Updates and Dates

Hair CutFirstly, may I thank you on behalf of Connie for your kind words of support in her decision to cut her hair short and donate it, as well as to fundraise for the charity which uses the hair to make wigs for children who have lost theirs.  I was so moved that this blog prompted many of you to sponsor her and leave lovely messages.  Amongst the familiar names that I’ve got to know over the years and come to regard as friends, there were, much to my surprise, some unfamiliar ones from a few who outed themselves as readers!  It’s very humbling and I thank you warmly.

sideThe cut was booked for Connie’s 12th birthday and I picked the best hairdresser I know, just in case.  She did a pretty good job!  We quickly got used to the new Connie; in fact it’s hard to believe she hasn’t always looked like this!  When the  salon manager heard what she’s up to, he gave the salon fee to the charity and the hairdresser, the brilliant Yvette, did the same with her tip.  But donations arrived from all angles: friends, family, bloggers, the running community…  The latest amount raised now stands at £429, more than twice the initial target.

IMG_3444The day after, we flew to Canada.  A first-time visit and a memorable trip which strengthened friendships and family ties… even if the children did want to disown me for making them walk long distances.  I will write about the experience some day as I found it inspiring to people-watch in the streets of Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City.  But first I’ve to comb through the hundreds of photos we’d taken.

So I return to an imminent deadline for my own Six Napoleon Challenge.  I’ve had feedback from all the participants and unless magic wands are waved over the weekend, the consensus is that probably only one dress has been finished in time to meet the deadline of this Sunday.  Ruth,  you’ve done it again!  I can’t wait to see it, or rather, you in it.

1 t Jo's bodiceDoes this mean that for the rest of us, the challenge is a failure?  Well… not quite.  Other dresses will come I hope.  When they’re ready.  I feel somewhat disappointed in myself in that I haven’t provided the inspiration or the know-how to enable the others to continue – leadership was never my strong point.  But hopefully everyone taking part has learnt or expanded their skills in the process of trying.  Wonderful news came from the west coast of Ireland this week, where my friend Jo is staying with her family …  and a Bernina!  You may recall that back on a teary day in June, Jo and I drafted the Six Nap bodice pattern to fit her.  Afterwards, Jo made the bodice in a rose-print cotton and liked it enough to make it again.

1 t jo

The second version is in a more brocade-like fabric from the stash (we think it might be an upholstery fabric).  It was made to go over a RTW skirt.  I asked if it’s comfortable to wear and was told yes, despite the asymmetry.

1t JO v2 back

1 jo 2

Now Jo is on her third, I think this one calls for a skirt of its own.  Well done Jo: I’m chuffed it worked!

And now, my own experiments….

1 paper

I draped following Anita’s method of cutting two stumpy  1 l shapes, sewn together at the short ends. This is similar to joining a circle skirt to a bodice except for the amount of pleating at the lowered waist.  And the circle has been left a rectangle.  I tried it out using pattern paper, joined to make a 2m x 1.4m piece.  (I know  🙄  I try and live a green life then go axe down a tree, metaphorically).  I even sellotaped back a 10cm deep hem.  It was very noisy!  But it’s the low dip of that corner that concerns me; it would reach my feet.

I used graph paper (like this printable one) to try out some ratios.  1 grraph

The first illustration is as in Anita’s tutorial in her guest post.  The second is as in her suggestion of using 3m of fabric.  I raided the charity shop for some bargain bed linen and used 3m to make this.1 bedsheetIt was more fabric that I could cope with, to be honest, though it helped to drape from the waist rather than the bodice hem.  I will play with the graph paper and try to reduce the diagonal length of that mitred corner.

There’s one more method to try.  Now I’ve always suspected Stephanie to be really clever and was very impressed when in her last post she presented another interpretation of the Six Nap pleats.  Which I’ll attempt next.  This method will also result in a shorter length of the dip.  But whether to go crossgrain and risk puffiness or lengthwise and risk showing lots of joins in the skirt?

17 thoughts on “Updates and Dates

  1. No leadership issues at all on your part, M. Life sometimes intervenes for some of us.

    Jo’s bodices are superb! To tell the truth I have been thinking this week of making one up myself. Do you know if she used a separating zip? I have only used one for a jacket and it was thicker than I would like for this.

    I also thought that Stephanie’s solution was really clever!

  2. Connies hair looks fabulous. She should be so.proud of what she achieved.
    Your 6 Nap challenge has really been fascinating to watch. I wish I had had time to join in. Maybe next time ?

  3. Connie looks terrific but then I like short hair!
    My 6Nap is only finished because it doesn’t have a boned bodice, the pleats are more like gathers and it’s made of stretch jersey – nothing impressive about it. In fact it’s nothing like the original at all. I might have to call mine the Three Napoleon

    • 🙂

      Thank you so much Ruth (for the compliments and for topping up!!). Pretty faces look great with short cuts! When I had very short hair in my late twenties, it was so I could go swimming regularly, but I thought I looked like a certain grumpy, middle-aged character of Neighbours whose name I wish I could remember.

  4. I’d like to commend Connie on her hair cut-it looks great on her. I love the tops and the skirt. It shows sometimes we should try out a different fabric than is recommended.

  5. Connie’s hair looks fab – a very stylish cut.
    Thanks for encouraging me to take part in this challenge (my first) Marianna. With your expert guidance I have learnt so much and ended up with three fabulous tops. Two of which have been made out of remnants from my stash. I might even have the confidence to draft something else and am certainly more confident about making alterations now.
    As for the Bernina you forgot to mention it is a 1961 model bought broken from ebay for £20 and my hubby got it back to working order for me.

    • Thanks Jo, I’m delighted at the outcome.

      As for the Bernina, maybe that’s a story for a blog post of its own (with hubby as hero!!)

  6. I love short hair, especially on girls who all seem to have the same boring “curtains” look. Connie’s generosity and verve is very admirable and how nice that another girl or boy will be wearing her ex-plaits. I love the gift concept behind blood/breast milk/organ donation and this is just such a nice thing for a young person to do.

    I love Jo’s bodices and think she has done amazing work. Your skirts are great and interesting. And I am so grateful for the extra time. I am finding my Nap 6 a bit uphill at the moment, having had to alter it substantially (it just looked too long and shortening it has been a job and a half). But I have broken its back this afternoon, so I will have it ready in the next week or so. It has been such a fun challenge and I cannot wait to see them all on, and styled. The round up post from you will be something special Marianna.

  7. Connie looks amazing – she has just the right shaped face to carry off that style.
    I’m looking forward to reading about Canada – I’ve never been and so I shall visit vicariously through you.
    I love all Jo’s bodices but no. 3 – the green one – is absolutely gorgeous, what a divine colour.

  8. Beautiful haircut, beautiful bodices, terrifying how much progress everyone has made and I’ve done nothing more constructive than a few snips into a piece of kitchen roll…and buying the perfect fabric. Which is RIGHT NOW on the cutting table glaring at me. IT WILL BE DONE!

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