Saturday, December 26, 2015

I mean, one does not pick dahlias and chrysanthemums in an alpine meadow.

Hello! Happy Christmas, everyone! I hope that you've all been having a festive and restful holiday period. I was very busy in the lead-up to Christmas at work and with social commitments and, as soon as work was finished, Nic and I headed down to Kent to spend a few days with his family. That was really lovely, but it was excellent to get back to Leamington and to my own bed so that the break could really start. At this time last year I was stressed out to the max, suffering from insomnia and getting over alcohol poisoning... this year has been a breeze by contrast!

Nic and I spent yesterday chilling out at home together, which was lovely. We went out for a walk at lunchtime and I made my first ever Christmas Day visit to the pub! The pubs are closed in Ireland on Christmas Day, so it's something I've never done until now - we tried last year but didn't manage it! Anyway, it was very festive indeed:

Yes, that is Darth Vader on top of the Christmas tree!

This afternoon, we're going up to our friends' house for vegetarian pie, trifle and a Father Ted marathon. Hurrah!

I didn't manage to get around to making a new dress to wear for Christmas so instead I wore my (yet to be blogged) blue Chuck sweater and Beeswing dress. This is mainly because I was away a lot in December, so hopefully I'll be able to make myself a fun dress to wear on New Year's Eve. I did make a Christmas party dress (also yet to be blogged) and, on Tuesday, I sewed a dress to wear to a party that Nic and I had been invited to on Wednesday. I hadn't planned to make something special for it but it was a cocktail party and, at the Sewists' Christmas Party arranged by Karen, my secret santa had given me an eerily appropriate gift:


So, on Tuesday afternoon I set about making myself a dress to wear to the party on Wednesday. I knew that the By Hand London Kim dress was a quick dress to make and fun to wear, so that's what I did:

Number 9 dress - By Hand London Kim dress worn with Irregular Choice shoes

So this dress is really cute and everything, but I have to be upfront and say I really hate all of these photos! It's partly the length of the dress - I think it would be more flattering about an inch shorter - but also, the cold grey light of December and my very Irish skin is like HELLO PASTY. Ah well. The shortest day is past us. It'll be spring soon.

Not too much to say about the dress itself. I lined the bodice with black poplin and I made Mrs C's adjustment to the bodice. I think that I still need to shorten the bodice by a fraction - maybe by an inch - but for a novelty dress I'm happy with the fit of the bodice.

The party we had been invited to was in Birmingham and, on the train journey over, Nic and I tried to figure out as many of the cocktails as we could. We could see a martini, a cosmopolitan, a margarita, a mojito and a glass of red wine... I fell down when it came to the brightly coloured ones with fruit hanging out as that's not really my area, but I guess one of them is also maybe a pina colada. I named it after a cocktail that isn't on the dress - the Number 9:

I don't think this is an official cocktail recipe but it was my favourite drink in Le Commerce when we were in Paris. In a wine glass, pour a measure of dry gin, a measure of St Germain and the juice of a whole lime over some ice cubes. Top up with some soda water and garnish with two slices of fresh ginger. I made it the other night with Brockmans Berry gin to give it a festive flavour, but it's really best with a good dry London gin such as Tanqueray or Four Pillars Navy Strength. 

I did try to get a shot of the dress in action on the night. I failed due to lighting, but also due to the fact that I am quite crap at selfies. So, you'll just have to imagine me drinking cocktails in this dress. It was a very lovely party and I was quite restrained - you have to be when you know you have to catch the last train home - and as my fellow guests seemed quite impressed by my themed outfit I didn't feel like too much of a twat. So that was good.

So anyway, that's the craic there with the dress. I'm still on holiday until 4th January (woo-hoo!) and now I should have some time to do some crafting before going back to work. The loose plan is also to blog some of the backlog of projects before the year finishes... but, eh, let's see how that goes! Now it's time to get dressed so that I can go and eat some pie. Happy Christmas, everyone!