Garden parties

This, now, is a quiet weekend in between my two weeks of orthopaedic surgery placement. In a happy turn of events, the placement has turned out rather a lot better than anticipated – I was not looking forward to this, given that I don’t enjoy theatre as a thing, and also have very limited interest in trauma. I have noticed some differences of opinion between the surgeons and myself (them: “this is a very interesting case! Very exciting!” Me: “it’s… a broken arm.”) but for the most part they are lovely and keen to teach students their bits and pieces. That makes a lot of difference. As a student, you perpetually feel slightly out of place and in the way, and while friendly people around you never quite eliminates that (in my experience) it does make a lot of difference.

Given that I’m not interested in orthopaedics, I’m hoping instead to practise examining many many joints over the next few weeks – one of the most common questions to a medical student is “I hurt my knee, can you tell me what’s wrong?” Today I used my newfound knowledge with my flatmate, and was able to inform her that I’m pretty sure she hasn’t damaged any of the key structures, and therefore it is probably a sprain. (The lump on her leg, on the other hand, I did not have an opinion on…)

Well, on to the fabric side of things… Somehow  I’ve been managing to sew a little, but actually this is from over the summer.


I made this dress for my birthday. For Christmas I made a million gifts in not enough time for that (ok, four. But one of them was my first ever swimsuit. The point stand). and this was my detox sewing – I cut it out one afternoon in the dark time in between, when I had finished two of the four gifts, one was handsewing I was doing in my lunch breaks, and the fabric for the swimsuit was seeming more and more likely not to arrive on time to sew it. I wanted something gentle to sew, with no deadline, and with proper finishes – french seams everywhere, tiny rolled hems, and a full lining.


The pattern is based off my trusty NL 6143, as seen in several places – I really just use it as my bodice block at this point, I can’t remember when I last a) sewed it according to pattern or b) sewed a dress that wasn’t based on it at some level. Clearly, I altered it rather this time – I drew on the cap sleeves straight to the fabric, and cut it out as that, which was a mistake rather (I had to cut them down a lot to make them wearable, but I also like them better shorter) but seems to be ok. If I did it again I’d cut away the fabric a little less on the back and more on the top and front of the sleeve. In fact, I periodically consider doing it – but let’s be real, a garment once worn is not going to be altered.


The ties were a bit of a fun experiment. I knew from the start that I wanted a dress with a slightly looser silhouette, but with ties to bring it in as much as I wanted – it’s clearly designed for summer, and there are some days that a tight-fitting waist makes the heat so much worse. I cut out pretty much as normal, but sewed all bodice seams 1/8-1/4″ smaller than intended, so got an extra 1.5″ or so in the width. The ties are three layers sandwiched together, and carefully pieced to get as much length as possible – this was actually a panel print, not border print, so the border edges were not continuous and straight, so it was a little care required.


I’m pretty proud of how I managed the panel print. I really like how it’s lined up on the skirt, and the ties recollecting it. The skirt is made of three entirely uneven sized panels, made to the size that made sense with the print. I think the only thing I’d change is to lengthen the ties slightly, now that I see the photos. They’re also pretty frustrating from the pressing perspective – I did press them before these photos, so they’re lying reasonably well, but they tend to bunch up a bit.


I really enjoyed the process of making this dress, and since then I’ve worn it an almost excessive number of times! It is such a lovely feeling to wear – soft and swooshy – and I feel curvy in all the best ways in it, and so elegant. I absolutely adore it, so I’m sad to be reaching the point of the year to be putting it away for a while – but that’ll just increase how excited I am for it next spring!

I took rather a number of photos of this, so there are a few more – plus some garden!



(I adore how odd this photo is)



(All the photos are taken in the little overgrown patch at the bottom of our garden – isn’t it lovely?)

2 thoughts on “Garden parties

  1. Pingback: Farewell to 2017! | medstudentsews

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