Sunday, February 14, 2016

I'm Jeff Goldblum in 'The Fly'

Hello! Happy Valentine's Day, if that's your thing. It's not really mine, or Nic's - although we did drink champagne last night. Although it's not like we ever really need an excuse to drink champagne. Today we got out into the cold sunshine and had a long walk through some muddy fields and a drink in one of our favourite pubs. It's been a really good day and a lovely weekend too. It's very cold, but the sky has been blue and it feels like spring won't be long in arriving.

This weekend I've managed to fit in some sewing and, because of the aforementioned sunshine, I've been able to get some photos of completed projects. Here is one that I made last week - a dress from a pattern that came free with Love Sewing magazine - Thread Count 1501. I've never sewed from any of the Simple Sew patterns that come with Love Sewing magazine, mainly because I had issues with the one pattern I sewed from their sister company, Eliza M patterns. Anyway - I was intrigued enough by the Dior dart on the bodice of the Thread Count dress to buy the magazine. The paper copy that came with the magazine was not in my size range but it was enough to convince me that this could be a quality pattern so I broke my no PDF pattern rule (I fucking hate taping that shit together, you guys) and downloaded the smaller size range. Look, I still hated taping it together, but I think it was worth it - or at least, it will be once I work at it a little bit:

Gin Soaked Girl dress - Thread Count 1501 in digital rose print cotton sateen, worn with Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Lady Dragon heart shoes

So, okay, I didn't use use the skirt pieces that come with the pattern - mainly because, you know, fuck taping together PDF pieces for a full skirt when I have lots of other skirt patterns that will work. That skirt looks cute and all, but no. 

I didn't follow the instructions that came with this pattern, so I can't give you a full review of those, although I did skim read them. They seemed to make sense and are more along the lines of what you would find in a Simplicity pattern than an indie - which is grand for me, I like Simplicity patterns, but also I knew what I was doing when it came to putting the bodice together. One gripe I had was that it seemed a bit difficult to find the finished garment measurements, and this is what I usually work from when choosing what size to sew. The bodice, helpfully, has different options for different cup sizes and finished garment measurements are provided for these but I couldn't find them for the waist measurement. I ended up sewing the size 10 with the smaller cup size and a quick toile indicated that this would be okay. And this is okay, but it's not quite right, so I think I need to rethink which size to go for.

Here's the bodice. It's actually hard to see in this photo, but I have a bit of excess fabric under my bust and under my arms. I think that I possibly need to take a bit of the ease out of the back of the armscye that is there for this pattern's sleeves - there are sleeved and sleeveless options, but there aren't separate cutting lines for a sleeveless bodice. I'm also wondering if I need to sew the size 8 bodice in the next cup size up. Or, what might be better is to take a little bit of excess out of the princess seams at the front and out of the seam allowance at the side.

And here it is from the back, where the fit doesn't seem so bad! Oh, I should probably say that I shortened the bodice by about an inch and a half.

Basically, I think I need to toile the bodice again - the other thing that is making it difficult for me to establish what I need to do is the knowledge that stretch cotton sateen - as this fabric is - fits differently to non-stretch cotton. But anyway - I'll get around to that at some point. It's not going to stop me from wearing this particular dress.

While I might be aware of the fit issues, which I think make me look kind of rectangular, the fabric is so bright and cheerful and fabulous that I will wear the dress anyway. Nic loves it - he told me that he thinks it's the coolest dress that I've made for a while - and this is because of the fabric. If the fabric looks familiar, it may be that you saw it on Marie, who made a beautiful Belladone dress from it. I was shopping with Marie when she bought her fabric and, about a year later, she was with me when I bought mine! I'm emotional about fabric and this print is full of happy memories of a good - if somewhat hungover from gin - day out with friends. 

I was listening to The Divine Comedy while sewing and that, coupled with the memory of a gin and prosecco-based hangover that only halloumi sandwiches could chase away is what inspired the name for this dress:

That's a very underrated song, I think. And Neil Hannon has been my number one crush since I was about 14, and I still would. If anything, I think he's improved with age. Luckily for me, Nic understands. 

So, that is the craic there. A qualified success, I would say, but a success all the same as I have ended up with a pretty dress that I will quite happily drink gin and get up to mischief in. Sure, isn't that the whole point?

Now, it's Sunday night and Nic has the dinner on (we're making white bean and lentil burgers and sweet potato fries from the Thug Kitchen cookbook - I'm fucking excited) so I'm away here. A happy Anna Howard Shaw Day to us all!