Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Afternoon Rooibos at Blenheim Palace

Hello! Bonjour! Hola! etc!

I hope you're all enjoying the extremely confusing weather! Is it sunny? Is it snowing? I wish it would make up it's mind. Particularly when I'm cycling and get snowflakes in my eyes.

As mentioned last week, I have managed to scratch out an item off my Wardrobe Challenge! Huzzah! I have wanted to make the Colette Rooibos dress for aggggeeeesss, and I finally did it. Not once, but twice!

I suppose the first attempt doesn't really count, as it was supposed to be a test garment. I've has some lovely purple polycotton (I would be ashamed but it cost me a pound a metre and it's pretty) in my stash for a while without really knowing want to do with it, so decided in the absence of muslin, I would make a test Rooibos out of it. 

I ended up with this:

I can only apologise for the slightly awkward photos. 

The pattern was a dream to put together (of course seeing as it was Colette), and I love the result. So much so that I strapped on my belt and wore it to work the next day. It kind of has to be worn with a belt as it's a tiny tad too large in the waist and around the thighs.

And so I fiddled about with my pattern and made another version the following week out of some gorgeous fabric bought on a jolly around Goldhawk Road. I think it must be some sort of cotton sateen - it feels beautiful to the touch. It was love at first fondle.

I didn't take a piccy of the fabric, so you'll have to make do with it on the finished garment:

Yes I was being silly. This is not how I usually take my photographs...
I used red piping on the neck, midriff and pockets, and I think it contrast really nicely with the main fabric. It's fully lined, and I used french seems on the skirt pattern:

I absolutely love this dress and have worn it about six times since I made it.

The photos were taken at Blenheim Palace, which is where I spent a delightful Friday off last week. The weather (see above) was not being very agreeable, and this is the view we got on arrival:

Can you see the palace? Nope? Me neither.

Unfortunately, the weather didn't really clear up, but the day itself was wonderful. The house, home to the current 11th Duke of Marlborough (oh, yes, I learnt things), has a really interesting history. For example Winston Churchill was born at this house, and proposed to his wife Clementine there. Also during the war, it was a home to a group of school boys and MI5. I'm not sure how that would have worked but there you go.

The outing was a gift to Mummy Twitchy for Xmas, and we followed up the tours and wanderings with a warming Afternoon Tea:

All in all, it was a fantastic way to spend the day. I highly recommend visiting Blenheim Palace. Even if you're not interested in the house, they've got a humungous Park and Pleasure Garden to amble about in. Maybe when it's a little less foggy though...


Obligatory jumping shot....


  1. wow your dress turned out beautifull! What crazy weather. x x x

  2. 'Love at first fondle' - tee hee. Love them both, but especially the Blenheim Palce choice! Gorgeous.

  3. Ooh pretty! Love the the red piping.

  4. Wow, adorable or what? I absolutely am in love with your red lined, red piped version. It is gorgeous

  5. Oh wow Steph, this is such a beautiful dress. I would never take it off... ever! x

  6. See, this is the way to go with the Rooibos dress. I made one with a really cute printed cotton which then ended up looking like an apron. Ugh. It was so bad. And so disappointing. Your dress is great inspiration and lets me see that this dress is just lovely when made up in a more sophisticated fabric.

  7. I'm about to start my Rooibos, and want to do a full lining, too. Did you interface the entire bodice? (Beautiful work, by the way!)