Tag Archive: dresses

Little Black Dress with Lace

This dress has been half made for a very long time.  I made it originally back in July and just now finished. Originally this dress was going to be completely laced out with a stripe of lace down the sleeves.  But I was not really liking the way the lace was reacting with the thick…

read more

Brown plaid dress

Early in September, I was having a hard time finding direction for my sewing. I blame the change of seasons. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to make, or I’d want to make things I didn’t actually feel like taking the time to make, or I just wasn’t sure… read more »

read more

Vintage dressing gown in plaid flannel

Sometimes you get an idea for a project that feels like it comes out of no where, but once you sew up the item you realize it was so YOU all along! Late in the summer, I started thinking about dressing gowns. House coats. House dresses. Hostess gowns. Hostess dresses.… read more »

read more

Months of delicate hard work and now look at it, you ham-fisted bun vendor!

Hi guys! So I guess that blogging once every couple of weeks is about my level at the moment, so that’s the craic there.

It’s been a long and pretty tough couple of weeks, though. Work is intense, I’ve had another few weeks of insomnia (which is caused by and also the cause of anxiety, so that’s fun) and my grandfather died. It has not been my best time, but I’ve been doing my best. Sometimes that’s all you can really expect from yourself. It was my paternal grandfather who died and we don’t have a relationship with most of that side of the family, so I wasn’t losing a dearly loved grandparent. But of course that doesn’t make it any easier and it has affected me in ways I wasn’t expecting, I think partly because he was my last grandparent. Anyway, I’m fine – I’m getting there – but it hasn’t been my most fun time.

Life has been busy and sewing has taken a bit of a back seat as a result, but I did find some time last weekend to sew. I made a Butterick B6453 dress at the end of the summer and it was fine. I made it from stretch sateen and I wanted to have another go at it to see how it would fit in a woven without any stretch content, as the pattern is a contender for a couple of dresses I want to make in the spring. I had some fun fabric in my stash that I wasn’t particularly attached to, so off I went.

The fabric in question is some Doctor Who-themed fabric that I bought a few months ago in Fancy Silk Store. The print is called ‘Exploding TARDIS’, although mine has a misprint on the selvedge to ‘Esploding TARDIS’ that makes me wonder if it’s a knock-off. Either way, it’s a decent enough quilting-cotton type fabric, and I think I paid £8 per metre for it:

The design comes from a Matt Smith Doctor Who story called The Pandorica Opens and, in the episode, it’s been painted by Vincent van Gogh, who the Doctor first met in Vincent and The Doctor. I loved that episode, despite the fact that I’m not a fan of new Doctor Who – I love Matt Smith as the Doctor, but I just don’t enjoy much about the new Doctor Who episodes. 
I had cut out B6453 out in a size 10 and shortened the bodice by about an inch. I thought there was a chance I needed to go down a size but I cracked on with the 10 anyway. Error. I realised that I needed to size down and shorten the bodice by another half an inch or so. After I had constructed the dress, I removed the skirt and cut a little bit of length off the bodice and took it in by about an inch at the sides. It’s not perfect now, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out:
For One As Beautiful As You dress – Butterick B6453 in Exploding Tardis fabric, worn with Red or Dead Lindy Hop shoes
It was so sunny the day we took these photos – sorry they are so bleached out! Also, PLEASE DON’T ASK ME IF I WAS COLD. I was cold, but it was literally only for the minute or so it took to get the photos. You’d like to think it’s obvious that I wasn’t running around in a sundress in the northern hemisphere in November, but there you go. 
That said, it’s November, and this is a sundress. This is only wearable right now with the addition of something warm. Luckily, I have the perfect partner in the shape of a TARDIS-blue jumper I knit two years ago:
This is my You Were Wearing Your Blue Jumper jumper, and it’s a Chuck sweater by Andi Satterlund. I really like how these look together, and even though it has short sleeves the jumper is lovely and warm. Happiness!
The other changes I made to this pattern were to widen the straps and fix them, and to use a concealed zip rather than a lapped one – I just like them better.

I have to shorten the straps quite a lot for them not to fall off my shoulders, but I think it still looks okay. I really like the shape of the neckline and I think if I can get the fit nailed this pattern will be right for some lovely fabrics I have lined up for the spring. I know it’s some way off, but thinking of warmer weather is one of the things that helps me through the cold winter months.

I bought some yellow clog ankle boots and they arrived the day I wore this dress, so when I went out to the pub that afternoon to meet my lovely friend, I put them straight on:

TOILET SELFIE. But in fairness, this is an excellent selfie mirror.

The boots – which are Swedish Hasbeens ‘Jodhpur’ boots – are arguably on that line where ugly meets awesome, but that is something I do like. I think they look pretty great with this dress, anyway!

I wore this dress on Friday to belatedly honour the anniversary of Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 23rd November 1963. You should check out a few other awesome Doctor Who-themed dresses that have popped up recently – Lynne made an excellent Anna dress from this same fabric a few weeks ago, Annie blogged another wonderful TARDIS dress earlier this week, and let’s not forget the marvellous Ernie K Designs with her Dalek onesie and Dalek dress. Having said that I’m not a fan of new Doctor Who, it did introduce me to my favourite Dalek, Tea Tray Dalek, so it has that in its favour:

WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEA

This Dalek is so British he is carrying tea whilst wearing a Union Jack. Aggressive colonialism and tea-drinking: there’s really not too much to separate the Daleks and the Brits when you think about it.

Anyway, that’s the craic with me. But if you’re wondering, if I had to choose who my favourite Doctor was, it’d be Jon Pertwee.

He’s arguably the most mansplainy of the Doctors. I mean… Jo takes it in good part, but still. Sarah-Jane finds him so mansplainy that Tom Baker seems like an improvement. BUT, nobody else has as good a face or has as much fun with the monsters:

ACTING IN PROGRESS

The dude loves to dress up. His clothes are fancy as fuck (actual CAPES) but I’m referring to his penchant for disguises, which are accompanied by voices:

Cleaning lady. NICE.

Milkman. NICE.

So, yeah. Third Doctor all the way.

So anyway my dinner is nearly ready so I’m off here for my own adventure in time (dinner time) and space. See you soon, friends!

read more

Months of delicate hard work and now look at it, you ham-fisted bun vendor!

Hi guys! So I guess that blogging once every couple of weeks is about my level at the moment, so that’s the craic there.

It’s been a long and pretty tough couple of weeks, though. Work is intense, I’ve had another few weeks of insomnia (which is caused by and also the cause of anxiety, so that’s fun) and my grandfather died. It has not been my best time, but I’ve been doing my best. Sometimes that’s all you can really expect from yourself. It was my paternal grandfather who died and we don’t have a relationship with most of that side of the family, so I wasn’t losing a dearly loved grandparent. But of course that doesn’t make it any easier and it has affected me in ways I wasn’t expecting, I think partly because he was my last grandparent. Anyway, I’m fine – I’m getting there – but it hasn’t been my most fun time.

Life has been busy and sewing has taken a bit of a back seat as a result, but I did find some time last weekend to sew. I made a Butterick B6453 dress at the end of the summer and it was fine. I made it from stretch sateen and I wanted to have another go at it to see how it would fit in a woven without any stretch content, as the pattern is a contender for a couple of dresses I want to make in the spring. I had some fun fabric in my stash that I wasn’t particularly attached to, so off I went.

The fabric in question is some Doctor Who-themed fabric that I bought a few months ago in Fancy Silk Store. The print is called ‘Exploding TARDIS’, although mine has a misprint on the selvedge to ‘Esploding TARDIS’ that makes me wonder if it’s a knock-off. Either way, it’s a decent enough quilting-cotton type fabric, and I think I paid £8 per metre for it:

The design comes from a Matt Smith Doctor Who story called The Pandorica Opens and, in the episode, it’s been painted by Vincent van Gogh, who the Doctor first met in Vincent and The Doctor. I loved that episode, despite the fact that I’m not a fan of new Doctor Who – I love Matt Smith as the Doctor, but I just don’t enjoy much about the new Doctor Who episodes. 
I had cut out B6453 out in a size 10 and shortened the bodice by about an inch. I thought there was a chance I needed to go down a size but I cracked on with the 10 anyway. Error. I realised that I needed to size down and shorten the bodice by another half an inch or so. After I had constructed the dress, I removed the skirt and cut a little bit of length off the bodice and took it in by about an inch at the sides. It’s not perfect now, but I’m pretty happy with how it turned out:
For One As Beautiful As You dress – Butterick B6453 in Exploding Tardis fabric, worn with Red or Dead Lindy Hop shoes
It was so sunny the day we took these photos – sorry they are so bleached out! Also, PLEASE DON’T ASK ME IF I WAS COLD. I was cold, but it was literally only for the minute or so it took to get the photos. You’d like to think it’s obvious that I wasn’t running around in a sundress in the northern hemisphere in November, but there you go. 
That said, it’s November, and this is a sundress. This is only wearable right now with the addition of something warm. Luckily, I have the perfect partner in the shape of a TARDIS-blue jumper I knit two years ago:
This is my You Were Wearing Your Blue Jumper jumper, and it’s a Chuck sweater by Andi Satterlund. I really like how these look together, and even though it has short sleeves the jumper is lovely and warm. Happiness!
The other changes I made to this pattern were to widen the straps and fix them, and to use a concealed zip rather than a lapped one – I just like them better.

I have to shorten the straps quite a lot for them not to fall off my shoulders, but I think it still looks okay. I really like the shape of the neckline and I think if I can get the fit nailed this pattern will be right for some lovely fabrics I have lined up for the spring. I know it’s some way off, but thinking of warmer weather is one of the things that helps me through the cold winter months.

I bought some yellow clog ankle boots and they arrived the day I wore this dress, so when I went out to the pub that afternoon to meet my lovely friend, I put them straight on:

TOILET SELFIE. But in fairness, this is an excellent selfie mirror.

The boots – which are Swedish Hasbeens ‘Jodhpur’ boots – are arguably on that line where ugly meets awesome, but that is something I do like. I think they look pretty great with this dress, anyway!

I wore this dress on Friday to belatedly honour the anniversary of Doctor Who, which was first broadcast on 23rd November 1963. You should check out a few other awesome Doctor Who-themed dresses that have popped up recently – Lynne made an excellent Anna dress from this same fabric a few weeks ago, Annie blogged another wonderful TARDIS dress earlier this week, and let’s not forget the marvellous Ernie K Designs with her Dalek onesie and Dalek dress. Having said that I’m not a fan of new Doctor Who, it did introduce me to my favourite Dalek, Tea Tray Dalek, so it has that in its favour:

WOULD YOU CARE FOR SOME TEA

This Dalek is so British he is carrying tea whilst wearing a Union Jack. Aggressive colonialism and tea-drinking: there’s really not too much to separate the Daleks and the Brits when you think about it.

Anyway, that’s the craic with me. But if you’re wondering, if I had to choose who my favourite Doctor was, it’d be Jon Pertwee.

He’s arguably the most mansplainy of the Doctors. I mean… Jo takes it in good part, but still. Sarah-Jane finds him so mansplainy that Tom Baker seems like an improvement. BUT, nobody else has as good a face or has as much fun with the monsters:

ACTING IN PROGRESS

The dude loves to dress up. His clothes are fancy as fuck (actual CAPES) but I’m referring to his penchant for disguises, which are accompanied by voices:

Cleaning lady. NICE.

Milkman. NICE.

So, yeah. Third Doctor all the way.

So anyway my dinner is nearly ready so I’m off here for my own adventure in time (dinner time) and space. See you soon, friends!

read more

Upcycled winter floral Sewaholic Cambie

I hate winter. I know it’s a magical time of year but I hate being cold, and needing sensible shoes, and getting dressed in the dark. I spend my mornings fumbling in my wardrobe, putting my make up on in low light and regularly throwing my hair up in a bun. So winter florals are […]

read more

Wrapped in Flowers – maxi wrap dress Vogue 9251

I couldn’t stop thinking about a floral maxi wrap dress – so I made one! Continue reading

read more

Moonstone in the Sunshine – McCalls 7242

Sometimes you just need to revisit a pattern because you love it so much the first time.  A McCalls 7242, a viscose shirtdress. Continue reading

read more

It’s Ireland’s largest lingerie section, I understand. I read that… somewhere.

Hello boys and girls! Again, it has been a while, but that’s just the craic there. Life has been busy recently, as it often is – but here are some highlights since I wrote last time:

Belfast International Airport sees your concerns about stereotyping and waves some anthropomorphised potatoes in your face.

Nic and I had a few days in Northern Ireland last month, which was lovely. It was a fairly last-minute decision to go home, and it was a lot of fun. We caught up with all the nephews, spent time hanging out with my parents and even managed to fit in meeting up with my best friend and her new baby. It was a lot to pack in to four days.

I’m still getting Mini hairs out of my clothes. It’s totally worth it for the cuddles, though!

My ankle was still pretty bad when we went home, although over the course of the weekend the limping eased off. I haven’t managed to get back into the running as it’s still not quite right, but I am going to go for gait analysis as soon as possible to see if I need new running shoes. Now that the weather has turned properly cold, I’m looking forward to getting back into running – the one thing I disliked about it before was running when it was clammy and warm. 
Thankfully the positive impact it had on my mental health seems to have persisted and the feelings of hopelessness that plagued me over the summer haven’t returned. I’ve made efforts to look after myself and one of them has been to disconnect myself from the internet after about 8:30 most evenings. I’ve been suffering from intermittent insomnia for most of the year and I thought that having a complete digital detox a few hours before bed would be good for me. It has been, especially as the news has been so bleak. I found myself very affected by the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey stories, so not giving them space in my head before trying to sleep has been a good thing.
I haven’t had tons of time for sewing recently, but that’s okay. I don’t exactly have a shortage of clothes. My most recent make was a Deer and Doe Bleuet dress which… well, let’s just call it a wearable toile:
No Fond Return of Love dress – Deer and Doe Bleuet dress in Julius Holland wax cotton
I over-estimated what size I would need for this dress and ended up cutting it a size too large. It is princess-seamed front and back, so in theory easy enough to adjust, but it still ended up being a bit too big overall. This photo isn’t too bad but in real life it sort of makes me look like I’m wearing some sort of old lady housecoat. It sort of makes me feel like a jazzy Mrs Doyle.

Maybe I’ll make another one. I need to try a smaller size and to move the waist up a little. It’ll probably wait until spring now, though. Ah well. Luckily I still have loads of that amazing fabric left so I can make myself something a bit more successful.

A more successful recent project was another Emery dress. Last autumn I made a few Emery dresses from barkcloth and I ended up wearing them all throughout the winter because they are so warm and cosy and cute. I had been lurking the Outback Wife barkcloth collection during the summer but was hesitant to buy it – most places that stocked it in the UK were selling it for like, £28 a metre, which just seemed a bit steep to me. However, Maud’s Fabric Finds were doing a clearance sale last month and I managed to pick up two metres of Outback Wife barkcloth for £14 a metre. BA BOOM.

I bought two metres of the ‘Elaine’ print in green. I had thought I wanted the blue, but when the green arrived I loved the colour so much that I was delighted not to have got the blue instead. The fabric really is beautiful quality – it’s soft and with some drape, and it doesn’t have an especially loose weave either. As I bought it with an Emery dress in mind, I had no hesitation in cutting into it once I had washed and ironed the fabric.

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright dress – Christine Haynes Emery dress with a pleated skirt in Outback Wife fabric, worn with Orla Kiely x Clarks Marianne shoes

Although I think the fabric would take to gathering pretty easily – lots of Gertrude Made‘s dresses on her instagram have gathered skirts – I thought it would feel a little bulky at my waist, so I box pleated the skirt instead. I love a box-pleated skirt and I am frequently asked to do a tutorial on how to pleat a skirt. Lads, that isn’t going to happen. It’s literally folding the fabric to fit whatever width you need. EVEN I CAN DO IT, that’s how remedial it is. But anyway there are plenty of other sewing bloggers to tell you how you should be sewing. I am not one of them.

Remedial sewing face

I really enjoyed sewing this dress. Due to time constraints, I had to spread the sewing out over a couple of days and it was really enjoyable. That’s one of the joys of a pattern you know and love, of course. It will be a great dress to wear as the weather grows colder, and it will look great with a variety of boots. In an effort to not hate the cold weather so much, I have added to my collection of boots quite considerably. It’s not at clog levels…yet:

The dress had its first outing when we went to Birmingham to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with some friends. I wore it with these White Stuff ‘Paula’ boots, which I like so much that I ended up buying them in navy as well. Hurrah!

And speaking of trying to come to terms with the advance of winter by shopping… I have a new coat and I loooooove it:

THOSE SCALLOPS THOUGH. Unfortunately, due to to fact that it was dark when the photo was taken you can’t see what a lovely shade of blue it is. It’s from the Savida range at Dunnes, and it’s also available in pink. That’s not an affiliate link or anything, I just wanted to share the coat joy. Obviously the pink one is on its way to me. I’m mainly surprised to have found something I wanted to buy in Dunnes, which is the number one place to go in Ireland if you want to buy gigantic granny knickers.

ACTUALLY LITERALLY FILMED IN DUNNES (in Ennis) I wouldn’t lie to you about giant pants!

So that’s the craic with me anyway. I’ll try not to leave it so long next time, but now I need to try to find my way out of this feckin department store. Bye!

read more

It’s Ireland’s largest lingerie section, I understand. I read that… somewhere.

Hello boys and girls! Again, it has been a while, but that’s just the craic there. Life has been busy recently, as it often is – but here are some highlights since I wrote last time:

Belfast International Airport sees your concerns about stereotyping and waves some anthropomorphised potatoes in your face.

Nic and I had a few days in Northern Ireland last month, which was lovely. It was a fairly last-minute decision to go home, and it was a lot of fun. We caught up with all the nephews, spent time hanging out with my parents and even managed to fit in meeting up with my best friend and her new baby. It was a lot to pack in to four days.

I’m still getting Mini hairs out of my clothes. It’s totally worth it for the cuddles, though!

My ankle was still pretty bad when we went home, although over the course of the weekend the limping eased off. I haven’t managed to get back into the running as it’s still not quite right, but I am going to go for gait analysis as soon as possible to see if I need new running shoes. Now that the weather has turned properly cold, I’m looking forward to getting back into running – the one thing I disliked about it before was running when it was clammy and warm. 
Thankfully the positive impact it had on my mental health seems to have persisted and the feelings of hopelessness that plagued me over the summer haven’t returned. I’ve made efforts to look after myself and one of them has been to disconnect myself from the internet after about 8:30 most evenings. I’ve been suffering from intermittent insomnia for most of the year and I thought that having a complete digital detox a few hours before bed would be good for me. It has been, especially as the news has been so bleak. I found myself very affected by the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey stories, so not giving them space in my head before trying to sleep has been a good thing.
I haven’t had tons of time for sewing recently, but that’s okay. I don’t exactly have a shortage of clothes. My most recent make was a Deer and Doe Bleuet dress which… well, let’s just call it a wearable toile:
No Fond Return of Love dress – Deer and Doe Bleuet dress in Julius Holland wax cotton
I over-estimated what size I would need for this dress and ended up cutting it a size too large. It is princess-seamed front and back, so in theory easy enough to adjust, but it still ended up being a bit too big overall. This photo isn’t too bad but in real life it sort of makes me look like I’m wearing some sort of old lady housecoat. It sort of makes me feel like a jazzy Mrs Doyle.

Maybe I’ll make another one. I need to try a smaller size and to move the waist up a little. It’ll probably wait until spring now, though. Ah well. Luckily I still have loads of that amazing fabric left so I can make myself something a bit more successful.

A more successful recent project was another Emery dress. Last autumn I made a few Emery dresses from barkcloth and I ended up wearing them all throughout the winter because they are so warm and cosy and cute. I had been lurking the Outback Wife barkcloth collection during the summer but was hesitant to buy it – most places that stocked it in the UK were selling it for like, £28 a metre, which just seemed a bit steep to me. However, Maud’s Fabric Finds were doing a clearance sale last month and I managed to pick up two metres of Outback Wife barkcloth for £14 a metre. BA BOOM.

I bought two metres of the ‘Elaine’ print in green. I had thought I wanted the blue, but when the green arrived I loved the colour so much that I was delighted not to have got the blue instead. The fabric really is beautiful quality – it’s soft and with some drape, and it doesn’t have an especially loose weave either. As I bought it with an Emery dress in mind, I had no hesitation in cutting into it once I had washed and ironed the fabric.

So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright dress – Christine Haynes Emery dress with a pleated skirt in Outback Wife fabric, worn with Orla Kiely x Clarks Marianne shoes

Although I think the fabric would take to gathering pretty easily – lots of Gertrude Made‘s dresses on her instagram have gathered skirts – I thought it would feel a little bulky at my waist, so I box pleated the skirt instead. I love a box-pleated skirt and I am frequently asked to do a tutorial on how to pleat a skirt. Lads, that isn’t going to happen. It’s literally folding the fabric to fit whatever width you need. EVEN I CAN DO IT, that’s how remedial it is. But anyway there are plenty of other sewing bloggers to tell you how you should be sewing. I am not one of them.

Remedial sewing face

I really enjoyed sewing this dress. Due to time constraints, I had to spread the sewing out over a couple of days and it was really enjoyable. That’s one of the joys of a pattern you know and love, of course. It will be a great dress to wear as the weather grows colder, and it will look great with a variety of boots. In an effort to not hate the cold weather so much, I have added to my collection of boots quite considerably. It’s not at clog levels…yet:

The dress had its first outing when we went to Birmingham to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with some friends. I wore it with these White Stuff ‘Paula’ boots, which I like so much that I ended up buying them in navy as well. Hurrah!

And speaking of trying to come to terms with the advance of winter by shopping… I have a new coat and I loooooove it:

THOSE SCALLOPS THOUGH. Unfortunately, due to to fact that it was dark when the photo was taken you can’t see what a lovely shade of blue it is. It’s from the Savida range at Dunnes, and it’s also available in pink. That’s not an affiliate link or anything, I just wanted to share the coat joy. Obviously the pink one is on its way to me. I’m mainly surprised to have found something I wanted to buy in Dunnes, which is the number one place to go in Ireland if you want to buy gigantic granny knickers.

ACTUALLY LITERALLY FILMED IN DUNNES (in Ennis) I wouldn’t lie to you about giant pants!

So that’s the craic with me anyway. I’ll try not to leave it so long next time, but now I need to try to find my way out of this feckin department store. Bye!

read more

Dearest Doris, Sew Over It

Happy weekend everyone! The air is crisp and bright and there are thousands of orange leaves in my part of the world today. It feels really Autumnal outside so I’m snuggled in my sewing room, working on a few new things with a big mug of earl grey and some ginger biscuits! And of course […]

read more

New Office, New Dress

Finally I am out of retail and in an office environment. So I have decided to update my wardrobe and my sewing game.This fabric is from Joann’s it’s an awesome comfortable and warm knit, perfect for fall.  I used Butterick’s 5780 pattern but changed the bottom pleats.  I took off 2 inches from the waist…

read more

Amanda vs Belladone Dress

Real talk: sewing is good for my mental health. When things are going crazy in other parts of my life sewing provides an awesome escape where I have to focus on the task at hand and my thoughts finally quiet down. It’s a powerful tool in my wellness arsenal and the best part is I […]

read more

Sip and sew Vogue 1434

It’s Friday!! Lets raise a glass of something delicious to celebrate. I’m sure you’ve heard about the Vogue Patterns Cocktail Hour? I mentioned a while ago here! This is the latest charity sewalong from The McCall Pattern Company in partnership with The Eve Appeal. A portion of the sales from 20 selected patterns go to […]

read more

Simplicity 2894 – An Out of Print Pattern in Denim

Or as a subtitle ~ “How Carolyn Complicates a Simple Pattern!”This Simplicity pattern has been out of print for awhile.  The first review on PatternReview is from 2008 and it’s been on my “To Sew List” every summer since Rachelle made her version….

read more

Not quite a Disney princess Upton Dress

Ah, princess seams! The closest I ever come to princesses, unless you count having memorized pretty much all the words to most Disney musicals (current fave: Moana, technically not a princess, I know). A while ago I wrote a tutorial on how to convert darts to princess seams, which I used to make my dirndl, {…Continue Reading}

The post Not quite a Disney princess Upton Dress appeared first on Cashmerette.

read more

Summer sewing wild cards and a list (mostly) wrapped up

Since we’re having an unusual very hot heat wave in September and I’m cranky about the fact that the weather feels like the hottest part of summer when I’m ready for it to cool off a bit, and I admit I’m really sick of looking at my hot-weather clothing and… read more »

read more

"Are you single and looking for love?" No, I’m married and looking for cake.

Hello! What’s happening, lads? It’s all good here with me: the sun is shining, work is done for the day and the dinner is cooking away (I am making minestrone soup) for later. I have a few days of work and then we’re on holiday – it is good! So, that’s…

read more

Blue Floral Fit and Flare

Hello again! This dress is another project that I finished a long time ago and am just now posting because I was soo excited to wear it I never took photos of it.  I made this back in April just in time for spring. Now after this dress I will not be making any more…

read more

Amanda vs Alix Dress

When invited to a wedding earlier this year I realised it was time to create the magic unicorn of fancy dresses – something that looks ace but also is super comfy so I can double down on wedding cake (and hopefully candy table treats as that seems to be a thing now which I totes […]

read more

Culture, mate. That’s where the hope of the world lies. And a more cultural mob than us you wouldn’t find outside of the Chelsea Embankment.

Hello lads and ladies! Happy Friday – I hope this week has been treating you well. I have had a very full week at work, which has actually been really enjoyable. The period between September and January is a crucial one in my line of work, and after a …

read more

1940’s Green Slytherin Dress

This dress has gone through the ringer.  So much so that I completely forgot to post this when I finished it because I kept thinking that I would alter it some more.  This dress started out as the 1940’s Vintage Simplicity pattern 8050. Now the fabric I used was a knit and a thick one…

read more

DIY drafted dress

Today I have a slightly different post for you all. I hope you read to the end and enjoy what you see. A few years back I was in a luxurious position where I finished work at 4pm every day and could indulge myself in my evenings. One of the things I tried was a […]

read more

Finding my mojo in boho: Vogue 9253

Finding my mojo in a boho dress & why I sew: sewing Vogue 9253 Continue reading

read more

Finding my mojo in boho: Vogue 9253

Finding my mojo in a boho dress & why I sew: sewing Vogue 9253 Continue reading

read more

White Shirt Dress

Hello! I really have found a new love for certain cotton fabrics and I really wanted another dress. This was the first one. The fabric I found at Joanns again. I was not even looking for it but as I was walking by it just completely took my attention so I had to buy it.  The…

read more

BOND, ANNA BOND… By Hand London Anna

Hello everyone. I’m writing this from a corner of my sewing room, slightly frazzled from car issues and too tired to sew. I’m really keen to start wedding related sewing but have had a few silly setbacks. One of my bridal fabrics has arrived cut into two lengths instead of being kept whole and I’ve […]

read more

Amanda vs Simplicity 8178

For some bizarre reason I tend to set ridiculous sewing goals before its time to leave for a holiday. Because what says “get ready for a week to relax” like spending two weeks trying to sew up five new wardrobe pieces? Gah! So when we made a last minute decision to head to Vanuatu for […]

read more

The sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send soup back in a deli.

Hello there! It’s been a while, I know, but the blogger part of me hasn’t died completely!

Anyway, I haven’t been up to much since I last blogged. I’ve been working and sewing as usual. Nic and I had a trip to Liverpool a few weeks ago, which thankfully coincided with a few sunny days in a sea of grey and rainy ones. We had a great time: Liverpool is an amazing city. We weren’t there for any particular reason, but it was perfect for a little change of scenery.

We stayed at the Pullman, and really enjoyed being based by the docks as there is so much to see and do down there. We even spent a happy hour on our last morning watching jellyfish in the marina – it was the first time Nic had ever seen jellyfish, and you could so easily miss them.

When we’re on holiday, I like to go on a ferry if one is available. Luckily, Liverpool has a ferry. It’s not very widely-known, so maybe someone should consider writing a song about it.

Waiting to board the ferry, dressed like a sailor

We visited some friends in Chester, went to Port Sunlight, went to a few museums, drank champagne in a Titanic-themed bar, visited the Metropolitan cathedral, ate pizza slices on Bold Street (repeatedly) and played some late-night indoor mini-golf:

I won, but Nic was a few pints ahead of me at each stage, so I had a slight advantage there.

It was a lovely week off, and we ended it with a flying visit from my dad. He was over for a few days for work and on the Friday we went to the Cotswolds for a few hours. We visited Stow-on-the-Wold and Bourton-on-the-Water. The villages are charming, but Nic and I have been watching Children of the Stones, so it all felt a bit creepy to me. My dad thoroughly enjoyed himself, though.

Me and Daddy in Bourton. It’s very plain to see we’re related as we are BASICALLY IDENTICAL.

These have been some bright spots in what has otherwise been a very difficult few months. I’ve written before about my mental health, so I won’t labour the point, but this summer I’ve experienced intense anxiety, which has often been debilitating. It has taken all of my energy to keep doing the things I need to do – things like getting out of bed and eating and working – and it’s been very difficult. I have felt very tired of living. There have been some external stressors and some of it arises from the fact that I’m generally quite an anxious person anyway so this is something I’ll always need to deal with in one way or another.

Helping someone close to me through a problem that they were having made me realise that I needed to allow people to help me, and that it was okay to do that. So that’s what I’ve been doing and I’ve been looking into finding some professional help too. Something has started to shift and I feel more hopeful and positive than I have for a while. I have a lovely life and I want to be here, and I wanted to share this with you all because I know lots of you care about me. Thank you for caring.

That’s the update there. I’ve been sewing off and on, and over the unexpectedly sunny bank holiday weekend, Nic took some photos of a recently completed dress. The craic with this is that Sarah sent up the bat-signal to let me know that Textile Express were selling a fabric I’d been after for about three years:

I had seen a Ralph Lauren skirt made from this beautiful linen three years ago in TK Maxx and the fabric had been a bit of a unicorn since then, but here was Textile Express selling it for £6.50 a metre! I immediately bought three metres, which was just as well because they sold out within a few hours. Although summer is by now officially over, I had some hopes for a September Indian summer, so I decided to go ahead and sew it anyway. I was immediately rewarded with a beautiful, hot bank holiday weekend: winner!

The print is quite large, so I wanted a simple shape to show it off. For me, this means sewing an Emery dress and that is what I did.

Honoria dress – Christine Haynes Emery dress with a pleated skirt, worn with Swedish Hasbeens Suzanne sandals

I wasn’t sure whether to centre the big beach umbrella on the bodice. It seemed like the obvious thing initially, but when it came to cutting I didn’t want to sacrifice the surfers, so I made sure to get them both on the bodice. The fabric doesn’t have a great deal of drape to it, so I used a box-pleated skirt rather than a gathered one. I love wearing pleated skirts and I am really thrilled with how this dress turned out.

I decided against wearing this with my Lou Taylor swimmers necklace this time, but I think they would be the perfect match!

This fabric really was an incredible find, especially for £6.50 per metre. The colour is beautiful and it’s of such lovely quality. I got so many compliments on the dress all day, and I felt great in it too. I’ve heard that it can still be found in some branches of Abakhan (although I didn’t see any when I was in the Liverpool branch a few weeks ago) so you might get lucky if you’re still looking for it. I’ll hopefully be able to wear the dress a few more times before packing it away for next spring, but often it’s nice to make a summer dress at the end of summer – something to look forward to for next year.

Here’s one for the folks at GOMI who think it’s obnoxious when I smile in photos. I must remember to try harder not to look too happy with my life.

I haven’t yet made plans for autumnal sewing, but I think I’m going to make a conscious effort to move away from my the blue colour palette I’ve unintentionally adopted this year. I bought some very Mildred Hubble-esque Paradigma boots in a local shoe shop that was closing down, so I’m thinking about what to sew to wear with them:

I don’t have a coherent autumn-winter plan, though, as I am also semi-seriously considering buying a ridiculous hot pink Ted Baker coat. I don’t need any more coats, but it is amazing. It won’t work with these boots, but I’m sure I could still make it work with something in my wardrobe…
The sun is shining now though, so right now I’m going to enjoy the rest of the summer as much as I can, which means going to a pub garden with some friends. Have a good weekend, everyone!
read more