Wednesday, November 05, 2014

They say that some of his ears are inside his head and when he yawns it sounds like Liam Neeson chasing a load of hens around inside a barrel.

Ah, hello! It's Bonfire night and...well, I'm not out looking at fireworks or eating toffee apples or baked potatoes, or whatever it is people do on Bonfire Night. It's not really a thing in Northern Ireland and, in my thirteen years living in England, I've never really been able to get into it. It might be partly down to the fact that I'm a great big wuss when it comes to flames of any kind. I swear that the reason I've never been a smoker is that I can't even light a match. I know. So lame.

But anyway. I'm fine with all of the above because I've had a long and reasonably stressful day at work, so putting my pyjamas on and drinking gin is ticking a lot of boxes for me right now. I'm also going to have an early night and watch Nashville, which Nic and I just got into a few weeks ago. I know, so behind the curve, but we're both really enjoying it. It's like a combination of Treme and The OC - with Powers Boothe being evil, Luke from The OC as a gay cowboy country singer and an absolutely killer soundtrack. Also, to quote every tumblr ever: OMG CONNIE BRITTON'S HURR THOOOOOOGH

I mean, fair enough. I'm finding it hard to look at your face too, Connie, because omghair etc.

So that's where I'm up to with my week. If I want to get to bed to watch Nashville I need to crack on with this post, right?

I do love trashy TV though, and a recent favourite has been NBC's Hannibal. I watched The Silence of the Lambs at an impressionable age - I think I was 12, maybe - and quickly thereafter read the book, and I have been a Hannibal Lecter fan ever since. I'm not so keen on any of the other films (and I will never have any interest in watching Hannibal Rising) but I quickly became hooked on the stylish, funny and very silly Bryan Fuller show. Also, Mads Mikkelsen. HELLO.

Sharp suit there boss

A few weeks ago Annie from The Village Haberdashery emailed me and offered to send me my choice of fabric from the shop to, as she put it, sponsor a dress. I was more than happy to oblige - the odd freebie never hurt anyone and as I have very happily shopped with The Village Haberdashery in the past, I'm happy to recommend them. I spent a happy half-hour browsing the site and went for this beautiful Echino Decoro Stag fabric in red. Due to my love of Hannibal, I've been after a stag-themed fabric for a while, and this fit the bill beautifully. Also, lookit how cute the little stags are!

Annie sent me two metres of this fabric. It's cotton with a beautifully soft and slinky hand to it - it's a bit weightier than a lawn but just as suitable for garments. Because of the chevron print and the very pretty little stags, I decided to sew a Christine Haynes Emery dress again. I'm sure it hasn't escaped your notice that I love this pattern but it really is a great canvas for a pretty print such as this. 

So anyway, here's the finished dress:

Hannibal dress - Christine Haynes Emery dress in Echino cotton*, worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon shoes

I wore this outfit on Saturday to have coffee and cake with Sarah and it was still (almost!) mild enough to go bare-legged and in open-toed sandals. I have lots of red shoes but I must admit that, given the subject matter in Hannibal, I was really tickled by the idea of wearing these grotesque lip shoes with a dress named after pop culture's most famous cannibal. Small things amuse small minds, I suppose.

I don't have anything to add to the many hundreds of words I have already written about Emery and I have my fitting tweaks down to a fine art now. I did have enough fabric to make short sleeves but, as you can see, I decided not to. I thought that going to the effort to pattern match sleeves on a dress that I'll mostly wear a cardigan with was kind of a wasted effort. I did pattern match the back pieces though because even I could see it would be a hot mess if I didn't!

LOOK AT THAT! It's not completely perfect but it's damn close, and that's good enough for me. It was enough that, when I tried the dress on to show it to Nic, he exclaimed, "The pattern matching across the back is SO COOL!" which: 100 points to you, dude and also, success! I have to tell you though - I find pattern matching to be really tedious. I faffed around for ages when I was cutting the fabric out to get it right. Like, as if cutting out fabric isn't tedious enough. So, I'll do it when I can with something like this but it's not ever going to be something I'm anal about.

That also tells me that if I ever need to have wallpapering done, I need to call in the experts.

Here's a little closeup of the bodice - you know, because I usually do that.

I didn't take any photos of the inside of this dress but I lined the bodice with cotton lawn and I hand-stitched the hem. On such a busy print, a top-stitched hem wouldn't been all that visible and it would have saved me time. I really enjoy hand-sewing hems, though. It's nice to sit with a glass of wine and a trashy DVD (are you sensing a theme, here? I love TV) and put the final finishing touches on a special dress by hand.

I've already worn this dress a few times since I made it last weekend. And it's good to know that I would have something suitable to wear should I ever get invited to dinner at Hannibal Lecter's house. Although, I'm a vegetarian so I might be the Freddie Lounds at the table:

Seriously. Nic and I spent so much time watching Hannibal saying one of two things. They were "OMG SHUT UP ALANA YOU SO BORING" and "Man, I'm glad to be a vegetarian." But I do enjoy all of the cookery scenes, all the same.

I'm kind of thinking I need to make a few more Hannibal Lecter themed dresses. So maybe a Clarice Starling dress with either horses or lambs on it. A Jame Gumb dress with small white dogs on or I could do a tuck-dance screen print. Actually, that's where my inspiration ends. Maybe I should leave it at the stags. Otherwise it's just mad, right?

Anyway, thank you again to The Village Haberdashery for the very generous gift of the fabric. Thank you for making my dream of owning a Hannibal Lecter dress come true. I hope that doesn't make you guys feel too weird.

Right. Finished. I can go and watch Nashville now. Night all!

Disclaimer: The Village Haberdashery provided me with two metres of this fabric for free. I wasn't otherwise compensated for this blog post and wasn't asked for a review. I definitely wasn't asked to talk for so long about my favourite fictional serial killer.