Sunday, September 18, 2016

Lemon, you look terrible, and I once watched you eat oysters while you had a cold.

Hello strangers! Remember me?! I took a little blogging break there because we went on holiday and, when we got back, went basically immediately away again (to London and Kent). Mainly though, I haven't been feeling it. This is partly because I'm going through one of those 'I hate my face', it happens from time to time - it's hard to blog when I hate every photo of me! I'm not saying this for compliments...rationally I know that I look fine (although I need a haircut) because I look okay in the mirror, but photos of me are just making me go, 'ew', you know?

AAAANYWAY. I think this is maybe partly end-of-summer malaise and largely some Ben Affleck-style beer bloat after a pretty indulgent summer. It will pass. I just have to power through it. And it's been worth it, because it's been a good summer. Our little holiday to Amsterdam was absolutely brilliant. It's an amazing city and I'm really looking forward to going back there again at some point soon. We were staying in a fantastic airbnb apartment in West Amsterdam, in a neighbourhood formerly called De Baarsjes, which was full of the most beautiful Amsterdam School architecture.

Jeruzalemkerk on Jan Maijenstraat in De Baarsjes

We were able to do lots of walking, as Amsterdam is a very compact and pedestrian-friendly city. The weather was beautiful - sunny but not too hot, so perfect for sightseeing. I did a little bit of fabric shopping - we visited the fabric market in Utrecht on the Saturday and I also bought some fabric from the markets at Albert Cuypstraat in De Pijp and Noordermarkt in De Jordaan. Nic bought some records and we also came home with some Dutch beer and chocolate, as well as a few packets of stroopwafels, so it was a successful trip all around!

Being in the Netherlands, I was keen to find some Dutch wax fabric. I struck out at the market in Utrecht, but I found some at both Albert Cuypmarkt and at the Noordermarkt. I had a little time one afternoon this week to do some sewing and decided to have a go at a new pattern - Threadcount 1610, which came with Simply Sewing mazagine earlier this year. 

The pattern sizes - which you might be able to see from the photo - come in XS-XL, a bit like some RTW dresses I guess. There are finished garment measurements provided, which put me into a size M. My previous experience with a Threadcount pattern made me wary of this so I did a very quick bodice toile of the size S...which still came up pretty big, so I ended up sewing a size XS with a little bit taken out of the front princess seams. 

Jannie dress - Threadcount 1610 with a box-pleated skirt in wax-print cotton, worn with Swedish hasbeens Kringlan sandals

The other adjustments I made to this pattern were to line the bodice rather than use facings, shorten the bodice by half an inch, leave off the cap sleeves...and to sew a box-pleated skirt rather than the darted, gathered skirt that is part of the pattern. It seems pretty cute but I wasn't sure I'd have enough fabric, as I had only two metres of this cotton and it's quite narrow. 

I have mixed feelings about the finished dress. I love the fabric and although it's quite obnoxiously bright, I think I'll be able to wear this dress into the autumn with navy or even pink tights. It's comfortable and it fits nicely through the back. I just think it's a little unflattering. Like, it makes me look quite wide? 

If I were to make this pattern again, I would definitely lower the neckline by about an inch. I'd also probably deepen the dip in the's a little shallow and I think it would look better if I dipped it more - if it were closer to the depth of the Kim bodice I think it would be much more flattering overall.

With those criticisms aside, the dress is fine and I think I'll wear it. It looks less boxy under a cardigan and, like I say, the fabric is cute. You can't win them all, can you?!

BUTTTTTT almost any outfit looks better when accessorised with my new necklace from Tatty Devine, which was waiting for me when I got home from Amsterdam:

It's a little sewing machine! You can't really tell from this photo, but it has real thread wound around the spool and through the needle. I love it. You can also get a sewing box and a pair of pinking shears...which I'll probably treat myself to for my birthday next week. 

And that's all the craic from me for this evening...I'll be back soon, I hope, with a fresh haircut and in better form. But probably still with that necklace on, because come on. It's amazing. Catch you later!