The dress that nearly wasn’t

. . . but I’m so glad it is!

Spotty rose dress

Following on from the vintage rose print dress, I fully intended to make the next one from some gorgeous red rose cotton. But I knew I should improve on the fit of the bodice beforehand. I’ve turned once again to my trusty Elisalex bodice pattern. Why fix it if it’s not broke, I say!

I’ve taken the advice from the By Hand London site to perform a full bust adjustment. Something I never thought I would ever need to do for me. But on closer examination of my last version, and the one before, the upper bust was defo a tad too big whilst the fabric was more than snug over ‘the girls’. I’ve always gone by bust size and increased the waist, but never thought to go down a size and increase bust and waist. More than anything I plainly couldn’t be arsed! I must also learn to take bust measurements with whatever bra I mostly intend to wear!

Well. Big fat lesson learned. I now have a properly fitting bodice pattern that fits under arms, across chest, over bust and waist. Not bad for 2 years of (not) trying!

properly fitting bodiceAnyhows. This is not the reason that this particular dress didn’t happen. This spotty rose fabric has been sitting in the bottom of stash mountain for eons. I bought it from a charity shop and quickly decided it would only ever be suitable for a toile after doing a burn test.

Let’s just say I nearly burned down the kitchen in the process. Once the flames died down and the stinky fumes dispersed, my science test revealed that this fabric was totally synthetic and was never going to be acceptable in sweaty weather.

So I used it, with my dramatically altered bodice pattern to make a toile. Really not bothered if at first I didn’t succeed. I really didn’t want to cut into the lovely red fabric without knowing the alterations worked. But they did. Clearly. And all of a sudden I can forgive the fabric for being so unnatural! It’s amazing how blurred one’s vision gets when one is blinded by a darned good fit! I really must learn to be so snobby about fibre content!

front view of spotty rose dress

That said. I am still holding out for some 100% cotton gingham. How hard can it be? A sleeveless number in poly is fine but I can’t imagine having a sleeve, however short, in such close contact with my pits, in summer!

I wore it out to the park today in a sticky 26 degrees. Extreme test for a plastic dress. But because the skirt is so full and the fabric is so thin, it was remarkably cool.

Wearing the dress in Ravenscourt Park Gardens

Smelling the roses

I am still going to do the red rose version but I’m so pleased with this Brucey bonus one that I landed up with in the process! It has a 1950s vibe to it and of course is the perfect base dress to accessorise with a pair of crazy heels.

spotty rose dress

These heels being of the pink, furry leopard-print kind, of course!

sitting pretty on the doorstep

spotty rose dress

And I think you’ll agree that Mr Ooobop worked his magic as usual!

Leopard-love shoes

Roder from Aldo

Roder from Aldo

You wouldn’t be wrong in thinking I have a thing about shoes but I do owe most of the wonderful shoe finds to my trusty self-appointed ‘shoe-scout’, Mr Ooobop! He spotted these little beauties online giving much reassurance that the height of them was balanced out by the platform, and so we set of to Westfield. Honestly, I tell no lies when I hype up his enthusiasm for ladies footwear including the sometimes tiresome task of shopping for them!

Roder leopard print shoes

See how the platform outweighs the heel?!

I wouldn’t go as far as saying they are the most comfortable shoes in the world but for the first half of my working day (given that I have been given a lift to work) they are not too bad. The 10-minute walk back to the tube station at the end of the day is a slow one to say the least!

At the peak they are an impressive 5.25 inches (13cm) high. Perfect for diddy people like me and possibly my tallest ones to date! All leather, save the adorable faux fur leopard print insert and the rubber sole which is an absolute life-saver as they are really grippy.

Roder leopard print shoes from Aldo

An impressive 5.25 inches at peak!

Not the cheapest pair in the shop at £90 but if you fancy some really impractical but not particularly comfy, dead cool shoes, pop along to Aldo. For the best part, most of the others are a little on the sensible side for me but they do have a great range of funky boots.

So what do you go for comfort or style? Or is there a both?!