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?


Red dress, grey top

A foul cold is doing the rounds and I am among the fallen. A day at home wallowing in my ill-health permitted construction of a wee blouse from a 1970s pattern and some strange and wonderful silk I got at The Fabric Store sale some time ago.




I bound the sleeve edges in bias tape (sleeves, schmeeves) and made it a little shorter with a curve in the lower hem.

I keep thinking that I should make fewer stunt frocks and make more practical separates but I struggle to find tops that suit me. They’re often very shapeless. This one is OK: darts and a back zipper give it some shape. I made an amateurish mistake and used too-heavy interfacing on the collar (doh! This is what happens when you deplete the stash!) so it pulls a bit on the otherwise lightweight fabric.

Several weeks back I made up a frock in a bright red seersucker from Savers… about 7 metres for $9. It’s so vivid a red that my camera lost its shit and couldn’t photograph it accurately. This shall have to do:


I took a bit out of the back shoulders to reduce the gape, added pockets and ric-racked the bejebus out of all the hems Check out the giant ric-rac action! Like a dinosaur spine!

I like this one but unfortunately the bright red and white trim takes it into Little Orphan Annie territory. Maybe I should go the perm and dye-job to really embrace the look.