Friday, 7 April 2017

a life update and a new favourite purple dress

Hello, world! It's been a while.

It seems like ages that I last posted, and I guess it was. A lot has happened since then. Last semester was pretty rough - everyone said it would be, but literally nothing could have prepared me for the insane amount of work I had. After making my last dress, I didn't touch my sewing machine for the rest of the semester. I got back into knitting a little by knitting microbe plushies as a fundraiser!


This semester, my workload has been a little lighter, but I've still had a lot going on and haven't had much time to sew. I've managed to finish a couple very simple knit dresses, but you know what? I wear a lot of simple knit dresses so that feels like a pretty huge frickin' accomplishment right now.


In other life updates, I'm going to Germany this summer! I'm mildly freaking out about finding somewhere to stay, applying for visas, and booking tickets, but I have an internship for 3 months at the University of Heidelberg studying Hepatits B virus!


At the beginning of May, I'll be in Berlin for two weeks for a language course, living with a host family, then I start my internship that goes until mid-August. I'll hopefully spend the last couple weeks of August traveling around other parts of Europe before heading back to Montreal for my last year of undergrad! International sewing friends, hit me up.

(Actually though, if anyone has friends/family/connections in Germany, especially in or near Heidelberg, I'm desperately looking for a place to stay!!)


Back to sewing, I made this dress back in January in a random burst of energy for procrastination. I saw that Heather from Closet Case Patterns had released the Ebony Dress and Tee, a flared knit swing dress, and bought it on the spot! I had wanted all summer to draft a pattern like it for myself (which I've actually done already for a friend and I know it really isn't that hard), but I guess I like shiny new patterns because for the first time in ages I actually felt like sewing, and I wanted to act on that while it lasted.


The same day I bought it, I taped together the pattern, cut out the dress, and sewed most of the dress except topstitching the neckline and hemming, because I didn't have matching thread. It was a pretty quick make considering that I hadn't sewn in months - it probably took me about 4 hours for all this minus hemming.


The fabric is from Our Social Fabric in Vancouver. My mom brought it for me when she visited Montreal this summer - the perks of having a mom that volunteers at OSF and already has too much fabric! It's a rayon/spandex knit that has nice drape and body, and isn't sheer at all.


The neckline is somewhere in between the scoop neck and the jewel neck. I thought the scoop neck might be too low, but next time I'll probably just make it as-is.


I'll be honest, before hemming this, I tried it on and hated it. I didn't bother buying matching thread to hem it and it sat, unhemmed, on my sewing table for 2 weeks and all the energy I suddenly had for sewing pretty much died. I felt like it looked like a maternity dress and was probably the worst possible shape for my body!!


A couple weeks later, I decided to see what it would look like shorter. I cut 4 inches off and then tried it on, and I loved it! It was pretty much knee-length on me before, which isn't the best look for such a loose fit, lemme tell you. Shorter, though, it's super cute!


I went out and bought thread and hemmed it the next day, and I've worn it way too much ever since. It's maybe not the most flattering, but it's cute and comfortable and I don't have to worry about it not fitting during periods of excessive stress-eating.


The fit around the arms isn't perfect - the pattern was actually revised to give the smaller sizes some more room in the arms, but not until after I'd made this one. It's a little snug but I have pretty small arms and shoulders so it's not too bad. It maybe doesn't sit perfectly on my shoulders which gives the hem a bit more of a high-low effect but I kind of like that.


So tdlr; this is my new favourite dress (sorry Alix)! It's a style I never would have seen myself wearing a year ago but I'm totally in love with it. It's so easy to wear and to dress up or down. I want to make many many more and live in them all summer (in Germany!)


Thanks to James for taking such killer pictures for me! And thanks to this beautiful city for being such a great backdrop. These photos were all taken in Old Port (and yes, I was a little cold!!)

Until next time xx

13 comments:

  1. I made a similar dress two months ago and as you said, they are not the most flattering items, but very comfortable.I am sorry that I can't help you with a place to stay in Berlin (wrong place of Germany), but I can help you when you plan to visit Switzerland.
    Greetings from the heart of Switzerland
    Sabine

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    1. Thanks, that would be great! I'll let you know if I plan to visit Switzerland.

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  2. That color is beautiful with your hair! I generally avoid this style of dress, but it does look good on you!

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  3. I live in Berlin, so if you want me to show you around while you're here just contact me!

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  4. my mail is spekulatiuskatze (googlemail account)

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  5. That's a great opportunity! Was it something arranged through McGill, or did you figure it out on your own? Many moons ago, I started a mapping project for the sewing community, that has unfortunately been abandoned because I don't have the time (or coding skills) to improve the interface. Zoom in to the Berlin area and see who's there:
    https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1l_XqqOtKsztSy6XaQB7MWyxq3GU&msa=0&ll=52.52663305143233%2C13.375919067840641&spn=8.040708%2C21.643066&z=11
    Let me know if it doesn't work!

    Oh, and very nice Ebony ;)

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    1. The program is called DAAD RISE - they arrange a bunch of internships in different parts of Germany for university students from Canada, the US and the UK. That map is amazing! It looks like there are even a couple people around Heidelberg too. Thanks so much!!

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  6. That dress is perfection on you and congratulations on an amazing research opportunity!

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  7. I'm so pleased to see another post! I love reading your blog, though I understand you're busy. I love your dress!

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