I love Joy the Baker’s blog. She suggested a recipe that couples could cook together on Valentine’s Day. I thought yes, brilliant idea! Who wouldn’t want to prepare shrimp etouffee risotto (spicy Cajun stew with prawns and risotto) together and then eat it?
He who Cooks was much less enthusiastic. He was right that the recipe was more winter than summer. He was right that we’d need to go shopping for ingredients – and how romantic is grocery shopping?! He was right that it was Friday night and this didn’t sound relaxing.
What he didn’t say was how annoying it was going to be for him to have me, the unskilled amateur, in his kitchen. Much better when I’m perched on a stool with a drink and out of the way.
I pushed on and made the risotto part of the recipe whilst telling him what to do with the prawns. Who even am I?
Here’s the risotto part way through, after he had interfered and taken the thyme leaves off the stalks. What are you doing I said? Joy doesn’t tell me to do that! At this point I’m sure he wanted me well out of the kitchen.
But he’s such a darling that he just smiled sweetly at me.
It was delicious. The risotto was gloriously creamy and the etouffee had fabulous depth of flavour. Perfect winter food. Yes he was right about that too. At least we were having a slightly cooler spell from the very hot summer weather that’s normal in February in Adelaide.
Eventually we got to relax on the front verandah. A squeeze of lime and we’re back to summer food I said. He was unconvinced.
The day after Valentine’s Day I got it right.
I sewed. I kept out of the kitchen. We went out for dinner.
This is what I sewed – a glorious digital viscose print from Emmaonesock made up as view B, Vogue 8921. This pattern seems to be OOP now – I’ve purchased it a few years ago after seeing excellent versions on other people’s sewing blogs.
I cut out a size 16 and almost entirely ignored the instructions. Have the instruction writers at Vogue patterns not heard of overlockers and stretch stitches? And why would you ever think a zip was a good idea in a light weight stretch fabric? And what about stabilising shoulders? Seriously. Someone needs to rewrite the instructions!
I used a straight stitch for the pleats and most of the rest of the construction, followed up with overlocking the seams. I stabilised the shoulder seams and side seams with a ribbon. If you buy fabric online from Tessuti Fabrics, you’ll recognise this.
I know. Not all the threads from basted the pleats have been snipped off. And probably never will now I’ve worn this!
For the neck edge I overlocked the edges and folded in the seam allowance to the inside, sandwiching a light weight iron-in strip of interfacing between the outside and inside. I fused it with the iron and then stitched it with a straight stitch. This gave a very secure and non stretchy neck line. It is drafted ‘date night low’ so I hate to think how much it might gape without this stabilisation.
I can’t believe I am posting an image of my cleavage on the web! It does show the neckline stitching as well though, especially through the lavender flower and white leaves.
the dress was a bit loose through the waist and perhaps a bit long through the back bodice. I stitched elastic the length of my waist measurement (80 cm) into the waist seam stretching as I went. Slightly wonky stitching as a result. You can also see the ribbon stabilising the side seam below.
The elastic has made the dress a bit blousy. I might take it back out.
See what I mean?
You can also see the side seam (through the large lavender flower) isn’t hanging true but is pulling towards the front. I don’t know if it’s a fitting issue or a design fault . The front drapes are stitched into the side seam and might be pulling the seam? Perhaps I should go back and stabilise this seam with ribbon too.
So the morale of the story? I need to remember that he cooks and she sews.
25 thoughts on “What not to do on Valentine’s Day, and Vogue 8921 to the rescue”
What a gorgeous print! It suits you very well and I like the shoes picking up the colour of the big flowers.
Thanks. Love those shoes.
What a great post! The fabric in that dress is gorgeous, and your shoes! Love!
Am I the only one who buys fabric to match shoes?
Lol! Love it! Patient man. This is a great idea to cook together. Wish we had a bigger kitchen, though. My husband just ends up standing in front of whatever drawer I need to get in 🙄, lol! Perfect dress but long sleeves? Maybe my SA family has been complaining about the hot weather mistakenly…..
It is a very light viscose knit but I was surprised it was wearable too. We had a cool day and long sleeves were fine for an evening out to dinner. Photos taken at 8 pm.
I can really relate to your life as my hubby does all the cooking and I do all the sewing. Your post reminded me that I need to zip my mouth shut when we’re in the kitchen together and sit on a kitchen stool savoring a drink. Thanks and love your beautiful dress!
You and me both!
lovely dress…and if you ever tire of those gorgeous shoes…
Aren’t they great?
Great dress, the print is fabulous.
Oh, and he’s a keeper 😂
Definitely a keeper. Not sure how I got so lucky!
Hey loved the post! It will be great if you visit my blog also ❤️ https://blogupbyzh.wordpress.com/2020/02/14/knitwear-knitsets-knit/
That dress is a stunner and my what fabulous shoes 👠 I love how the shoes pick up the colour in the main flower. You are very lucky to have a hubby to cook for you. It’s such a drag when one has to put down the sewing and cook dinner for everyone😩
I am so very lucky
Love the colours in this dress and your helpful commentary – maybe one day I will be game enough to take on a jersey dress… certainly am inspired by this… Also. The Shoes.
I’ve come to realise that a lot of my sewing is all about the shoes.
I so much enjoyed reading this. Love the dress
Thanks. I love that I can share a little of my life (and the lovely food I eat) as well as my sewing here in my little part of the internet.
This is gorgeous, I probably overlooked this pattern as I would have assumed the fabric at the waist would add too much bulk (not what I need!) but yours looks fabulous!
I think it’s one of those optical illusions. The diagonal lines of the drape must overcome the bulk. Even in this highly patterned fabric
Really lovely dress. The colors and style look wonderful on you. My DH is the one who watches all the cooking show and reads all the cooking mags and then recruits me to help him cook. I like your cooking sewing arrangement better.
Yes I am lucky!