On Thursday, my boy was sixteen. Where did that time go? Oh my!
We went to London for the day to look at
fabric bicycle shops. I forced myself to look away from the tube map that showed quite clearly we were travelling at high speed, away from the direction of Goldhawk Road, did a bit of deep breathing and managed to keep my mouth shut. Yes, I was stoic and I made all the right, enthusiastic noises whilst fixie spotting (there are so many on the East London streets) and admiring carbon fibre wheels. It was a great day. Except my boy pointed out that NO ONE cool bothers to wear a helmet in London. Now, I love cycling and I love cyclists, but as we watched a hipster dart across traffic and almost collide with a white van, I pointed out that not wearing a helmet doesn’t mean you are cool it means you are a dick head. What’s a mother to do? Why the hell it’s legal to ride without one is beyond me.
I digress, sorry … As I am having a bit of bother with my Cambie (almost sorted btw), I decided to take a break and try out the lovely Anna Dress of By Hand London for my boy’s birthday outing. I bit the bullet and cut with confidence into an amazingly gorgeous vintage fabric (see above) that I’ve had in my stash for years and years, it takes my breath away, I love it so much! I’ve been tempted to use it a couple of times now but have always chickened out, then I decided that realistically I will never think I’m good enough to use it and hey, I could get knocked off my bike tomorrow so live for today and cut away!
I didn’t make a muslin (doh!), I checked my measurements and was quite confident that it would work.
It almost worked. I’ve decided I have a narrow back (really?), hence the gape across it. Not wanting to unpick my invisible zip (the fabric is quite delicate), I pinched some of the excess fabric from the neckline and created two new darts, altering the facing to match. Hmm, I think it looks ok, but I wish I’d re-read Karen’s post before I cut it out and too late I noticed Lizzy had the same problem, it’s not just me, phew!
Then I noticed the gape at the front, I’m a bit perplexed in all honesty because I seem to have this problem with every pattern (my London dress had similar issues) and I’m not sure what to do, perhaps the V neck would have worked better?
Anyway (what a rambling post), it’s lovely, I love it and the shape is so flattering, I can see why it’s so popular. I used French seams in the bodice but overlocked the skirt pieces before stitching together (all seven of them!) as this fabric frays for England. I love the pleated bodice and fitted waist, it’s so feminine. I wore mine with a belt on our day out but today I’m wearing it minus the belt and it’s just as shapely.
This is my first make from By Hand London and it probably took me about five hours with all my fiddling about with my baggy bits. It’s actually very straightforward to assemble (for normal people!) and I’m so happy that I used this precious fabric as it suits the style perfectly. I hemmed it the day of our trip up town, half an hour before the train left (phew) and consequently re-hemmed it this morning, only this time straight!
With my boys birthday over, I am thinking this is a good festival dress (it even says so on the packet!). I’m not sure why maxi dresses are recommended for festivals as I see nothing but muddy hems and awkward maneuvers in the very dodgy portaloos, but the shorter version is perfect! As we are off to Green Man very soon, this is definitely coming with me! I’m just hoping it won’t rain quite so much this year …
Right, where’s my boy, I need to permanently attach that helmet to his head and remind him that he may be sixteen but he’ll always be my baby!