Getting social in Hanoi
2 years ago
|The original dress (plus some wrinkles)|
This dress, like so many of my other refashioned items, was found in an op-shop (for the bargain price of £2.99! I love Salvos!), and originally from Marks and Spencers. I loved the print and drapey fabric, and the bodice evoked 1940s dresses with its double-breasted opening. Unfortunately, it was a size 16, and way too long for me - the skirt went down to my ankles. The shoulders were also much too big, and padded as well, for full 1980s effect.
Out came my trusty seam ripper, and off went the sleeves and skirt. There was some elastic along the waist, so I gently unpicked that too, and saved it, just in case. I started by adding some bust and waist darts, and then took in an inch along each side seam, to bring in the bodice and make it a closer fit. The shoulders were still too big, so I cut off an inch at the top (narrowing it down to nothing at the bottom of the armscye). This of course meant the sleeves were a little too big when I tried to set them in, so instead of gathering and easing it in, I added two little pleats to the top of the sleeves. You can see how that turned out in the photo above - I'm quite pleased with it, although of course it means I have to iron them down after every wash.
|Complimentary plate of shaved ham|
|White asparagus and salad|
|Lobster bisque with crayfish ravioli|
|Magret de canard with potatoes and warm salad|
|Carrot veloute (it's what fancy people call soup)|
|Duck breast with potato dauphinoise|
Next up, the main event - a glistening magret de canard served with a rectangle of potato dauphinoise. We asked for the duck to be served pink, and it came out beautifully so, with the skin seared til crispy and a little layer of fat beneath it. It came with a sauce made with some little dark berries - not quite sure what they were exactly, juniper or sloe, maybe - the tartness of the berries helped lift the meatiness of the duck breast. Oh, and I'm pretty sure dauphinoise is my favourite way of eating potatoes (yes, even more than chips). This particular example was especially memorable, with the potatoes sliced thinly and evenly coated with creamy goodness. We'd be eating them every other day if I wasn't so lazy.