Green Dress

30 Jun

I´ll blend in nicely on St Patrick´s Day in this....

So, anyone who popped by today hoping for a recipe or a vegetable garden update will be sorely disappointed.  Sorry!  Today is sewing, well dressmaking to be more precise.

I have never been formally taught to sew apart from a brief four week evening class about a hundred years ago which did, usefully, teach me how to put a sleeve in.  The rest I am picking up through trial and (a great deal of) error. 

Living in Spain has made buying clothes quite tricky for me. Being a woman who loves her food means that this is reflected in my shape – I think I´m an “apple”….well endowed on top, and not much bottom to speak of.  If only I could find my waist I´d be heading somewhere towards hourglass! Actually, no, I´d just be a top heavy woman with a waist and a flat bottom…

Spanish fashion, at least in Andalucía, seems to cater for either the very young, thin and trendy or middle aged and frumpy.  I´m probably over exaggerating, but finding something half way fashionable that suits a well rounded forty something is quite tricky.

This year I decided to stop buying things that I either never wear because I get them home and decide they´re hideous, or wear a few times and then they fall apart. I also have a wardrobe full of lovely clothes from my “past” which I felt could be recycled and given a new life.

Back to basics for me, both in terms of not spending money and using what I have at my disposal to recreate.  Buying new material though, is permissible! 

Having gone through my wardrobe now and pretty much renewed everything that could be altered, I have plenty more skirts that actually fit, dresses that go over my chest but come in at my hips and the charity shop is also a whole lot better off.

I wanted to make something simple, but to do it well and chose a summer shift dress from the latest Burda magazine.  No zip (although having said that, I think I´ve pretty much mastered putting in zips), but I added some darts to fit it a little while still leaving room to put it on!  It´s the first time I´ve done a v-neck and I used bias binding.  I´m sure professionals would turn their noses up at this short cut, but it worked well and I´m pleased with the results.

Ok, am off to put on my new summer frock and do a bit of wafting around in it!


23 Responses to “Green Dress”

  1. TheDorsetFinca June 30, 2011 at 17:11 #

    This is such a lovely dress. Is it broderie anglaise fabric? Perfect for wafting in the Spanish sunshine like you say, or wearing with leggings if you are in June in England and the wind is still coming from the North! Well done for making it yourself – extra bonus points!

    • chicaandaluza June 30, 2011 at 20:20 #

      Thank you so much! Yes, green broderie anglaise….nice and cool for here, but would need a little more warnth in the UK!

  2. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 30, 2011 at 17:21 #

    I admire anyone who can sew. I don’t think that’s quite my color though.:)

    • chicaandaluza June 30, 2011 at 20:21 #

      I´ll run you one up in a grey charcoal wool for winter…..;)

  3. JamieAnne June 30, 2011 at 17:22 #

    It’s a beautiful dress. 🙂
    I’m glad your making good use of your sewing machine. I’ve got a sewing machine too, I used it to make window seat covers, pillows and curtains. I want to make clothes, but I get busy and end up just buying clothing instead.
    I’ve got more clothing options here than you do in Spain.
    Your dress is beautiful, and it’s all the more so because you made it yourself.


    • chicaandaluza June 30, 2011 at 20:22 #

      Thanks JamieAnne – thought I should move on from curtains and chair covers and make some things for myself! It does take time though 😦 but when it turns out well it´s worth it 🙂 Thanks for your kind words!

  4. spicegirlfla June 30, 2011 at 18:01 #

    Wow, I thought no one sewed their own clothes anymore! I learned to sew from my mother and had made so many outfits….a long, long time ago!! I think your green dress is beautiful and so much more beautiful that you made it yourself. (oops and I just realized JamieAnne said that), but its so very true. I love your sewing stand!!

    • chicaandaluza June 30, 2011 at 20:24 #

      I don´t think that many people do sew their own clothes anymore, there´s so much lovely and affordable stuff aorund, I guess we don´t need to. I just spent a few days altering clothes for my best friend which I loved doing. My dress stand is called Marilyn (as in Monroe :)) I can only dream of a body like heres though!

  5. gisellecagli June 30, 2011 at 18:47 #

    I love the color and the fabric is so summery!!! Perfect for hot weather in Andalucia!!! Chapeau for sewing the dress!!!!

    • chicaandaluza June 30, 2011 at 20:25 #

      I thought it was time for me move away from black (so slimming) and white clothes (so cool)! Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂

  6. florence and freddie June 30, 2011 at 21:09 #

    Hey Chica. This turned out brilliantly. It looks so cool and fresh. Just what you need at the moment. Love the colour.
    Florence x

  7. chaiselongue1 June 30, 2011 at 22:48 #

    This looks perfect for hot summer days – well done! I have the same problem finding anything I can wear in France, where I think women are expected to be even smaller and even younger than they are in Spain!

  8. ....RaeDi July 1, 2011 at 05:00 #

    I think you did a wonderful job and I love the green! I love to sew. I love clothes, nice clothes so I buy a few ‘really nice’ each season and make a few that blend in, mostly for summer months, I love linen and it is easy to work with and easy to line and so many wonderful colors. I have stayed the same size forever so that is in my favor and have always leaned toward classic. If you lived closer I would let you go through all the material I have, but if you lived closer you would have better choices in buying clothes! Seattle is a wonderful place to shop, too gooood! If you understand what I am saying….RaeDi

    • chicaandaluza July 1, 2011 at 05:26 #

      Oh I do undersatnd what you are saying – and I love the thought of all your material! Am gradually starting to build up a collection and am already thinking about what I want to make. I´m sure that when I visit friends and family in London later in the year I won´t be able to resist a little clothes shopping though 🙂 Thanks too for your kind words!

  9. fatisrecipes July 1, 2011 at 09:33 #

    Ohh I did mention on your red dress post that you’re such a talented sewer, right?!
    I must say, and sorry for drawing all the attention away from the dress, but I LOVE your walls!!!!! 😀 So traditional Arabian-Spain like tiles, they’re gooorrgeeouuussss :DD

    • chicaandaluza July 1, 2011 at 10:57 #

      Thank you – I love our walls too! My Big Man was born in the province of Granada, which has enormous Arabic influences in everything (food, archtecture) and although we now live in Malaga province, we wanted something “Granadino” in our home.

  10. thefooddoctor July 1, 2011 at 23:18 #

    Hats off to you my friend..
    I can never sew anything..and your dress looks are really talanted
    I agree with Fati..I love your walls!

    • chicaandaluza July 1, 2011 at 23:24 #

      Thank you but I am feeling a bit of a fraud as it was a very easy pattern!! Think I am going to have to do a post on my Granadino wall tiles (starring Marilyn the model of course!).

  11. kuby2u July 6, 2011 at 22:02 #

    Your green dress is adorable! Please enjoy eating and sewing! I love Burda patterns, I have a few but I haven’t made them up yet. Is there a good fabric selection in Spain?

    • chicaandaluza July 6, 2011 at 23:02 #

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I like Burda patterns too – they´re usually fairly straightforward and fit well. Fabric is hard for me to buy here. It´s expensive too so I ask friends to bring me a “present” of a few metres of something lovely when they visit from the UK. I also try to recycle clothes, or things like pretty sheets!

  12. Fired Up Cooking SA July 10, 2011 at 20:39 #

    Oh there’s a memory…my mom was an amazing seamstress and she loved the burda pattern books! Your dress is beautifully made, and I like the simple pattern. Broderie anglaise is so summery and fresh looking, too! You make me (almost) want to take out my sewing machine and sew again 🙂

    I sympathise with your figure blues – I’m also 40 something and recently lost my waist, hence the dieting, lol!! Have a great day 🙂

    • chicaandaluza July 10, 2011 at 21:47 #

      Yes, that old waistline doesn´t look like it wants to make a reappearance. And what with all the cooking and eating (wish I didn´t like food so much!)…:( But hey, now I can make huge smocks to cover it all up!

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