Hello all! How are you doing? I’ve just had my first week back at class for the year – it’s the first year that I’m on placement, too, which is exciting, but so far we’ve been confined to introductions and practise with our clinical skills. However, it’s been a pretty full on week (the expectation for class time this year is that most days we’ll be at class 8.30-5, and there may be outside study as well) and I was ready for the weekend (I woke up at 7 this morning, started to work out what I needed to do to get ready for class, realised it was a Saturday, and then five minutes later went through the whole process again. Clearly one week has been enough to programme my body’s alarm clock!).
Over the last month I’ve sewed and knitted a fair bit (I barely knitted at all last year – I think one project in the whole year – but that might change this year, I have a ton of projects planned). I’m pretty excited about all of what I’ve made this month, so hooray for that. Coming up I’ve also been asked to make skirts for my friend’s bridesmaids – that will be an exciting endeavour! We have the fabric, but are working on pattern, and I don’t know what size they need to be.
Anyway, on to the made things!
I’ve been delaying posting about this dress, because I’m not entirely sure that it’s finished, but it’s also not looking especially likely to get more finished in the next month or so, so I guess we’ll just roll with it as it is. I’ve been wearing it enough anyway!
This was my birthday dress this year. The last two years I’ve had a new dress finished the day before my birthday; I was determined to have a gorgeous new dress for the day again today. This dress was inspired by the dragon dress of last year. I love that dress; the fabric, the colour, the shape, the new neckline… so I tried again, in a different colour of exactly the same linen (from The Fabric Store). I don’t wear completely plain dresses, so naturally I had to come up with some sort of embellishment for it. I went for embroidery in a natural thread – I think it goes well with the colour and texture of the linen. The embroidery is what I think isn’t yet finished. I want to embroider it with plants from my garden – so currently, what it has is a pea plant, but I want to add perhaps chamomile beneath it and something like a pumpkin vine along the bottom. It is a work in progress – I can add something more any time I feel like hand sewing for a while.
The other exciting thing about this dress is that I tried my hand at converting darts into princess seams – I mentioned in my goals post that I want to learn some more pattern manipulation, and this is the first try at that. It worked out pretty well – there’s a small wavy area over my right breast, but the left one is nearly perfect. Next time I can make it even better! I do like the look of princess seams, and the way they can be perfectly fitted, so this was fun. I had one problem where my side front and side back pieces ended up looking nearly the same, for some reason, and I accidentally sewed a side-back to the centre front. I spent some time confused as to why they didn’t quite fit together properly, but didn’t actually work it out until trying to sew the side front to centre back pieces… Other than that, it was a pretty straightforward sew.
I do have two different secret fabrics in this one. The lining is cut up sections of an old dress, which I loved for a while but which ripped horribly a few years ago. I mended it, it lasted about a year, and then it reopened, at which point I gave up and chucked it in my fabrics box to use at some point in the future. It had a pretty wide skirt, so I had plenty of fabric to cut the lining from so long as I didn’t mind some pieces being on the cross grain. The pattern meant it was essential I keep it on the inside though – I was super careful with my understitching! It was too flimsy to make good pocket bags, though, so enter the second secret fabric: the bamboo dress remnants. The poplin is a bit sturdier than the cotton lawn for the lining or the linen shell, so it holds its shape and holds weight better. It also more-or-less matches the embroidery thread – so if it is visible, it’s not as much of a problem.
I pretty well love this dress. It’s been somewhat stinking hot here for a couple of weeks, so I’ve been in need of beautiful breathable fabrics, and wearing this as often as I can get away with (it got up to 28C on Wednesday, which is the hottest we ever get, and I was in this, loving the breeziness). It’s a gorgeous shape, it hangs nicely, it is all round wonderful. Very much a sewing success! Being linen, it does crease a bunch, but they tend to be soft creases which bother me less, and it’s just a thing to live with.
Oh, and it goes perfectly with this rayon scarf I was given on my birthday – not a combination I would have picked, but most certainly one that works.
(As you can see, it was a wonderfully windy day when I took the photos. There are rather a lot of photos of me arguing with my clothing!)