Mushrooms and snake print maxi dresses

This weekend has been busy, busy, busy. To an extent. Having finally cut out the lining pieces for the maxi dress, I managed to finally get a start on assembling the bodice and waistband.

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Progress on the snake print maxi dress, completed at the weekend

As you can see, the mannequin has come in handy, especially with photographing what I’ve done so far.

Unfortunately I didn’t take photos of how the top was assembled, but if anyone’s interested I’ll try and remember to take photos in the future and add a step by step photo tutorial of how I managed to work the neckline and armholes so that there were no exposed seams. Here’s how it works:

1. Cut out your bodice pieces using the outer fabric and the lining as required

2. If you’re using the Simplicity pattern #2579 like I’ve done, make sure you do the pleating step to the outer bodice front neckline first before moving on to the next step

3. Pin the bodice front pieces together (outer fabric to lining) and do the same for the back bodice pieces along the armholes and neckline

4. Sew only along the arm holes and neckline of the bodice front pieces together, and do the same again for the back bodice pieces. Do not sew along the shoulder straps, you’ll see why in just a second

5. Once you’ve sewn along the arm hole and neckline for both the front and back bodice pieces (ie the bodice front lining to the outer bodice front fabric, and the bodice back lining to the outer bodice back fabric), use your pinking shears to neaten the edges and prevent fraying. If you don’t do this step now, you won’t be able to do it later

6. Now, turn your bodice front and bodice back pieces inside out so that your stitching and sheared edges are now on the inside. To allow the shoulder straps to come through, use either the rubber-end of a pencil or a long blunt object like a paintbrush, or even stick your finger through the ‘tube’ and pull out the end.

That’s how simple it is. Believe me, as simple as it sounds, it took me days (literally) to try and work out how to keep the edges clean and avoid fraying. Once you’ve pinned and got the side seams to the bodice right and sewn the shoulder straps to the bodice front and bodice back pieces together, you won’t even see where the edges are hidden!

I only managed to get that far with the dress only because I started after dinner and assembling the pattern pieces on the lining, cutting it all out, labelling each piece and so on and so forth till the point I stopped meant I finished at 1am and while I wanted to keep working till I finished, I was dead tired. All that’s left to do now is the skirt, so it’s back to pinning and assembling the skirt front snake print voile fabric to the skirt back, doing the same with the lining, hemming and attaching it to the bodice. Should be a quick and easy job right? Not when it comes to hemming a full skirt though! Just taking it up with pins can take 45 minutes. When you’ve got 2 pieces to hem and you’ve still got to sew it…that means 3 hours just working on the hem!

As a way of distracting my attention and keeping my eyes afresh, my OH and I decided to go mushroom picking at a nearby woodland. It’s a public place owned by the Forestry Commission, but many people go all the time, either walking their dogs or just taking a leisurely stroll in the nature with peace and quiet away from the general public and traffic.

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Selm Muir

We only go at certain times of the year only because mushrooms grow in particular climates, ideally in the wet weather. I would advise however that you should always go with someone more experienced in recognising edible varieties – I’ve never ventured out on my own, even having been 3 times some of the mushrooms we passed appeared to be your normal Tesco’s variety but were in fact poisonous!

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One of the poisonous varieties of mushroom

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Not sure what this is meant to be

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At first thought this was a giant puffball until I did my research (trusty Google) and learned that puffballs grow on the grass, never on trees!

Was hoping to wear my lovely new leopard print court shoes from New Look today, but luckily I decided to wear boots instead as it poured unexpectedly as I was leaving work. Am looking forward to being able to wear it with my skinny jeans to dress up a casual outfit to work or even just going out to coffee with friends!

What exciting plans did you have for this weekend? Did you buy anything recently that you can’t wait to wear?

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