Greetings friends! With things veering, once again, a tad more towards the terrible out there, I hope you and yours are all keeping well and are healthy. I’ve not been feeling great but been distracting myself by making garden seed inventories and planning this year’s garden. It’s not yet time to actually do much yet – I mean, I haven’t even seen snowdrops yet- however the time is always right to dream about joyful things. We celebrated another year around the sun for my partner and the accompanying cake and joyful decorations around the house certainly helped too. My parents gifted us a beautifully crafted scratching pole for the cats mainly made out of solid wood and rope for our combined birthdays (mine is in March). They started using it while we were still putting it together so it was an instant hit! It’s been fun, joy bringing and distracting seeing them explore it in these early days. We put it in a new spot and they are now in prime position over one of my spring bulbs pots so they won’t have to miss any of that excitement in the next few months.
I’m kicking off the year in sewing by showing you this shirt dress I recently made. It’s another version of the Hinterland, my fourth repeat that all in all is not that different from my previous interpretations of this pattern. However in the spirit of some of what I decoded as one of my main sewing themes from 2021 -finding and revelling in my basics and work horses- I want to share it anyway. Also, I made it and I like it and those are both good terms to describe the “why” behind me coming out here on the blog. On this side of the screen we always appreciate some woodland frolicking photos, so the dress has that going for it as well.
We snapped some quick photos of it on one of our walks the other day, on what can only be described as an “extremely mild winter walk”, weather wise. The trees are well and truly bare at this stage, safe for the evergreens that glow in extra splendour this time of the year. The paths are littered with brown leaves that have left behind most of their reds, oranges and yellow and are in the process of slowly going back to the earth. Likewise most of the toadstools have gone, though I found some Turkey Tails still going strong and a couple of Common Earthballs in a magnificent stage of decay (they looked like exploded warm up dinner in the microwave). I also spotted lots of moss, they too seem extra radiant in colour now that the rest of the forest floor is brown and barren.
I heard lots of songbirds, but didn’t see a lot of them apart from wild wing flutters in trees and bushes. I did see a European Red Robin but alas, it couldn’t be persuaded to pose with me for the photos, despite likely agreeing it would have improved the photos beyond reproach (understandable, I too value agency and privacy, but also; Disney princesses, teach me you ways!).
I did my usual mods to the bodice, slightly lengthening it and raise the neckline. Thinking, again, in perplexed wonder how sewing companies seem to be under the impression that large busted people want dramatically deep plunging necklines that start halfway over our bra ( I’m only partially joking here). I also raised the pocket placement as well as made the skirt of this dress slightly fuller. The latter I mostly did to diminish fabric waste, but I think it suits the dress and gives it a nice swing. I had to wrangle a bit with the button band that didn’t want to cooperate and slightly regret that I didn’t go for 5 buttons as I did with the sleeveless version I made last summer, but oh well, we’ll take that feedback with us for the next version (I’ve given up predicting how many I’ll make and have calmly accepted that there will always be a “next version”).
The flower buttons come from my button stash. For years I’ve had this cutesy set of flower buttons in different colours that I’d sort of given up on finding a spot for on a make that would still feel like me. When I went to have a look for buttons for this dress I wasn’t super hopeful to find it among my stash but when I tried these they surprisingly suited the dress very well. The red of the flowers matches the dress well and doesn’t draw the eye in I think as they do on their own. Hurrah, there is hope yet for the rest of the set!
The fabric is a linen viscose blend a heftier weight making it a nice choice for a longer sleeved dress. The colour is a beautiful warm toned dark red that would make the perfect underdress for an industrious forest gnome making her rounds through the winter woodland ( perhaps I should leave some of my small scraps out?). It’s the perfect colour tot paint ones cabin in, if you lived somewhere where it regularly snowed (I live there in my head!). If all else fails, it is the perfect dress to one day use to retreat into the forest and pretend I’m a berry.
Wishing you all well, hope you can find a bit of magic in a lush moss patch this week or in glittering raindrops or frost or snow covered fields or branches dancing in the wind. xxx