I think it’s no secret that I love op-shopping. Â I love op-shopping as much as I hate regular shopping (ugh. Â crowds. Â people. Â poorly made stuff that doesn’t fit right).
The major exception to hating regular shopping is fabric, because I love fabric stores. Â But I also love fabric shopping at op shops, because I find some amazing things.
Like this fabric:
Can you see what it is?
It’s the Bayeux tapestry!
(or at least selected parts of it)
I teach the Bayeux tapestry as an example of politics in textiles, and the use of textiles in propaganda, so when I found this fabric I lost.my.shit.*
* translation: I let out a tiny squeak and sat down with a thump.
The fabric is a screenprint by an Australian textile designer. Â It’s on a viscose/rayon and probably dates to the ’70s or ’80s.
There wasn’t a lot of it, and it’s a very busy print, and not in the best colours for me, so I wanted to make something that really took advantage of the print with minimal cutting, and stayed away from my face. Â Solution? Â A super simple gathered skirt:
With pockets of course! Â Because if pockets are at all a possibility, they should be included!
The skirt is simply two widths of the fabric, selvedge to selvedge, and it’s every scrap there was. Â I even had to mend a tiny rip in the fabric at the hem to get the length I wanted. Â To really maximise the length, I also used a bias turned hem (in sky blue, for a bit of fun contrast).
Luckily I was able to match the brown and white stripes as they ran around the fabric at the side seams, though there was a bit of colour chance across the width of the fabric, so if you look closely you can see two shades of brown on either side of the seams.
Because I used every extra scrap, my pockets are plain white fabric, and I had to do something a bit different for the waistband. Â I thought of a coordinating or contrasting fabric waistband, but Made on Marion has this awesome gold elastic, and what could be easier and better than a gold elastic waistband?
I ADORED the skirt once it was finished, but it did turn out to be one of those annoying wardrobe orphans, as none of my tops looks quite right with it.
I’ve got a stack of projects that should fix that problem in my summer wardrobe sewing pile (come on Dec 4th! Â Time for all the summer sewing!), but I quickly whipped up this blue faux-wrap top a few weekends ago, and it’s sort-of working with it.
Sort-of working is actually a good general descriptor for the top. Â The fabric is a tissue-weight knit that was $1 a meter because it’s ridiculously off-grain. Â I’d intended the top as a toile for an idea I’m playing with around pattern adapting, so more-or-less wearable is a bonus!
For the photos Mr D & I drove around the bays to the airport, because every spring there is an amazing display of orange flowers on the ocean-facing hill of the airport road, and I have always wanted to get photos with them. Â Unfortunately we timed it wrong, as they had already shut for the day, so we got some photos with the bay behind us, and then continued on to the Massey Memorial.
We took the old path down to the sea on the other side of the memorial, which turned out to be a great choice, as the hillsides were covered in pea blossoms, and banana passionflower.
In Hawaii we call banana passionfruit ‘banana poka’. Â It’s beautiful, but in both Hawaii and NZ it’s a noxious pest, so I felt almost virtuous picking handfuls of the flowers (less flowers means less fruit means less seeds to spread).
They made a nice display in a vase, and the skirt makes a nice display on me.
Happy summer sewing!