Wednesday, July 19, 2017

July 19th. On this day, Galway liberated from Indians, Marathon becomes Snickers and... ah ha, Ted! Ice Age ends!

Ah hello there! And how are we all on this fine July afternoon? I'm grand - I have a cup of tea (Earl Grey, hot), Hannibal on in the background (S2, which is mostly not great but, you know, Mads...) and  I'm feeling pretty relaxed generally, having just come back from five days in Edinburgh. Nic was at a conference over the weekend, so we decided to extend the trip on either side and have a little mini holiday out of it. Edinburgh was the first place we ever went on holiday together (in 2007) so it's always had a special place in our hearts, but we haven't been back there for almost nine years. It was so good to go back and fall in love with it all over again.

Me at Edinburgh castle, October 2007

Me and Greyfriars Bobby, July 2017. I don't think I've changed that much in the last ten years.

Work has been kind of crazy for us both, so having a few days away was really good. We were staying in the Old Town and we basically spent the days pottering around Edinburgh, taking in the sights. I met up with Franca and Helen for coffee on Sunday morning and tagged along to their sewing day to say hello to Kerry and Jens and I bought some fabric from Edinburgh Fabrics, but that was the limit of my crafty activities - well, as long as you don't count drinking craft beer.

So that's the craic with me. I haven't been sewing for a while because of work being crazy, so here is a dress that I made a couple of weeks ago. And it's from a totally new pattern, lads. I KNOW. The pattern in question is B6446:

Actually I'm not super keen on the pattern envelope - not even on the gingham version (it might be the shoes - I really dislike 'barely there' sandals for some reason) but something about this pattern got under my skin. I don't know why, to be quite honest - I have always had trouble with wrap or even wrap-front dresses. But, you know, the heart wants what it wants, so I ordered the pattern. Then the stars aligned - I saw an incredible version of this dress on Janet's instagram from fabric very similar to some that Pigeon Wishes was selling in her Etsy shop... a plan was coming together! A heads up - she sold out of this fabric almost immediately, but you may be able to find it somewhere else.

I knew that I'd need to make a bodice adjustment because I have a high waist and, with the wrap-style bodice, there's no lengthen/shorten lines marked. I made a bodice toile out of the envelope which showed that I had cut the correct size but that I would need to do a swayback adjustment, so that's what I did. I made a second toile to check that this adjustment worked and then I finally cut into my fabric. I'm really pleased with the finished dress:

Good God, Lemon dress - Butterick B6446 in lemon-print cotton poplin worn with yellow Swedish Hasbeens heart sandals

I made version B, but I shortened the skirt quite a bit and I obviously left off the fabric sash because I hate them. The pattern comes with pockets and I omitted those as well - I know pockets on clothes is a feminist issue, but I don't use them and I find them annoying. So there. 

I followed the instructions and the cutting layout, which is something I wouldn't normally always do. The bodice is lined, and the lining pieces for the bodice front are the same (that is to say, the lining of the pleated section is not pleated, but has a dart) and I wanted to make sure I had everything in the right place. The only slight issue I had was with fitting the skirt back pieces to the bodice back, which is possibly because I had incorrectly marked the pleats. It was very easy to fix so even if it is a drafting error rather than user error, it didn't cause an issue.

Back view!

I'm really pleased that I took the time to do the sway-back adjustment, because it really did make a big difference to the fit of this dress. I still have a tiny bit of gaping at the neckline so if I make another, I might angle the zip in a little at the top to avoid this. I might not, though - I don't want to over-fit and it's not a big issue. What I will definitely do if I make this pattern again is to recut the armholes a little - they're drafted for sleeves and I think the sleeveless bodice would look better with that ease removed.

The dress turned out exactly as I hoped it would. I love the fabric and the combination of navy and yellow makes me happy. I have ever so slightly mixed feelings about it all the same - which are, I think, almost completely because this dress feels a little bit more grown-up than I'm used to. GROWN-UP. I mean for fuck sake. I'm 34. I am grown-up. Certainly I've had many compliments when I've worn this dress. My local Carluccio's gave me a free cocktail because my dress matched their menu!

I mean, lemons though. Such a fun print:

It's actually the second dress I've made this year that's covered in lemons. I haven't properly photographed or blogged the other one, but I made it before going to Paris:

Lesbian Yellow Sourfruit dress

That one is Butterick B5748, another classic... and yes, worn with more yellow clogs. When I find something I like, I go with it. What can I say?!

Maybe I'm a bit obsessed. I'm making liguine al limone for dinner tonight and everything. 


So that's the craic there anyway. I love dresses and lemons and Liz Lemon. 

I'm away here to make my lemon-based dinner. Later!