Sunday, September 13, 2015

Rescue Mission it's been a while, hasn't it?  Four and a half years ago in fact, and according to the blog the last time I posted was when I was spending all day stuffing envelopes for an insurance company, which feels like a lifetime ago.

In brief summary, these are the latter years of my twenties (oh dear god where did they go):

  • Walked out of said insurance company in disgust when the somewhat more interesting job they kept promising me went to someone else
  • Walked into an HR job in a recruitment company and spent the next year and a half being shouted at by temp staff who couldn't quite grasp the fact that no, they weren't going to get paid if we didn't know that they went to work, and yes, they do have to use the sign in sheet for us to know that.
  • Watched one of my best friends go off travelling the world and developed seriously jealous itchy feet.
  • Shamelessly copied her and left the job to go backpacking around Asia for a year (I actually managed to keep on top of a travel blog as well)
  • Miraculously stayed with the same boyfriend all this time despite the fact that I callously left him back in England on his own - his year of waiting devotedly goes some way towards explaining why I can forgive him for the constant fart jokes
  • Finally moved out of Martin's parents' flat into a lovely sparkly flat of our own, which has a second bedroom which we have christened the Nerd Lair as it is full of half yarn and fabric and half Warhammer models.
  • Got meself a new job in payroll, passed my payroll technician certificate with 98% because (my view) it was a really bloody easy exam, or (my parents' view) I'm phenomenal, aaaaand
  • As of this week, started college again part time to learn AAT Accounting, which I'm rather excited about, because payroll is fairly dull (no, of course accountancy isn't dull as well, accountancy is a thrilling rollercoaster every minute)

But in other news, I'm resurrecting the blog because I SEWED A THING!

This isn't just a rescue mission for the blog though, I won the pattern for this dress in a blog giveaway 4 years ago and rather ungratefully it has been sitting abandoned and unfinished for almost as long as Pie and Handkerchiefs because I couldn't get it to fit.

The pattern is Lonsdale by Sewaholic, and I'd like to stress that the not fitting part was down to my pitiful attempts at a full bust adjustment rather than the pattern itself - if you don't do so much inept faffing about with it it's a lovely design and the instructions are very well written.  I'm sure my old college tutors would be horrified with how badly my adjustments went, but I maintain that it's very different fitting something to yourself rather than another body that you can walk around and look at from a distance.

I promise, I did do a muslin of my changes, which seemed to work fine, but my first error, and potentially my first indication that maybe I should slow down and think this through logically came when I somehow managed to cut the bodice from my adjusted pattern and the skirt from the original pattern.  Of course this meant that the skirt didn't come close to fitting on the bodice any more, and I didn't have the fabric to cut another one, so I was forced to cut additional 2" wide panels to fill in the gaps at the side seams.  But - I had several long skinny bits of fabric left, so I decided to make extra long strips and gather them up so the panels looked like a purposeful design feature rather than a bodged up repair job.


Off I go happy as Larry, sewing up all the pieces, finishing all the seams and inserting my ruddy perfect enclosed invisible zip and making everything look beautiful until it comes time to sew the hem and I tried it on for (what was I thinking) the first time, and it didn't fit.  At all.  I could fit approximately six of my boobs in here and two of those could have migrated to my sides if they really wanted to.  Clearly when I fudged around with the skirt, I really should have checked whether it still worked with my bodice adjustments.  At this point I wanted to cry, so I screwed the damn thing into a ball at the bottom of a box and sulked about it.  For four years.

Fast forward to last month and it appears that it was quite an irrational sulk, because now that I've calmed down and matured somewhat it was quite an easy fix - just taking in the side seams and hoiking up the waistband at the centre front.  I'd thrown out all the excess fabric and there was no way that I was unpicking all the finishing, so it was a case of pulling things around on the inside and slipstitching the outside into submission, which means that there are some odd folds going on inside the dress, but who cares?  The outside fits!

Weird insides

Gratuitous close up of the boobs neckline.  The ladies don't behave when I leave them unfettered so I have to wear a clear strapped bra, but I can live with that.

Best part of the dress though, is without doubt:


I love the pockets so much and kind of want to put them in everything.  The sudden finishing of the dress was down to a last minute invitation to a wedding, and I left with cake in my pockets just because I could.  I had intended to wear this again to my friend's 30th last week but had to change my mind due to less than stellar weather.  I ended up wearing a shop bought dress which was admittedly warmer, but did not share the pockety magnificence of Lonsdale.  I was disappointed all evening. Handmade dresses win.