Monday, 27 April 2015

My cherry blossom dress

What I miss most about living in Japan is hanami, a tradition which celebrates the cherry blossoms. Depending on the particular year, people enjoy it from the end of March until mid-April. The hanami period is usually still chilly but you can feel the first warm sunbeams on your skin. When you want to enjoy cherry blossom in the open air, you pack a little picnic with a bottle or two of beer, your camera, a plastic mat and go to a park. An occasion such as hanami, parks are usually overcrowded, so you walk in circles for a while to find a free spot to sit. Once you have unpacked and settled, you can start enjoying the cherry blossoms.

I can hardly find words to convey the beauty of it! White and pink cherry blossom petals float in the air resembling snowflakes. They land on the ground, on your mat, on your hair but they don’t melt. You carefully inhale the fragile perfume of cherry blossom, spread your body across the mat and close your eyes in absolute happiness.

The park in front of my building grows a lot of cherry and plum trees. I may have found this place intuitively to be able to enjoy my own little hanami in Dublin. Last week, all the cherry flowers were in perfect full bloom: that’s when I decided to take pictures of my latest creation, long-sleeve ruched dress from the February Burda Style issue.

When I first posted preview pictures from this issue on my Instagram, many people commented on this particular pattern, saying that it was “my type of dress”, and maybe they were right. What I admire most about this dress is the raglan sleeves and fitted silhouette. To make it stand out, I decided to use some plain dark jersey and, without thinking much, I started working on it.

For Burda patterns, I am a 36 size in the bodice and a 38-40 for the bottom. Since the fabric I used for the dress stretches a lot, I cut my pattern in a size 38 without any seam allowances and it fitted me right. I also lengthened the sleeves by 6 cm and when I cycle, or when I am cold, I pull them out to cover the palms of my hands. I know that it’s a very teenagery thing to do, but I like it!

This dress ticks perfectly both boxes: comfort and elegance. While quite often I sacrifice one for another, in this particular case, the pattern exceeded all expectations. I would use this pattern again, especially the bodice, because it fits and looks quite nice! I only wish I had more knit fabrics at home :)

After I finished taking pictures, I spread my coat on the grass under the tree and laid down, admiring the tiny cherry flowers. Here, I was in another country, where unlike in Japan, the park was absolutely empty, but I was overwhelmed by the feeling of happiness.