Monday, 12 March 2018

Growing my vintage fabric stash


This has already earned me a bit of side-eye from Mr Robot, but before we went on holiday I ordered some vintage fabric from Etsy seller Gertie Gusset's Vintage Drawers. (What did he expect? He bought me a sewing machine!) It arrived before I went to India, promptly and beautifully wrapped, but I've only just had time to blog about it.

This is one of those times when being into 60s styles is to my advantage, as 1960s knit is really affordable compared to, say, 1940s cotton. The check and the aqua fern pattern are both crimplene, and will probably make a good couple of skirts. I know knitted fabrics mean using a ballpoint needle.

The bolder blue and orange fabric is a synthetic crepe, so woven rather than knitted. I'm not 100% certain what that one will become. I bought it with simple sleeveless tops in mind – I already have a Simplicity pattern that would work really well. But now I've got it I'm wondering if there's enough to make a simple top and line a jacket. Probably not. Another option would be to make a royal blue dress and use the crepe for fake-blouse sleeves and a scarflike bow at the neckline. So many options...

We did buy fabric while in India. The first batch was some beautiful handloomed silk in Kolkata, three metres of gold and three of burgundy. We got it with sofa cushions in mind, so we'd have a beautiful and practical souvenir, but there will be enough left over to do something else with. It's fairly stiff, so I'm not sure what that could become. A structured bodice? A skirt? I guess it depends on how much fabric the cushion uses.

The other fabric was two metres of eye-wateringly expensive paisley-printed silk. (On reflection, I probably should have haggled over that one.) I believe it's 'habotai', it's a lightweight, liquid fabric like a high-end scarf. Needless to say I'm not planning to cut into that for a few years, not till I've got my skills brushed up. I'm picturing it as a late 1930s blouse, with ruching above the bust to make the most of the incredible drape.

12 comments :

  1. Oh! Sofa cushions would be an excellent starter project.
    Silk can be a pain to sew on a machine though.
    Crimplene always sounds like the lead singer of a punk band to my American ears.

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    1. Hehehe, I like the notion of Crimplene as a punk singer. Well, we had Poly Styrene...

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  2. Such good choices! Can't wait to see what you make with it. X

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    1. I'm really pleased with the printed crepe. So much potential in that one.

      This weekend, I will be firing up the machine!

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  3. Welcome home! Did the parcel arrive with "Gertie Gusset" printed across it? I bet the postman's mind was boggling!
    That blue and orange fabric is glorious, it looks a bit like an encaustic tile. I like all your suggestions especially using at sleeves on a blue dress.
    Your Indian fabric was utterly lovely! xxx

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    1. Sadly, it did not!

      I'm regretting not haggling on the printed silk - I suspect this was another one of those times when I should - but then the handloomed plain stuff was such a bargain it all evened out in the end. The fabric in India was so lovely, people there really seem to understand what makes good cloth, something we've lost here with the rise of fast fashion.

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  4. Loving the aqua fern pattern and the fabulous blue and orange fabric! Can't wait to see what you do with them. Have you mastered your sewing machine yet? I've got my Mum's machine giving me dirty looks as it just keeps sitting there ... xxx

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    1. It hasn't been out of its box as we got it too close to our holiday. This weekend I shall fire it up, for sure.

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  5. Learn from my mistakes with expensive fabric-run up a toile first. Every. Damn. Time.

    Can't wait to see what you make with those beautiful fabrics.

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    1. I've got some cheapo remnant stuff to start off with, though I'm hoping whatever I make will at least be good enough to ponk round the house in. It took two years for me to knit something I was 100% happy with, so I'm anticipating a similar learning curve here.

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  6. I love the sound of all your purchases - please post some pictures soon!

    The blue and orange pattern is fantastic and I love the others, too. Can't wait to see what you make with it all.

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