Part II of our surburban foray

Our main goal was to see the Mad Men costume display. And see it we did. And ridicule its amateurish staging we did. Blue-tacked earrings? Check. Poorly chosen mannequins? Check. But the clothes themselves were just ace and very cool to see the Genu-Wine Article.

I didn’t know Joan’s pink dress had a shawly sailory back. Intriguing.

Then, we went to Glen Huntly. You know when you’re at Glen Huntly because there’s a model of the Glen Huntly stuck to the Safeway.

Across from the ship is Darn Cheap Fabrics, purveyors of affordable fibrous goods. And these goods were good. I went a bit nuts in the $4/m quilting cotton:

How could I not go nuts? All boxes ticked: kitsch kitchenalia patterns, great colours, tiny rice bowls, multiple patterns in each colourway… Did I mention $4/m?

Also at the Posh Opp Shoppe on the corner, I bought a pricey but lovely bit (4m) of silk crepe de chine. I was sunk as soon as I saw the tiny ladybirds. It was labelled “1970s silk from Georges” (which, for those of you who aren’t from Melbourne and aren’t as ancient as I am, was a superdeluxe department store, now defunct, where my mother bought a tartan umbrella in the late 1980s for an exorbitant sum, but does she still have it? Yes. Did it ever break? No. There you go. Premium price worth it.)

Conclusion of the day: Moggy and I need to go on more adventures because they are awesome fun. The end.

Polyester girl

“The best thing about this polyester is that you don’t have to pre-wash it. This stuff ain’t going to shrink,” I gloated to Moggy as we both bought metreage of bargain basement poly brocade, she in grey, me in pink.

We went on a jaunt far far away into the ‘burbs to see the Mad Men frocks at Chaddy and felt it our duty to visit shops of op and fabric while we were on that side of town. Full update about all that in next post… for now, we’re staying true to the pink poly and its pleasing palm-tree pattern.

Inspired, I came home that evening and began chopping into it, schnippety schnip, unwashed. The pattern arrived in the post last week from etsy, a sterling example of a genre that I’ve been seeking for many months – frock with an  extravagant shawl collar.

There was a wee bit of alterating. I alterated the bodice length by 4cm and the collar accordingly. I shortened the sleeves to reduce dowdiness. I took the back neck in a bit because I have pissy shoulders. I was flummoxed by one of the front skirt pieces which was missing a whole 6 inches or so of width, which I had to improvise and add on (was it snipped off by previous owner? Were pattern pieces confused? Who knows?) but it all came good. There’s a bit of extra room in the back I’d take out next time.

The biggest surprise was the toxicity of the fabric. Oh, the stink of it… add an iron and it smelled like burning rubbish, an odour that clings to the throat. I was wrong about the pre-wash – it would have helped. It still smells plasticky but after a wash and an airing in the sun, I’m no longer choked by a dense cloud of putrid hydrocarbons. It will probably take weeks to cough up the deposits from my lungs.

In happier news, the buttons are flippin’ awesome:

I’m definitely making this pattern again. Maybe from one of the 23,523 other metres of fabric I bought on this trip… I might even treat myself to natural fibres. I’m worth it. And a straight skirt, even.

In wedding recap news: frock worked a treat, as did the hair doodad I whipped up on the morning of, from scraps of the Post-it Dress and some plumulaceous barbs of peacock, to wit: