Thursday, 28 July 2011

Contemplating A Refashion

I'm bad and haven't got any further with making my dress yet, but I have done a bit of maths so at least I have an excuse. It will happen, honest! The idea has grown in my mind of adapting the dress shape to make my own graduation blouse (Bristol seem fairly strict on the dress code - black and white). This is mostly inspired by seeing so many sets of people graduating over the past weeks, and the realisation that I only have a year left! (and that I need to get my act together...)
But yes, anyway! On Tuesday I ventured down to Broadmead to buy a towel (thrilling I know) and sadly lost my jumper somewhere along the way. This was my charity shop bargain navy lambswool men's XL Crew jumper, one of my favourites and the main thing standing between me and pneumonia in the chilly air-conditioned climes of my lab at work. Luckily all was not lost and, after failing to find it on the day, I phoned up M&S and lo they had it in their lost property. Hurrah!
So, down I went this morning to be reunited with it. On the way back I decided to stop by Primark and see if they had any cheap summer dresses which didn't require modesty-preserving but toasty vests (I seem to have overlooked this when buying almost everything in my wardrobe). I came out with not one but two bargain dresses. The first is this one which is a surprisingly very good fit (probably all that shirring on the back), a colour I don't wear enough, and cost £5. I might wear it for the boyfriend's Dad's birthday on Saturday, hopefully the weather will stay decent.
The other dress I bought, while still a bargain at £3, isn't quite the shape I'd want.
 Click through for larger pictures, I didn't want to overwhelm the blog with massive ones!

 The print is lovely, there's enough chest coverage and it's a good length but there's something potato sack-y about the top part, plus a strange overly-large frill and wormy ties:

I feel a refashion coming on.
I think the elasticated waist is probably responsible for the sack-like-ness but then it stops it bagging further down so I'm not sure what, if anything, I should do about that.
The frill is just a bit bizarre (and I never iron things so there's not much point trying to tame it that way as I'd never wear it after the first wash!) but I think it'd be too plain without. I might narrow the frill to a more manageable amount and attach the excess to the straps which are a bit thin for my liking. Alternatively I could add to/replace the straps with plain navy ribbon.
Any thoughts? Suggestions would be most welcome.
I'm not very brave about refashioning things as I always expect to screw it up.

My sofa has become a pile of colour and pattern (at least it's not a floordrobe?!) - clockwise from top right we have:leopard print snuggie/slanket, new M&S towel "bath sheet" - huge towels are the best, flighty but lovely navy jumper as mentioned above, Monsoon maxi skirt given me by my grandmother ages ago, grey New Look cardi - very much a staple, navy polkadot Primark skirt - £1 in the sale!, Red Herring black leggings - shorter than standard & mostly for cycling, green woolly cardi - £2.99 from a charity shop, khaki shirt from H&M last summer - lovely & light, crocheted blanket - huge grey & purple stripes, crocheted ...umm.. thing? Started life as an experiment with leftover wool, now mostly a lap blanket/antimacassar (ew)! Oh and New Look bird skirt  - originally purchased in an 18 in the sale because I loved the pattern, replacement 14 came from eBay very cheaply! (the original went to a clothes swap some friends were holding) /endfluff

Life in the lab today was punctuated by the noise of builders next door, which was pretty annoying. At lunchtime we collectively decided not to bother coming back from lunch and to work from home. After eating my sandwiches with the awesome Mr Adam  who has just recently moved to Bristol I went home and flirted with the idea of running away to the union to develop film. I have a backlog of film to develop which extends back to February; I made a list of what I have to develop, complete with dev times from the massive dev chart which seems to be a good source of that type of information.
I eventually decided to be good and productive and cycled over to Callum's to work sociably, trying and failing to pick up two lots of payment on the way (one from my summer job, the other for a psychology study I participated in yesterday). I managed to fix the problem I'd been having updating my graphs, finish off the council tax student exemption form, and start an actual list of things I need from home home. I feel efficient.
Phew. Please note that all this stuff I write here is partly for my own record, I know it's not terribly fascinating! :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

On A Crafty Theme

Well, I haven't made any progress on the dress. I haven't done any maths. I haven't spent all my evenings seeing the boy. What I have done is go home two weekends in a row and spend my weeknights lounging around. Hmm. So a quick update then I really MUST do some maths, even if it is just writing out definitions. I might stick them to the wall...

So, no sewing has happened. I did have a little go at friendship bracelets, prompted by Laura of Lupin Handmade/bugsandfishes in this post, but was pretty much as unsuccessful as ever. I've read lots of crafty blog posts from the likes of Karen, Tilly and Ms Scruffy Badger which have been making me want to get on with the dress, and want to make many other things as well! Tut at myself.
I've also brought my proper fabric scissors up to Bristol with me and bought some pins. I spotted them in the sale at Cath Kidston a week or two ago and thought the tin was nice but restrained myself, but then I went back when I realised that I would be needing pins for my dress :)

The other Cath Kidston thing in the picture is a little travel sewing kit given me by my aunt one Christmas, it hasn't had all that much use previously but I rediscovered it last time I was home. I'm not one for buying things for the brand but I do think Cath Kidston makes very pretty things, I just wouldn't necessarily buy them full price! (I have a handbag that's a rather good Primark imitation which was £3 compared to £16 or £18 from CK)

Continuing the sewing theme, here's a book I got in The Works (a discount bookshop) while I as home. It was marked down from £9.99 to £1.99, then 99p but it came up on the till at 49p! Bargain. It's a reprint of a book from 1941 and gives advice on how to efficiently use your rations of fabric and how to straighten a wonky hat brim etc. I'm not sure how much practical use it is but it's pretty and interesting.

On a different crafty note I've perpetrated this:
Friends have described it as "vajazzling" my phone. It's quite a bit lot trashy and awful but it amuses me, and I only did the removable back (which I have three of due to amusing misunderstandings with a certain manufacturer's customer services). They're Poundland's finest stick-on gems and there are plenty more where those came from.
I should add that my phone is over four years old now and I'd never do this to a new one! It may not be very good for the working of the phone in terms of heat, we shall see...

This made me happy - it's a street sign on Bristol's St Michael's Hill that's been yarn bombed! Already several other photos of it have popped up on the Internet (e.g. Niall's). Bristol's a good place for coming across interesting little different things that make me happy.

Sunday, 10 July 2011


I've just returned from a lovely week in Cornwall with the boy and a slightly pointless but relaxed few days back home and it feels like a good time to get writing again. Tomorrow I start my summer job making pretty graphs of important computery things happen, I won't go into too much detail as a) it'd be boring and b) I'm not quite sure what I'm doing yet myself! All should be revealed tomorrow though.
The plan for the summer is to work 5 days a week and split my evenings between learning maths for my resits, making a dress (no sewing machine to help me there), and seeing the boy. Hopefully I will neither slack off the first in favour of the last too much, nor bury myself so deeply in the first that I barely do the last. The middle one is of much lower importance and probably for days when I'm lacking the brain for maths!
Added to this I intend to make my own sandwiches all summer to save money and to generally eat healthily and hopefully shed a few pounds inches (no scales), possibly with the assistance of walks/cycling. Of course it's pretty unlikely that I'll manage all this, and even if I do I'll be so sick of being saintly that I'll spend the next term eating Ben & Jerry's and doing no work. Hmm.

So here's what I'm making:

I've disemboweled this dress!
The picture only shows the bodice but the skirt is fairly simple - just four panels and two pockets. This is a New Look favourite which I bought a duplicate of from eBay and I'm planning on making a version out of a duvet cover I bought way back in early May or so.
The funny thing with this dress is that everything you'd think was a turned up hem is in fact faced. Extra work? I can see why it's been done mostly and will probably stick with it, it's all done with the same fabric so no fancy stuff to buy (and our iron is broken so I can't use iron-on interfacing anyway!).
There will be dress updates with progress pictures, partly to help me keep it up. I've already got loads of photos of seams and hems taken as I took it apart to show me how everything goes together. I'm not ironing the deconstructed dress parts as they'll show me how to fold the new fabric. Hopefully I'll get the skirt facing off and the fabric cut this week.
Wish me luck?

June Continued

Some nice things from the middle couple of weeks of June (after exams & before Cornwall)

 A yarn bombed tree in Brandon Hill Park, I love the little butterfly!

Photosoc won Best Website at the Society Awards, and were specially commended for Best Society! Awesome. The Awards ceremony had a champagne reception, free wine, free beer & free cider. Oh and free sweets & ice cream! Did I mention it was free? BUJO played, TUBBS sang, we danced. It was FUN.

On our way home that night, Lis and I met a very nice cat :)

Tash & I went to Cardiff and spotted some traditionally-dressed Welsh people dancing...

...the cutest type of mini-supermarket...

...a stone lion (amongst other animals)...

...and the rather impressive castle. A good day out.

On my wanderings: Bristol's Lido looking oh-so seaside-y

& a stone lion on a rooftop, guess where!

Tom had his birthday party at Noa in Clifton Village, very good Japanese food.

My sister came to visit. We had the £4 vegan special curry at St Nicks market...

...and took an evening walk to the suspension bridge on the longest day.