Thursday, July 17, 2014

Who 'grabs' a coffee? Unbelievable. He thinks he's on ER.

Hola! It's Thursday and I've been having a stressful week. Ugh. I have Kate Bush on the stereo now, though, and Nic and I are going out for dinner tonight with our friend Lauren so, in the words of Kate... wowowowowowowowowowWOW... unbelievable! Or something.

I have a new dress to post about today but before I do, I'm going to interrupt with news about a fabric sale. My friends at the awesome shop Berylune have been stocking a small selection of Cloud 9 fabrics for the last few months, and at the end of the month they're planning on having a summer sale to make room for a new fabric order. The sale isn't starting in the store until Saturday 26th July, but the girls have offered readers of this blog an online pre-sale starting today.

As I said, there's a small selection of fabric available here, and if you use the discount code DOLLYSALE you'll get 35% off your order. You could buy the gorgeous Blossom Festival by Rashida Coleman-Hale, for example - I made this dress with it:

Aoibhneas na Bealtaine dress

I've not been paid to advertise this sale, and I'm not getting a cut of the sales, or anything - this is not a sponsored post! The ladies at Berylune are good friends, and these fabrics are pretty sweet, so I'm pretty excited about this discount code. Happy shopping, folks!

Anyway, back to dresses. Or at least, dresses you haven't seen before. After feeling a little bit meh about that Vogue V8998 I made at the John Lewis Sewing Bee, I thought I'd go back to the pattern. I have actually worn the Darkness Falls dress a few times since I blogged about it and I like it a bit more now, but I still wanted to try the pattern out again at my own pace. I had bought some more beautiful African wax cotton - this time from A-Z Fabrics on the Goldhawk Road - and it seemed like a good match.

Ankara dress - Vogue V8998 bodice with skirt from Gather Mortmain dress, worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon shoes and vintage wicker bag

I bought this fabric when I went to Goldhawk Road with Sarah and Char after I came back from Paris. I was just in a wax fabric place, I think. There were a few different colourways to choose from in this print, but I loved the way the royal blue and orange looked together so I bought four metres. I mean, afterwards I couldn't stop thinking about one of the other colourways so I bought that too, but this is the one that really grabbed me. I prewashed the fabric which was a good idea because the dye ran a fuckload - unfortunately ruining some other fabric that was in the machine along with it. But that's okay. It's only fabric.

I bought the four metres in two two-metre pieces so I subbed in the pleated skirt from the Mortmain dress instead of any of the skirt options available with this dress. It's pretty fabric-hungry! I think they're a good match and I was able to get this dress out of one of the two-metre pieces. I made the same adjustments to the bodice as I did for the Darkness Falls dress and lined the bodice only with white cotton lawn.

Bodice Dorp. Hey there, Starry Boobs!

I sewed this dress one evening when Nic was out, and it was pretty quick to come together. The wax cotton was really nice to sew with - it has a fair bit of body to it, even more so than the stuff I bought in Paris, but this means it's easy to press and very easy to work with. I used an orange zip and some orange bias binding to finish it. Just for the craic, like.

Dress innards

I didn't line the waistband - um, not sure why, actually - so I used some bias binding to finish the seam. And, as you can see, I used bias binding to hem the skirt. I did briefly consider using it on the outside of the dress but it seemed like there would be just too much going on if I did. Like, this fabric is loud enough.

Back view. I don't hate this photo. Yay! Also I didn't show you the scoop back the last time I made this pattern so, now you know. You might be able to see that the zip doesn't match exactly at the top but it's only slight. I was more concerned about matching the waist seam, which always feels a bit trickier with an inset waistband like this.

Now, the only issue I have with this dress is that I don't have orange shoes. I never thought orange shoes would be something I might need. Also I don't have an orange cardigan, which, ditto. That said, I think that as the weather gets cooler I'll be able to wear this with black accessories - god, maybe even opaque tights in the winter. Ugh, I hate thinking about tights. I might still look for a cute orange cardigan - although, does something like that even exist?!

So yeah, that's the Ankara dress. I'm pretty pleased with it, even if finding accessories for it might be a bit of a challenge - I mean, it is pretty unlikely that I am actually going to buy orange shoes to go with it. I really love the print, though, and apart from some slight wrinkling going on there under the bust I'm very happy with the fit. I just need to work out what to make from the other two metres I have of this fabric. Shit. Maybe I should buy some orange shoes.

I certainly like this pattern a lot more now than I did when I initially sewed with it. I've since made another one of the versions - it's currently hanging up, waiting to be photographed - and I think this pattern has a lot of potential. It's certainly made me more willing to give Vogue Patterns a try - maybe not some of the truly hideous ones that Lladybird blogged about yesterday. I don't especially want to end up looking like a refugee from the video for Walking On Broken Glass by Annie Lennox - but there's definitely potential in some of the designs.

John Malcovitch, you dog

I find it somewhat hard to believe that Hugh Laurie has the blues.

All right. I have stuff to do (ironing, mainly. Yuck) so I'm going to say goodbye. Catch you on the flippity flip!