The Fig Frock: Simplicity 1080 Dottie Angel Dress

Simplicity1080 Dottie Angel Frock made by Ivy Arch

Having resolved to cease blogging my dress makes (as documenting them often takes as long as making them), I will break this resolution to join in with the collective outpouring of joy at having finally got my hands on Dottie Angel's sewing pattern for Simplicity - released in the UK this month.

Dottie Angel's pattern for Simplicity, sewing and pocket details

Deciding to make C (the dress version with contrast skirt band), this long awaited frock needed some celebratory fabric so I chose two bold fruity fig print cottons – both end-of-line quilting fabrics bought at Worthing's Sewing Machine Shop. These fabrics remind me of Adelle Lutz's Urban Camouflage costumes for David Byrne's film True Stories.

The Fig Frock: Simplicity 1080 made by Ivy Arch

It's a quick dress to make and the pattern will lend itself well to modifications, but for my first attempt I faithfully followed the instructions. The insides are french seamed and sleeves and neckline finished with bias trim, so it's a garment that's beautiful inside and out. 

Autumn wardrobe essential dress *with figs*

My finished frock is bold and lovely and a perfect starting piece for this year's handmade autumn wardrobe.

Fig frock out in the wild

Cycling Post To The Coast Art Trail

Post To The Coat Art trail, Lancing beach

I picked a sunny day to cycle Post To The Coast art trail. An evolving heritage project by Creative Waves Community Arts, this year-long coastal trail covers a 6 mile route starting at Worthing Lido's traditional English seaside sweet shop and ends at the corrugated steel Nissen Hut at Shoreham Fort. The trail shows artwork, seaside memories and poems inspired by postcards featuring the Sussex coastline.

Post To The Coast: art by young artists on Worthing Pier

Gleaming in the sunshine, my trusty rusty Dawes bicycleHaving taken part in early research workshops for the project investigating historical postcards at Worthing Museum, and subsequent art workshops at Shoreham Fort, I was keen to experience the whole trail. A bright sunny day with a westerly wind blowing towards Shoreham made cycling an ideal way to cover the entire route. Proceeding at a leisurely pace on my upright trusty Dawes bike and stopping to look and think along the way, it took me 2 hours to complete the trail.
Post To The Coast artwork along Lancing's Beach Green

I'd looked at the interactive trail map before setting off, so had an idea where the artwork would be, but still found it exciting each time I saw a new piece of art or an information post containing a story or a bygone holiday memory. The section along Lancing seafront from Beach Green to Widewater Lagoon is superb, with artwork hung along the slatted wooden walls defining the beach. This is a perfect place to view art and contemplate the history of the area with ever changing skies and sea as a backdrop – an invigorating experience for the senses.

Post To The Coast trail at Widewater Lagoon
My postcard inspired by cycling the coastal path towards Widewater Lagoon

I was thrilled to discover my own drawn postcard (above) installed on a weathered wooden wall alongside the beach huts at the end of Lancing Beach Green. Another personal highlight was at Shoreham Beach's Old Fort Road where a row of painted wooden postcards hang along a fence outside a corner house (on Ferry Road). These 19 simple, beautiful images are reminiscent of Alfred Wallis and were made by students at Shoreham Academy - a must see.

Post To The Coast at Old Fort Road, Shoreham Beach

Finally arriving at Shoreham Fort I found artwork hung on the side of the wooden postbox and in the rear windows of the Nissen Hut, where my drawings are also on display alongside some poignant pieces made by fellow artists at the Creative Waves Wednesday Fort workshops. 

End of the Post To The Coast trail at Shoreham Fort

Post To The Coast trail will continue to grow throughout the year and visitors are invited to share their own Sussex seaside memories and contribute postcard artwork. Free trail maps and postcards are available along the route (and at Worthing Museum), and information on how to take part can be found at Creative Waves.

Colourful beach huts at Bungalow Town