Saturday, 30 September 2006

Get all your not caring about football needs met here

I have been on a dressmaking binge this (non-teaching) week, and thanks to something or other it's all gone pretty well so far. Everything fits and it all looks all right. No disasters. I even made a jacket using a McCalls pattern from 1963. It has a weird sleeve arrangement whereby there is no sleeve set in, the sleeve is cut one piece with the front and back and seamed together down the top, and this necessitates a weird little gusset under the arm, which I made kind of a mess of on one side, but it can't be seen so nobody will ever know, except me and the ninety thousand readers of this blog. There is still a pile of uncut cloth in the corner of the workbench corresponding to eleven more garments but I'm running out of steam now and probably won't get to more than half of those before the end of the year.

Just before I stopped to write this post I was finishing off a skirt made from a piece of cloth I've been hoarding for two or three years - slightly textured silk/linen blend in a sort of ecru colour - it doesn't sound like much but the colour and texture are very nice - it looks like a very old piece of vellum that's gotten a faint patina over decades of soft handling. I made the skirt and tried it on and decided it wasn't quite long enough (there wasn't much cloth) so I cut a band of silver-grey textured recycled kimono silk to go around the hem. Then that needed something backing it so it would hang properly so I used a bit of pale copper silk satin that was in one of the rag boxes. I was looking at the three fabrics together and thinking it was a nice combination, but peculiar, when it dawned on me that the colours were exactly the same as the cover of the book I've been reading and trying to write a review of, and which the whole construction of this skirt was basically one massive procrastination in assidous avoidance of. The book is unquestionably one of the three worst books I've ever read in my life, but the cover is actually quite pretty.

While I was sewing I was thinking of you my dear blog friends, as I often do when doing some handwork sort of task, and of what I could write about that you might be entertained by, but would not fall into one of the ever-expanding category of things not really bloggable. Then I thought that this category is really getting stupidly big and who do I think I am to be keeping silly little self-censoring secrets? So as a token of good faith here is the coda to my Work Experience story of some time back. You might remember I was sent to Fletcher Jones for WE in 1988. At my school you still had to keep up with classwork while you were away so one afternoon I walked around to a class member's house, still wearing my mum's grown up clothes that I wore to work-experience, to give him my English assignment to hand in for me. (It was a big-deal assignment too, it was called "Women", it was enormous and long and complicated, and Ms Papandreou caused quite the controversy in Warrnambool Tech circles when she made it plain that boys were expected to do this assignment as well as girls, imagine it! But I digress.) The kid who lived near me I will call Phil, he answered the door and blushed and mumbled strangely as I handed over the assignment. Some time later I was told by Phil that he thought I'd looked very pretty, in my mum's padded-shouldered Country Road t-shirt tucked into one of those 1988 wide black elastic cinch belts, and a bubble skirt, and from that time onward he'd wanted to ask me out, which he then proceeded to do. Our first and last date was a night out at the Capitol Theatre, accompanied by a whole lot of Phil's friends, to see the Little River Band, who at that time were calling themselves LRB and led by John Farnham, with whom (I forgot to mention) Phil was magnificently obsessed. Our group were the youngest people there by decades. I sat very still with my hands in my lap, as did the rest of the audience. Towards the end Phil and his friends trooped down the front to dance appreciatively to the Little River Band at the foot of the stage; Phil said "Come on!", but I stayed where I was.

10 comments:

JahTeh said...

I've made that pattern in a dress and the gusset was a stinker to get right but the dress was so comfortable I wore it to death.
I've just had to change my favourite pattern with a scoop neck to a more difficult one with a V because I've lost a bit of weight (& gained a few scraggy wrinkles) and the scoop tends to drift.

lucy tartan said...

It was worth fiddling with the gusset to avoid setting the sleeve. My impression is that the all-in-one sleeve uses a lot more fabric but when it's $4 a metre it doesn't really matter.

Drewzel said...

I think the ecru skirt sounds very yummy Laura. You'll be pleased to know I managed to avoid all football-related guff by going to a handbag making course at CAE.

Loved the Phil story...whatever happened to him? Did you dump him due to his love for dancing to LRB?

momo said...

Poor Phil, the dork.

Surely the Warnambooleans jumped out of their seats for the always rousing LRB fave "Haaaang on, help is on its way, I'll be there as fast as I caa-aaan."

I always (secretly) liked it whenever Glenn Shorrock sang it on Hey Hey It's Saturday.

worldpeace_and_aspeedboat said...

you know, I think I've only set a sleeve in properly once, to see aht it was like. then I went straight back to my mum's patented super-cheaty method. so much quicker, and I don't care how much of a naughty person it makes me.

David said...

Phil was very prescient. Farnham was on the cusp of the most successful time in his career (to date). I bet he felt immensely vindicated when this happened. Phil too. It's not exactly cool to have been a Farnham fan in his LRB days - or at any time - but there has to be a word for it, a non-derogatory word.

lucy tartan said...

Oh yes, Phil was instantly dropped. Even if the overwhelming dagginess of the whole LRB fan thing hadn't been a factor it is still extremely uncool to invite someone out and then leave them sitting by themselves because you would rather go wave your arms at John Farnham.

I had standards even then.

Fyodor said...

Everyone has their level...

Genevieve said...

I made an ecru raw silk jacket when I was nineteen that I wore for years and was inordinately proud of. It's a better colour than you think. The border sounds very fine.

Was it Shaun Micallef who had the reincarnated LRB (Sans name of course) on the show, to play 'Hang On' with a dirty great big pause in the middle? I think it was.

dogpossum@anaddress.org said...

I was on that sewing wagon over the holiday as well - I made a horrible purple dress which I've hidden away so as not to distress me, finished a few jobs (blouses, etc) and made an outfit for a swing ball in Sydney. The best bit of that outfit was hearing some dood say "she stole that shirt from Minnie Mouse" (it was red with big white spots and giant white buttons + purple bias highlights, matched with a calf-length purple skirt) and then replying "and she's not fucking getting it back!".

I had thought I'd missed the football thing, but we had to wade through rugby people at Sydney airport on Friday, then AFL people coming home on Monday. Dang, that was a lot of man.