Unauthorised absences

I’ve been away for a while with no excuse other than the sun’s been out and I’ve been having a lovely time. It’s much easier to just have fun, than to have fun and then go inside and write about it. But anyway, I’m back! To sum up the last month or so, there has been…

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A graduation and a home made bow tie

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Lovely walks in real Welsh sunshine

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Lots of Pimms and paddling pool action

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And even a day at the Royal Welsh. Horses and sheep and (absolutely massive) cows, oh my!

There has also been quite a lot of sewing going on that I am itching to share. Here’s a sneak preview, more to come!

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Victoria

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Hazel

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Purses

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Hazel II

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Twinkle twinkle little bat. How I wonder what you’re at.

After the success of my sisters Lizzy House Elisalex I couldn’t resist a Lizzy House dress all of my own. Anyone with a sister will know that however alike we may be by chance – there’s no chance of us being alike by choice (meant in the nicest way Liza!). So, it definitely wasn’t an Elisalex for me. This is by no means a slur on the By Hand London ladies – I’ve got three Elisalexes in my wardrobe already!

When payday came I took the plunge and went for 2.5 metres of Twinkle Twinkle in blue, and oh my days it is lovely:

Obviously to do this print justice I had to find just the right pattern. I ooh-ed and ahh-ed over plenty of dresses out there in blogland until I came across honigdesign and the lovely Elise. Not only has she an impressive portfolio of a gorgeous handmade wardobe but she’s made a pattern for a dress and has put it out in the world for free! Generous much??

The lovely Garden Party Dress comes in two versions and quite obviously works in all seasons as shown by Elise herself: summer and winter!

It was the classic design that drew me to this dress. It’s simple enough to let the fabric do a lot of the talking but has the little details such as the pleated skirt front and notched neckline to make it stand out from the crowd. This was the one for me.

First attempt with the self timer. Not so successful.

First attempt with the self timer – not so successful.

Being terrified of cutting into my Twinkle Twinkle I decided to do a cheater’s muslin first – aka sew up the lining and make the changes from that. No wasted fabric and any needle holes/unsightly marks well hidden! The lining in question being a bargain yellow polka dot polycotton to make those yellow stars sparkle even more.

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The bodice was really straightforward to sew up and only needed a couple of fitting alterations – the apex of the darts were moved down by 1/2 inch to allow a bit more bosom room and I added an inch to the bodice length for the same reason, whilst moving the zip round to the side. The neckline wasn’t quite as flattering on me as it was on Elise’s pictures (jealous!) so I opened that up a bit too. Much less altering than I usually have to do, so I was pretty chuffed!

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With the pattern altered I plunged into the Twinkle Twinkle without a second thought. The skirt went on without a hitch – I really liked Elise’s reminder in the instructions on which pleats should line up with the bodice darts, it’s these little details that make everything look tip top and Bristol fashion (that’s a saying right?).

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So, no more faffing – I love it! The pleats sit beautifully and add just enough room for an excellent swirl factor. I was going to repeat the six pleats on the skirt front on the back (as opposed to the normal two) to add more umph but unfortunately didn’t have quite enough fabric. Even so, with a cheeky tulle underskirt underneath there’s certainly enough volume going on behind me.

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I can’t wait for summer evenings on the seafront in this one… *swirls away in manner of Grace Kelly*

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