Dancing the Charleston in the rain

A friend decided recently that, rather than having a party to celebrate entering her 30s, she was going to pre-empt it all and instead have a farewell to her 20s. As you might expect (or maybe you don’t?) the theme was all things F Scott Fitzgerald, with 20s style the lynchpin on which the evening was built.

Looking online at flapper dresses, I saw a couple of things that I liked the look of, but quickly found myself thinking “I could make that”. One quick trip to the rag market and several thousand dead sequins later, I had done just that.
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If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?


I regularly play ukulele as a part of Moselele and, whilst most of the time that just means sitting in a pub and raucously singing songs from the 80s, it also sometimes means performing actual concerts.

This year, we were asked to play a set as part of the celebrations for Birmingham Pride, which is held annually on the late May bank holiday. My immediate thought on hearing this was “I need to make a flag dress”.

So I did.
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Hand me my warpaint

Everyone has the little thing that they do when they want to feel more confident, and whilst I can’t speak for you, for me it’s almost always to grab the lipstick.

Whether it’s the subtle pink that I grab when I’m working from home to make me feel more grounded and ready to smash my deadlines, or the rich plum that feels vaguely gothic, there’s something very present making about the act of putting on lipstick. Red lipstick is the absolute king of all of these, a bold bright colour that makes me feel ready for anything from date nights with the boy through to the most difficult of difficult meetings.

When it came round to deciding on the dress that I wanted to make to wear on a trip to Lasan for the boy’s birthday, I stumbled across this fabric in my stash and realised that its time had come.
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Turns out a year is really not that long in sewing land

Sometimes you make something and you wondered just what it was that took you so long. The Betty dress is one of those makes.

As a pattern I’d been aware of it for a while, and, back in May of last year I finally got round to buying it. I also hadn’t realised that it took me a full year from purchase to sewing it up, so that’s a bit embarrassing….

At any rate, towards the end of April I finally bit the bullet and got a version made, and boy am I glad I did!

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Get on your bikes and ride!

Several years ago I bought a bike. I’d not ridden a bike in at least a decade, so I made a couple of crucial decisions when making my purchase, chief of which was that the bike had to be something that aesthetically I liked the look of so that, even if I didn’t ride it very often, I’d feel happy when I did ride it.

The result of this was that I bought a bike that is highly unpractical for someone who lives on the top of the hill, but a bike which, nonetheless I love. I try to cycle to and from the station whenever I’ve got a meeting (although not if it’s raining after a rather unfortunate experience), and I have a rule that whatever I’m wearing to the meeting is what I’ll be cycling in.

The upshot of this is that I regularly cycle in pretty much all of the things that have appeared on this blog, and I’ve got a bit of a reputation amongst my friends and family for having a bordering-on-ludicrous bike.

This dress is the next logical step.
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Have dress, will travel

It was that weird hinterland between Christmas and New Year and we were dashing from a (slightly) boozy lunch with friends to a (slightly more) boozy dinner with the boy’s family.

Nonetheless, my Christmas money was burning a hole in my pocket, so I found myself going into Guthrie and Ghani. Don’t look like that, it’s just next to the pub where we had lunch and they had a sale on, so it was definitely justified.

Whilst looking through all of the beautiful fabrics I stumbled across something glorious: fabric covered in replicas of those fabulous vintage travel posters that make me long for the golden age of travel (let’s ignore the fact that, given the ease of global travel, that might actually be now….).

I knew immediately that this would be my travelling dress. I also knew that it wouldn’t be worn until the next time I went on a proper adventure.

As luck would have it, that proper adventure was just around the corner.

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I shall (probably) go to the ball!


Over the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of excitement around the Dressmaker’s Ball, an event that’s being hosted by Crafty Sew & So in Leicester on 12 May. Over at the Simple Sew blog team this excitement has culminated in a month of party dresses made from Simple Sew patterns.

When it was time for me to pick a pattern, I knew I wanted something that could be turned quite easily from a day to day staple into something that shouted red carpet (although not literally, of course!) and I think I found it.

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A quest and a question

Got my questing face on…

THE QUEST

I’ve spoken before about my love of shirt dresses and the quest for the ultimate shirt dress pattern of joy.

The Sew Over It shirt dress had been on my radar for a while ever since the first SewBrum I went to where Gabby was wearing a fabulous contrast shirt dress.

I actually bought the pattern in the middle of last year but it has languished in my stash pile for a while whilst I searched for just the right fabric to do it justice. It took surprisingly longer than expected, but I think (I hope?) you’ll agree with me that the wait was worth it!

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