Introducing the Barcelona/Cabo halter dress.
Putting the Cabo halter top and the A-line Barcelona skirt together to make a dress was a bit of a gamble for me, especially as this is my first dress, but it's really paid off.
I'd seen the Cabo top on the blue blog (Ellen - check out the non-halter version) a few weeks ago and thought at the time that it would make a great top half to a dress. I really wanted a new dress to wear to the Encaenia garden party and so when I saw the Cabo pattern in Liberty at the weekend I snapped it up along with some beautiful Amy Butler for Rowan fabric.
I'll go into more detail when I make the next one but basically I overlapped the two patterns at the point where the width of the lower halter top pieces was the same as the width of the top of the skirt pieces, pinned everything together, shortened the skirt and stitched it all together as per the two patterns and voila (it really was bizarrely straightforward).
I really like Amy Butler's patterns - the designs are great, the layout is clear and the instructions are easy to follow - and her fabrics for Rowan as soo pretty, there'll definitely be more dresses and skirts to follow this one. The Cabo halter looks like it should be complicated (curved neckline, overlapping pieces, etc.) but was really simple to make and the fact that all the pieces are cut on the fold means that you don't have to wrangle your brains to make sure that you cut out mirror image pieces.
The only thing that I'd change ever so slightly is the length of the dress - it's about half an inch shorter than I'd ideally like it. Still, that'll teach me not to measure the length by holding up the pattern piece against myself and saying "about there" and sticking a pin in.
The idea was to get the boyfriend to take some pictures in the St. Hugh's gardens but we were too busy eating strawberries and trying to guess which raiment belongs to which university.
We've been debating about this chap (with the hat like a lampshade) for about four years - we think it's either Salamanca or Córdoba.
The navy blue gown with giant mortar board is definitely the University of Georgia (Tbilisi not USA).
I managed to miss the photo opportunity of Philip Pullman showing off his scroll but I did get this shot of him in his D. Litt. gown-no, really, it is him, promise.