping badly and I had a horrible anxiety attack the other night. The only way out is through, and that's fine, but it's not a whole lot of fun.

The other thing that has been on my mind which isn't nearly as stressful, but which has been occupying my thoughts is the Sew Dolly Clackett competition! It closed on Wednesday and I've been utterly overwhelmed by how many people took part. There are something close to 200 members in the Flickr pool, so that's a lot of entries to sort through! I 'm astounded by how amazing the entries have been - I mean that most sincerely - and by the variety of ways in which people chose to interpret the brief. I'm incredibly, incredibly touched that the competition even exists and by the fact that so many of you have been so sweet. I've found myself tearing up reading blog posts and tweets - this community is truly, truly special. It's humbling, and it's genuinely difficult to articulate how this has made me feel. It's also hard to know how to respond to this appropriately - how on earth am I ever going acknowledge this?! Judging it is going to be a daunting task so I've enlisted a panel of judges to help me decide - Nic, and my lovely friend Disha - and I hope to be able to choose winners by the weekend. Watch this space!

So, after that big wall of text (hey, thanks you guys for sticking with that) I'll do you all a solid and show you a dress. That's what you come for, right?! I actually made this dress a couple of weeks ago - right after Nic and I came back from Northern Ireland - but I am getting so slow at blogging! The story with this one is that it's kind of a do-over. You'll recognise the fabric because I've sewed with it before - but the dress I made from it is now too big and I'm not sure how to go about altering it. I will but I wanted a quick fix, so I bought myself some more of the fabric. I guess I have more money than sense. No, wait. I totally don't.

714 Delaware Street dress - By Hand London Flora dress with a pleated skirt and Irregular Choice Hello Ha shoes*

Um, yeah. More Home Sewing is Easy fabric! I really love my original Home Sewing is Easy dress - not least because the fabric was a gift from a very dear friend - and also because the fabric is basically completely awesome. That's why it's my blog header! Also, dudes, home sewing IS totally easy. I sewed this baby up in around four hours while I was waiting for the courier to deliver these shoes.

They're pretty fucking twee, aren't they? But, um, check out that bow. I love it. And also yellow is totally a neutral so these are very practical. Ha ha! NOT. They are seriously cute though. But back to the dress.

I know my face looks goofy here but whatever. Look at my print placement! I'm very happy about this.

I did take a bit more time over cutting this out than I usually would because I wanted to get that awesome banner with the lady sewing front and centre, and to avoid breaking it up with darts if possible. This wasn't difficult but I did end up cutting the bodice pieces out on a single layer rather than on the fold so I could achieve this. I had to sacrifice the very tops of the heads of the ladies at the top to get the sewing machine where I wanted it, but I hear trepanning is all the rage these days anyway so I probably did them a favour.

My cowgirl version of this dress hack ended up being a bit too big (which I fixed by shrinking it in a hot wash, but I forgot to mention it in my post about it) so for this dress I increased the seam allowances to 7/8 rather than 5/8. I may have to bite the bullet and trace the bodice a size down and do a slight FBA but this fix seemed to work and I'm really pleased with how the bodice fits. OH, and because I cut the bodice pieces on a single layer, I was able to have a decent stab at matching the pattern on the bodice back:

It's not perfect, but that's fine. I'm not that invested in matching a print as busy as this one, to be honest!

I will get around to fixing my other dress made from this fabric but I am very glad to have this excellent print back in rotation. Wearing it makes me happy and it goes perfectly with these shoes! I also thoroughly enjoyed sewing this dress - there was no stress or fuss at all - and at the moment that's pretty important to me. That shit is keeping me sane. Kind of, anyway.

Anyway, that's the craic with my new dress! I'm only sorry that these photos were taken on an overcast day so the dress doesn't look quite as sunny as it is in real life. The weather is so changeable here at the moment and right now I'm swaddled in a fleece blanket, when just the other day I was sitting in a pub garden with my sunglasses on!

Pub garden fun times. Nic told me to pull a funny face but this is just what my face looks like. THAT'S JUST MY FACE.

Right boys and girls. I've got to get along. I popped along to Berylune this afternoon to shoot the breeze with Emily, and came home with two metres of gorgeous Cloud 9 fabric. I need to go and wash it so I can sew it into something beautiful this week! I'm going to leave you with another photo though, because I know how much Emily loves seeing 9 photos of the same thing. Toodles!

I'll make a shoehorn out of your shin / I'll make a lampshade of durable skin...