winter’s best

Kia ora e hoa mā! This post is brought to you by: the weather. It’s been cold and it’s been dark recently, and this here dress is the exact-and-perfect thing I’ve been wanting to wear. Every day, if possible.

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The fabric for this one is a merino knit from The Fabric Store. (I own Many Things in merino knits from The Fabric Store. It is possibly the best thing about that shop.) It’s perhaps a little thinner and more clingy than my ideal, but is also actually fantastic and snuggly. I have now three garments made in this particular weight of merino, and I find myself strategising to work out how many outfits I can wear in a week using at least one of them – I’d wear this dress every day if I could get away with it.

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I think I may have sufficiently described how much I love this dress. 10/10 would make another in a different colour. My only reservation is that it has something of a risk of looking pregnant, but it is lovely enough that I don’t care.

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For pattern details: most of the time, my thought process is that it’s easier to hack an existing pattern into what I want to wear than to get a new one and have to deal with printing a pdf or tracing a paper pattern. The Plantain tee is one of my favourite knit patterns, and it has become many things. This is only the latest incarnation in a long series (I do enjoy days when I realise I’m wearing three different variations of it – an undergarment, a dress and a cardigan).

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For this version, I used the neck/shoulders of the Plantain, and had to adjust the waistline and make up everything below that. Since the original is a swing shape, I folded down the pattern to give a waistline that’s exactly at my waist measurements – I wanted this to be snug, but not tight – and cut a same-size double layer rectangle for the waist band. Some time ago I got sick of drafting new half-circle skirts every time I sew one – which is often – so I made a template out of an old sheet; to adjust it for a knit, I slightly decreased the waistline to remove the ease, and also narrowed the skirt slightly for the sake of fitting on my fabric without needing to go cross-grain or to seam it (neither of which are big deals in wovens – but I didn’t want to manage that in a knit fabric).

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Oh, and it has one small exciting detail! I managed to slice the fabric at the back neckline while trimming the seam allowance, and decided to try embroidering the small patch in place to cover it – I love the concept of visible mending, and allowing mends to make garments more beautiful, so I decided to give it a shot. It’s my first inexpert attempt, representing a leaf, but it’s a start. (One of my challenges is to make visible mends that are beautiful enough for wearing to work – but that’s another story.)

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The photos in this post are taken the same day as the last post – on the South Coast of Wellington, in a southerly. I love the wind (somewhat uniquely – there are far more complaints than smiles around here). The point I took these on is called Te Raekaihau, meaning “the headland that eats the wind”, and I love the name because it seems to encapsulate the strength I derive from the wind. (I enjoyed taking these photos. Can you tell?)

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In a small life update: I’m on a psychiatry placement at the moment. I had two weeks on a community placement (which was ok – the psychiatrist was friendly enough, but I didn’t agree with his approach to patients) and now I’m on an inpatient ward. I’m really enjoying it so far – I definitely end up coming home with things to think about, every day, and I realise that I’m looking forward to the next day there. It’s certainly not as strong a love as I felt for obstetrics, but it’s still something I’m interested in. There’s a strong sense of heartache in mental health though, and I think it takes a strong person to stand up and face that every day. It’s both the reason I’d want to work in the area, and the reason I don’t know if I’d be able to.

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One thought on “winter’s best

  1. That dress looks lovely. – and perfect for a Wellington winter. As an exiled Wellingtonian, living in a VERY HOT AND HUMID place, I enjoy seeing your cold weather makes.

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