Ever tried “shopping the look”? Me neither. Never seriously because- and I’ll let you in on a little secret- I’m a rubbish shopper. This also means I’m a cheap date which is good news for Mr Enthusiast but not good news for my wardrobe. Here’s another secret for you, gratis: if you sew your own clothes, you do not have to shop the look. You can make the look your very own.
Where do you get your inspiration? I’m pretty keen on the entire wardrobe worn by Jess Day, the lead character in sitcom New Girl. Totes snazzy. So when I saw this dress I decided, again: I can make the look my very own.
This dress. Ooh lala. It’s so pretty- the navy colour, the flat piped accents, that (as described on Modcloth) “fit and flare” style.
When I laid my eyes on that dress I knew I could use it to inspire my own cute dress- I still had the recently-made Megan dress on my mind. This time I wanted to try adding some details to a garment (such as piping)- and I had a scanty metre of this weird and adorable bargain bin Liberty cotton print in a lovely dark blue.
The idea was sealed, Instagram stitchers quizzed as to which colour accent to use (mustard won out!) and away we were.
I worked hard to make this dress in time for a lovely weekend away (here I’m standing at the promenade outside the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill- such a wonderful little town!) and it showed me how much work goes into those details- it’s fully lined with a hand picked zip, flat piping on the sleeve hems, in the waistline and piping at the neckline.
There’s also the faux placket down the front with the bow and cute buttons from grandma’s tin. Phew! I’ve worn it on two big occasions-both times with the Shrek legs (must find better tights options!)- and loved it!
All there is now is for me to leave you with this Jess Day quote. A little insight into yours truly, if you like:
I have touched glitter in the last 24 hours. I spend my entire day talking to children. And I find it fundamentally strange that you’re not a dessert person. It freaks me out.
Readers, you know how this works. You make some things and then what with one thing and another weekends roll on by without so much as a quick snap of said Sewn Items. Happily this weekend changed that- we were on the South coast and a glorious beachy walk gave the perfick opportunity to look like a total amateur in front of a film crew who were faffing about with light meters and horse poo and whatever else techy guys on that particular (equine) film set get up to.
I’m told we missed seeing Ms Kidman and Mr Law being filmed on the same beach by a mere weekend. The nerve. Anyway, the dress. Yes. There’s not much of a story here- my very kind husband bought me Tilly’s book of dressmaking, Love at First Stitch for our wedding anniversary back in July. What a pretty book! Great projects, too. But my least fave? The Megan Dress. I mean, I loved the jersey version in the book but the woven ones I’ve seen I just don’t love. Then a while later I went browsing round my local market and the fabric lady had a thick stretchy jersey knit in black and white stripes. Ping! Went my braincakes. Stripes! Stripes and a solid! A Megan in stripes and a solid! At last I could reconcile with that pattern and I’m so pleased I did.
I’m not going to lie- the insides are a nest of iniquity and the stripes are kind of wonky on the bottom front but the bits I like, I REALLY like. I love my zip insertion; I love how the stripes match across the zip at the back; I love the cute sleeves and how they seem to line up nicely perpendicular to the floor. I love how it feels to wear in the soft fabric and the deep hem (it was a lazy moment of not wishing to cut the skirt shorter, but I like the look now) and how it looks with bright tights (I think Miss Demeanour would approve of that sentiment, being the Disco Tights in the Daytime Queen and all). I even went so far as to make a little detachable collar should the fancy take me. It’s love!
There’s a third make in these pics- my cardigan. I took 8 months to knit this thing but it’s my first more technical project (i.e. not a knitted scarf or handwarmers or tea cosy!) and I’m so enjoying wearing it! If you’re interested in moving your knitting to the next level but cardi’s are too scary (as they were for me) I can recommend the craftsy class My First Sweater – does what it says on the tin. Not the most exciting class to watch but it’s a good one and easy to follow!