NYC barkcloth made up

STOP PRESS! Headless woman wearing awesome barkcloth dress seen in laneways of Melbourne!



(This headless thing gets a bit silly, doesn’t it?)

This wonderful loud barkcloth is one of my treasures from the NYC garment district. So I reckon Peter is partly responsible for this dress because I may never have been brave enough to venture in without his able assistance. Unfortunately he remains profoundly shellshocked by my prediliction for the loudest prints I could lay my coarse sunburnt-country hands upon and I understand he’s avoided Australians ever since, even managing to arrange MPB Day to remain an antipodean-free event.

The pattern is the bodice from the red seersucker dress (1960s Simplicity 4595) but with some tweaks: I ditched the sleeves, lowered the neckline at the front, raised it at the back, and fully lined it in black cotton voile because the barkcloth weave is a little loose. After a tiny bit of further adjustment, this bodice will be pretty much perfect for me. You’ll see it again, for sure.

The skirt is just a rectangle with deep inverted pleats evenly distributed around it. No pattern, just patient pinning. The only things it’s missing are pockets because I simply forgot! But I’m rather pleased with it otherwise and I’m glad to have started my springtime sewing frenzy. When the weather gets warmer, I get constructing.

Now I just need to work on my serious-Melbourne-languid-hipster poses. Now that Australian Ambassador to NYC is no longer a career option for me, maybe modelling is just the ticket. Whatcha think? Natural talent, or what?


Near misses

‘Sbeen awhile but I haven’t been entirely idle, sewing-wise. I had a very positive Spoonflower experience… their service is super-speedy and the printing quality was ace. If I use them again I’ll cough up for the better-quality fabric though.. the quilting cotton is a bit thin and scratchy for clothing. I’ve also been sewing for money which is NEVER worth it. It feels like homework and the money is crap. Don’t bother.

But sewing for me has been a mixed bag, too, with the last two projects being near misses. Here I am with my chum Headless Esme modelling with our usual aplomb:

You can tell which one’s Esme because she’s got thinner legs.  She’s wearing a version of the Pinstriped Pinny pattern made from gorgeous old barkcloth with a modern barkcloth remnant for the bodice. Looks great on Esme but on me, the mustard yellow is just a bit too similar to my skin tone, plus it looks like I’ve been reassembled from two different bodies. Add to that the sad tear in the back of the skirt where the light damage to the old barkcloth curtain was more serious than I thought. Beyond fixing, methinks.

I’m wearing a (wearable? I’m not sure) muslin for a 1955 McCalls pattern I’ve had for ages. You’re going to have to live with it sideways, I’m afraid.

I put a dirndl skirt on it instead of the gored skirt because I didn’t have enough fabric. The chevrons are good but the darts destroy the stripes (boo!), the waist is too big, and the sleeves are a bit naff, too. It’s just a bit bleh. Disappointing because I was testing out the pattern to use with some jaunty black striped fabric:

…which I’ll have to find something else to do with.

Ah well. Occasional mediocrity is OK.