Howdy! I'm still here. Not sure if any readers still are, but hi and happy new year if you're there!
Just checking in with a belated two last projects from 2014. I've had the luxury of ridiculous amounts of free time as I await my work permit, so I really should have made an entirely new wardrobe by now. But I've found myself a couple of voluntary jobs, and made a lovely group of friends who are also waiting for their permits and who keep me entertained with lots of San Francisco sight-seeing and socialising.
I've also been trying to mix it up a bit and try out new things, like this month I'm booked on a hula hooping workshop, a first aid course and a beginners knitting class. I do want to try and do more sewing this year too and although I'm not making any concrete resolutions, I'm vaguely aiming for one item a week, which I've already fallen behind on, ha! Based on the success of this latest dress (below) I think knit fabrics might well feature more heavily this year too.
The dress is the Moneta from Colette patterns, with no alterations except hemming it a couple of inches shorter.
The khaki-esque knit fabric is from Stonemountain and Daughter in Berkeley, CA, which has quickly become one of my favourite ever sewing shops and which Jenny from Cashmerette's recent review gives you a good flavour of. We've actually now moved from our temporary San Francisco apartment across the bay to Berkeley and although I miss the bright lights, big city wow-ness of living downtown, having Stonemountain and Daughter on my doorstep is one of many compensations Berkeley has to offer.
There's not much to report construction-wise for the dress. I did find hemming the neckline tricky until I invested in some Wonder Tape to stabilise it which worked a treat.
When I first tried it on I wasn't convinced as it's not a style I usually wear and I thought it looked a bit frumpy and shapeless. But adding heels and a belt made it grow on me. Its first outing was on Christmas Day which we had back in England, and although it doesn't scream 'festive frock' it survived the trans-Atlantic flight, turkey eating and post-dinner vegging out beautifully.
This year I didn't sew any Christmas presents with the exception of this little tunic top for my friend's two and a half year old. It's the Lucy Top by Shwin & Shwin. It's designed to be reversible, although the wooden heart buttons I chose looked like they might be a bit rough on the reverse side so this version is just one way.
I really like the design of this pattern and how it can easily be layered over leggings and long sleeved tops and worn year round. The swirly purple cotton fabric is again from Stonemountain and Daughter, and their selection is so extensive and inspiring that I must have been there for a good hour deliberating what to buy.
So it's a bit of a mish-mashed post but I just wanted to also show my new sewing set-up. My husband's colleague was selling this large Ikea table which is great for cutting out on. And our new flat has this bright little alcove by the window which is an ideal sewing spot. In the distance you can see giant palm trees, which four months after moving to California still gives the Brit in me a c'est la vie holiday feeling!