Liberty Carline Dress (BHL Anna / Simplicity 1873 hybrid)

Now, I've seen a fair few Liberty Carline print dresses on sewing blogs and, honestly, I have loved every single one. Being a Liberty print though, I had always assumed this fabric would be really expensive and out of my current budget. 

Not so! Minerva had it for £9.99 per metre, and so I used some of my birthday money to buy some. A good decision I think! It's a lovely quality cotton poplin, and the print is so vibrant. I love it.
When deciding what to make, I just could not get the Anna bodice out of my head. I think Roisin's beautiful version has stuck with me. I just think it's the most perfect match of pattern and fabric. So I decided to make an Anna bodice with the pleated skirt from Simplicity 1873. It all lined up pretty well - I just matched the bodice and skirt side seams first and only had to move a couple of the pleats slightly, but nothing too taxing or time consuming. 

A Thing to Shake the Heart dress (By Hand London's Anna bodice with Simplicity 1873 skirt in Liberty Carline poplin)
I only bought 2 metres of this beautiful stuff, so I didn't quite have enough to pattern match and I reeeeeally didn't have enough to make the hem facing I wanted. If Minerva had let me buy half metres I would've bought 2.5 (3 would've been way too much). So anyway I had to cut the hem facings on the cross grain (with one of them a little tiny bit off grain). It didn't seem to make a difference and I'm so glad I got to have my nice 3" hem facing! I just love them. Because the facing is a separate cut piece, it's weighty like a deep double fold hem but with no easing in required. What's not to love? 

My lovely hem facing, understitched to help it hang/sit nicely, and catch stitched in place
From the outside. Nice and neat and invisible!
I had intended to use an invisible zip for this dress, but for some reason I had it in my head that the background of this print is Ivory. It really isn't, it's a very yellowy cream colour, so the Ivory invisible zip I had bought looked ridiculous (yes I know it's just the zip pull on show really, but it still bothered me). Luckily I had an ordinary zip in cream in my stash, so I used that and put in a centred zip. 

I also did some more fit work on the Anna bodice, and I'm so glad I have finally fixed some pretty massive fit issues! When I made my earlier versions, I was much less experienced and, while I got so far with my fit work, I had a lot of neckline gaping that I really didn't know how to sort out at the time. I still wear two of my early Annas (here and here) but the neckline bugs me every time.
Really, what it boiled down to, was that I needed to raise the shoulder seams by a good 5/8". This is a standard adjustment for me, but I guess I didn't know that yet when I made my first version of the Anna back in the day! So once I had raised the shoulders, lengthened the bodice and redrawn the neckline, the back was perfect and at the front I only had a slight gape to contend with. So I split the wedge I needed to pinch out into two wedges along the front neckline, taped them down on my pattern piece and cut a toile. Imagine my delight when it was a goldilocks fit straight away (juuuuust right). 

Side view

I find it a bit comical how white my legs are in these pictures. I mean, I've got no problem with my skin colour, I quite like being pale! But there's pale and then there's almost whiter than the white wall behind me. Also spot the changing shoes! I wore the green flats with it all day but wanted to see which other shoes would go with it. Conclusion: I need some tan flats, preferably T bar. I'm all about the flats at the moment. 

I kept adding and removing the belt in these pictures too, just to be confusing! 

Anyway, I really love this dress. I wore it 
all day on Wednesday and blooming loved it. I felt all serene and swishy in it. And every new dress deserves to be danced around the living room in, right? 

Over and out x

Me Made May Week 5

Well, it went so quickly! Here are the last few days of my Made May outfits. 

Day 23: Sunday 29th May

Lady Luck dress (BHL Anna) - me made 
Pink belt - Apple tree boutique
Black Paloma cardigan - Hell Bunny
Black tights
Heart shoes - Melissa

Today was a lovely, very Sunday-ish Sunday, complete with lazy morning, bits of tidying, a lunchtime walk and then sewing with a cup of tea. It was so nice. 

I didn’t wear these shoes to go walking in, but I did wear them around the house. They were just sitting next to the wardrobe and I just wanted to put them on. They’re very lovely to look at but they crunch my feet up a bit :( I may have to put them on eBay! 

Day 24: Monday 30th May

Paper doll top - (New look 6217) - me made 
Jeans - H&M
Plimsoles - new look
Cardigan - Zara 

Today I was teaching a musical theatre workshop for kids, and they were lovely and rather comical. So I needed a "leaping around appropriate" outfit, and thought it would be a good occasion to debut my new black viscose tee shirt. I've got a feeling this is going to be a very useful garment! 

This jersey cardigan is so old now, but I keep wearing it! One of these days it will fall apart. I've been meaning to copy it for years. Perhaps this year I'll get round to it. 

Day 25: Tuesday 31st May

Flibertygibbet dress (lady skater) - me made

Black leggings - tu
Black ankle boots - office 
Black Belt - topshop 
Mac - collectif 
Mac belt (brown) - apple tree boutique 

Well it chucked it down today, and for once I was dressed for the weather! Even with my shower proof Collectif Mac and an umbrella, my hair got wet though! It was so wild, wet and windy! I was in such a good mood though that I didn't mind. Another day of workshop teaching then hanging out with my best mate, stuffing lavender hearts for her wedding in July. Then later we met our other extremely lovely friend for a catch up. An excellent day! 

I did it! 25 days out of the month wearing Me-Made clothes. Honestly, I’ve loved it. It has pushed me to sew some of the things I’ve had planned for a while, and it has really made me appreciate my lovely clothes. Maybe next year I’ll finally be able to try and wear one me made item every day of May? I just need to sew some more T-shirts, mainly for when I’m teaching dance and drama. Or maybe it’s fine and I’ll just keep wearing RTW on those days, and not sweat the small stuff. I did find it really fun to make those viscose tees though, so perhaps I’ll love whipping up quick jersey T-shirts. 

I hope you’ve all had fun too, if you’ve been taking part in Me Made May. I’ve loved seeing everyone’s updates or posts on Instagram. It’s really inspiring to see how everyone styles their hand made garments.

I’m on a roll at the moment with my sewing productivity, so I should have a few new things to blog soon. Here’s to hand made!