Monday 25 July 2016

PAPMAP part one: Anna maxi dress (ish)

I seem to be starting a lot of posts this way lately, but: this is not exactly what I intended to make.

I was planning on making a straight maxi-length jersey Anna dress; black on top, this crazy-ass fabric on the bottom. However, this crazy-ass fabric is one I picked up in a remnant bin around this time last year - it was the oldest purchase in my stash by several months because I could never work out what to do with it - and all I knew was that I had "some" of it. After cutting out my first panel, it became extremely clear that I wasn't even close to being able to fit all the pieces on this fabric, and I had to rethink. The only thing I could think to do was a gathered skirt, so that's what I did.

The front panel is the Anna front panel, the other two are just giant gathered rectangles. Well, rectangle-ish. I tried to shape them a bit at the top. In retrospect, I should have shaped them a bit more. I had to do a LOT of gathering. And then take some honking great darts out at the back. I had every intention of pattern-matching until I realised the disparity between the amount I thought I had and the amount I actually had, and it just wasn't to be. Beyond that, it was pretty straightforward - standard construction on the bodice, piece of elastic in the skirt, boom.

(There is a large plaster on my ankle because my old surgery scar is doing something truly disgusting at the moment. For all our sakes I'll spare you the details.)

I got this done in the first couple of days of July, before the PAPMAP post even went up, largely because I'd started panicking about how much sewing I needed to do this month if I was going to have zero stashed fabric by moving day. I took it out for a walk the day I finished it, and I'm going to share a couple of photos, because my boyfriend managed to get some pretty decent shots on my dying Samsung (now replaced with an iPhone for reasons that definitely aren't Pokemon Go related and I'm definitely above all that stuff):

(I realise the second one is Instagram filtered within an inch of its life, but I can do that if I want to.)

I have worn this pretty much constantly this month, to a level where I've begun to get concerned about smell. It's just the best summer item I have in my wardrobe - super comfortable, the fact that the top is basically a T-shirt means I won't burn my shoulders, and having the slit at the front makes it fabulously swishy. I have no idea where I'm going to find the time or money to make another one, but I'd love to (possibly if summer continues on into September to make up for the fact that it basically only started last week). While bodging together a gathered skirt worked OK here, I'd prefer to have something a bit more... patternish for the next attempt. I haven't decided yet whether to make a proper Anna or just refine what I did with this one. A gathered skirt might actually be better for daywear, and it would certainly take a lot less fabric to make.

Smugface 2: The Resmuggening

Thursday 21 July 2016

Project Stashbust, volume whatever

Update on the whole moving thing: we have found and put down a deposit on a one-bedroom flat which seems disturbingly perfect (it's exactly where we want to be, there's loads of space, and there's a TROPICAL GARDEN). The only issue is that we can't move in til the end of August, so I and all my stuff will need to decamp to Patrick's place for a few weeks. He doesn't have a lot of room and it's not going to be very easy for me to sew anything there, so I'm not yet sure about my two post-move projects. Life might interfere and they might not get done.

In the meantime, however, I still have more than a dozen pieces of fabric that need to be used or tossed before moving (this is now extra important as I will have to lug everything up several flights of stairs to Patrick's place). Not everything is going to get used, and I've accepted that. However, I have the following tentative plans:

A midi length Anna dress - I have a piece of beautifully soft champagne-coloured fabric (I'm not entirely sure what it is) from my friend Micky that I think will work well as an Anna. My main concern with this one is that I have no clue whatsoever how to accessorise a beige dress. What goes with beige? I have literally never had to consider this before in my life.

A pair of Chataigne shorts - my first pair turned out well so I'm going to try a second pair from the remnant I had left over from my Christmas Elisalex dress. I'm slowly building up a collection of patterns that take a metre or less of fabric, and one day awkwardly-sized remnants sitting at the back of the cupboard will be a distant memory.

A 1920s top - if I have enough of the green stuff I used to make the original bodice block T-shirt, I want to try the Sew Over It Vintage tie top. It'll either work really well or not at all, but I am all about the 1920s at the moment despite my completely inappropriate body shape. Experiment time!

A modified Kenedy dress - this is one of the Seamwork patterns I bought in a rush and I'd like to see if I can make it work as a no-fuss, hot day, pull-over-head-and-look-presentable dress. I will, however, be downsizing the shit out of it since it has 14 inches of ease at the waist and I've got no use for that whatsoever. I'm actually considering making the smallest size they have and just adding to the bust a bit. I have a remnant of navy poly I'm going to use for this.

A Selene skirt - this is the one I'm least sure about. I have some petrol blue suiting (again from Micky) that is crying out to be a work skirt and I really don't want it to be yet another tulip, but I worry that this one just doesn't have quite enough shape. I like the pockets, though.

Speaking of tulip skirts, here's the first bit of stashbusting I did:

It's a cropped sweater and a tulip skirt. Surprise.

The top fabric was left over from my Wren dress. I'm glad I managed to get a top out of it because I love this jersey so much, but it was a real squish and as a result one of the sleeves is ever so slightly too small and pulls the neckline out a bit. It's annoying but not debilitating. The skirt was a remnant from my Butterlex. Construction was the same as usual, except I actually managed to overlock all the seams on the skirt this time. I FINALLY worked out how to thread the thing! Points to me! Next step: work out why the blade isn't behaving itself.

And contrast pockets, forever more. 

Monday 18 July 2016

SSSHH part three: a wedding guest dress

So, this is not the dress I was expecting to show you. However...

...I am pretty bloody pleased with this thing.

Quick back story: I planned to make an Anna dress out of multicoloured viscose challis, and I did. I finished it several weeks before the wedding, and I felt very pleased with my productivity. Two weeks beforehand, I tried it on and noticed the back had gone insane - there was a load of excess fabric that stuck out away from my body and made me look like a hunchback. "I can probably fix that," I thought, and put it to one side. A few days later I tried it on again to work out how to fix it, and the front had gone funny too. While it was probably fixable it wasn't guaranteed, and I wasn't exactly sure what I'd need to do. I decided it would be easier and safer to make another dress for this wedding and fix the first dress to wear to the next wedding in a month's time. Then I panicked quite a bit and didn't even manage to cut the dress out until three days before the wedding (i.e. the night before I needed to finish it because of travel). So this was a bit of a stress dress.

But I love it SO MUCH. This fabric is an organic cotton barkcloth that I've been dreaming about for a month. I saw it when we bought the fabric for my jumpsuit and since then I've been on the Ray Stitch website several times a week checking it's still there and trying to work out what on earth I could do with it. It was £25 per metre, by far the most I've ever spent on fabric, so 2m was the absolute most I could stomach buying. I debating back and forth for days on what I should, or could, make from it. The print is fairly large and the fabric fairly thick, so I didn't want to do too much detailing and panelling, but I also didn't want to do this beautiful and stupid expensive material a disservice. Eventually I went for the simplest thing I could come up with: a By Hand London Anna bodice with Butterick 4443 skirt. Four pattern pieces, no lining. The bodice has an interesting enough shape not to be dull, and the skirt is as simple as it gets but in this fabric holds a really nice flared shape without being floofy.

The mash-up went together fairly easily, except that I had to take the skirt side seams in by a ton (and that's with going down a size from my last version) to get it to match up with the bodice. I clearly still haven't got to grips with Big 4 sizing. However, this fabric is a really loose weave and the second it got cut it started fraying all over the place. So I, paranoid and not taking any chances, decided to bias bind every single one of my seams.

I had a package of Liberty bias binding left over from a Christmas present project which I used for the neckline and back seam, and bought red to use everywhere else. Because why not have secret red seams?

I really wanted an invisible hem, but because I was so worried about fraying I turned it up once and machined it, then turned it up again and stitched it by hand. This is a GREAT fabric for invisible hems, you can't see a thing.

I wore it for the wedding as you see here: bright yellow shoes, grey and white feather explosion headpiece, blue bracelet and earrings longer than my hair, which is my literal favourite thing about having this haircut. I felt pretty damn swish.

This is definitely not an everyday dress, but as I discovered when scouring my wardrobe for a back-up dress, I have actually been very good at not making random party dresses for no reason. I'm thrilled to have this, and I've already worn it again - our anniversary was a couple of weeks ago and we went to Artesian at the Langham Hotel for the world's most pretentious cocktails, including one in a gold box full of pebbles, one served in a box of lights and dry ice, one on the back of an ant and one in a giant Meccano elephant (all delicious, except the ant which smelled unsettlingly of Weetabix and had bits of potpourri in it).

Illustrated with this very confusing photo from my phone. WHY would you mirror the entire wall and then put fake mirror shapes over it? What is the point except to further disorient your drunk customers who have been drinking out of Meccano elephants?

Ahem. Anyway, in conclusion, this is one of my favourite things I've ever made. The mash up works incredibly well, and can be squeezed out of 1.5m of fabric provided you don't cut your bodice out wrong the first time which of course I didn't do because that would be stupid. I will be doing this again, albeit with slightly less fabulous fabric next time because how could it not be?


Thursday 14 July 2016

Seamwork: experiment and thoughts

(Note: the following is not particularly positive. I've not generally been critical of a company before and I've not seen it done very much on blogs that I follow. On the other hand, this is about my personal experience of learning to sew, and I think it's important for me to be as honest as possible without tipping over into being unfair, which I don't think I have been. There, disclaimer done.)

When I first came across Seamwork, I thought it was the best idea ever. A steady stream of low-cost, simple patterns to fill practical gaps in your wardrobe? What's not to like? Of course, it was also PDF only, and at the time I didn't have a printer. I grumbled about that for a bit and moved on.

Between then and getting the printer, the Seamwork catalogue grew, and I started to wonder how many of the patterns I'd actually wear. The majority of the patterns are drafted with little to no difference between the finished measurement at the bust and waist and/or waist and hips, and I can't wear things like that. Their few concessions to waist-cinching are via drawstring, and I am not a drawstring woman. So even after gaining the means to print the patterns, I didn't sign up.

In May, I finally did. There were at least two patterns I actually wanted, and I'd got hold of a first month half price code, meaning I'd basically be paying £1 per pattern. The two patterns I wanted were the Astoria, a cropped sweater (and about the only real waist-emphasising pattern there), and the Wembley, a cropped cardigan. I started with the latter, because as you might have noticed, I've done a bit of a run of cropped sweaters and thought I probably ought to change it up a bit. 

After I signed up I heard some concerning things about the drafting in Seamwork patterns, so I wanted to do a trial run. I took the metre or so of shatter fabric left over from my jersey Anna that I knew I wasn't likely to use otherwise and set about it. 

I know this doesn't go with the outfit. I can't find an outfit that this will go with. But we're calling it a toile so it doesn't matter, right? 

This was a pretty quick project. They say two hours, which I think is broadly accurate. The body of the cardigan is constructed like any jersey top, and it's finished with bands at the waist, neck, and cuffs. Except mine doesn't have cuffs because I lost my cuff pieces after I cut them out and didn't notice until I'd already got rid of my scraps, so I just hemmed them with a twin needle in the usual way.

The pattern is quite basic, but that's not a complaint. For $3 per pattern I don't expect it to have a load of complicated design elements, and in fact I would prefer that it didn't. Their robe pattern, for example, was released at a time when I was really hankering after a new dressing gown, but I wanted a basic dressing gown, not a strange fussy thing with the ties on the sleeves. For this kind of subscription service I want basic. I want a simple A-line miniskirt, a standard-issue dressing gown, a pullover that's just a pullover, a no-frills pair of pyjama bottoms, the most basic-ass of basic cover-ups. I don't want things that are trying to be clever. The thing I dislike most about this cardigan is that it's longer in the front because it's trying to have a design element about it. 

...OK, that got away from me a bit. The point is, this is a pretty basic pattern, it's straightforward to make up, and the drafting seems fine. 

I suspect I will not get much wear out of this particular cardigan, largely due to fabric, but I would quite happily make another one, and when the leaves start falling off the trees I will be having a go at the Astoria.

Now here's the thing. I did not immediately unsubscribe after buying these two patterns, but I did unsubscribe after the second month. Partly because I've noticed that they're now charging $12 for individual Seamwork patterns outside of subscription, which seems extortionate and not something I especially want to support, and partly because I have absolutely no idea what other patterns I can get. I downloaded my last two in a panic (because if I've already paid for patterns, I am damn well getting patterns) before unsubscribing the night before the payment for the next month was due, and I'm not sure I'll ever get around to using them. Originally I thought, "OK, my body shape is an awkward one, I get why there wouldn't be a lot of cheap patterns for me," but that was when they were charging $7 per pattern outside the subscription model. $7 I understand. But for $12, which is basically what I expect to spend on a normal indie pattern in PDF, I don't think it's too much to ask for a bit of waist shaping, you know?

In any case, nothing's cost effective if you don't use it. $72 for 24 patterns across the course of the year is excellent value on paper, but I think I'll be better off spending that money on six patterns I'll actually use. 

Tuesday 12 July 2016

a Sewing Bee bonus

First week without a recap and I'm already considering starting a whole other blog to recap Bake Off when it starts. This is probably not a good sign. But for now, I have found something truly delightful and wonderful and I want to share it.

I was browsing around Youtube looking for earlier series of Sewing Bee, which I did not find (this confuses me), but I did find that a few contestants have Youtube channels. Josh, for example, has a fantastically awkward credit sequence for his videos, and I am torn between being endeared by his stuff and being filled with rage because he is wearing a backwards baseball cap in one of them. Stop it, Josh!

BUT THEN. I saw Duncan's "hey, I'm going to be on Sewing Bee" announcement video (I almost didn't watch it because I barely remember Duncan), watched that, then clicked on his Youtube channel out of mild idle curiosity.


I was unable to sleep and grouchy, but then this! This! How can you be anything other than shiny and happy watching this? I take back everything I said in all my posts, Duncan is my favourite. He can't even fit a damn circle skirt, but this is better than clothes. It's definitely better than circle skirts. Also he has another one where he does In The Hall of the Mountain King and he comes on at the end to do his like-comment-subscribe bit and it's so adorable that I want to adopt him as a pet.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Monday 11 July 2016

Chataigne Supernova

(Oh yeah, it's a fancy pun today.)

Deer and Doe is my latest pattern company crush. I've spent a lot of time over the last month or so looking at their website, dreaming about buying a good 50% of the patterns on offer. There are some really lovely design details, and also I love how happy all the models look. It's some of my favourite sample photography. I'd been managing not to splurge on them, but then Brexit happened and I got sad and drank absinthe and discovered the next morning that I'd apparently ordered several patterns from France because YOU CAN'T TAKE EUROPE FROM ME, BASTARDS.

I bought three patterns for my first go: the Belladone, a dress I've seen made a lot; the Lupin, a cropped jacket that seems to be exactly what my wardrobe needs; and the Chataigne, a pair of shorts which I could very easily have done without. And yet it was the pattern that called to me the most. I wanted the exact pair of grey shorts that the model is wearing, and I wanted to wear them with black tights and boots like some sort of cool person. Copying a sample directly is not normally my thing, but I wanted those shorts. Also one of their models is super pear shaped (and beautiful) so I could see they'd look OK on me.

First experience with Deer and Doe? Could not be more pleased.

(I realised halfway through taking these pictures that my insistence on standing bevelled in all photos is fine for skirts, but in shorts and trousers it does weird crotch things. Witness my attempts to find other poses.)

There. Not awkward at all.

The fabric is left over from my grey tulip skirt. I had to squeeze to get the whole pattern into the remnant but I managed. I made view A, the regular waist with the cuffed legs. This is about where I like my waists to be, so I probably won't have a go at the high waisted version unless I need something to balance my boobs on.

Deer and Doe has quite a narrow size range and technically they don't go up to my hip size, but their styles are almost all pear-friendly with extra room in the hips. There's about six inches of ease, which is quite enough to comfortably accommodate my extra curve, so I cut out a straight 46. This was fine, there's loads of room.

Real pockets at the front, fake pockets at the back. The shorts close with an invisible zip down the left side, and I'm pleased with how actually invisible the zip is. My invisible zips were fine until I got this fancy new machine, but then I got all paranoid about accidentally sewing through the zip teeth and started moving the needle further and further away. After this and my fuchsia skirt, I think I've finally stopped that. 

The only problem I had fit-wise was that the waistband was way too big at the top edge. I took out a reasonably hefty triangle at the centre front and centre back and it was fine, which is why I have a line at the centre front of my waistband when the pattern doesn't. For any future attempts I'm going to try and alter the pattern pieces so that they're smaller at the top and I don't have to put in this random seamline. It doesn't bother me that much, but it would still be nice if I didn't have to have it. 

I am very excited about making more of these shorts, and more Deer and Doe in general. I can think of another two or three of their patterns I'd like to purchase immediately on top of the other two I already have. I'd love a Centauree as a summer dress, even if the amount of summer we're likely to get probably doesn't warrant it. Dammit, Britain.

And finally, to cheer myself up, another dance party. You can't stop me.

Wednesday 6 July 2016

The Great British Sewing Beecap, Series 4 Ep 8

This is a momentous occasion, everyone. Not only is this the final of the Great British Sewing Bee, it's also my 100th post on this blog. Hooray for me! As a special treat for us all, here is a particularly enjoyable gif of Dwayne The Rock Johnson, the man who just keeps on giving:

(That smile at the end just KILLS me. We don't need a recap now, right? We can just keep watching this instead? Oh, fine. Spoilsports.)

For the final, the theme is eveningwear, starting off with a men's pintucked dress shirt. Yeesh, shirtmaking. It feels like one of those things I'll never be able to master. Or attempt. The judges (which this week include EsMay in the most insane sparkly jacket which is monochrome on one side and multicoloured on the other) will only be looking at the precision of the finalists' sewing, so it's all been pre-cut for them.

Charlotte explains the function of the pintuck foot. Charlotte is actually really good at explaining things, and I will be buying her inevitable book or online classes or what have you. Patrick and EsMay stand around and quietly bitch about how long everyone is taking on their pintucks, despite the bit where they DEMANDED PRECISION.

Since it's the final we have to check in with the contestants' families. Joyce and her family are drinking wine, because of course they are. Yay Joyce! She says she made one shirt for her husband, and he only wore it once so he didn't get any more shirts. Damn right. Charlotte eats biscuits with her children while her extremely American husband tells us that Charlotte would be more proud of winning Sewing Bee than she was of her PhD. Alright, so you're that good at sewing AND you have a doctorate. Hmph. And then we go to Jade, who was apparently going to be an Olympic swimmer before she injured her knee. Why is everyone so good at everything?

Precise topstitching, complicated plackets and confusing collar stands galore. Everyone is rushing and stressing out, while Patrick and EsMay stand up on their weird balcony observing them. I'm definitely not on board with this new balcony-lurking thing. After a last-minute rush to get all the buttons sewn on, everyone manages to get a finished shirt onto their mannequin.

The judges break out a tape measure to check the width of the pintucks. Joyce's are slightly smaller on one side, and she's sewn her top button in the wrong place, but other than that there are no flaws to be seen. Sharp collar, neat topstitching. Jade's pintucks are also narrower on one side, and her button spacing is off, but she too has done everything else very well. Charlotte's collar is too short because she used a slightly larger seam allowance on it than she should have, and her buttonholes are off-centre. She comes last, Jade is second, and Joyce wins. She thinks this is a pretty okay start to the final.

For the alterations challenge, everyone is given a dinner suit and instructed to turn it into a little black dress. Interesting. EsMay informs us that one of her little black dresses is part of the V&A's permanent collection. They show a picture, which I assume is Young EsMay next to the dress, but I would never have guessed it was her. There is a lot of mannequin flesh on show in that dress, so I think "little" really is going to be the operative word here.

Joyce makes a strapless dress, which EsMay thinks would fall down around the wearer's waist as soon as they tried to dance in it. For this reason she comes last, Jade is second again with a heart-shaped neckline and button-through skirt, and Charlotte wins with a halterneck fashioned out of a bow tie. They start referring to Charlotte's attempt at the previous round as "Shirtgate" which, no, Sewing Bee. Going into the last round, nobody has outdone or fallen behind anyone else, so the judges have nothing useful to go on.

For the final challenge, floor-length evening gowns in luxury fabrics are the order of the day. I am excited. Claudia doesn't see how anyone is going to outshine EsMay's crazy-ass jacket. The finalists have each picked a model from their family for the final challenge (Charlotte's model is her children's stepmother, which seems like a disgustingly healthy family setup), and there is hugging galore.

Joyce is making a corseted bustle dress in black and silver. Claudia suggests it be accessorised with a live horse. I wish Claudia got to art direct the catwalk bit of this show. The bustle is made up of loads of complicated folds, and Joyce is having trouble putting all the pleats together so that it falls properly. She has to redo it several times and it puts her behind on time. She is also putting a large white lace trim on the hem of her black corset, which seems... unwise.

Jade is making a low cut dress with beaded straps and train. Her beaded fabric is odd - it looks like those pictures you make when you're five by spreading glue onto a piece of paper and tipping sand over it. Jade says her model would look good in a bin bag, and I suddenly want coral and beaded bin bags. The judges stand on their Bitch Balcony and whisper about how the fit on the bust isn't great.

Charlotte is making a purple satin dress with a diamante waistband, which will be hand-finished as far as possible. She gets all emotional about it and hugs her model. DISGUSTINGLY healthy. Charlotte is my new life role model. I want her to write a book telling me how to lead my best life and I will follow it to the letter. Charlotte puts her zip in by hand, and it's not quite right. She decides to forgo a hand-finished hem in order to redo the zip. "Just get her to hold it," Claudia advises. "She's your ex-husband's new wife, it's the least she can do."

Judgement time! Charlotte's fabric moves beautifully, the proportion is right and the fit is good. However, even after being redone the zip still isn't right. She looks very sad about this, as is Charlotte's way.

EsMay thinks Joyce's dress is costumey and says "it looks like it could be in a film" disapprovingly. How is that an insult, EsMay? It's a good fit on the corset but the skirt is way too big. Patrick manages to pinch out about eight inches from the back. Eesh.

The judges think Jade's dress is eye-catching (though her model clearly can't walk in it) and they love the beading. However, the train hem isn't finished, and they point out that train hems should ideally be weighted to keep them behind the wearer. Good to know. EsMay also has a problem with the fit.

All the previous contestants return to the sewing room to poke around all the garments everyone made. Josh claims that he would have made exactly what Jade made during activewear week, which a) no you wouldn't, you would have tried to make some kind of denim nightgown instead and done it very wrong, and b) what the shit is up with that hat? Apparently he heard me complaining about his backwards baseball hat and has turned up in some enormous pith helmet thing. NO, Josh! That's a bad Josh! Everyone has views on who's going to win, except Tracey, who wouldn't touch that decision with a ten-foot pole.

After the least helpful final judges' summary ever and all the hugs with the past contestants and the finalists' families, it's the moment of truth. And the winner is... Charlotte! Yay! She was the right winner, and not just because I suddenly decided she was my life role model this episode. Though her winning makes it more likely that I'll be able to get my hands on her secrets, and this pleases me. She clearly knew exactly what she was doing, she never screwed up memorably despite Claudia trying to make "Shirtgate" happen (was she ever in consideration for elimination? I don't think she was), and for bonus Sewing Bee points, was often the person everyone else asked for help and was always willing to give it. Hooray for Charlotte! Everyone is happy and hugging and crying, because that's the Sewing Bee way. Charlotte gets a trophy - a mini dressmaker's dummy wearing a sash. I love the way British reality shows just don't bother with prizes at all.

What happened next? Everyone made more things! Ghislaine made a functional babygro, Josh made an incredibly ugly jumpsuit for his girlfriend, Rumana continued not to bother with her husband's coat, Jade made mini versions of all her challenge garments for her sister, and Charlotte got a tattoo of a bee. Awww.

So, this was fun, right? I really enjoyed it. I'm actually tempted to buy series 3 from the BBC store and retrospectively recap that, too. If I did that, would anyone be interested in reading it?

In conclusion: yay Sewing Bee! The most good natured reality TV show of all time! May it make better people of all of us.

Monday 4 July 2016

Pre And Post Move Assorted Projects (PAPMAP)

Yes, I'm going with PAPMAP. You can't stop me.

(As a side note: the wedding guest dress from my last two-month plan is still to come; the jacket for my grandmother is not. It went wrong in a way I don't even remotely understand and I've had to bin it. I haven't come up with an alternative plan yet because I am feeling confused and discouraged. Sigh.)

This particular plan is going to be structured slightly differently, because, as the title implies, I'll be moving house in the middle of it. I don't want to be buying a bunch of fabric and printing out new patterns which I won't get round to using before I have to start packing, so things I already own are going to be made up pre-move, and patterns and fabric I have yet to purchase are on the back burner until afterwards. Most of the projects are summer-themed even though we're already in July and there has been literally no sign of summer so far. I want my shiny summer clothes, dammit, and if it turns out that we're not getting summer this year then we'll just have to go on a particularly fancy holiday.

First, as recent tradition dictates, your Simpsons gif:

(That is one hypnotic gif. This post has taken me ages to write because I just keep staring at it.)

Before the move

1. Deer and Doe Belladone dress

I've been sighing after Deer and Doe patterns for a little while now, and last month I bought a bunch of them. My first experience (the Chataigne shorts, which you will be seeing soon) was entirely positive, and the Belladone is the only one I've really seen other people make, so I'm interested to see how it'll look on me. I have a patterned Art Gallery broadcloth that I'm planning to use, but I want to make a toile of the bodice first (I know, right, what have I become?) because I haven't quite worked out how best to alter two-dart bodices for my shape yet.

2. By Hand London Anna maxi dress

I want to make another jersey Anna, but a maxi version, with a black top and patterned skirt. I picked up a piece of jersey in one of my earliest remnant bin raids that I've never identified the right pattern for (the print is rather awkward), and I think this is as good a bet as any. Based on my previous jersey Anna, I'm going to make liberal use of elastic to stabilise the shoulders and waistline and see if that helps at all.

3. Closet Case Files Sallie jumpsuit

These are so comfy and I want another one. I have a piece of black and white floral jersey for the top, and I have some black bamboo jersey on its way for the bottoms (this was the last piece of fabric I allowed myself to buy before the move). I'm going to add a small amount of length to the midsection this time, but that's the only change I'm planning from jumpsuit number one.

After the move

4. Closet Case Files Bombshell swimsuit

The one thing I promised myself was that I'd attempt a swimsuit this year, and August is the time. It was always going to be a jewel-toned Bombshell (I'm holding off on buying the fabric, but I'd like a deep green if I can find it) and I'm sticking to that, even though I'm not sure it's quite right for FF boobs.

5. Megan Nielsen Tania culottes

This just seems like the best idea. Looks like a skirt, but it's shorts. Light and comfy AND no chub rub! I am very excited. Again, I'm holding off on fabric buying so that I don't have to transport it, and I don't have any particular ideas about what colour or print I might want. I'll just wait for something to grab me.