Friday, April 22, 2016

And though washing one's hands twenty to thirty times a day would be considered obsessive/compulsive, please bear in mind that your husband is a coroner. Thank you for your call, Janine.

Evening boys and girls. Happy Friday! I am very happy to have reached Friday. This week didn't get off to a brilliant start and it took a rapid nosedive at around Wednesday lunchtime. Something went wrong at work in a pretty major way and it has been stressful as shit. It's not over yet, either. Things are in place to address the issue, but it's going to get worse before it's over. As ever, I'm very grateful for the people that I work with and even more so for Nic, who has kept me sane.

So, yeah. It's been a pretty shitty week. All things considered, it could have been a lot worse, though. This weekend will be eased with a gift that Nic bought on Monday to thank me for looking after him after his accident last week:

Celebrating surviving a bad week isn't as good as celebrating something actually good, but I'll take it.

So, onto something positive. I haven't had the time or the mental energy for anything other than work this week, but I am still sewing faster than I can blog. Here's something I made on my long Easter weekend and - prepare yourself, lads - it's a pattern that I haven't sewed before!

I didn't buy Tilly's book Love At First Stitch when it came out. I don't really sew things from sewing books, you see. I ended up giving away my Colette book and my copy of Gertie's first book. However, I was flicking through a copy of it one day in a bookshop and was drawn to the Megan dress pattern. Specifically, I was drawn to the combination of the high-waisted skirt and the cute tucks on the bodice. My friend Amy lent me her copy and I was able to have a little go at it.

Chateau Rouge dress - Tilly and the Buttons Megan dress in wax cotton, worn with Swedish hasbeens braided sandals

My measurements suggested that I should sew a size 2, so I traced that and did a quick toile of the bodice. I thought I might have to shorten it, but as the lines of the dress mean that the bodice is short anyway, this wasn't an issue, so I went on ahead and cut into my fabric. 

The fabric is a wax cotton that I bought last summer in Paris. It came on the bolt, rather than in a pre-cut length and I bought it from Moline in the Marche St. Pierre. I think it was around six euro a metre and I bought two. I like it a lot but wasn't overly attached to it - it seemed like the perfect candidate for a wearable toile. Although I was sure that the dress would broadly fit, I wanted to test the wearability of it - as it's a bit outside of my usual style, I wanted to make sure that it's a dress that I would wear!

The fit is fairly good, but not perfect. I'm happy with it in terms of size but I think the bodice needs a little bit of work. There was some gaping at the back neckline, which I addressed by tapering the zip in from a larger seam allowance at the top to a 5/8 seam allowance everywhere else. The neckline is still standing up a bit on my shoulders, which I think would be easy enough to fix. I didn't get a photo of the back of the dress, but the back bodice is a fraction long so I might think about a swayback adjustment. Well. I will definitely think about it. I will almost certainly not do it, because it's only a fraction long. Part of me wants to bring the dress in a tiny bit at the waist - it's looser there than my usual style but I won't, because that's how this dress should look.

As experiments go, I didn't take a massive risk, like, but I'm very happy with the dress. I think this style works much better with the fabric than the full-skirted dress I had in mind when I bought the fabric and I have worn the dress multiple times since I made it. Nic loves it and, interestingly, he loves the one bit that I'm still not sure about - the gathered sleeve caps:

I also had a haircut the day I made this dress so I was feeling pretty cute.

Nic thinks that they look cute and retro, and I think he's right - but I have been flip-flopping on them and also think that they look a bit extreme on me! But they haven't put me off the dress, and anyway, it would be easy to remove the ease from the sleeve caps so that the head was a bit flatter.

All in all, I like this pattern a lot. I didn't really look at the instructions in the book so I can't speak to their quality but this dress came together with no issues. It's unlined, so it was a nice quick make, and I am really taken with the bodice tucks. You can't see them in this busy fabric, but they give the bodice a really lovely softly structured shape. I think it's a gorgeous detail. 

I've since made a modified Megan dress, inspired by this dress that I tried on in Cath Kidston. The dress itself was not for me - it had ridiculously tight sleeves and the fabric was sort of horrible - but it had tucks on the bodice and a pleated skirt. I messed around with the Megan bodice a bit and had a go at making my own... I haven't got proper photos of it yet, but here's a little preview:

Proper photos to follow, along with a blog post at some point. Probably!

So, yeah. I think it's good. I've always thought that Tilly's patterns aren't my style and - well, mostly they're not. I might be the only sewing blogger out there not to have made a Coco dress or top and I'm fine with that. But I really like the design details on the Megan dress, so it was certainly worth a punt.

So that's the craic there. Now I need to go and put some pizza in the oven and the champagne in the ice bucket and get this weekend started. Have a good one, everyone!