October is defintely frocktober in my world. Perth frocktails, a 20 year school reunion (aaahhhh!) and then my sisters wedding in early November meant that I had to put down the loom and knitting needles for a bit and get frocking.
Frocktails is the brain child of the sewing ladies of the eastern states, and the concept is have a fancy a party, wear something you’ve made and maybe drink a cocktail or two. Natalie gets the credit for organising the inaugural event here in Perth which was full of delicious food, shiny fabrics and banter well after the owners of the establishment were mopping the floors around us. I really feel like this little community of ours has blossomed so much this year, it is lovely to be a part of it!
Pattern: Self drafted inspired by this top on Mokosha
Fabric: 100% secondhand components, even the thread. Chinese embroidered silk and wool crepe.
The front panel has a special story, I travelled a lot in my 20’s and at some point decided that I would like to collect a textile from each place I visit. As a result I have a Peruvian rug on my bed, a thai silk tablecloth, a Japanese block print indigo dyed piece somewhere else.. you get the idea. I didn’t sew clothes at this stage but when I started I realised that some of those pieces could become more than a flat piece of cloth. This beautiful embroided panel is from a chinese robe that I found in Shanghai, I had made the obi belt pretty soon after getting home, but was unsure of how to use the rest. So 8 years later, the obi belt has found a long term partner in crime.
The wool crepe I found a couple of years ago and has been waiting for me to go back to work to make something sensible. This is totally sensible. It had a few moth holes, so I stuck in the the freezer for a week and the washed it before putting it in my stash.
Ease: Medium, mostly because of the terror of ruining the silk!
Tidbits: I was really having trouble getting my head out of #1year1outfit to think of ideas for these events so I called for help earlier this week. This was me….HEEEEELLLLPPP, I got nothing…..Ute answered the call by throwing images of gorgeous garments at me and this brain child of Ivana’s jumped at me immediately and I knew what had to happen.
Essentially this dress is a triangle at the front and then a rectangle at the back! The sleeves are the selvages of the fabric, which in my case was 1.5m wide, and the width is sewn to the front panel and left to drape at the back. I made a large pleat at the back neckline after realising it was a bit wider than I needed and that was that. I finished the sleeves with hand sewn bias tape before sewing them onto the front panel which I think was a good move. Then I frenched the front seams, more bias and hand stitching happened at the neck line and hemline and I had a dress.
Lessons: The trickiest part was getting the back neckline finish reasonable. I hand stitched twice but still notice a couple of unruly stitches and pulls so I think I may find some dark interfacing and try again. What kind of interfacing do you use for necklines? All of my mostly vintage stock seems a bit too heavy handed.
Underwear must be well considered…. I wore good old Nana type spanks and a singlet top, and I was glad when a few curious dress fondles found hands inside my dress. Be warned, Perth sewcialists don’t mind a bit of touchy feely..
Also, when wearing a cape dress note that your seatbelt may pin your arms down rendering driving impossible. Careful manoeuvring of fabric so you don’t flash your unsuspecting passenger is required.
Score: 4/5 I do love the contrast between the fabrics in the dress and its versatility. I’m looking forward to dressing it down (is thongs/flip flops taking it too far?) for the next wild night of dress fondling.