Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Nobody really cares if you don't go to the party

*Disclaimer: Still sponsored by jump shots. You're still welcome.*



So, I was cutting this dress out on my kitchen table at the end of July listening to the radio and I heard this song by Courtney Barnett for the first time. It was like magic; one moment I was carefully cutting out, next thing I know I'm jumping around the room waving my shears around yelling "IIIIIIII WANNA GO OUT BUT I WANNA STAY HOME!!!!!". I think it's fair to say that the song spoke to me. It's not just that it's a really great song, or that it sounds like what would happen if Mal Blum and The Clash had a baby (Which would be my DREAM, just FYI) but because I think those exact words pretty much every time I get invited to something. It's not that I don't want to go, or that I don't like my friends it's just that I sometimes I need to psych myself up to do new things or just socialise with people (even people I know well  and sometimes it's just less exhausting to bow out and stay home.

That being said, lately I've been trying to be more present. It's my natural instinct to cut myself off from people when things get tough (or even when things are normal) so saying "Yes" to a night out or following through with a plan instead of making last minute excuses has turned out to be (un)surprisingly fulfilling. It means I've had more crap nights out and acted like more of an idiot than usual, but I've also had loads of great times and gotten to know everyone I love a little better. Because every time I have a go out/stay in dilemma and I choose to go out, I never regret it once I've arrived and I'm with my friends.  Because sure the quality of your friends' times might not be affected if you don't show up (although I wouldn't go as far as to say nobody cares) but the quality of yours probably will be if you don't input any effort into your relationships/interaction with the outside world. Sometimes it's great to spend your Friday evening cutting out a dress on the kitchen table rocking out to Radio 2, sometimes it's not. Whatever dude, It's your call. Or mine. Or whatever. Never mind.

... And there ends the rambled musings of a girls gets way too introspective about songs... Surely I can't be the only one who speaks in song lyrics and book quotes...? Right?  I mean it's just like what Mal Blum said "I usually only speak in song"... wait, was I doing it again...? Oh well, back to the dress.

The dress in question is another Simplicity 1803, this time in view B. I actually cut and sewed this in at the same time the first S1803 because the process and fitting was pretty much identical. I've been sewing "Production line style" (I don't know what else to call it :/) a lot lately, if I'm making the same pattern twice or if I'm using the same fabric on two different garments. It's partly because I hate changing the settings on my machine so if i'm going to make two knit tees or two chiffon skirts I might as well make them at the same time. It's also because doing the same process twice doesn't feel like that much extra effort than once, so I can trick myself into thinking I'm only making one garment, but then I get a "surprise" extra bonus garment at the end. Two for the price of one! Winning.

Anyways this whole tandem construction thing means that all the fitting details are exactly the same as my first S1803, in this post. Which leaves us to talk about the important stuff: Fabric!!

You see I Luuurrrrvvvveeeeee this fabric. Like A LOT!! Like I bought it last May and hoarded it for a year, petting it like Gollum and his precious, because I was too afraid to cut into it and ruin it. Yup, it's that kind of fabric. The type of fabric that gets songs written about it. The type of fabric that gets coveted by other sewists and makes the rest of the stash jealous, wishing that their owner showed them half as much affection. It's the type of fabric that gives you major crippling cutting anxiety for years, but as soon as you've sewn it up you kick yourself for not doing it sooner, because it's now the most perfect, beautiful dress of all time and you love it and will never take it off. Thanks. The End. Bye.

... Can you tell that I'm excited...?

In this picture I'd say more bemused than excited :/
To go into details it's super light weight and but surprisingly warm to wear, with a slight brushed/fuzzy texture. It's super soft, drapes gorgeously and doesn't wrinkle. I don't know the fibre (All the label said was "Linen-look"- Thanks a bunch John Lewis, Soooooo helpful of you to tell me what it isn't!!!) but I assume cotton. It's hard to tell from the pictures but it's a navy blue background with print of white leaves/flowery things with green centres. Now ya'll know I love everything navy blue, but you might not know favourite colour is green... or that the green leaves are the EXACT SAME SHADE OF GREEN AS MY GREEN DOCS, thus making this the most perfect fabric for co-ordinating with my entire wardrobe!!!

... CAN YOU TELL THAT I'M EXCITED???!!!!

SEE?? SAME SHADE OF GREEN!!


There are only two slight issues with the fabric:

1) It has a super open weave meaning A) I was super worried about the neckline stretching out and had to do loads of careful staystitching (although it did make it super easy to manipulate when easing in princess seams) and B) The dress needed a full lining (More on that later)

2) I only had 1 meter.. Dun Dun Duuunnnnn!!! Yup. Past Cam in her state of miserliness Spartan frugality, and would only buy 1m of fabric if she didn't have a  specific plan for it, and when Present Cam finally made a specific plan it was for a sleeveless dress with a full skirt... *Facepalm* Luckily this fabric was 60" wide and didn't have a directional print, so with some pattern tetris I was able to make it work, but the whole thing was touch and go for a while. (And it's safe to say the old yardage policy has since been amended)


Like I said before the construction process was almost exactly the same as the first S1803, the only difference is that I fully lined this version. The bodice was lined with the same navy cotton lawn as the first version, but I couldn't use that for the skirt because cotton lining+tights=static station. Not pretty.

Instead I used a navy blue poly lining handed down from my grandmother's stash. (See?! This is why I have a massive stash, so I can hand it down to my granddaughter one day!! #Lifegoals) Anyways this lining was bought many many moons ago, (Think before I was born...) then slowly forgotten and abandoned when my Nani stopped making clothes. Some may say that it was simply chance that left this fabric to languish alone and unsewn at the back of a cupboard for so many years, but I think there was another reason it was rejected: Because it is devil fabric. Yup. That's right, you heard me, DEVIL FABRIC! *Cue dramatic thunder sound effect*


To cut a long story short, this fabric is the ungodly combination of lightweight/slippery, staticky, and too tightly woven. My needle could barely pierce it. It couldn't even skip stitches because there weren't any stitches being made with which to skip!! I changed the needle, thread, bobbin, and ALL the tension settings with zero improvement. I finally decided that it needed some sort of reinforcement  to stabilise it and hopefully decrease the tension. (Funnily enough, after deciding this, I told my engineery step-dad about the issue and without even telling him my plan he made the exact same suggestion. Great minds,eh?) So when sewing the skirt lining (poly) to the bodice lining (cotton lawn) at the waist I added a strip of cotton lawn to the seam to stabilise it (sandwiching the poly between the cotton) Miraculously, this actually solved the problem of the skipped stitched for the waist.

Bias bound skirt seams and hem

Unfortunately I still had to sew the skirt lining side seams and hem. I realised that just wasn't going to work and by that point I wanted as little interaction with the lining as possible. So I decided to sew and finish the side seams in one step by sandwiching the seams and hem in double-fold bias binding. This meant I only had to sew the seam once, and enclosing the lining in the cotton bias binding stabilised it enough to sew easily. Hurrah for the easy way out!! Also, bonus, the pretty floral bias tape hem flashes when I twirl :)
Bias binding peeking out the bottom

Sidenote: I didn't want to add too much bulk to the waistline by using the S1803 skirt pattern for the lining as well as the actual skirt. So, I used the skirt lining from Vogue 1353. It's just a simple A-line, with two pleats in the front and back. Zero bulk at the waist, but a lot of fullness at the hem, which makes it super fun and swishy to wear. Despite the trials of the skirt lining I'm 100% glad I did it. It adds some much needed opacity as well as supporting the actual skirt and making it hang better. A classic example of ends justifying means...
Don't ask.

This dress you guys... sigh... it's a total keeper! It's already worked its way to the top of my weekly rotation, I feel like it's going to become the dress I reach for when I need to look good, no questions asked. Instant self-confidence in dress form! You can't beat that!

For me this is the perfect marriage of fabric and pattern. It's my favourite colours, a silhouette that I love and a print that's interesting but unobtrusive (Aka my favourite kind of print) I'm also really glad I plumped for view B. I feel like it's a lot less gimmicky than views A and C and much more wearable- like I could probably fill and entire wardrobe with s1803 view Bs no questions asked. Hell, I still might! I also really like the way that the V-neckline is like a square/sweetheart neckline hybrid, more utilitarian, less saccharine. Basically It's just awesome. 100% awesome, which is incidentally how it makes me feel. Yay! 10 points to Dumbledore!

Anyways, I've started talking in circles and making AVPM references which means it's probably time to sign off...

...Now I know what you're thinking "Phew! The end at last! At least she didn't bombard us with any more jump shots..."

PSYCH!!! MOOOOOAAAAAAARRRRRRR JUMPSHOTS FOR EVERYONE!!!


This is officially my favourite photo of myself ever.


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