The Bathroom, normality and the trouble with Disney.

So now that we’ve given it a week or two to wear in and nothings actually leaking, here are a few pictures of what has kept me away from the internet and my sewing machine these last couple of months…..


DSCN0703                  DSCN0701

DSCN0698                 DSCN0695

It is quite difficult to take photographs in there as it is a very small room and so its hard to get nice angles. Also the window is very bright compared to the rest of the room, so it skews the colours a bit in photographs. The wire locker is off the internet, and the shelf unit, lantern and metal stuff on the window sill is all from the garden department of TKMaxx. We are still working on some kind of attractive storage method for the toilet roll! The pictures are not spectacular, but we are very pleased with the outcome.

Even though the building finished 2 1/2 weeks ago now, the thing that is holding us to ransom is that as this is a very small flat with only two rooms apart from the bathroom, dust from the building work got everywhere. We have literally had to deep clean the whole flat including stuff like taking out all the cds and vinyls and cleaning them all individually. This has happened at a time when Jons work has gone ballistic and I have ended up with a Chronic Fatigue relapse as although at the beginning of the building work I was safely tucked up at my parents, I ended up having to come back to London and run round after the builders which has been very damaging to my health. So it has taken us a little longer than we planned to get the house back to normal. Hopefully it will all be sorted this weekend.

However this week things have been organised enough that I have been able to get my sewing machines back out and find some fabric ready to work on. All the fabric is sadly piled up in bin bags in its wardrobe at the moment, as we had to put it like that so the decorator could move the wardrobe to paint behind it (oh yeah, we had our bedroom repainted and the kitchen and living room ceiling and an air brick put in whilst we were at it.). Also the shelves inside the wardrobe, which are cheap garage ones from Argos, didn’t last the move (the plastic warped) so we are going to have to buy new ones before we can put my fabric back again properly 😦

Luckily however, when I opened a couple of bags up to see if I could find something I felt like working on, the straight dress fabric was near the top, so I was able to pull two pieces out and they are currently hanging on the back of the door washed ready to get used next week.

First up is this one….


Its a really vivid floral brushed cotton effect fabric (which was not cooperating when I was trying to photograph it in focus)

I’m intending to use this pattern with it:



Which I used to make this dress (link to post with considerably better photos, initial construction post here!)

I have only made it twice (the first time was a mock-up) but it is one of my favourite patterns as it is really quick to sew and only takes a few hours, and right now, even though I had a list of stuff I wanted to sew this year, I just need to get a few wearable things out quickly to regain some momentum, as having been out of action with the building for the best part of two months, and having spent the two months before working on that steampunk/lolita dress (which incidentally having mulled it over for a while I now reckon I know exactly what I need to do to fix it.) I’m kind of really rather behind and a little frustrated. I also have a massive gap in my wardrobe for just every day long sleeved dresses.

The second piece of fabric I  have is this….



Which is just a standard viscose. But I absolutely love the pattern on it. For some reason it massively reminds me of Studio Ghibli films, especially Nausicaa, as its the same shade of blue as her outfit and has pollen/dandelions on it.

However, when mulling over what to do with it, I realised it has a much more mainstream pop culture reference going…

Disney "Beauty & the Beast 3D" Belle. ©2011 Disney. All Rights Reserved.


(image nicked randomly off google)

Which leaves me with a bit of a quandary. What I would like to do with this fabric is a 40’s style dress same as the one above, but there is only just about 2m of it, so even if I ignore any ideas about directional pattern placement it is going to be a bit of a squeeze. A pinafore dress such as my dragon one would solve the problem nicely (with less ruffles as I don’t have enough fabric). But if I’m going to do that, I might as well make it full on Belle cosplay, which does not go with my current hair colour and actually, despite me happily wandering round half the time wearing lolita or other OTT fashions, kinda isn’t my style. So I am going to have to go through my pattern collection really carefully and work out a way to use this fabric I’m happy with.

Hopefully I’ll have at least one dress to show by the end of next week, however I am once again struggling to get my roots dyed in a timely fashion (seriously giving Courtney Love a run for her money at the moment) as the towels I customarily use for the job (Ie the old skanky, it doesn’t matter if they get bleach on them ones) have been used to clean up for the builders, and it is only as I intended to sort it out today that I realised I needed to put them through the washing machine. So it will be next week before I get to do that too, and I’m sure as hell not taking any more pictures with my hair in this state! I’m sure I’ll manage though!

4 thoughts on “The Bathroom, normality and the trouble with Disney.

    • The short version is actually really simple. I moved the zip from the side to the centre back which helps (and for getting in and out of it) but you top stitch the shoulder pieces in place and there are no facings, you just use bias tape to finish the neckline and cuffs. I can only sew in fairly small snippets due to being ill, but this one takes me only one session to sew up.
      I think the thing with 40’s patterns is that although in a lot of ways women were much better seamstresses than we are today, lots of women had no choice but to make their own clothes, so although formal wear and stuff can be very technical, every day dresses are usually really straightforward because sewing them was basically a chore.
      The other thing is that I’m really really lucky and my copy of the pattern fits me with no alterations apart from moving the zip and widening the arms, which I pretty much have to do on any age of pattern. I am using modern seam finishing techniques though, I think there’s a lot of ease built in for French seams. However it’s a complete myth that 40’s patterns are all tiny and don’t fit the modern figure, there’s less choice available in the larger sizes, but my pattern is an original 38″ bust and they habitually go up to 40″ (though getting anything bigger than that can get a little random) so basically, if you hunt round and buy the right size pattern in the first place, you don’t really have to faff around the way sometimes the Internet would have you believe you need to with vintage patterns.
      P.s. I think I may have robbed that picture a long time ago from a vintage pattern wiki as it is not the same size as my version. Oops!

      • Thanks for giving me so much info. You have inspired me. I absolutely love the vintage patterns…..the femininity of them. I love that era. But I have a rather large waist (actually, no waist at all!!!!) and I shy away from them because the pictures are of minuscule middled women and I don’t feel I have the sewing expertise to make that big an adjustment to a pattern. I find that most of the modern patterns are too small around the middle so I tend to avoid dresses with waists. I had assumed older patterns would be worse. I will have a go. Thanks again. Jane

      • 50’s ones need handling with care as women wore specialist girdle things to make their waists smaller, but all the 40’s ones I’ve ever played with are great. Good luck! 🙂

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