Sorry for radio silence, guess who ended up in the hospital and had to have emergency surgery with an infected cat bite on her dominant, nay, let’s say sewing hand. Yep. WTF. Apparently there’s this wealth of popular lore out there about cat bites that has up til now escaped me, but somehow in a lifetime of being an animal adorer (cat owner my entire adult life, not to even start on dogs), I didn’t realize that one can end up so sick so fast, or that there is such a hazard there.
Peabody’s a unique one, though. She wandered into my back yard in 2009 a starving, matted, plaintively begging little 5-month old stray at a time when I was least able to resist her, after having recently lost a beloved elderly, soul-matey cat. I most definitely believe in adopting rescued animals whenever possible; all but one of the pets I’ve had have had lives elsewhere before they came to me, and you expect that there might be baggage that might turn up, but Peabody does kind of take that to the next level sometimes. She has some little quirks, including some territorial tics I never experienced with cats I had previously; one of which (office chairs with arms!) I ran afoul of in the excitement of installing my lovely new computer monitor.
In any case, I don’t need to have a complete rehash of the situation here, but that is where I’ve been and what I have been doing, and I have at least gotten to a point where I can do some typing, but hand sewing is not in my immediate future, boo! I really wanted to get cracking on winter coat and there was a whole lot of pad stitching on the immediate agenda. Perhaps it’s a sign I should go RTW route???
On to happier things, I owe some pictures of my “black tie Peony”:
Colette Patterns Peony in black silk dupioni, with the accompanying cummerbund belt (backwards) in silk charmeuse with vintage glass buttons and bias self-loop closures. I chose dupioni for the dress because I knew from previous experience that I really like to take advantage of the flattering A-line of the Peony skirt by using a fabric with maximum body- the dupioni was an absolute delight to work with, and wear. Mmmm, rustly!
The only change I made to accomodate the dupioni was I had to do tucks instead of the gathering in the front upper skirt; the gathering was almost too subtle for the dupioni in a way, and after several tries I wasn’t getting a good result, so I opted for tucks instead.
As for the slippy charmeuse of the belt, who knows what I was thinking. I even went off script and added extra fabric to the front-front panel, thinking even MORE gathered pearly-white charmeuse would be even greater, but it’s really not. What actually IS greater are these pearly vintage glass buttons, and I adore how that part of the belt looks with the button-loops, so I just spun the belt around, let the cummerbund part drape at the small of my back and had the buttons at the front, and loved it.
Actually one of these days I’m plotting to make a second back half, and replace the cummerbund-part with another button part so it buttons at both center front and center back. Too much? I don’t think so, I love the button effect that much!
Not liking the cummerbund bit this go-round: it’s not the pattern’s fault. I have a version I did in sateen that I love (big self-covered button on the back, so cute!), but it just didn’t work out the way I did it in the charmeuse.
I keep trying to get away from these hallway pictures with the bad lighting but after the dress’s maiden voyage to a holiday gala concert, I managed only the most hilarious pictures:
Did I mention I managed to fit a subtle vintage crinoline under there? Helped to accentuate the fullness in the skirt. Actually one of my mom’s that came to light in her big move earlier this year. Our family are sartorial packrats indeed but you’ll hear no complaints about that part of it from me!
Admittedly a black silk dress isn’t the most light-spirited or frolicsome- there’s something almost inherently nineteenth-century-mourning in the way the fabric rustles or something, it’s an odd association, but it’s really a feel-good garment for me regardless.
As is my previous Peony which I might as well post a recap picture of here for funsies:
This is just a “homespun” cotton from JoAnn’s, yarn-dyed black & tan cotton, but cut on the cross-grain to give it more body and really take advantage of the pattern shape- I think it really brings out the hourglass in the pattern and the woodgrain effect in the fabric. Love it, if I do say so myself.
Pretty sure this exceeds my typing ration for the evening; more sooner!