I just need to put this out there – THIS IS THE HAPPIEST I’VE EVER BEEN WITH ANYTHING I’VE EVER MADE!!! You can probably tell that from the big old sulk on my chops, not to mention the fact that I forgot to iron the dress, and may have potentially forgotten to brush my hair as well.
Initially, things were going quite well with this dress. I bought this massive blue sheet in a charity shop for under a fiver, ordered the Jiffy 1609 pattern online after spending about four hours browsing the Simplicity site, decided to use up some scraps on the collar, and then became overwhelmed with insecurity about which scraps I should use.
Along came Ben, who declared the red floral print I was holding up against the blue to be too obvious a choice, and asked why exactly I hadn’t already decided to use that deer print fabric I had hanging around.
Work commenced. I drove to my mum’s house every day while my sewing machine was being repaired so I could get the dress finished in time for a party, I used Gertie’s tutorial for making the collar, and everything was going swimmingly. I’m not a big fan of scalloped edges, but I decided to give them a try in order to make the dress a bit more exciting. I’m still not entirely sold on them, to be honest.
Then I got sick, and then I christened it the Animals of Farthing Wood Dress, and then I remembered how sad that book and TV show were, and how much eight year old Laura cried over every death. Oh, yeah, and then I tried it on without the back seam sewn up and it looked like a tent (surprise!!). A tent of death!
So it sat on Alan, my dressmaker’s dummy, for a few weeks. An important fact to note about Alan is his ability to make any garment look disappointing. For someone set up to my measurements, he sure manages to take the form of nothing human.
Eventually, I decided to just get on with it. Anything was better than looking at it every day! I sewed up the back and put a zip in with relative success (for me). At least it isn’t so dreadful that I felt the need to redo it. Then I held it up against myself and it looked tiny. I wasn’t sure it was going to fit. I didn’t want to try my new dress on if it wasn’t going to fit.
Yeah, fits almost perfectly. As this handy picture shows, there’s a bit of gaping around the back of the neck, which I reckon could be resolved by increasing the size of the neck darts, and I think future versions could benefit from a sway back adjustment, or possibly I could just use a shorter zip which would get rid of the bum bump weirdness (it just gets a bit tucked under whenever I move). I’m kind of working with the ‘give my improvements a try and see what happens’ process at the moment. What a good job Ben didn’t take the nice picture of the back looking all nice that I’d asked for!
The only other slight disappointment is that, despite my best efforts, the deer are not quite symmetrical on the collar. However, nobody else seems to notice, even after it’s pointed out to them, so I guess I can live with that. My step dad has even commented on how much he likes the deer collar (well, that’s his Christmas present sorted).
The shape of this dress is absolutely my style. Look in my wardrobe and you’ll find a line of shop bought dresses in the same shape. This is already a firm favourite in my wardrobe, and considering that it is really not season appropriate, it’s already been worn out of the house twice! Just think how much use this bad boy’s going to get come summer.
We took these pictures in the grounds of Hove Museum & Art Gallery. I’ve yet to go inside, but the small garden is lovely and peaceful. Apparently, the inside contains toys, pioneering film ephemera, local history and fine art displays.
The thing I’m leaning against is the Jaipur Gate, which was at the entrance to the Rajasthan section of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition, held in London in 1886. It was donated to the museum in 1926, although I don’t exactly understand why, or what it has to do with the rest of the exhibits. Maybe I should go inside and see if I can find out?
As photoshoots go, taking pictures by a local landmark on a busy road is probably a good way to crush any shyness out of your system. PEOPLE STARED!! A VAN DRIVER STOPPED TO WATCH!! I think I will continue this trend, working my way around Brighton’s highlights. Maybe we’ll have another nice day for dressing up and taking photos before the West Pier falls completely into the sea??!?