In my last blog I showed you a dress I had recently made for myself as part of my quest to explore and learn more about textiles. This was a big achievement for me, not having done any dressmaking for many years and I had been a little worried that it wouldn’t turn out very well! It was also the end (or maybe the beginning of the end!) of a long journey for the piece of fabric that I used as it had certainly been around for quite a while waiting for something to happen to it. It had been with me for a good 13 years and, having moved house with us 10 years ago, spent quite some time languishing in our loft. Before I acquired it, it was in the possession of my lovely friend Becky, who passed it on to me because she was emigrating to Australia. Here are the 2 of us when she came to visit me in Tadcaster a few years ago…
She has kindly written a little description of how it came to be with her.
‘I believe it was given to my mum in the 1980’s by an Australian girl who was travelling & stayed with Mum. She had been to Saudi Arabia working as a nurse & had bought the material in a bizarre. She left it for Mum as a gift, she passed it on to me, I passed it to you & more than 25 yrs later it has been transformed into a summer dress. I guess it may have been used for some kind of sari in the Middle East.’
A couple of years ago I decided it was time to give it a new lease of life and I dug it out of my loft, made a trip to The Remnant House in Harrogate (where I used to spend many lunchtimes routing through the bargain bins in my former working life) to buy a pattern and some contrasting fabric, but then never got any further with it.
This poor little piece of fabric had waited around so long, and was special to me because of the link to my friend, so I wanted to make at least a half decent job of it! I took very few photos of the work as it progressed, mainly because I wasn’t sure I knew what I was doing!!
I’m pleased with the result. It’s not perfect but it’s definitely wearable and I’ve successfully done elements I’d never tried before such as binding the armholes and inserting darts. As I am supposed to be learning, developing and acquiring new skills, I also now know that I really need some lessons in fitting zips!!
Next I’m going to be talking about my first experience of patchwork & quilting – something I’ve never done before and have really wanted to try since I was about 10 years old!! Also look out soon for some of this which I’m going to try next week and am very excited about….