Warning: Sensitive cyclists do not read on.
Disclaimer: Some of my best friends are cyclists. True. One such
madwoman friend is cycling from Paris to where I live in the South of France which is almost 800 km – a distance I consider fit only for an aircraft.
They love cycling in France and it appears to take priority over other traffic be it pedestrian, car or ambulance. I don’t love cycling. I’m not talking about cycling down to the bakery to get your croissants or zipping round to see your friend on the other side of town or gently trundling along taking in some beautiful scenery. I’m talking about vast armies of cyclists, five or six abreast, steaming down country roads, grimly determined and in my way. I don’t like the hideous lycra they wear or the way they hog more than one lane. I can’t understand the attraction of standing by the side of the road watching streams of bikes going by in a blur or parking your vehicle on a bend to watch so that cars can’t get past you for 10 minutes in case they knock over one of the oncoming cyclists. If it had been suggested, some years ago, that men (as they mostly seem to be) put on skin tight body stockings and wore them in public the idea would have been laughed out of town. It is particularly unappealing when they stop by the side of the road and, without bothering to conceal themselves in the trees, face the oncoming traffic that is already being forced to go at a snail’s pace and take a pee – although that is something observed regularly here in France even when there is not a bike race going on or lycra to contend with. I can barely wait for the Tour de France next month.
They made me late for my yoga class this morning but I’m not bitter.
Anyway, rant over (until the next time) and here is a sneak peak of my dress for the Outfit Along which, to be honest, I haven’t really been ‘alonging’ with but I’ve made it and it will be photographed and entered. I have recently learnt – too recently for this dress – that you should make the size of dress or top for your upper bust measurement, not your full bust because that will make the shoulders and neckline too big for you, and then you do a full bust adjustment. Oops! So that’s where I’ve been going wrong. My last couple of dresses that have had fitted bodices have indeed been too big on the shoulders. Next time……..
The cardigan part of the outfit has also had its problems. I didn’t like the way I had picked up the stitches for the sleeves so I have frogged both of them and then I realised that I had cast off the stitches of the body too tightly and there was no way that ribbing was going to stretch round my waist. So I, very carefully and with much trepidation, undid the cast off and redid it using Jenys Stretchy Bind Off. Now it will! Just got to do those sleeves again now.
Despite sharing my life with quite a few vintage French mannequins, one of which I sent off to Canada a couple of weeks ago in a box big enough for a coffin, I decided I needed an adjustable mannequin to help me in my dressmaking endeavours. My friend had a Lady Valet and I thought it looked good as well as being useful so I treated myself.
Handsome aren’t they?
However, I had to buy the small size (the one on the right) for all my measurements including the chest but, though I don’t like to brag, that girl has got nothing on me in the bust department. So, what to do? I googled it, as I do most things I don’t know about, and found that you must not only adjust a dress form to your measurements but pad it a bit to make it feel more like flesh and, if need be, put one of your bras on it and pad to the desired fullness. Then you must cover the whole thing in a body stocking of sorts – should have nabbed one of those cyclists this morning – or use, as I did, a sort of body shaping slip that I sometimes wear if I have a very fitted dress and don’t want lines of underwear showing. So now, instead of my beautiful, clean looking mannequin on her lovely wooden stand, I have this.
Note the chest cracked open as if for heart surgery as I struggled to make a doppelganger of myself. I must neither gain nor lose weight as I don’t want to go through that process again and my plans for noting down the measurements of the Tialys madamoiselles and altering the dress form to suit when I’m making something for them will also not be implemented any time soon.
On the subject of mannequins, you may recall that I bought a baby sized one recently in order to get better photographs of the baby clothes I’m making. Just to remind you here it is
Well, guess what, it’s too big. So now, having got the idea in my head, I’ve had to find another, smaller one. No matter, this one can go in my shop – it’s from Paris dontchaknow. Unfortunately, despite these tiny ones giving me the creeps and being grateful it had no face the one winging its way to me as we speak actually does have a head. Plus, and I don’t know whether this makes matters better or worse, you can remove it. I feel a nightmare coming on.
I am no longer ‘waiting for the wadding’ as mentioned in my last post. It is sandwiched between the front and back layers of my quilt and basted with curvy safety pins. Off to start quilting it as it’s taking up my workroom floor and I won’t be able to get anything else done until it is at least de-masking taped from the floorboards.
* Post not sponsored by Lycra