Saturday, 13 May 2017

Time for a shallow and narcissistic rant about dressmaking!

I told you how the green pencil skirt with polka dots is, quote, 'a tentative foray' back into the colourful and feminine sartorial territory I once had thoroughly colonised, well, just take it from me and never underestimate the triggering power of a spotty green skirt especially one in which you aren't really able to walk and certainly cannot run away. It was extensively discussed at work, from the wholly innocuous 'I like your skirt' to 'I love spots' to 'can I touch it' right through to a borderline unacceptable conversation between three elderly men for which I was very much present but referred to throughout in the third person. But, less annoyingly and much more interestingly, this little bit of colour has sent me off the deep end chromatically speaking.

One minute it's that muted green, the next this five-metre-high poster on the exterior of the Gucci shop in Collins St has me screeching to a halt and mesmerised with lust:

But then I walked round the front and saw the same jacket, scarf, beads and shirt actually there in the window, and it just looks like bad fancy dress.

Still, there's that mind-blowingly lovely crepe de chine dress next to it. Pff, I could make that, I thought (once upon a time the problem was finding nice enough fabric, but now there are lots of Chinese fabric sellers on eBay and you can easily get amazing silk prints for not very much money) and in particular I could make it without fucking up the side zipper in the way that whoever made this dress has done - the fabric is torn at the zipper base. So, a gorgeous and completely impractical print dress is on the to-sew list despite the fact that it is now about 8c in the mornings and only going to get colder.

I am still really tempted by both the blue jacket and the silk twill shirt. The jacket is very obviously inspired by the turquoise suit Bowie wore in the Life on Mars video and which Kate Moss has since worn and looked predictably amazing in. Being neither David Bowie nor Kate Moss, I need to think about it some more. But a silk twill print shirt with a gigantic 70s pointed collar is very much what I shall need if I am to go on living. A quick rummage in stash yielded this pile of good stuff
the bottom one is fluoro pink & white poly brocade
and these phenomenal patterns
Oh yeah! Look at her in the pantsuit! She's even got a bunch of keys in her hand! I am 44 but I am going to make and wear that dress, and anyone who doesn't like it can just faaaaark off.

I look at that stack of fabric, and actually what I want is to wear it all together all at once. Now that is clearly in the realm of crazy person dressing. A good outcome will be less extreme but definitely on the spectrum: not a print and a coordinating solid because that is tasteful which is really not my thing, in fact tasteful makes me sad, but maybe two prints and a solid which does not match either one.  

But because dressmaking takes time and I don't have a lot (I have to keep stoking this freakin blog, for one thing; I do not know why, or what will happen if I ever stop feeding it, but I do) before I get started on the carnival sideshow helper's wardrobe, today I needed to finish work in progress that was begun ages ago, and is as boring as sewing gets:



To drag out the stitching-up of these even longer I put in welt pockets into the back. 

The Fletcher Jones tailor who supervised me when I did work experience there in the mid eighties taught me how to make a welt pocket, and I feel confident in saying that I have very seldom if ever been so clearly and efficiently taught a manual technique, and I can't think of another thing that somebody showed me how to do when I was a young person that I still do the same way now. Other than various sexual practices and the making of a roux for bechamel sauce. I have finished the pants except for sewing on a couple of trouser bars to fasten the waist. What will happen now is I will wear those pants to work three days out of five in a week and I won't get around to cutting out any of that lush and crazy fabric currently sitting in a very touchable pile on the dining room table. Eventually I will put it all back into stash to macerate for another twelve years.


KateC said...

I have the top two black fabrics marinating in my stash also. Do you a deal: if you use one of those, I'll cut into mine, too.

Ann ODyne said...

oh a Fletcher Jones welt pocket. magic.
That GUCCI window mannekin had an opshop window look FFS.
I had some 1970's gucci green suede shoes I loved and wore with a home made big collar shirt of LIberty print, bought from Georges. Your shirt will be made better I know it. Good luck.