Tag Archive: life

Photos from the 3rd Holiday Open House

We had a fantastic weekend here at Leyden Glen Farm. So many folks came to the 3rd Holiday Open House and it was great fun to meet people who follow my blog, our farm, and/or my design work. We also had a strong show of support from people we know from…

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Photos from the 3rd Holiday Open House

We had a fantastic weekend here at Leyden Glen Farm. So many folks came to the 3rd Holiday Open House and it was great fun to meet people who follow my blog, our farm, and/or my design work. We also had a strong show of support from people we know from…

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Ethereal Light: The Look Book

These garments and the thousands of hours I spent hand-knitting them were inspired by the process of healing and designed to give light to an area that is dark.  This darkness took me 4 years of “umms and stumbles” before I could even say it.  When I was young, I was sexually abused by my older brother. He suffered from schizophrenia and he later committed suicide.

Conquering these traumas weren’t easy; it took a lot of amazing people to knit me back together and bring me out of darkness, which is why I designed this collection inspired by light: to remind those of us who have been abused that they there is light after darkness and that they are not alone.  

I’m very thankful to these people, one of them being my beading collaborator Hannah Buechler who crystalized these pieces with hundreds of sparkles.  Also, I’m incredibly thankful to Swarovski Crystals for sponsoring my collection and giving even more light to this story!
Photography:  Franklin Headen.  Video:  Jordan Studdard.  Model: Mattah Parker. 
My heart in sharing my story and this collection is to give hope for those processing a similar abuse.  I contemplated for a long time whether or not to share this, but In the end, I needed to; I know there are those of us who feel more broken than whole – but wholeness does come again!

Healing is not a sad face emoji in the comment section. It takes a lot of pain, and hardship to say the truth out loud to someone you trust.  The fear is overwhelming at first, but it becomes less of a terror each time.  

The best thing that people did was listen, and remind me that I was not defined by my situation.  That there were better things ahead.  That it may not come right away, but eventually, after a long night, there would be a glimmer of light.  And eventually, those dark memories would be drowned out by light.
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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!

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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!

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Movie Mad

When I was a kid, I never wanted to go to the movies. Truth of the matter was I would rather stay home and sew and create than “waste my time” in a dark theatre. It wasn’t until I got older that I started to enjoy escaping to a dark theatre and becomin…

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November

November has arrived. I don’t know about you but it is always a shock when the leaves are almost gone from the trees and the landscape turns a shade of gray – almost overnight. We had some massive wind and rains here over the past week. (We didn’t lose…

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The Terrace on 14th St.

Hello, fellow web-wizards and friends. Currently writing to you underground, from my 45min morning commute to work. I moved to a quiet, little brick place in Astoria, NY, that my fiancé, Z, and I call The Terrace on 14th Street.  We want our wedding on this little terrace, so we’re spending our free days whimsifying the place––a fleet of rocket ships and a room with celestial magic.

I started this blog when I was 12 and I’m now 22 and I can honestly say that all the good things that have happened in my life have come from friends like you who believed in me enough to just keep reading.  A sincere thank you to those who have taken an interest in my journey.

The last time I wrote on this blog (March 🙈) I was sleeping two hours a night,  20lbs under weight, and losing hair in clumps.  Since graduating in June, I’m happy to say that I’m now 10lbs overweight, sleeping a balanced 7-9 hours a night, and my hair is growing back at a steady rate.  

I’m finally at a spot where I’m excited to share again––how I’ve grown, how I’m growing.  I’ll be posting again on the reg, starting with these illustrations from my senior collection.  


Also, Z’s a really amazing guy.  Can’t wait to share more about him ^_^ 
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The Terrace on 14th St.

Hello, fellow web-wizards and friends. Currently writing to you underground, from my 45min morning commute to work. I moved to a quiet, little brick place in Astoria, NY, that my fiancé, Z, and I call The Terrace on 14th Street.  We want our wedding on this little terrace, so we’re spending our free days whimsifying the place––a fleet of rocket ships and a room with celestial magic.

I started this blog when I was 12 and I’m now 22 and I can honestly say that all the good things that have happened in my life have come from friends like you who believed in me enough to just keep reading.  A sincere thank you to those who have taken an interest in my journey.

The last time I wrote on this blog (March 🙈) I was sleeping two hours a night,  20lbs under weight, and losing hair in clumps.  Since graduating in June, I’m happy to say that I’m now 10lbs overweight, sleeping a balanced 7-9 hours a night, and my hair is growing back at a steady rate.  

I’m finally at a spot where I’m excited to share again––how I’ve grown, how I’m growing.  I’ll be posting again on the reg, starting with these illustrations from my senior collection.  


Also, Z’s a really amazing guy.  Can’t wait to share more about him ^_^ 
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We Bought a House!

Alright, so the BIG news I’ve been hinting at! We bought a house! After over a year of searching, being outbid twice, we finally got one! It’s not the amazing mid-century modern or crazy 50s ranch I had hoped for, as it is relatively modest on the outside, but it was built in 1954 and […]

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Getting Ready + More Sunflower Love

The last Creative Retreat of 2017 is this coming weekend. I have a full class of knitters and it should be a fun time – as all of them have been over the years. I can’t believe I have been doing the retreats since 2009. They have morphed and changed ov…

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Summer Scenes from our Farm + Ramblings

How are you all? It seems like ages since I paid attention to this space. I know that many of you come here just for the regularity of the scenes from our farm. I apologize for not being as active on this blog recently. Summer is a busy time on ou…

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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!
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What a Difference Two Weeks Makes….

The end of summer is closing in. It feels like a race to fit things in before the season changes, everyone gets busy and the holidays come crashing in at record pace. Julia is starting at the local community college this fall. It’s going to be a big ch…

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Oops, I’ve Been Too Quiet Again!

Sorry, I know it seems like I’ve taken a hiatus from sewing. Really, I haven’t. Actually, I’ve sewn several garments over the past two months; but it’s been difficult finding the time to take pictures or the photos shoot ends up not so good. What is…

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Life + Objects that Inspired Matisse

Busy week here. I have a group of 20 weavers coming tomorrow as part of their touring day. The New England Weavers Seminar happens every other year at Smith College and on one day, they do a tour of interesting local places. I guess I am interesting. S…

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Long From: Reasons for and the Transition To California

When I asked what you wanted to see on the blog, someone asked to share our transition to Southern California from Oregon, and discuss if there were any regrets, differences between the two locals, and any tips for those thinking of moving. I’ve been working on this post for awhile, but was on the fence […]

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Why Do I share My Outfits?

Lately I’ve been in a battle with myself and my blog. With what I want my blog to be, and what my time allows for. I realize part of the problem at the moment is the time of the year. The later parts of spring and the first half of summer are always rough for […]

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She’ll be a summer girl. She’ll have hair. She’ll have summer friends who know how to be outside. She’ll play tennis and wear dresses and have bare feet, and in the autumn I’ll ditch her because she’s my summer girl!

HOWDY PARTNERS. How is everyone? Mainly a little bit like this, perhaps?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not really complaining about good weather. I wish that I didn’t have hay fever and that humidity didn’t make me swell up, but I’m happy about the warm weather, even if it makes it difficult to leave the house. There are numerous ways to cope.

The last time I wrote, we were about to go on holiday to Paris. We went, and it was awesome. We had ten days and were staying in the 17th arrondissement, in a beautiful Haussmann apartment next to Parc Monceau. I did a little bit of fabric shopping and we did some cultural and touristy stuff (we went to the Pompidou Centre and to the Musee de Montmartre) but mainly we spent the time pottering around, drinking champagne and people-watching. It was bliss.

Here’s me with a glass of Ruinart and a Cafe Gourmand on the Ile de la Cite, living my best life.

We had ten days of relaxation and beautiful weather and then we came home to horrendous rain, a General Election and the fucking DUP.  Despite having lost my faith in the Labour Party as a result of their generally quite crap performance as opposition, I was impressed and encouraged by their campaigning and it was an easy decision to vote Labour again. My constituency had been Tory since 2010, and our MP was a total no-mark waste of space, so I was genuinely delighted that the seat went red.

My dress let everyone know how I intended to vote.

Everything following the General Election has been pretty strange for a Northern Irish person living in England. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s been enraging hearing English people engage with Northern Irish politics at this stage in the game. It’s certainly been annoying to see people horrified at the idea of a coalition with the DUP on the basis of their policies (homophobic, sexist, dinosaur-denying) because this shit is nothing new. It’s just that it’s only of interest to people here when it affects them.

I’m not a nationalist, but that’s the background I come from. I grew up Catholic in a border village in Northern Ireland. I have little interest in a United Ireland, but I consider myself to be both Irish and Northern Irish rather than British. I live in England and I have no real intention of moving (although ten days in Paris made the daydream of a Parisian life even more appealing) but increasingly I feel like a stranger here, and never more keenly than when English people discuss Northern Ireland as if the Troubles were all of our own making and not, you know, as a direct result of England’s colonialist past. It’s been hard not to feel enraged all the time, I have to be honest, and difficult to know what to do with those feelings. I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear it if you try to talk politics and I’m sure that some of you won’t be comfortable with me talking about it here, but I’m not about to ignore it either. As the situation currently stands, the DUP – who have repeatedly blocked equal marriage in Northern Ireland, who oppose the Good Friday Agreement, whose leader is implicated in a scandal costing the Northern Irish taxpayer £400 million, whose intransigence caused the collapse of the power-sharing agreement and means that Northern Ireland still has no government – potentially have a stranglehold on a weakened minority government. There’s a reason that ‘May you live in interesting times’ is a curse, and we’re certainly living through those.

But anyway, you come for the dresses, I’m sure, so here is a dress. In fact, it’s the dress I wore to go and vote, and I made it… I think at the end of March. I took these photos in April, I think, and for some reason I really hated them. Looking at them now though, they’re not so bad:

Second Time Around dress – Butterick B6333 with a half-circle skirt, in Liberty Carline lawn, worn with Swedish Hasbeens ‘Suzanne’ sandals

ANOTHER B6333. Whatever, not sorry. I don’t think I have any more of these to blog about so next time you might get some fucking variety up in here (well, what passes for variety around here). Me oh my, I do love Carline, and my first shirt-dress was a M6696 in the red Carline poplin. I made it a few years ago now and the fit wasn’t brilliant, so I don’t wear it much. I still have it, because I’m oddly sentimental like that, but I don’t wear it. I chanced upon some of the lawn on ebay at some point last year and bought it. I didn’t have a shirt-dress in mind for it, but I was so happy with the How Can You Leave Me On My Own dress that I decided another one was in order.

I considered underlining this dress as Liberty tana lawn is so light and drapey, and I wondered if a bit of structure would be a good thing in a shirt-dress, but I decided against it in the end. This print is large enough and dark enough that it isn’t see-through, and I didn’t want to lose the essential coolness and breathability of the fabric. I think in these pictures I am wearing the dress with a slip as it was a little chilly, but I wore this dress in Paris without a slip (because it was so hot) and didn’t have any issues with it.
I made some self bias-binding to finish the armholes and face the hem. FUCK. ME. I think it might have been the most tedious thing I have ever done, and I regularly spend whole days checking numbers on giant spreadsheets. I mean, it was worth it (and I have loads left over) but the tedium of it made me angry. There are lots of tedious sewing jobs that I enjoy – I am one of those people who genuinely enjoys hand sewing and I even like sewing on buttons (I don’t like tracing, though, I’m not a pervert) but this was a bit too much even for me.
I love the dress and have worn it loads since I made it. In fact, I wore it to work yesterday! It came to Paris with me, and it was perfect for the very hot weather we enjoyed there.
Here I am, wearing it in Parc Monceau…
...and later the same day at Trocadero, with a minor monument in the background
I think this iteration of a Carline shirt-dress has a slightly more casual feel than the others I’ve made, but it is so comfortable and cute to wear. It’s been a winner. 
I don’t always explain where the names of my dresses come from. This one is obvious, and it’s also named after one of my top five episodes of Inspector Morse. For the sake of completeness, here is my list:
Second Time Around – the sadness of Kenneth Colley
Dead On Time – Oxford’s Next Top Widow

Death Is Now My Neighbour – Evil Richard Briers Is Now My Favourite

Deceived By Flight – Lewis’ hoose-painting leave interrupted by cricket
Masonic Mysteries – mysteries solved with inferior opera
Goodnight!
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Life, Webs Podcast + Creative Retreats Spaces Available

Thanks everyone for the lovely messages you sent to Julia for her graduation on this post. We loved them all. You all have been so supportive of me and my family since I started this blog in 2006. Hard to believe I’ve been writing here since then! …….

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Milestones

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Happy Friday + Randomness

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Thoughts, My Garden + A New Book I’m Loving

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If I’m going to be white, don’t make me be Irish. That’s the worst one.

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Happy Friday + Randomness

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Spring is Springing

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It’s a salad, only bigger, with lots of stuff in it.

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Living the Country Life Feature + Thoughts

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I’m clown realness.

Hello! So… my resolution to blog more often has totally fallen by the wayside, hasn’t it? I can’t apologise for it really either… it doesn’t matter all that much. It’s the way it as at the moment. I’ve been doing two jobs since Christmas (my job an…

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Before the Blizzard

Yes, I wrote blizzard. Her name was Stella and she landed here on March 14, 2107. Just when we thought we were on our way to spring, the biggest storm of the year arrives. I do not have pictures of Stella yet. I will try to take some of the aftermath o…

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