This week I set myself the challenge of making something from a piece of fabric I was given by a former colleague at my “exit party” last fall. I call the fabric “sturm und drang”. Here’s a pic: I think you can see the reason for the name. Just to make sure, I checked my closet and saw that there is, indeed, a total absence of print clothing, except for a few tone-on-tone jacquards and stripes. So, this would be a first. I like several of the many, many colours in this fabric, but from a distance it seems dominated by brown splotches that I don’t really care for. I thought about the vogue 8786 pattern that I used for “sackcloth and slink”, which allows for fabric matching because of the panels and yokes. I also considered that, given the choice between wearing a knitted top and a woven blouse, nine days out of ten I’ll choose the knit. Why not match this print with a solid knit that brings out the turquoise and produce a comfortable … uh, wonsie? I’m trying, I’m really trying to use the word “dress”, but I hate the word. It suggests everything I hate about cultural ideas of “femininity”. I know it’s just a word!! Enough, carry on. While I was giving myself challenges, I decided to underline the print fabric so that light wouldn’t shine through it. Gawd knows I don’t want to wear a slip, of all things. I chose a gauzy pale blue cotton from a turban I purchased last summer at a theatre sale. It turned out that underlining didn’t create any extra work to speak of. I pinned the pieces to the print fabric and used an interlock stitch to both sew them together and finish the raw edges at the same time. And I discovered that the print panels had a much nicer ‘hand’ after the underling than before. And also they were a better match in terms of body and weight to the doubleknit I purchased. I also decided to replace the back seam below the yoke with a button placket and have buttons and buttonholes running up the back. Thankfully I then had an even better idea, and made a fake button placket. That’s not terribly clear, is it? I sewed buttons through all layers without bothering with buttonholes. And while I was being innovative, I decided to use a few different colours of buttons. Okay,here’s the final product. It’s not entirely me, I think. But it’s a move in a direction I’d like to go. I tried to style it up a bit. Good use of a prop, eh? Pretending to reach up to the curtain rod, okay?? I like the back — possibly more than the front. The good news is that I’m wearing this, uh, wonsie, as I’m putting together this post. It’s comfortable. And not too fancy to be at-home wear.
You’d think that by the time a woman reaches her cronehood (yes, that’s a good thing), she’d know how to dress. I have to say that I don’t really. I’ve spent most of my life in jeans, cords, tshirts and sweaters. It was boring. And I’ve never found jeans comfortable enough to wear in the house. So at-home wear tended to be sweatpants and fleece tops. I think it’s important how I present myself both to myself and to the world. I’d say that as I’m sewing, I’m searching my way toward a presentation that accurately represents me, that’s comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Stay tuned and watch me progress toward “crone robes”, leading the way in fashion for the boomer wise woman 🙂