Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Question 17 was the three part question. The answers were Blue Peter, Wheel of Fortune and This Morning.

Hello dudes, me again, here to bring a little bit of excitement to your lives. I'm good that way. I hope this Tuesday afternoon finds you well. I'm grand - I got to spend the weekend doing some of my favourite things - drinking champagne, sewing, hanging out with friends and teaching.

So I'm back to show you another project that was completed a while ago. Try not to be too shocked, guys, it's another Christine Haynes Emery dress. I know. One of the things I really like about this pattern is how the simple lines mean it is a great canvas to allow gorgeous fabric to shine. So, when I found my perfect anchor print fabric, I knew it had to become an Emery dress.

Anchor print fabric from the Bartholomeow's Reef collection from Moda

And this fabric really IS the perfect anchor print. I squealed a bit when Annie from The Village Haberdashery put a picture of it on instagram, and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I bought some straightaway. It's one of those prints I feel like I've been searching for ever since I started sewing. I have this beautiful anchor print dress from Vivien of Holloway, and basically I've been wanting to make a more everyday-friendly version of this.

Because gorgeous as it is, a halterneck dress with a boned bodice isn't the most casual of dresses (mind you, I have worn this dress to work in the past - with a cardigan on - but it's not hugely practical, even for me) This moda cotton looked like a perfect casual alternative, and it proved to be even more lovely when it arrived. It's technically a quilting cotton, but it has the softness and drape of a really soft chambray, so it's perfect for dressmaking.

Hand Over Hand dress - Christine Haynes Emery dress, worn with Office 'Love Me Tender' shoes

Nothing new to say about the construction of the Emery dress. I'm now sewing a size 2, with the only fit modification being that I ever so slightly increase the width of the darts at the back neckline. I omitted the pockets and used a gathered rectangle for the skirt rather than the skirt pattern pieces. For this dress I wanted to go a little bit shorter than usual as it's nice to get the old knees out in the summer! Oh, and I used a lapped zip rather than a concealed one in this dress - for no other reason than that's what I felt like sewing at the time.

I really, REALLY love this dress and I have worn it so many times since sewing it. It's cute and comfortable and I feel really good in it. I brought it with me to Paris and wore it for a day in Montmartre and an evening exploring the 9th arrondissement.

One of the things that Nic and I were keen to do on this last visit to Paris was to explore as much as we could on foot, and as the 9th arrondissement was within easy walking distance of our flat - just across the Boulevard de Clichy, really, we spent lots of happy hours wandering around the area. Nic read an article written by a Brooklyn hipster who had relocated to Paris which lamented that hipsters had ruined Pigalle - basically saying that people like him had made it easier to find kale in the 9th than prostitutes. Hm. I don't know how true that is, but I thought Pigalle was really cool. Nic and I found some very cool book and record shops - in one of the record shops I bought a 45 of Anthony Perkins singing French chansons, in French. It's weird and awesome, and ol' Norman Bates actually has a lovely voice.

Here I am in Pigalle, wearing my dress with a Hell Bunny cardigan and Miss L Fire sandals

We spent a happy evening drinking in two really cool bars, both on Rue Frochot. The first one, Dirty Dick, is a Tiki bar. I suspect that if you went on a weekend evening you'd have trouble getting in, but on the weeknight when we were there it was quiet and the service was wonderful. I wish I'd taken more photos of the interior of the bar - the Tiki theme is not faint-hearted, from the bamboo furniture to the lampshades made from puffer fish! The barman was English and once he found out that Nic and I were on honeymoon, he treated us to complimentary shots of rum that had been aged in cognac barrels. The cocktails were expensive but delicious, and served up in really fun ways - in Tiki god glasses with flaming sugar cubes in boats made from passionfruit skins!

Rue Frochot

Nic with a flaming drink

All I'm saying is, I wouldn't mind having this mural in my house.

After a couple of drinks we moved across the road to Glass, which was absolutely tiny and really, really cool. I had a negroni, which is their signature drink, while Nic drank boilermakers. I'm sad I can't actually say more about Glass other than it was one of the coolest bars I've been to without feeling like it was exclusive or cliquey - but we passed a happy couple of hours people watching, chatting and listening to the ambient electronica that the DJ was playing. It was brilliant, and it made me long for somewhere similar in Leamington. I suppose I'll just have to go back to Paris.

Inside Glass on Rue Frochot

I have also worn this dress to drink cocktails in a capital city on another, separate occasion! I wore this dress to London on 13th June to go shopping with Sarah and Char and to meet Christine Haynes herself at Ray Stitch. I'd actually already briefly met the lovely Christine, quite by accident, when Nic and I ran into her and her partner on Boulevard de Magenta!

With Christine Haynes on Boulevard de Magenta!

It was such a lovely surprise to bump into Christine in France, but even better to have the chance to meet her properly and chat to her at the Ray Stitch party. I was too busy drinking cocktails and chatting shit to people to actually take any photos, so I'm stealing this one from Christine's blog...

With Christine, Sarah and Char - all in Emery dresses!

So - you know sometimes when you finish a dress and you love it, but then you don't find ways to wear it? Clearly not at all the case here with this dress. In fact, writing about it has made me want to wear it again so I might very well wear it to work tomorrow now. Sadly, I don't think drinking cocktails in it will be an option in that setting, but you can't have everything. In fairness, my job is mad enough without throwing alcohol into the mix! Now, I have the flat to myself this evening as Nic is out at a gig so I am going to take advantage of the peace and quiet and catch up with some trashy television (Law and Order, most probably) and do some sewing. More Paris photos to follow soon, though, so catch you all later!
One last photo because I love my dress. Not sorry.