Tag Archive | shopping

Blue not-Disney dress.

So yeah, I should possibly have been a bit more realistic about my chances of making two dresses in a week. However I have finished the first one and am well underway with the second, so I’m to that far behind.

That blue fabric then…


well fate intervened most decisively on what to do with this one. I had been insisting I wasn’t going to use it for anything Beauty and the Beast related, and then I go and get myself invited to a Disney themed fancy dress party! And realised that in general, having a dress in my wardrobe that can easily be dragged out for fancy dress is a really good thing. Also a heatwave has hit London and I suddenly found I was in dire need of a few more basic sundresses.

So I made Simplicity 2886 a slightly more complicated to make than it looks basic sundress pattern. I made a version of this back when I started my blog a couple of years ago (here) a time when I was a lot less good at sewing and certainly didn’t know how to take photos of stuff (better photos here) and although the dress has grown on me wasn’t too keen on the finished result.

This time when I made it, I am a lot more confident about my sewing ability and finishing ability and so was hoping it would be a breeze. Actually it wasn’t! I didn’t have any fit issues this time as I made a straight size 18. Partly because I was so relatively new to sewing the first time round I didn’t know about simplicity fit issues so had all sorts of problems trying to take in a 20. And partly because although I would usually make a 16, but scale the waist up a bit, the first time I made this nothing lined up and it ended up a lot smaller than I thought it would (even though still far too big) so I thought I better leave a little extra just incase. I was right to.

I am good enough at sewing now, and I think my cutting was accurate enough to safely say, this pattern does not line up at all. This was largely all right as its nothing I couldn’t think round. but the waist band has ended up being a bit wider on one side than the other (the way it lined up) and there are a few other little details on the bodice that are not quite perfect.

Then I made a bugger up of my own and didn’t quite get the pleats even on the front of the skirt, which is not ideal.

Anyway, despite all that, it looks remarkably presentable on…

Any not looking quite properly fitting is completely down to it blowing a gale as Jon was taking photos. However this one had to be photographed outside as inside the camera totally refuses to get the colour of the fabric anywhere near correct.

simplicity 2886 b simplicity 2886 a simplicity 2886



And without the cardigan….

simplicity 2886 dsimplicity 2886 e simplicity 2886 f

I know it isn’t styled very well, but it was boiling hot and it is basically a sun dress,so not a lot else to do with it really.

I totally failed at getting my roots redone as our block of flats is being repointed at the moment and there are a load of workman swarming all over everywhere, especially outside our bathroom window, so its not really happening. I have given in and went to the hairdressers yesterday though.

I am intending to take some other pictures of this if I do end up styling it up for Belle fancy dress. At the moment I have a couple of custom size blouses, a petticoat and a wig on order from Taobao (via My Lolita Dress, which could be interesting) which I needed anyway, but which will complete the outfit, but they will not be here for a good few weeks, so I will have to find something else for the party, but thats fine, it was a good kick up the backside to just make the bloody dress.

I am halfway through the other dress I was working on and was going to finish it today, but am really not in the mood, having been out in the west end last night, and basically now I am massively sulking about the fact I just don’t fit into 90% of high street clothes, as there was loads of lovely cheap stuff I would have bought had it fitted. I enjoy sewing, and its a skill I’m glad I’ve mastered, but I don’t enjoy having to make clothes, I’d rather focus on the pretty frilly special stuff, and its really quite galling that because of my size (which is only 1-2 above normal high street, and completely caused by medication) if I want something, a sun dress or a pretty vest top (I need a load of these), my only option is to make it, where as ladies who haven’t been ill can just pop down to the high street and pick something up. I know there is stuff technically available, but in reality its either all at the Primark/tesco end of the market or all £60 a pop higher end stuff, and just being able to spend £20-£30 on something that is reasonably well made and fashionable would just be so lovely.

I’m sure I will feel more positive about it tomorrow, but today I’m going to flop around and read books and educate myself, which is what I’d do a lot more of if I didn’t have to do practical stuff the whole time! 😦

Rampant Consumerism

On Thursday night, as Jon  was working too hard to sort food, and I was too ill, we went out for dinner to The Ravensbourne Arms, the new (ish) pub in Ladywell, that has now started serving food. We’d heard good things from a few people and their ale is always excellent, but we were really disappointed.
The menu looked good, proper gastropubby, maybe a bit too pubby and heavy for my liking, the only ‘heathy’ options were a tart, but they didn’t say what came with it, and a fish pie ,and sadly I am allergic to shellfish, which often creep in somewhere along the line if these things are done properly. So I went for a half chicken and chips and peas, and Jon went for a burger and chips.
To be fair the chicken was excellent, as was the gravy, the chips however for both of us were a different story completely. they had gone for the gastropub thing of doing skin on chunky chips, except these weren’t chips..they were wedges, well actually they weren’t wedges, they were about a quarter of a potato per chip and they were terribly undercooked.
Jon’s burger was also nearly rare, which was sort of ok, cuz he would usually ask for medium for a burger, except he wasn’t asked, and he said it was rather fatty.
There isn’t a proper food pub around the Catford/Ladywell area, and they have roughly the right idea in terms of menu and prices, its just a shame about the way it was cooked.
We will probably eat there again, as we will be drinking down there fairly regularly and occasionally get hungry, but its not somewhere I’ll put myself out to eat unless it gets a lot better.

Friday and Saturday were quiet because I was still feeling ill and Jon was exhausted after such a long weeks work, however I made time to order my Christmas food shop from Waitrose for delivery on the 22nd.
This to me is perfect, it gives me two days to buy stuff if anything is missing off the order, and it saves the horrors of last year, which was a bit of a disaster as even though we weren’t cooking, we went to my mums, a load of stuff ended up being picked up in the station as it had been snowing for the best part of 3 weeks, before which I was ill, so there was no chance at all of getting out and getting to the shops. Not that its necessarily going to be as bad this year, but we don’t have a car and the local Tesco isn’t great at having full shelves or products that are what I am looking for, so its better to be safe.

Sunday we carried on in the same theme and went into town to try and get started on present shopping. We made a list of roughly what we were looking for, and reckoned the train fare for me (Jon has a season ticket), given most of the items we were thinking of could be bought on Oxford Street, was cheaper than potential shipping from 5 or 6 different websites. It is just as well we did actually. One of the ideas we had our eyes on were these http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/bin/venda?ex=co_wizr-xapian&bsref=urbanoutfitters&searchfld=&searchpage=0&searchinvt=1&searchstry=0&searchicat=0&searchlike=1&itemsperpage=12&threshold=1&filtercat=shop&carryfields=U%2CV%2CC%2CF%2Ccatname%2Cminprice%2Cmaxprice%2Csortname%2Csortprice%2Csortrelease%3E&xptpl=wz_xapian_advanced&srchopt=U%2CV%2CC%2CF%2Cminprice%2Cmaxprice%2Csortname%2Csortprice%2Csortrelease&U=&V=&C=&F=&ARG_DEFAULTOP=OR&minprice=&maxprice=&bklist=&searchex=hip+flask hip flasks from Urban Outfitters, which we thought would do nicely for male relatives…however, as soon as we saw them, we realised they were about half the size in real life as what I would consider normal for a hip flask to be, and didn’t look that impressive. So its good we checked them out in real life first.

Also I saw this…http://www.urbanoutfitters.co.uk/velvet-bow-cocktail-hat/invt/5752428162402/&bklist= and as I am a sucker for miniature hats fell completely in love.

In the end we got a good 2/3 of the presents we needed to get, so thats a real relief.

Half way through the shopping trip Jon started massively sneezing though, and so spent Monday off work with a cold! I cooked an awesome curry from this months Waitrose recipe cards (ingredients courtesy of Tescos) which was great, apart from only serves 4, not 6 as the card said. And a not so nice Saag Aloo, using a Pataks easy cook sachet and following the instructions on it, didn’t really end up tasting like what you actually get in a restaurant 😦

Tuesday Jon went back to work and in the evening we went to see the Smashing Pumpkins at Brixton. Thanks to my Good Beer Guide App on my iPhone, we found the Trinity Arms, up a back street in this really amazing garden square that looked like it had accidentally lost its way from Chelsea, I’d heard there were posh bits of Brixton, I just hadn’t realised they’d be so near to the centre! Scarily posh looking pub, everything decked out in immaculate Farrow and Ball paint, however, it does a decent pint of Youngs, and proper good quality pub food like the Ravensbourne is failing at, only properly! We got burgers with properly cooked , perfectly sized, skin-on chunky chips, on a two for a tenner deal (!!! 🙂 ), and to be honest I’d have been happy if we’d payed twice as much. The clientele was a lot less scary than the pubs decor suggested as well, most of them were our age, and as the gig drew nearer, a load of obvious pumpkins fans piled in and they were fine with it. Will definitely go there again, and will actually look forwards to gigs being in Brixton now possibly, rather than see it as something to be endured.