Hot! A Tale Of Two Cities


Forgot my mobile phone ...!



Fabric:  Approx 2m crepey/georgettey print stuff from the 60’s (?), 1m black crepe, 1m black lining

Pattern:  Victory Clover

Notions: Thread and interfacing from stash

Year:  2012

Time to complete:  Approx 10 hours

First Worn:  In these pictures.

Wear Again?:  Yes, it’s great for work – I wore it there on the day of the photoshoot.

Total Price:  60’s print – £1.70 from charity shop.  New black crepe – £7 from John Lewis.  Lining – £1 from charity shop.

TOTAL:  £9.70


Two cities because the 60’s print came from the City of Ely and the black crepe from the City of Cambridge.  Both historic and famous places in their own right.  Ely for its magnificent 12th century cathedral which technically makes it a ‘city’ and is one of the smallest in the UK, and Cambridge, well I don’t need to go into too much detail there …

The University outfitters...

Posing outside King's College Chapel ...


Gorgeous houses here in Ely …

Magnificent Porch of Ely Cathedral

The dress started out as ‘Mad Men’, but I only got as far as cutting out when I was struck down with fluey cold.  Anyway, Sarah was on the same track and it was great to see how her version turned out.  This is a fabulous pattern, so easy to buy in the first place – it comes as a download and as soon as you pay, it’s there almost immediately in a zip file.  Thanks Charlotte for bringing Victory Patterns to our attention at Sew Weekly.  It’s aimed at beginners and cutting out was a breeze, but I thought the neckline construction could be tricky, with a ‘sandwich’ being made of collar, facing and body (had to be careful not to get the tie in the way) – no zip to worry about though and it’s a really comfy, easy to wear shape.  I’ve made it a little longer in length, as I don’t have the most flattering knees these days!  This will definitely have another outing in some other fabric.  I didn’t mention that Ely is a fabulous place for good quality charity shops and I’ve found some great fabrics, including this flowery, geometric print – there are at least 6 shops here.
I’ve finished off the insides with false french seams on the flimsy fabric, a technique I learned for my Tropical Sorbetto.  I’ve also attached the lower half lining by hand to the seam where it joins the bodice, which makes it all nice and neat!

Maybe I'll get good enough to sell on the market ...

Here in Cambridge, I’m standing outside The Haunted Bookshop, one of the few bookshops left.  It specialises in second hand volumes and you can find some beautiful covers and bindings here.  Worth a look if ever you’re down this way …























FINALLY, I’ve actually got the hang of posting my photos now, thanks to discussion in the Sew Weekly Contributors group, particularly from Tina Crossgrove who recommended  here – I was leaving my digital images waaay to wide before and could only end up with ‘small’ images fitting on the blog page.  Here’s to some better posts from now on!  I also hope to get out and about in Cambridge a bit more this coming summer ….  Thank you to my friend Jane this time for the photos.

On yer bike!





Diane has sewn all through life but gave things a serious go at the beginning of 2011 and during the year took part in 50 Sew Weekly challenges. She now wants to expand her knowledge and learn new techniques in each project she completes, as well as develop a style of her own and a sense of quality over quantity. She studied print design some years ago and a love of unusual prints and colours underpins her work. Currently, she works full time dealing with copyright issues and previously, she managed photographic sales for a leading fine art museum. Diane is so grateful for the friendship, support and encouragement she has received from the Sew Weekly community.


Comments are closed.

  1. The blouse is really lovely, Marguerite! And, the photos on this post were excellent!

  2. Such a great story and beautiful dress! I love that pattern from Victory Patterns, very classic. Well done!

  3. Hey Diane, what great photos. I love the dress, the fabric is beautiful and it looks great on you.

  4. Diane, you know what I love about you? You are so CREATIVE! You have a talent and you use it. I read your blog every now and then, and I just love to see what you have going on. This outfit looks great on you and you did a fabulous job!

  5. Diane what a lovely outfit, and such great photos – such history (I have been to Oxford – it blew my mind!). Great to see your face – looks like you had lots of fun!

  6. Great outfit and very interesting and informative post! Thanks for sharing with us.

  7. Oh what an adventure Diane I want to live in that little house in Ely. Your outfit is smashing, a gorgeous job indeed, Loved loved loved this post.

  8. lovely! But it’s the victory hazel pattern, not the clover.

    • Oooh nooo – that’s because I have the other pattern as well and I wrote half this post while I was recovering from cold. Thanks for setting the record straight and letting everyone know!

  9. Looking good Diane, great photos. Love the dress, you look gorgeous in it x

  10. Very cool photos, and you look smart in your Victoire. I recently saw someone on the street with a RTW dress that looked quite close to this, but it was made of cheap, nasty polyester. Yours is so much nicer……That nails it: I’ve got to get this pattern too. I have yet to see a bad version of it!

  11. Diane, your dress is beautiful..It looks fantastic on you..Love all the beautiful photos..Happy Sewing.

  12. Hi Judy! How are you doing? What’s on your sewing table at the moment? Thanks by the way!

  13. Love the dress and the little tour of Ely and Cambridge! Wish I could hit those second hand shops.

  14. Wish I could hit LA like you! Thanks Lee!

  15. Add me to the list of people coveting the little house in Ely! Lovely dress, fabulous post, and what a stunning place to live. The surroundings must inspire you very much.

  16. Wish we had the sun a bit more though Jen. I see everyone elses photos in brilliant sunshine, but in the UK we have to make do with watercolour skies … Thanks!

  17. That’s a lovely outfit! Looks fantastic on you, and I like the story of the two cities. :-) (Along with everyone else, I also want that lovely little house in Ely! So adorable!)

  18. Lovely outfit, and Ely looks gorgeously quaint!

  19. Ely is a bit special, with a community spirit all of it’s own. Thanks!