Friday, 12 April 2013

Dot dot dash

If you ever find yourself in Shropshire you could do far worst than visit the wonderful historic town of Shrewsbury. 
With it's beautiful half timbered buildings

interesting features

and niche shops

it is a truly glorious place for an amble.

But today we shall amble not!
We are going to head straight over here.
Watson and Thornton
The most wonderful fabric shop.

Look at this

and this

Then look over here

Inspiration all around!

But my eyes were drawn to this
Fresh white polka dots on crisp cotton poplin

Perfect to make this

The pattern said this would take me one hour.
Only 1 heure!
 Fantastic! Obviously they did not factor me in this.

I had used this pattern several times many years ago so the pieces were already cut. My challenge this time was to try view B - something I had always avoided as it involved sleeves!
I lovingly unrolled my purchase on the kitchen table. It was at this point that I realised the effect of so many spots altogether - it could be a bit disconcerting. (Look back at the fabric photo and move a:your head or b: your computer from side to side very quickly - do you feel a bit nauseous?) Never mind. It wasn't going to take long and surely when it was all together the effect would be minimal. 

I set in my darts
Then set in my sleeves - several times. 
(It's only thanks to a lovely lady on Youtube that I have any hair left.)

And three days later it was ready.
I tried it on.
The spots were hypnotic. I added a cardigan and some boots. Still a bit concerned about moving around too fast.
Final straw - I asked Little Sis for her opinion.
"Hey mum that's great - it looks just like my uniform at first school!"
She was right. I thought the unruly spots would be the downfall of this project but no  - swap them for checks and it is pretty much what those sisters used to travel to school in every day. 
I can imagine the chatter as I frolic through town in my poplin -
"Mum - why is that lady wearing my school uniform?"
" I don't really know dear, keep away."

So here it will stay. For now. Waiting for me to 'do something else with'.

(Should I cut the top bit off and make a skirt or the bottom bit off and make a top?)

Never mind.

Look who I found staring at me in Ikea today.

How could I resist such a chirpy little chap. 
I've already got grand plans.
I'll let you know if they work out.

Jane x

P.S. thank you for all my birthday wishes - you are a truly lovely bunch. And to my new followers hello and welcome - it's good to have you along!


  1. Well, I'm impressed that you made a dress and put sleeves in and everything.
    Love your little bird as well, is he on fabric?

  2. Hi,congratulations on making the dress I do admire anyone who can make something to actually wear,maybe a skirt would be a good idea?Are you watching the sewing bee I do love the older lady(so sorry I've forgotten her name)She's so very calm and elegant.'bye for now Pam.

    1. Love the Sewing Bee - I think I am probably more of an 'armchair sewer' (oh dear not the drain sort of sewer). You mean Ann - she's great x

  3. I think it looks great.Very striking too.

  4. I like it a lot, but if you are hesitant make it a skirt and war it with a cute whit T-shirt and you are looking amazing.

  5. I think it's pretty and would look lovely with a little white short sleeve cardi. Happy belated birthday, glad you were spoilt by your lovely family :) xx

  6. I agree it's great, maybe wear it with a long sleeve white T-shirt...don't you just love it when kids burst your creative bubble!
    X Sally @ Lavender Attic

  7. It looks great ... I am very impressed with your dress making skills ... and love the little bird ... Bee xx

  8. Can we see a pic of you IN the dress? I don't want to make a choice until I see if it really is that bad! I am sure it is not! Show us!!

    1. Oooh now that would be too much - Mr K couldn't stop laughing and asked if I had escaped from somewhere. How kind he is - I'm going to knit him some underwear x

  9. Wow, you did a fabulous job with this dress! Nice work.

  10. When my mother in law lived in Shrewsbury we hardly ever went and now I regret it!
    I love your dress, well done!

  11. I think the dress would look terrific in green, but I know you tend to shy away from that colour... ;-} Well done you, I would never entertain the thought of sewing clothing - and I'm on the 'skirt with white t-shirt' team. Chrissie x

  12. Could you maybe dye it pink - pink spots on red - or blue - blue spots on purple - or similar ... that would look a lot less school uniformy.

    If you're not too far from Shrewsbury you're not too far from me ... I'm an hour's journey north.

  13. I like it! The simplicity of the pattern is really elegant and the colour is striking. I visited Shrewsbury once but sadly did not see that shop, which is probably a good thing for my wallet. x

  14. That fabric shop looks amazing! And I really like your dress. I am a big fan of polka dots.
    M x

  15. Thanks for the tour of Shrewsbury, I have never been but it looks really interesting. Love the shop and the fabric you chose. Well done you on completing the dress and take no notice of the little ones, just stick some leggings with it and last school uniforms are fashionable!!! Take care. Chel x

  16. Thank you for popping over to visit my blog Jane, it has led me to your wonderful little corner :) There are so many treasures throughout the UK I have yet to visit and your photos are definitely encouraging me to go! I love your post on Crosby beach too. Yes it is baltic there, but my boyfriends from Crosby and it's lovely to catch a glimpse when I'm sitting in Glasgow :) x

  17. A shop like that can only live in my imagination. What a fantastic place! Your dress looks great. I bet it looks a lot better than you think! I have that same fabric from Ikea. Isn't it wonderful. i only bought a small piece of it sadly, so I'm only going to use it to cover a footstool. Can't wait to see what you do with yours!

  18. Thanks so much for the tour - the architecture is really quite different there, a bit German-like. Great job on the dress! What does it look like with a skinny belt? Mel x

  19. Oooh Shrewsbury - one of my favourite towns! I always visit there when I go 'home' :) The fabric you got is lovely. I like the dress and think it would be great as a top too x

  20. Love this dress. I am a sucker for polka dots.

    Must put Shrewsbury one my list of places to visit one day!

  21. It looks absolutely fine to me - better than anything I could do. I know what you mean about u-tube though - I made my first quilt a few months ago and couldn't have done it without consulting u-tube each time I got stuck. Brilliant! xCathy

  22. I don't live far away from Shrewsbury I enjoyed your pictures lovely seeing it through someone else's eyes. Great photos. The dress looks a lot like some I wear really lovely x

  23. Oh, what a shame you've gone off it! Well done on the making though; the galling thing is that had the spots been very big or really tiny, it absolutely would never be mistaken for school gingham. And it's a shame that schools do use gingham because its ruined blue & white, pink & white and yellow & white for me forever!

  24. Hello Jane, thanks for following! I visited Shrewsbury years ago and really liked it - and what's more my family on my dad's side were from around this area.You are very clever making something that you would dare to wear - I am a maker of quilts and things which are merely decorative, in the main, I have no sense of 3-dimensional

  25. Just found you via lavender Attic - congratulations on winning her giveaway. Love your blog, so now following. I think the dress looks great and now I REALLY want to visit Shrewsbury. xx

  26. Hubby and I visited Shrewsbury on our first " Mini Break" (a la Bridgett Jones!!) together. I can see that we shall have to have a revisit. Gorgeous sewing xxxxxx

  27. Came over by way of Lynne's blog at Textile Treasury and I'm so glad I did. I have scanned back a few posts and have added you to my reader so I won't miss any in the future. I love your blog. I really like your dress. It reminds me of one my Mom made me when I was much, much younger. Now that I'm an old em...woman, I wouldn't dare were polka dots but on you it will be lovely. Maybe a sweater and belt???? Or make it a top??? Don't give up, what it wants to be is in there somewhere. :)


    1. I wouldn't dare wear. Sheesh my mind and my fingers don't play well together.

  28. You can wear belts on it, so that it would define the contour of the body. + jacket, or + a short cardigan to the waist. : )

  29. Looks good to me - keep on going.
    Funnily enough I too have had a similar experience where my daughter said: 'Oh dear' and that has been enough for me not to finish it! Children!!!
    Best wishes

  30. You are such a hoot! Polka dots are supposed to be all the rage. I tend to stick with plain things, no designs, so that the mixing and matching is easier. You did a lovely job on the dress. I'm sure you will figure out how to wear it or what to do with it. :) Best wishes, Tammy

  31. If your blog can wear polka dots, surely you can. :)

    Shrewsbury looks like a lovely place to visit. :)


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