Almost 2 months ago while doing Marie Kondo-type cleaning I (re)discovered some fabrics which I knew were in the bottom of a closet drawer. At that time, I made a comfortable dress from a piece of Finnish fabric, formerly a table cloth (June 17). Now I decided to turn my gaze to the cloth sent to us my one of my husband’s clients in Angola. I knew there was enough for a dress in the one piece, but the other … what to do with it?
I started with the dress. I think I chose the same pattern I had used for the Finnish fabric, an easy shift with side pockets. The piece of cloth was tricky for a couple reasons. It’s a horizontal stripe. If you have a history of being heavy, you steer away from horizontals which tend to widen you.
I have an amazing piece of Japanese baby blue silk in the cedar chest that has tiny bands of deer at Nara, a famous Japanese park, moving across it. My dad brought it from Japan many, many years ago. Mom never sewed anything with it because of the horizontals! Maybe I’ll ask my brothers if I have their permission to have a go with it!
Back to the Angolan fabric, soon to be a dress. The other challenge it presented is the masks or faces in the pattern. No matter how you lay out the pattern, those across the torso are upside down. The faces on the bottom/skirt face upwards. I went ahead and cut it despite this strange situation. And, voila, a few hours later – ironing between each step – a new dress. Fun!
The second piece of material is bright red with a brilliant swooping yellow pattern running through it. I actually went out and bought a new skirt pattern for it. Another thing about me, I tend to wear longer skirts, so I needed length in this piece. Because skirts, no matter what pattern, tend to flare toward the bottom, the pattern did not work on the fabric. What to do? My mother was an amazing seamstress. But she was not a pattern maker; I never learned that skill.
I took all the courage I could and just sewed the two ends of the fabric together. I had taken the pocket from another pattern and cut some fabric for it. Then I turned the top over and carefully inserted a measured piece of wide elastic. It’s a skirt! It’s much fuller and because of the stiffness of the fabric doesn’t fall like my other skirts, but it’s fun to wear. And it’s bright!
No more sewing for a while. I know it’s hard to admit, but my closet is full. I’ll have to find other outlets for my creativity!