Sunday, February 07, 2016

Okay, here's a little bedroom tip. Put a bag of popcorn in the microwave beforehand. That way, when you're done, you have a treat.

Afternoon, everyone! Remember me?! I ended up taking a bit of a blogging break after my last post - I was a bit burnt out by January madness at work and I ended up getting sick. But I'm back now: back and badder than ever! It's not that I have had a bad start to the year - far from it - but January was full of all-day meetings lasting for multiple days, pressing work deadlines, hotel stays in London and busy weekends. I'm glad that it's over and that spring is edging ever closer!

I did manage to see January out in style, however. Our good friend Rick's parents invited us and some other friends to spend the last weekend of January with them in Saddleworth so that we could visit The Old Bell Inn: a pub that has broken the Guinness World Record for the number of gins on its menu - an astonishing 600 different gins. When Rick's parents invited us to visit, I was naturally pretty keen:


Here's me and Lauren with one of the pub's three walls of gins. We were very well looked after by Sam, the gin expert barman. I tried four different gins, Nic tried five... and, well, I couldn't keep track of what everyone else tried, but there were definitely happy faces around the table.

This was my last gin of the day - Two Birds Cocktail Gin with tonic, lime and strawberries. It was very good but not my favourite. Both the name and the garnish matched my dress, though!

It was a wonderful treat to end an intense month. This weekend I have been celebrating the end of all-day meeting season (I had another week of all-day meetings this past week, you see) It hasn't been as Juniper-based: just Nic and I going to Birmingham to have lunch in Bistro 1847 and see a film in the Everyman cinema. Good times!

I have been fitting in some sewing where I can - mainly trying to sew the fabric that I am more inclined to buy when I am tired or stressed. This dress is the product of fabric such as this, bought in a weak moment when looking at the Village Haberdashery's instragram feed:

Nope Octopus dress - Sew Over It vintage shirt dress, worn with Irregular Choice Oz shoes

The fabric is Bluebird by Cotton and Steel, and it is fabulous. It's my first Cotton and Steel fabric and it will not be my last. The quality and drape is beautiful and it was wonderful to work with. Also. OCTOPUS. I didn't buy it with the intention of making another Sew Over It shirt dress, but as I was so happy with my last one, it seemed like a good pairing.

As with the Brownstone dress, I lengthened the skirt on this dress by two inches and I left the side seams to the last. I needed a bit more ease with this one, possibly because the fabric doesn't have the same loose weave of the barkcloth. This was an easier dress to make - the collar behaves itself better, not being quite as bulky - and I sewed most of it while Nic and I watched an episode of Rebus

I figured out the button placement myself and I could have done a slightly better job but, eh, I'm still very happy with this dress. When you're covered with octopuses, worrying about buttons seems a little bit foolish.

It's sadly a little bit too cold to wear this dress right now - I took advantage of a brief window of sunshine earlier this afternoon to get some photos of it (right now, as I am writing, the wind is howling and the rain is blowing sideways outside) but it will keep beautifully until spring. Practicality be damned: when I made this dress I wanted to sew for spring!

The weather really is shocking at the moment. Yesterday in Birmingham a freak gust of wind - forced between tall buildings and underneath a flyover - broke my umbrella and almost lifted me off my feet. It was horrible and it isn't much better now. I have to go out later and the weather got me like

Time now to huddle under a blanket, start balefully out the window at the rain and watch an episode of Law & Order. See you later!