Monday, July 30, 2012

Pretty new dress

Quite some time ago, I bought a length of beeyoo-ti-ful robin's egg blue linen, 2.5 meters 60" wide. I've been vaguely daydreaming about making it into a nice blouse, but just this evening looked at it and realised I've got enough to do a whole dress.

I've been idly clicking through the dresses on sites like Modcloth and Burda Dresses and have observed that all the dresses I like best are all more or less along the same lines. A fairly closely fitted bodice with a pleated, or A-line or gathered skirt, just knee-length.

As I said to a friend the other day, while I was sick I made quite a few promises to myself about how my life would be when I started getting better. One of which was to finally get on with fulfilling a sort of girly-dream I've had for many years: to make myself a whole wardrobe of exquisite, one-of-a-kind, hand-made clothes, and I think the time has come. It's a thing I can do at home that isn't too strenuous but more fun that net-surfing.

I've long-since come to the realisation that the clothes I want to wear simply aren't available in shops. And the clothes that I do occasionally find in shops that I like are so badly made that it seems a pity to waste money on them. The mass-manufacturing of clothes really has contributed mightily to the Great Uglification, and it's time I stopped participating in it.

I've got quite a few vintage things, and a few things I've picked out of the mass-o'-crap that aren't too bad, but I've always wanted to dress well, and I think there aren't many ways to do that in our times. Aside from having a Giant Pile of money, probably the best way is to just hunker down and start making them yourself.

It's been years and years, but maybe that's because it's been that long since I've been really settled. But there was a time when I had a whole sewing room. Shelves full of boxes of all manner of fabrics, interfacings, linings, yarn, thread, trimmings and notions, a bulletin board covered in hand-drafted patterns in brown paper, a pegboard all hung with arcane tools and my late, great, indestructible Singer sewing machine. I hardly remember what happened to it all, or how long it's been really since I've done any of that.

But it still seems perfectly normal to me to go to a fabric store instead of a dress shop to go clothes shopping. And while she was here, Vicky made a wonderful discovery; the fabric store where the Versace people shop. It's a huge, huge barn of a place, three stories in an old building near Torre Argentina; floor to ceiling shelves, twenty feet high, full of wonder and magic. Of course, some of it is out of this world expensive, but there's something for everyone.

So, for the robin's egg blue linen, I think something along these lines:





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