Circling round and round

I’ve never really been much of one for maxi dresses, although I’ve often admired them from afar. This summer, I wanted to change that and actually make one for a change, not least because, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, maxi dresses are inexplicably linked to summer in my head. I had visions of wearing it to summer parties, of swanning around in it whilst wearing lovely sandals, and generally being a vision of summer.

In the end, due to the weird absence of a summer we’ve had in the UK this year, this dress has only been worn once (to a barbecue where it then unsurprisingly proceeded to pee it down, which led to some rather hasty alterations). However, next summer? Next summer I’ll be ready….

Continue reading

When bad things happen to good fabric – the leopard print dress of doom

One of the things that I thought about when I did my big blog rethink back at the start of the summer was that often, the makes that are disastrous are forgotten about, pushed into a corner and inevitably written off as best not to talk about them.

Yet, when you think about it, these are some of the best things to talk about. What went wrong, why did it go wrong and really, did it really look that bad (yes is the frequent answer….)?

So, with all of that in mind, welcome to the first in a new series of posts that explore those times something just goes so very wrong that the only thing left is to burn it / start over / hide in a corner, crying and drinking gin. Welcome to when bad things happen to good fabric…

Continue reading

When life hands you lemons…

I’m not sure what it is about lemons, but for a really, really, long time I’ve been after a dress covered in lemons. Specifically, non-cartoon style lemons on a black background. Last summer a friend had a pair of trousers in exactly the right print from H&M, and although I did rummage the racks, they hadn’t thought to make it into a dress (fools!).

Then, towards the end of June, I discovered that Meg had managed to source the perfect fabric that I was after and was selling it on her Etsy shop. Fast as a flash the fabric was ordered, and almost as speedily Meg got it out to me. I had a pile of possible makes as long as my arm but it was no good; as soon as it arrived I had it washed and, the next free day I had, I began to make the dress, because when life hands you lemons, the obvious thing to do is make lemonade.
Continue reading

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.
Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading