Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Autumn Sunrise Dress

Once Will and I decided to visit New York in the autumn, I just had to make myself an autumnal dress! I designed a two-tone dress in coral pink and golden yellow, to be made in wool crepe fabric.

But wool crepe fabric is practically impossible to find in anything other than deep colours, so I had to buy ivory and dye it. I used Dylon cold water dyes (did not want to take the risk with machine dyes on the expensive wool fabric); wool doesn't take dye very easily, so these colours are the result of soaking the fabric in the dye for literally hours - the pink was in the dye bath for about five hours. And they're still not quite as vibrant as I'd originally envisaged, although they're still lovely colours.

I used the same basic pattern as both the Happy Apples and the Ballroom Belles dresses, making adjustments to the bodice pattern. I also redesigned the sleeve piece a little - the pattern comes with two sleeve styles, a shirred puff sleeve (which I used on the Apples dress) and a simple darted style. I used the darted sleeve but added more width the pattern piece to give it extra 'puff', and added a tuck to take out the additional width at the opening, the same as I did with Ballroom Belles.

I changed the colour of the top thread in my sewing machine when I sewed the zipper placket so it's pink on pink and yellow on yellow - a touch I'm rather proud of. The dress is fully lined in silk habotai.

Overall I'm very happy with this one. The fit isn't perfect (I normally prefer my clothes to be a touch more snug), but that's okay. It's very comfortable, great for work or a day out and about.

I'm thinking of opening up the centre front seam on the bodice a little to take the neckline a bit lower, which would also allow it to open into a slightly wider sweetheart shape.

Photos taken at Planting Fields Arboretum on Long Island.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Ice skating at Rockefeller Center

We both love ice skating, and the iconic Rockefeller Center rink just opened for the winter, so on our final morning in New York we took to the ice.

Top tip I picked up from Sadie of The Vintage News, a modern cardigan worn backwards is a perfectly vintage style back-button blouse! Plus it totally solves the problem of button-gape. Two pieces of modern knitwear which had been languishing in my wardrobe have found a new lease of life since I came across this genius idea - they've barely been out of rotation in weeks!

Outfit details: Cardigan, Boden via charity shop; skirt, handmade by me; gloves, vintage fair I think?; beret, Tesco (!).

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New York High Line

Outfit details: Jacket, Red Light; sweater, Boden via charity shop; skirt, made by me; handbag, charity shop; shoes, Office.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin picking

I cannot TELL you how excited I was for my first visit to a pumpkin patch. We don't really have them - not in the same way as America has them. All the years I've spent envying the pumpkin patch photos of scrapbookers and pinteresters...

So when we took a day trip to Long Island, pumpkins were high on the agenda. The pumpkins at Schmitt Farm did not disappoint. It was brilliant, and we went on the hayride and everything. And the size of those things! "Look!" I'd exclaim, "giant pumpkins". And he'd say, "no dear, those are just pumpkins".

Outfit details: Dress, handmade by me (blog post coming soon); Celluloid leaf earrings (worn as dress clips), ebay; Jacket, Red Light Clothing Exchange in Portland; Shoes, Office; Bakelite and plastic bangles, various; Earrings and necklace, gifts from my sweetheart.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New York New York

NEW YORK!!! Can you believe the hotel didn't have free wifi so I'm only now catching up with my blogging from my NY trip last week.

Oh yeah, also I have pink hair now.

Some of you who follow me on instagram have already seen my new pink hair (a little windswept in these pics from the boat trip!). I can't tell you how much I LOVE it! I've wanted pink hair ever since I saw the ethereally beautiful Marianne go pastel pink, oh, ages ago. Some of you may recall I put a in pink streak last year. My pink obsession was reignited when the fabulous Gertie went pink, followed by the equally awesome Gemma. I got a pink streak put in in August, and loved it so much I decided to take the plunge to coincide with both Breast Cancer Awareness month -- and my trip to NY.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand, NEW YORK, BABY! Statue of Liberty and everything! The cityscape skirt in the city that inspired the cityscape skirt!

I met my gentleman there, and we spent a week together in the big apple. We packed a lot in - from the Empire State Building to rowing in Central Park, fabric shopping in the garment district and pumpkin picking on long island (so exciting - photos to follow!).

God bless America. You're great.


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