Pattern: Esme tunic from the book ‘Lotte Jansdotter Everyday Style’
Fabric: Snowdrop print needlecord from Guthrie and Ghani (bought so long ago I can’t remember the name or designer of the fabric).
My first post of 2016 brings a simple shift tunic dress made with the most beautiful (to my mind anyway) fabric; a fine needlecord – perfect for winter – with a lovely pattern of snowdrops. I’ve had this fabric sat in my stash for an absolute age – Mum and I bought 2m each ages ago and it has sat in both of our fabric piles ever since, both of us reluctant to cut into it and ‘ruin’ it on a pattern it wasn’t suited too. A skirt would have been an obvious (and very pretty) option, but I really wanted to show off the fabric, top and bottom.
About a month ago I bought, on a whim, the book ‘Lotte Jansdotter Everyday Style’ by fabric designer Lotte Jansdotter. A beautiful book full of practical but pretty everyday makes – from dresses and coats to bags and jewellery- the Esme tunic dress caught my eye straight away and seemed, instantly, a perfect match for my snowdrop needlecord. I have a fair few rtw dresses and tunics similar to this dress in my wardrobe; I love the simplicity of the style and the ease of movement it provides. If I’m going to wear dresses more everyday – which I aim to – they have to be in a style which is not only pretty but which also serves a practical purpose so that I’m not reaching for my tatty old jeans every 5 minutes. Jeans have their place in my wardrobe, for painting in and for cooking work, but when I’m not painting or working I don’t want to wear them – I find they can be unflattering, seeming to shorten my already short legs and making me feel ‘mannish.’
This was a really easy peasy make; the instructions are clear and easy to follow, the pattern a simple front and back with neckline facings and then the sleeves attached.
I’m generally very pleased with this make! The only thing I will add to some future versions of this dress (for there will surely be many) would be front patch pockets, and maybe a few summery ones with short sleeves.
I have to also mention my lovely fingerless gloves, knitted for me by my mum, and which I have lived in while out and about for the past wee while. They are made using wool from our own Shetland sheep, this particular wool coming from a grey Katmoget ewe (grey Katmoget is the name given to this particular colour of Shetland sheep – all the ‘colour ways’ have fabulous Shetland names). After washing the fleeces mum combed out the wool using traditional carders and spun it into strands on her spinning wheel, finally plying (still on the wheel) two strands together to create a knit-able ball of wool. You don’t get much more homemade than that! I love this style of glove as I still have full use of my hands while wearing them. Last year, while my year group at uni were raising money towards our annual pre-degree show, mum, my aunty and my granny all made masses of these gloves for us to sell; we sold out of them in an hour! Shetland wool makes super cosy gloves – I would love a chunky cardi in a similar grey colour… The scarves I am wearing were also hand woven by mum – this time using cotton.
I (or more accurately, Scott (patiently)) took photos for this post while at yet another beach, this time Embo beach, near Dornoch in Sutherland (North East coast). The beach here is popular in the summer with it’s fantastic rock pools – as children we spent a lot of time here in the summer holidays – but in the winter it remains quiet and unpeopled, with only the odd dog walker about. It is a beautiful part of the world, just down the road from where my Aunty lives, as well as my Granny, and only a short hop from home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the beach on a clear winter’s day is really a rather lovely place to be! These particular photos were taken on Hogmany, after a brisk walk along the beach; an altogether perfect way to spend the last day of 2015.
I hope the New Year is treating you all well!