I do love a freebie, as long as it is from someone that I would be happy to recommend anyway. So when Minerva Crafts contacted me to see if I would like some fabric and everything else needed to make a dress I almost bit their arms off. I’m sure by now a lot of you will have heard about them because of their new bloggers network, which I am really excited about. Personally I have bought from them quite a few times- the dress fabric I used for my Nautical cambie came from their remnants section (which, by the way, is absolutely huge these days, so check it out if you are looking for a bargain,) and I used their stretch bias binding for my Lace Tiramisu.
I almost asked for the peacock print that Roisin used to make her gorgeous Mrs Peacock dress, but then this print caught my eye. Stretch cotton with 7% Spandex and little splats of colour. Well we all know how I like a print that won’t show stains. I decided it would make a perfect Simplicity 2444, the version with the collar and no sleeves, as I already had that pattern and wanted to make something I had already sussed out the fit for.
Unfortunately when the fabric arrived I could not find my Simplicity 2444 anywhere. I was impatient to get started so I decided to go for plan B. Simplicity 1610. Last time I made the halter neck maxi version and it was pretty straightforward. This time I decided to make the knee length version with little pleated sleeves and pockets.
It looks a bit rumpled here, I took pictures after I had been wearing the dress all evening, but you can see the gorgeous little pleats. Unfortunately seeing these pictures I realise I didn’t get them lined up properly, but I didn’t notice in real life so I can live with it. Actually I had a bit of a love hate relationship with these sleeves. I love how they look. I hated attaching them to the bodice. There is a corner, for God’s sake, that you have to lift the presser foot and pivot round then either snip (I figured this out after my fourth attempt) or try and manouevre round, over loads of bunched up fabric without getting puckers. As I said, it took me four attempts and much swearing. Despite that the fabric was an absolute dream to sew with. I thought the stretch might complicate things but being mainly cotton it did everything I wanted it to, apart from that bloody sleeve insertion, and that wasn’t because of the fabric. And I cut a size 12 going from an 8 at the shoulders but I took a lot in so I could probably have got away with an 8 going into a 10.
So how does she look? I started off with photos in the house with the self timer as Mr T can be a contrary sod and I couldn’t be sure I’d be able to persuade him to take any decent photos.
I think the under bust wrinkle is just because I wasn’t standing up straight. I have terrible posture. I probably should have done a narrow shoulder adjustment to prevent that slight gaping at the front but I’d already cut this out by the time I discovered them.
Yes, I should have Ironed the hem but I was in a rush to get photos done before we went out.
The back view, with the adorable V back. I do love a bit of back detail. And once again I managed to wriggle into and out of it without a zip. I don’t know if I am abnormally bendy, or it’s my narrow shoulders and back that help but I always baste up the back of my dresses before adding a zip just to see if I need one, and it is amazing how often I don’t. And I’m afraid I didn’t even attempt pattern matching with this random splattery print. Life’s too short…
Did I mention that we were on our way down to the beach to see the Grotter lighting and fireworks that mark the end of the Oyster Festival? So this is my attempt at being a firework.
And another go…..
Okay, give it up. Time to go.
As predicted, the photos out in the wild do not show the dress off to its full potential. This was taken in the Royal Naval Reserve, where we stopped for a couple of pints before the fireworks started. As a result we missed the Grotters. Oh well, there’s always next year…
I’m not sure who was making the least effort, me or the photographer?
Whoosh! Bang! Little explosions of colour! And that’s just my dress.
Here you can see some fireworks without most of them being obscured by my great big face.
We finished up in the Duke of Cumberland listening to Nagasaki 3, (highly recommended if you get a chance to see them) then back to the beach to sit round the bonfire, drink beer and watch people running into the sea in their pants. Perfect.