The third Historical Sew Monthly challenge of 2015 is Stashbusting.
Now, most of my sewing IS from stash – the problem is that I keep adding to the stash. :-/ Or starting a project from stash and then finding I need 3m of some fabric I don’t already own to finish it! :-p
I’m quite pleased about this outfit as a stash-busting exercise, because it’s from one of my oldest pieces of boughten stash. Almost eight years ago, when I was just getting back into historical costuming, I bought ten metres of white cotton almost-piquÃ© at an Arthur Toyes 50% off sale (long shall we mourn their passing). I bought it because it was 100% cotton fabric in white for $4 a metre, so how could I not?
I has this idea that I would make a reproduction of the dress on the seated woman in Monet’s Women in the Garden, but I quickly realised the fabric wasn’t right for that. I couldn’t quite give up on the idea, or the fabric, so it lingered in my stash, being hauled around and reorganised for 8 years.
This year it finally had the chance to be useful. With Art Deco Weekend coming up, I wanted to make this, in white with green buttons:
Alas, I could not find my green button and buckle set, or green contrast fabric that really felt right in any local fabric store. But the white not-quite-piquÃ© was the perfect fabric.
So I hit on the idea of a handkerchief blouse in green and blue to match my shoes, and a sporty white suit with the skirt from the pattern and the bolero jacket.
Sadly I do not actually own that pattern, but I do have my own 1930s pencil skirt pattern, and the Wearing History Chic Ahoy Bolero pattern. Sorted!
I am extremely pleased with the whole outfit. Both pieces are so comfortable and surprisingly versatile. I’ve never been much of a bolero fan, but this one is really winning me over. The pleat darts at the shoulders make it sit beautifully, and the longer sleeves are a more flattering length than the usual short bolero sleeves.
So, much to my delight and satisfaction, some of that white not-quite-piquÃ© has finally made its way into being clothing. Sure, I still have over 8 metres left, but that means I can still make that halter dress I wanted. And, ummm…about 6 more pieces of 1930s clothing!
And, in perfect timing, I found a vintage slim cotton slip in an antique store in Nelson that is just ideal for wearing under this skirt, as long as I don’t go do silly things like sit on an anchor and show off the hem:
The Challenge: #3 Stashbusting
Fabric: 1.5m of white cotton not-quite-piquÃ©, purchased in 2007 for $4pm.
Pattern: My own 1930s slim pleat-front-and-back skirt pattern, Wearing History’s Chic Ahoy bolero jacket pattern
Year: ca. 1934
Notions: petersham ribbon, bias hem tape (to finish the insides of the bolero hem), cotton thread, and a zip
How historically accurate is it?: I’m not sure of the petersham finish to the skirt. And I’m not sure about a side zip on skirts this early. So. 70%
Hours to complete: 4 for the two. Talk about satisfactory sewing!
First worn: Sunday 22 Feb, at Napier’s Art Deco Weekend
Total cost: $9 ($6 for the fabric – the rest is in zips and petersham)