26.7.14

Summer Dress #3 - I Think it Looks Like Tweed

Dear Laura,



(me at my desk working hard)

(lunch in the park and some dog cuddling)


When I first started working I used to wear some smart grey trousers and a shirt, sometimes with a tank top (or vest as I am slowly learning to call it over here in the US) to keep me warm. It was a pretty dull life dressing for work. I work in an industry which I think is around 80% men and I didn't have the confidence to stand out amongst them, I wanted to blend in, to "be one of them". Well it is many years on now, my confidence is much higher and I realized that my brain is what counts not what I wear or how I blend in. So over time I have let my sartorial style loose on the office. Sometimes with success, other times not so much.

I have discovered that I love fitted dresses, they are comfortable and smart but also allow colour and pattern to be worn in the workplace. I am very fussy and generally clothes shops sell dull, ill, fitting impractical work clothes especially here in the US (It's 100 degrees with 90% humidity people, maybe its time to loose the black suit jacket). And so of course I must make them myself. This is where summer dress number 3 came into my mind.  I was really drawn to this fabric for this dress because I thought it looked like a modern tweed. You need a lot of imagination to go there and a lot of people look at me as if I am insane when I say it, but it really made me think of tweed (it is just plain cotton). I loved the idea of a modern tweed for the office. 

So far I have ripped it twice, once whilst playing football against a 6 year old (who totally beat me) and once when walking the dog. Now it is true that this dress is an office dress and I shouldn't have been doing either of those activities in it but I like it so much I didn't want to get changed. Also of course I can mend it in a flash so I don't mind one bit. The dress came together pretty quickly but I rushed the hem a bit and it is a little wonky I need to resew it, the split up the back is just right and putting the zip in the back instead of in the side makes life so much easier when fitting the dress. Although only three dresses were planned in this series I have my eye on two more already! Summer isn't yet over so I might be able to squeeze them in.

Lots of love

Annie

19.7.14

Curtains in a Rush

Dear Laura,





I had the wonderful pleasure of travelling to San Francisco for work last week. This is brilliant for two reasons: 
1. I get to go to San Francisco, 
2. I get to see some old old friends and play with them and their kiddiewinks. 
The trip also happened to occur over my birthday so I got to drink fancy tequila cocktails and eat lots of yummy Mexican food in a very cool restaurant. 

It was all fabulous, however before I left DC I had promised to make my friends some curtains for their 6 year olds room. We were for once quite organised between us but the July 4th weekend got in the way and the material only arrived 2 days before I had to leave. Rather than falling asleep on the sofa after work and after supper as is my usual habit, I ran downstairs and tried to put the curtains together. The dog was super helpful by sitting on, lying on and sometimes dribbling on the curtains. Needless to say I didn't quite make the deadline so I packed up a needle and thread and the half made curtains and hand sewed the rest whilst I was there. It was really fun and I even managed to finish and photograph the curtains!


Lots of love
Annie



5.7.14

Summer Dress Number 3

Dear Laura,


Hot on the heels of the success of summer dress number 2, I am beginning summer dress number 3! woohoo! It is the 4th of July weekend this weekend which means a bonus day off work and lots and lots of fireworks. We went up to Baltimore yesterday to celebrate and I ate a lot of BBQ and drank beer, then watched some amazing fireworks on a roof top garden overlooking the docks and the dominos sugar factor (the sign made very famous by season 2 of "The Wire"). It was wonderful and now I get to sew, so all in all a fantastic weekend is underway. 

This final dress of the season is for work. I originally had some grey material with white flowers on it to make this dress but then I saw this fabric by Alice Kennedy. Weirdly she also designed the tree fabric the I made into a tee towel for you many years ago. I loved this fabric because it felt like tweed but clearly it isn't tweed. The colours were very appealing and it just shouted out fitted dress to me. So I ditched the grey with white flowers, ordered this one and am happily cutting away. I can't wait to wear it on Monday!

Lots of love

Annie
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