Thursday, December 03, 2015

They have horse riding as well. I remember I did it last year. Well it wasn't really a horse, it was actually this oul fella. He couldn't go very fast so I had to hit him with the whip a few times.

Hello everyone! Happy December! I'm full of germs this week and feeling a bit sorry for myself: it's been a somewhat challenging week at work. It's always like that at this time of the year and, in fact, it's better than it has been in past years, so I'm trying to keep perspective on everything. What has been helping when dealing with stressful situations is keeping very quiet and trying to imagine what Scully's face would be doing if she were sitting in my place. It's generally something like this:

I swear, Scully's disdainful expressions have been giving me life lately. It genuinely helps me to hold onto my sanity when dealing with very annoying situations. Nic and I are off to Northern Ireland tonight for a long weekend with my family, which will also help. Nephew cuddles FTW! I don't have many work days left until I break up for Christmas, so I am holding onto that thought too.

That's the craic with me anyway. As I said in my last post, I have a bit of a backlog of sewing projects to share with you guys, so here is a dress I made a few weeks ago when I had a little sewing weekend to myself. At the end of October, when I met up with some sewing ladies on Goldhawk Road, I bought some lovely wax cotton:

As you know by now, I find wax cotton hard to resist and this was no exception. Look at the little horses' faces! I let this sit around for a little while as I tried to decide what to do with it, and then I took a notion for another Vogue V8998. So that's what I made!

My Lovely Horse dress - Vogue V8998 in wax print cotton, worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon bow shoes

I first made this dress in June 2014, when I took part in a sewing day at John Lewis. Because we were working to a time limit, I cut the pattern rather than tracing it. Well, to be fair, I would usually cut one of the big 4 patterns anyway. So anyway, on that day I made this dress:

Darkness Falls dress - made in June 2014

I've worn this dress lots of times since then - I love it. However, I have lost weight and changed shape slightly since then, so I had to do a little bit of butchering on my already-cut pattern pieces. I started by shortening the bodice along the shorten lines. I increased the seam allowance on the princess seams around the bust by another 5/8 of an inch. I sewed the side seams with a 1 inch seam allowance, and I shortened the straps. The overall fit was much better, but still not totally perfect. It's as near as dammit though, and I love the finished dress:

As I said - the fit isn't perfect - you can see a little bit of wrinkling under the bust and a little bit of wrinkling on the princess seams. I think I should have been less aggressive in increasing the seam allowance across the bust as I think this is what is causing the wrinkling. However, both of these things are less of an issue in real life than they appear to be in the photo. The day after I made this dress, I made another one out of a different wax cotton and I tinkered with the fit a little bit more. You'll have to wait to see that, though!

The skirt has six panels, and I really like the way it is gathered at the sides only - it gives the skirt volume and shape without adding any bulk around the stomach. I didn't attempt to pattern match across those seams - the horses run fairly regularly across the print, but in different directions, so it already looks fairly random. I like it. Of course I made sure to have a horse dancing across my bust because if you don't have a novelty boob area on a novelty print dress, what even is the point?!

Forgive my derp back and the wrinkling on the skirt from sitting on it, but one of the things I really like about this pattern is the lovely scooped back. I think it's really pretty.

I wore this dress last week - on actually the last vaguely sunny day I can remember us having - with my red Agatha cardigan. I managed not to spill coffee on it. From what I can recall, it was a good day! The weather has been very mild - at times almost warm - over the last couple of weeks, but I'm sure this dress will work well with black or red tights when the temperatures drop. That's about as close as I get to cold-weather sewing.

At first when I saw the print, it reminded me of Invicta, the white horse of Kent. Nic is a Man of Kent, coming from East Kent (if you come from west of the Medway, you're a Kentish Man), so the print to me is nicely symbolic of where he comes from. But mainly, it spoke to me of where I come from, and of an important part of my cultural heritage:

My lovely horse
Running through the fields
Where are you going with your fetlocks blowing in the wind?
I want to shower you with sugar lumps
and ride you over fences
I want to polish your hooves every single day
and bring you to the horse dentist
My lovely horse
You're a pony no more
Running around with a man on your back
Like a train in the night, yeah
Like a train in the night

We have to lose that sax solo!

So anyway that's the craic there. Now I need to go and pack. I have a flight to catch. Bye!