Two months ago, I had grand plans for all the clothes I was going to fix/make/customise during COVID-19 lockdown.
Back then, I thought I’d be posting here at least every fortnight, making great video content for IGTV to inspire other DIYers in quarantine all over the world and sharing #isewlation tips. Of course this would be in addition to learning at least one other language and acquiring some kind of skill to dramatically boost my employability (my aspirations in that regard didn’t go so far as to define exactly what that skill would be, but I suspect it would be something that Millennials have been doing in their sleep for the past decade).
However, if you’ve been tuning in here every two weeks or so with similar expectations to my own as regards frequency of posts, you will have been sorely disappointed, as have I. It turns out that translating three books (my usually sporadic freelance job which for some reason ramped up just before corona hit) along with my regular part time work didn’t leave me much free time; in fact I have actually been busier with work than during “normal” life. Definitely no Netflix and lazing around in between learning some obscure skill and baking artisan sourdough for me! It’s something of an achievement that I even managed to finish making this one dress.
I bought the fabric at the Salvos last November and as usual, it’s taken a while for me to decide how to use it. I wanted to make a jacket… but I also wanted a dress with pouffy sleeves… so this dress that can be worn as a lightweight coat is a compromise.
The pattern I used was really for a blouse, but I extended the pattern pieces as far as I could into a dress, limited by the length of the fabric. There was a bit left over, so I made a wide ruffle to attach to the hem and make the dress below-the-knee length rather than above it.
The original pattern doesn’t have any fastenings down the front as it is a wrap blouse, but to wear this as a dress I needed to be able to close the front of the skirt securely. I didn’t want to insert a zip and I’m too lazy to put in buttonholes, plus there was not really enough leeway if I still wanted a bit of fullness in the skirt. So instead, I attached press studs to a narrow strip of fabric (this was pretty much all that was left over from cutting out the pattern pieces)…
I sewed the corresponding press studs to the inside fronts of the skirt…
…to make a detachable skirt-closer strip. What is the word for that? I’m sure there must be one and it’s something placketty but can’t think what it would be. I blame this podcast for filling my head with all sorts of other delightful and fascinating words so that there’s no room for describing objects of the placketty persuasion.
Anyway, as you can see, once I remove the strip, the dress becomes a long jacket-type number. It goes without saying that I haven’t actually worn it as a dress or as a jacket in public yet, but as we’re coming out of lockdown now, it won’t be long before it makes its debut.
How about you? Has #isolyf met your expectations? Are you now a sourdough pro with a completely Kondo’d condo? Or have you struggled to the point that simply having read this post was an achievement? It certainly hasn’t been an easy time for some people, so if you’re reading this, thank you and I hope things are as well as they can be. I’ll try to post again soon, but there’s another translation lurking so I can’t promise anything!