Friday, 2 May 2014

I can run and I can sew aka I ran the London marathon in a handmade dress woot!

Hey darlings,

How are we all?  I've spent my time recently sewing like a machine, dancing like a demon, eating like a Tudor, libating like an ancient Roman and lounging like a Greek God in no particular order :)  I so love the time around Easter because it's the gateway to halcyon summer days (please weather Gods let there be a summer).  As well more often than not you're guaranteed several long weekends and there's aren't so many obligations like there is at Christmas but like the festive season there plenty of food *unwraps another creme egg*.

One of the things I baked over Easter and I highly recommend.  Rhubarb and vanilla cake and here's the recipe.

Alongside  the good weather that is gracing my Isle right now there is much to be happy about, which includes a new frock courtesy of By Hand London's latest pattern Flora and gorgeous fabric from Fabric Godmother.  Oh yeah and I ran my first marathon the other week gah! More of that in a minute though.

Of note there is a Flora sewalong on the go at present.

Firstly, lets talk about how ace Flora is because she bloody is.  She's definitely gonna be featuring heavily in the summer I've already guaranteed we're having in the above paragraph. There's an option of a faux wrap or pinafore front and then either a full straight skirt or waterfall hem.  The girls asked me to pattern test her for them back in February and of course I couldn't refuse them. Plus I needed a dress to run the marathon in as I had originally stated when I signed up to the madness.  Flora couldn't be a more perfect match with her lovely full skirt that would mean I could the let pins spin freely and even her name fitted the bill.  The London Marathon is now sponsored by Virgin but when I fell in love with the race as a little girl and dreamed of one day going over the finish line it was the Flora London Marathon so that was that :)  Then throw into the bargain the offer of lovely  fabric from Fabric Godmother to make her up in and the thing was all sewn up.  I ummed and aaahed and eventually chose the tartan cotton poplin in the green colourway in honour of my Grandad's highland family colours.

Dear Josie's lovely note and fabric.

The fabric arrived and so did a care package in a lovely tote bag from the By Hand Girls that included the tonnes of lovehearts that I'm still finding throughout the House of D, Percy Pigs (my absolute faves) and vodka!  My days do these women get me or what?! :)

I cracked on with the making straight away.  From my measurements I concurred I'd go for a 20 and then probably have to nip in at the waist.  On the making of  a toile I realised I'd need a repositioning of both the bust and waist darts to allow for my ample lady lumps.  Just to make sure I re-toiled (is that even a word?) and realised I could sinch in the sides a little because the newly placed darts gave the girls plenty of room to roam free.

So I surged ahead and cut into my fabric and unfortunately that is when it all went a bit squiffy.  The bodice was a triumph but I somehow managed to cut the waterfall skirt so short at the front it was just gracing my hoo ha and any movement would have demonstrated the big reveal!  It was entirely my fault and nothing to do with the pattern.  A lesson learnt though nonetheless.  As you well know I'm not one for hiding my light behind a bushel and if this dress was meant to be used for a burlesque debut as opposed to my first marathon then things would have been quite different.  Alas this version had to be shelved and a new one constructed.  In the meantime while I ordered more fabric the girls sent me out the actual pattern and I decided to go for the straight hemmed version.

Here she is dear Flora being modelled in my darling friend Emma's back garden, which was where I stayed the night before the race and where I gorged myself on a tonne of sausage and mash.
Here on proceeds a run down (sorry this post is pun central) of the marathon so feel free to move along if you just came to read about the sewing, which is fair enough :)

To be honest it's all been bit of blur and I just wanted to send thank you all from the bottom of my heart. So many of you who have supported me with encouragement and sponsorship I've never even met.  I am beyond touched by our little community and its innate generosity.  It reminds me on days when I worry about the state of the world that people are truly amazing.

A couple of weeks ago now one of my life's dreams to run the London marathon came true and it was because of people power. The people you're supporting by supporting me and that's all the fabulous older people who are going to be assisted by Age UK to make their lives a lot easier. They blinking deserve it because they give so much to society and ask for so little. It was an honour to run for them.  I have since hit target!  So all the money is now winging it's way to the charity to help them help older people.

The other people that got me round were all of you in my life. Honestly if you ever want to feel a bit more sprightly about yourself run a marathon. I've been totally knocked over by all the support, encouragement and belief in me that has been shown since I started yaking about doing this. You drove my legs on further than they've ever run before and reminded me with a little bit of luck and a lot of love life can be amazing.

In my starting pen and smiling but shitting myself at the realisation I was about to run further than I ever had in my life.  Note the flower still accessorising obvs :)


Mile 4 and there was a band on the run :) No sign of Macca though.
Into double figures and just a steps away from being hosed down by firemen.  This is not an opportunity that will come along often.  I savoured it.
Going over Tower Bridge was like being in a film.  The crowd was so loud it was like a roar from a jet engine.  I felt so emotional.
Mile 20 where I realised I was sore but strong and with just 10K to go until I could say I was a marathon runner :)
Mile 24 was time for an outfit change.  Aymi and Emma were waiting at Age UK cheers point to be my wardrobe assistants and spur me on to the final 2 miles!
Flora gave me the lift I needed to keep on trucking.  Amazing the power of clothes.
As I said above you were there with me at the start when I was sick with nerves, at mile 10 when I went into double figures and was deliriously happy, you heard the roar as I went over Tower Bridge, at mile 17 when I thinking shit I've run a long way but I've still got loads to go and you were definitely there at 20 miles when I pulled myself together and was sore but strong and thought sheesh just 10k now that's no probs and I could hear you all celebrating as I pirouetted over the line wherever you were. I didn't do this on my own so I just want to say the biggest thank you to all and send a tonne of love your way.
My batshit joy face that says after 5hrs 30mins 21secs I am a marathon runner.
Massive thanks to all those who made it down to see me trackside with banners and big cheers including Sara and her mam all the way from Southy, the spoolettes, Aymi (who also has had to lived with my mad behaviour since November) and all my family it was such a high to see you at 14 miles even if I did have to doubleback to see Papa Demeanour. The look on his face was worth the extra 400 meters.  Pete and co giving it big woots at 23 miles and the lovelies from Lewisham that put me up and fed me well and provided my wardrobe change at 24 miles and to my marathon buddies Tim and Fi who both put in stirling performances.
Sara who brought the cheer all the way from Southy. She's a pro too check out her cheer crew woot!
The fam including legendary Uncle B and Auntie San who braved London town for me. I love them all dearly.
The future generation of sporting elites getting the taste for medal collecting :) I know there'll be big things to come from these two minkies.

In traditional Miss D style I didn't hit the protein shakes instead I nipped to Soho and quaffed prosecco and stuffed myself with fries in the company of Aymi, Clare, Alison and Sally.  A lovely end to one of the most incredible days of my life.

I'm honestly still so emotional but if I was any higher I'd need tethering to the the ground.  The pain was temporary and I believe they say the glory is forever or well I figure at least until my birthday so yest barman make it a double ;)
I'll just finish my ramblings with a little thought I had just after I went over the line.  The line that some man I didn't know deemed to tell me 3 years ago I wouldn't/couldn't do.  Firstly, I say well and truly damn the man and secondly always question why someone tells you're not capable of something.  It's good to get advice from those that truly care about you but sometimes people underestimate us and that's worth keeping a check on because you lot are bloody amazing and that's a fact!
For those of you hung onto this point here's that video of me going the wrong way up the course to give Papa D a hey as I missed him the first time.  It added on a few hundred metres but his reaction was worth it.

Love in abundance,

Miss D



  1. Bawling my head off here, need to go and sort out my mascara! You're AMAZING!!! xxxx

  2. Helen McFadyen2 May 2014 at 12:46

    Congratulations and well done! What an achievement. Will you do it again next year?!!!

  3. Well done, marathoner! I agree - everyone should do the London Marathon, if only for Tower Bridge :o) xox

  4. This is really incredible and inspiring! Well done on the marathon and in your own dress too. I'm in awe. Hope you get to make more Flora dresses now

  5. Sew Little Time2 May 2014 at 14:03

    you are amazeballs. loving your work and your flora is fab!

  6. You are a legend. A bloody inspiring one.

  7. Well done and loving your work. I need to make a flora dress too. Emmas sausage and mash is fast becoming legendary.

  8. DUDE. I'm so proud of you! What an amazing accomplishment! I teared up just reading this-- you're amazing!

  9. MacStabby Jay3 May 2014 at 01:56

    Good job, you! You've put in the work- you deserve to feel great about this! Nuts to that ass who said you couldn't do it- haterz can step to the left! ;-)

    Congrats again!

  10. This post is awesome and so are you! And thanks for representing the sewists aof the world at the marathon.

  11. O doll you've got me all emosh just reading this! Congratulations you superwoman! Plus well done for proving that idiot wrong, the fact that you could do it was never in doubt for the rest of us! x

  12. tania@sewitanyway.wordpress5 May 2014 at 21:20

    You're fabulous! xxx

  13. wahooooo!! Congratulations. I hope that every time you look at your dress or your medal you feel immense pride.

  14. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:17

    ah thanks duck. I keep it hanging on the door hand and I have a right smile when I see it :) xxx

  15. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:18

    thanks so much sweetheart xxx

  16. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:18

    Ah doll I still well up thinking about it. Thanks for all the support we will raise a glass in due course xxx

  17. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:19

    Cheers darling :) I did the Monaco hand gesture to the crowds at 20 miles in honour of the Bassey ;) xxx

  18. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:30

    Thanks love all those muddy miles I'd do again for all the wonder on the day :) you're right to the left, to the left as Bey would say xxx

  19. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:31

    Ah dude cheers. Saw some epic pugs on the way round supporting made me think of you guys xxx

  20. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:31

    It's legendary indeed. It powers marathon runners :) you should so make a Flora it's such a lovely dress xxx

  21. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:32

    Ah darl cheers. What can I say I'm just having a go and trying to have a ball at the same time :) xxx

  22. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:33

    Bubs that's so lovely. All the support got me round and I will be eternally grateful xxx

  23. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:35

    Cheers chicken. Ive been told if you can run a minute you can run a marathon. It was so emosh seeing everyone out there I was awed :) Deffo more Floras to come for the summer months xxx

  24. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:36

    Cheers duck and back at ya honey pie for all the book endeavours. So bloody chuffed for ya xxx

  25. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:38

    Thanks ducky :) totally it's unreal isn't it. All I kept hearing was Bowie's Heroes as I looked around at everyone xxx

  26. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:39

    Cheers pops :) I think next year I'll be helping at it because I'm looking to do the Paris marathon and I've got my first triathlon later this year. This is just the beginning I've got the bug xxx

  27. rehanonmackenzie8 May 2014 at 12:40

    Oh doll sorry to ruin the mazza but thank you so much for all your support you are such a darling. I honestly couldn't have done it without you lovely lot xxx