All wrapped up and somewhere to go

So these past few days have been characterised by a classic out of the frying pan into the fire scenario. Remember the cold that’s been dominating my life (and blog posts) for the past few weeks, regenerating itself like some hideous germ zombie? Well, this week finally saw my recovery. I stopped snivelling and snuffling, and my face began to look less like a bowl of old porridge. By Wednesday, when these photos were taken, I was once again out and about around town; by Thursday I was practically prancing down the streets, so happy was I to be reunited with the outside world and its sunshine. And the prancing bit is where it all went wrong again. It was Thursday afternoon, I’d had a lovely lunch with ex-colleagues, received some good news from J, and was wearing an entirely me-made spring outfit. Life was feeling great, I was feeling buoyant – so when it was time to get off a train I took a little bouncy skip onto the platform, and promptly went over on my ankle.

Having a gammy ankle isn’t fun at the best of times but when you’re about to go on a week long skiing holiday it’s particularly un-fun. Being a qualified first-aider I remembered RICE (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) but being ME I decided to replace ‘Rest’ with ‘Retail’ and limped around the shops buying last-minute thermals until the foot really started to complain. So here I am now, 16 hours shy of a flight to Geneva, with a sexy support sock and bad attitude because I wasn’t allowed to hobble out to Fabrics Galore earlier.

But you didn’t come here for foot chat, so without further nonsense please let me show off my pre-injury make, a Sew Over It wrap dress!

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So I made this out of a Liberty print knit that Fabrics Galore identified as swimwear fabric. I have gone way off-piste in using this stuff for a dress, but as far as I’m concerned a) it’s working, and b) one of the best things about sewing is being able to do exactly what you want with whatever you want. We’re such rebels, us dressmakers…

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My marvellous friend Katie took these photos at St Paul’s Cathedral; it was all I could do not to be gazing upwards in all the photos…

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This pattern is a cinch to make, with just four main pattern pieces and a facing. It came together in no time at all, which is incredibly pleasing for something useful yet smart and guarantees I’ll be making more in future. I did encounter some fitting issues however, which is unusual for me with SOI patterns.

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The front neckline, from the shoulder to the base at the side, was too long for me and initially gaped in an impossibly revealing fashion (and I like revealing). As I want to be able to wear the dress without a camisole underneath I pulled this neckline up at the shoulder, taking an inch and a half off the front but leaving the back unchanged. This has gone some way to managing the gape, but in the words of Flo-Rida, it’s still low-low-low-low-low-low(-cut). To make matters worse, the neckline facing keeps popping out – a problem I know others have encountered. In these photos I’ve even used body tape in a bid for respectability.

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Not at my most demure.

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The other areas however were all a good fit (I cut a size 10, as per usual with SOI), although next time I’ll also be tempted to narrow the sleeves to make them more fitted. None of this is really denting my pleasure in this dress however; I’m really taken with the combination of style and print. This is going to be a go-to date and city break dress for me; in fact I’ve even packed it (plus camisole) for skiing, chalet dinners in mind. I’m looking forward to making it again and attempting to readjust the neckline and facing; although we’re now well into spring and lighter colours, I’ve still got my eye on these Liberty jerseys…

   

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1 and 2 (Liberty.co.uk); 3 (sewoverit.co.uk)

Well, then, to conclude: here’s a photo of me prancing in front of the great doors of St Paul’s, happy as an un-lame larry 🙂  And you can be assured that no ankle is going to stop me from prancing about on the slopes of the Alps next week like a veritable mountain goat. SNOW, HERE I COME! x

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