Hello & Happy 2018!
I hope if/how ever you celebrate the new year you enjoyed it immensely. My rock ‘n roll evening consisted of cooking a delicious roast beef dinner for my husband and sisters, then falling asleep on the couch watching Lord of the Rings (in fairness I suspect it was the directors cut, it seemed to go on for HOURS!).There is an unsubstantiated report I may have been snoring at midnight. I’ve since spent some quiet time reading, hanging out with the whanau & trying to think of new ways to serve the vast ham which is taking up half my fridge.
All of which has brought my sewing mojo back, hooray! December was a busy one, with a trip to Australia for a beautiful wedding , where I got to wear the Ngaio dress I made last month.
Work was crazy busy, and as we were hosting Christmas day lunch , I did at least attempt to make my garden look slightly less tragic . Apparently hanging baskets filled with long dead flowers are not especially festive. Somehow every weekend in December was full and it was 2018 already!
I’ve resisted the urge to make wildly optimistic resolutions, it would seem I’m not terribly good at giving things up (sugar, salt, fat, wine, fun…), instead I’ve decided to add things in. My first was a hashtag I came across on Instagram, #2018makenine, a list of nine patterns I’m planning on making in 2018. I chose patterns I already have, but haven’t sewn yet ( while being quietly shocked at just how many I had to choose from…)
First on my list, the Fringe dress by Chalk & Notch , but a MAXI version. I know, get me eh! I’ve never actually worn a maxi, let alone sewn one, but my other 2018 “add in” is being a bit more adventurous with my styling. And lets be honest, with legs as pale as mine, a maxi is also practically a “snow blindness prevention” public service.
Helpfully, Gabriela has a tutorial for altering the pattern to a maxi one her blog, it was actually really easy. I added 45 cm to the skirt which was about 3 cm too long for my height of 5 ft 6 or 166 cm.
This is the first Chalk & Notch pattern I’ve made and I’m really impressed. The instructions are clear and thorough, with excellent illustrations. This is a relatively complicated pattern, with waist darts & ties, buttonholes, plenty of top-stitching & my nemesis, a curved hem. But it actually felt quite straightforward because of such comprehensive instructions.
The fabric is a modal from Atelier Brunette , purchased from Miss Maude & squirreled away for the right pattern. It’s really soft & silky, which probably did make my life slightly more difficult for sewing, but so lovely to wear, especially as a maxi.
The buttons are pretty vintage numbers, courtesy of my very own button magpie, my sister Dette. I made view A, which actually also has buttons on the sleeves, but I decided I liked the sleeve length without them. The sleeves are not set in, so were quite quick to sew, and they fit with no bicep adjustment required, yay!
I wore this to a lovely summer wedding, and felt really comfortable all day. Dancing was a breeze, thanks to the side splits (I only took mine up to my knee but if you’re more daring they could be J Lo style thigh length!
I’m planning my next fringe dress , just below the knee & perfect for work with sandals & a pretty cardigan.
I’ll leave you this week with one of my exhausted sewing assistants, clearly I work him to hard…