My Week In Sewing: Slip Dresses & Summer Sewing

Hello everyone, here we are back again! Honestly I missed last week because of a combination of the Bank Holiday making me forget what day was Sunday and my final MA assessment (apart from my dissertation) was due on Tuesday so I was writing all weekend anyway. Thus a Sunday missed but not much sewing week before last so no harm no foul.

This morning I spent a lovely couple of hours sat outside in the sunshine, basking like the salamander that I am, reading, and starting to think about my summer holiday wardrobe. I have not actually been on a hot summer holiday since I started sewing more seriously. So there is a lot to think about. In July I’m going to Menorca for 4 days with one of my best friends in the world, we are going to sunbathe, read, drink by the pool, and thats pretty much it! We both seriously need a break and we have the same heat tolerance so its perfect. Now I have begun the very exciting task of considering my wardrobe. Its not that long a holiday but I want lots of options and ideally I want everything except my existing swimwear to be me-made. This morning I sat out and read in my McCalls #M8090 dress and it has definitely earned the first spot in my suitcase. I made this dress last summer and I loved it from the second I put it on, its light weight, floaty, a nice length and but still covered enough to protect your arms and chest from sunburn which I definitely need. I’ve got some other ideas but nothing concrete as of yet but I am definitely going to film a vlog of the final wardrobe when I’m back from holiday.

I’ve been quite quiet over on instagram and on my youtube community tab recently, not that I can really get to grips with that last one I’ll be honest… My quietness is not due to lethargy but actually because I’ve been doing some secret sewing that I can’t reveal to you just yet. For one garment the pattern has not yet been released, for the other I’ve got a guest blog to write before I can show you the make publicly but, spoiler alert, I love them both. Something I can tell you about however is the Butterick pattern I’ve been chipping away at for the past few weeks (pictured on the left). The skirt finally went on last night (hooray!) but there is still a lot of work to do on this dress. The fabric is so slippery that it is astonishingly irritating to work with and I’m having to baste everything to get the right placement. I’m not kidding, pins just fall out of this fabric! However I do have a time limit so I’ve got to get on with it. In two weeks time I am going to the Royal Opera House to see Swan Lake with Adam’s mum and sister and ideally I would like to wear this dress. However there are other options in my wardrobe if this one tries my patience too much.

Last weekend I was also finally able to reveal both my Sicily Slip Dress(left) and my Saltwater Slip (right). It’s so great to have them both out in the world now and feel free to head over to my youtube to find out how I got on making them both. The Sicily has grown on me massively, particularly since I cut half of it off but the Saltwater? I hate it. Or at least I hate the one that I have made. I’m not going to give up because I really do like the pattern, instead I’m treating my first endeavour as a wearable toile. This time around I will be making the longer version in a size smaller in a different fabric and adding the waist ties. I’m also considering a second Sicily but just as a top this time because I think it would look amazing tucked into jeans.

As you all know, I have a penchant for short dresses both in the summer and the winter. Now that my slip dresses have been revealed, the genre of slip dress fashion is open to me and I’ve been considering how best to style them within my wardrobe. I am trying to buy as little as possible and curate a beautiful me made wardrobe, however when I see a piece that I love and will keep for many years I think its worth buying it. What I am trying to train myself to do is to do less impulse shopping. For example, yesterday when I was in London I tried on the most incredible M&S denim jacket embroidered with daisies. I loved it when I saw it on the mannequin, I tried it on in the changing rooms and realised then that it would look amazing with my Sicily slip dress, my white trainers and a pony tail for a more casual summer look.

However sometimes shopping in London specifically can make me way more impulse prone that I am usually so I resolved to think about it. I left the store and 5 minutes into my bus ride to the station I had managed to think of about 8-10 outfits which I wear in the winter that could easily become summer outfits with the addition of this jacket. By the time I was on the train home I was utterly bereft that I had not bought the jacket. I talked it through with Adam, I looked at my wardrobe, I considered if I might find something else better, I um-ed and ah-ed all morning but finally decided on mature consideration to order it online today.

Although it is spending money which with the cost of living crisis I’m really trying not to do, I feel that a proper denim jacket is a good investment for my wardrobe and something I will have for a very long time. I had one as a teenager for 4/5 years before I grew out of it and i wore it constantly, since then I’ve not had one but I have felt the lack of it in my wardrobe. So I have made an investment in my wardrobe. That was the theme of yesterday because I also decided to go and get a bra fitting for the first time in 4 years and also invested in two new bras that fit me. What with that, the jacket, and a little bit of summer fabric shopping at Stitch and Ink, I’m on a spending money ban until my holiday in July!

However thanks to me small shopping excursion I do now have some exciting fabric plans my long saltwater in a black ditsy floral viscose, a wide check gingham version of my Cashmerette Roseclair Wrap Dress, and a mystery red dress for an engagement party we are going to at the end of July. I should point out that the dress is only a mystery because I can’t think of a pattern just yet rather than it intentionally being a mystery. It will have gathers, It will be floaty but other than that I have no idea. Suggestions are very much welcome in the comments below.

One thing I did want to talk about in this blog is Me Made May. Last year I took part in Me Made May by wearing a me made garment everyday and posting a picture on instagram. I felt that it really helped me to get to know my wardrobe better. This year I’m going a different way. The mending pile in my house has now become a mending bin bag and its got to be dealt with. So this month my focus is going to be on mending and caring for my existing wardrobe. I’m hoping to film a mending vlog when I have time and I’ll do a post at the end of the month to say how I got on but other than that you probably won’t see a huge amount from me about Me Made May. Apart from anything I don’t want to procrastinate from the mending by posting about it! But I am taking part, just in my own way.

This week’s fabric of the week comes is a deadstock viscose from Rainbow Fabrics Kilburn that I am absolutely in love with! I saw this green fabric no fewer than 5 times on different people when I was in Covent Garden yesterday and it looked stunning. I’m not normally one for bright green but this fabric has got me sorely tempted!

This week’s pattern of the week is the aptly named Jessica Slip Dress from Tammy Handmade which is the next slip dress on my horizon. I adore Tammy’s patterns and can’t wait to get stuck into this one. It might even be a candidate for my new red fabric!

Thats all from me this week but can’t wait to catch-up with you next weekend when me and my me made wardrobe will be going on a little road trip up to Birmingham to see an old school friend of mine!

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