The Doris Dress

Hello! My first post in a very long time, and uncharacteristically I’m blogging about a garment I’ve made this week – wonders will never cease. 

Let’s cut to the chase. The pattern is the Sew Over It Doris Dress, which I purchased last year as a PDF. I printed and assembled the pattern a while ago – somewhere between 3 and 6 months. I knew I would need to use a wide cotton fabric, due to the skirt having seven panels, and pretty much dating back to when I cut out the PDF, I knew I wanted to use this pretty floral fabric. It was not expensive, bought as part of a batch from The Textile Centre. The listing said it was ex-Zara and when it arrived I was pleased with the appearance and quality, as well as the delicate muted colours. 

I chose to make the view with the tie back, in the longer length. This is still fairly short on me but a nice length for a summer dress. 

As it’s half term I’ve just returned from a night away with my mum in sunny Scarborough. It was the first time either of us had visited since we went on a day out with my mum’s work ~ almost 20 years ago! We stayed at North Bay and didn’t stray too far from our accommodation but found Scarborough to be lovely, and the perfect place to get a few photos for this post. 

I’m happy with how this dress has turned out. I took my time with it, and it probably took me around 8 hours in total. I’m pleased with the fit – I cut the pattern out as a 14 which actually fits me fairly perfectly on the bodice. I don’t love the finish of the sleeves; just a double turned hem, but apart from that I think I would remake with very few adjustments. 

It’s ages since I made anything with buttonholes and buttons but they went pretty well using my machine. I used some buttons from my stash, after canvassing IG for opinions on which matched nicely. On bank holiday Monday I made a quick sleeveless top, and my next dress is already cut out and partially sewn. Who knows, perhaps I’ll get photos AND write another post soon! Perhaps..

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The Road Taken ~ Photo Challenge 

There couldn’t be a more ordinary commute than the route I walk to work each day. I pass houses, car forecourts and small businesses, and most days I inhale the morning air but observe nothing of note. 

This photo was taken one morning when the sky decided to do something just a little unusual.and breathtaking. My road taken is a road I choose to take almost every day, and here’s an example of why. 

A good match ~ photo challenge 

During a dog walk I spotted this peacock butterfly resting for a moment on a sculpture on a reclaimed pit top. The similarities, shapes and positioning caught my attention. A good match. 

Trails v Treadmill

I’ve been planning on writing this post for a little while, and as it’s half term plus I’ve just finished reading Born to Run, now seems to be the ideal time. I toyed with the title Trails Trump Treadmill, but, despite my love of alliteration, the risk of being associated with anything Donald caused me to adjust. 

When I had completed, then blogged about my half marathon, I wondered where to go next with running. As the short days at the end of the year approached, I knew I needed to find a purpose to running to keep me motivated. With the pressure of the half behind me, I realised I could enjoy my runs more, and tailor them to be what or how I wanted. It would be ok to deviate from a structured training plan and run when and where I fancied. I could even pause to admire the scenery and take a quick photo on my phone. 

When it’s cold and dark, early or late, some people choose to run on a treadmill. Now, I remember my last visit to a gym. It was 2003, and for a few weeks I tried to persuade myself that I could be someone who went to the gym. I already knew that I would never be someone who enjoyed going to the gym. Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake alternated on the music channel. I’d complete a circuit of about four machines, including the treadmill, then trudge home. As I was a student I went during the day so the gym was fairly quiet, but I hated it. So dull, repetitive, monotonous. Yes I burned calories, I probably even lost a bit of weight but, looking back, it wasn’t worth it. It was something to endure, feel relief at having completed, and then begin to dread when a day or two had passed and the next workout edged nearer. 

Since 2003 I’ve barely returned to a gym. I can’t imagine I would feel any different now. They don’t fill me with inspiration. About ten years ago I did invest in a cross trainer, which is just about bearable, but if I’m honest is tucked away in the loft. I think I used it once last year to get my steps up to 10,000 after a late finish at school. 

Given the choice, I’d exchange a treadmill for trails any day. The fresh air, the scenery, the sky, the landscape. There are so many reasons I would rather lace up my trainers and opt outside. I love to spot wildlife and birds, and can easily do so in the fields and woodlands within easy reach of my front door. On a recent run near home without even trying I spotted jays, buzzards, yellow hammers, gold finches and long tailed tits. In a couple of months I’ll hear cuckoos at Clumber Park and, if I’m lucky, maybe an occasional woodpecker. Rabbits, hare and squirrels often make an appearance too. All thrown in for the price of going outside for a run. 

I’m currently mulling over everything I read in Born to Run, and in particular what the rationale of my own running is. To me, running on a treadmill lacks the purpose of going outside for a run. The pleasure is removed and replaced with a dreary sense of duty; a box can be ticked when you’ve completed a run on a treadmill – job done, but are you itching to go again? Planning your next route? Hoping for a decent night’s sleep and a clear sky so the sunrise can pave the way for your next run, or are you just glad it’s over? 

Against the Odds ~ Photo Challenge 

This photo was taken on a beach in Northern France back in September. We’d spent ages laying out leftover baguette and crisps for the gulls who swooped overhead, until finally I snapped this ~ just on my phone. We’d begun tossing pieces of bread up in the air to tempt/taunt the birds into coming nearer. I find the expression  on the face of the gull in the background equally delightful. 

Instagram ccmercer

A beautiful day in a stunning setting for my fourth half marathon of 2017. The race even began up inside the castle walls! Great route along country roads + a good substitute for not running Worksop half next Sunday. •
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#castleshalfmarathon #castle #bamburgh #runthecastles #running #race #racing #roadrace #half #halfmarathon #hm #bamburghcastle #runnation #bluesky Such a stunning sunset 🌅 •
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#sunset #sky #football #training #tuesday #sky #clouds #redsky #harvest #harvestmoon #hurricaneophelia #pattern #streetlight #lamp #lighting #orange Woodland wonder •
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#october #sunday #mushrooms #toadstool #autumn #funghi #fungus #nature #optoutside #dogwalk #dailydogwalk #woodland Today I wore football boots for the first time. I watched a great match + am excited to soon be learning more about how to play and coach football. •
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#football #sport #sports #newboots #footballboots #footwear #autumn #optoutside #nike #playfootball #chestnuts #leaves #autumnleaves #fromwhereistand The view tonight on my walk home from work 😍
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#sky #clouds #autumn #autumnsky #autumndays #sunset #twilight #bluehour #daylightfading #commute #walk #walking #myview #nofilter #nofilterneeded The sky, tonight •
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#football #sport #sports #court #outdoors #optoutside #sky #clouds #bluesky #nightfall #twilight #bluehour #violet

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