I loves me some loud, lurid and large 1970s prints for frock sewing. Particularly when they come from someone’s nanna’s old curtains and/or are completely untrue to the era for the pattern I choose to make ’em up in.
I also loves me some frankensteining because I’m already being disrespectful in so many ways, what’s another middle finger to the pattern designer to tell them I think they I can do a better job on that skirt?
The best projects combine all three of these misdemeanours. A friend of mine is getting hitched next weekend and she’s a particularly sunny character. What to make to wear? I plundered the stash and considered many, many options. I kept returning to one bit of op shop curtain that I’d always loved for its extreme awfulness, but thought, ‘nah. Too far. This is just one step too far. That print is larger than my head, and it has more acid colours than a citrus grove.’
Yet, I took that step. You might want to don your sunglasses roundabout now.
IT BURNS, IT BURNS….
I had two pieces, one full-width about 2m long, and a thin strip that had been tacked on to widen the curtain. Just enough for a dress If I cut carefully. I unpicked everything and gave it a wash. I used two patterns: the bodice was from a cheapie 1950s(?) mail-order (instructions include how to make it up for any size from 32″ to 38″ just by fudging your cutting and seam allowances. Nice.) and the skirt was pulled from a 1970s hippy-gypsy-folksy-leg-o’mutton-maxi dress. Seemed a wise choice to keep the skirt as simple as possible to really showcase the ridiculously large blotches of the print.
It was a wise choice and it look smashing on Headless Esme, but what you can’t see is that I haven’t bothered sewing up the back because the skirt is too narrow. She no fit. I added a bit of width but not enough, and it kills me, because if I’d just flared out an extra inch either side, she’d be apples. WOE! To the Pile of Shame you go, frock.
Oh no! That’s such a shame because that is a <fabulous dress! What great fabric, I love it!
Oh, bummer! I dig that pattern on the left quite a bit….
Really, I was only interested in the back, but you deny us the picture…
If a Picasso or a Miro was burning at the museum would you not try to save it? If you need just a bit extra cut a band of fabric and attach to the seam that you need to enlarge. This will enable you to sew almost to the edge of your existing cut seam.
Wait, wait, wait! If your skirt is really an A-line, what if you scooch* the skirt up until it does fit your hips, then just cut off the too-small waist and have a shorter skirt?
*What? It isn’t a technical term, you say?
That’s genius. EXCEPT. I would not wear it shorter than this. Le sigh.
‘It burns’ is right. Holy cow that’s bright.