new year, worn cliche

As a child, the list of substances that triggered an allergic response seemed never-ending. So much so, that the control I now exert over my home environment is akin to a latter day Howard Hughes. In adulthood, by far the most pernicious offender is less tangible in form – organised fun.  For me, the pressure of enforced enjoyment is sure to elicit the opposite response.

I rail against what I perceive to be the slavish adherence to pedestrian norms – Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s … you name it day. Whilst I appreciate for some, these are celebrations imbued with meaning – to me it feels to me like we are all being played and someone else is cashing in the cheque. However, if what’s being pedalled floats my boat, I’ll happily get on board and the opportunity a New Year affords to cast off and start anew, is something I embrace.

My aspirations for the coming year are from original – I’m determined to get fit, eat well and for Maude to achieve the acclaim she deserves. However, I don’t want to fall into the trap of labelling consumables and activities as either good or bad. My desire is to do things consciously rather than mindlessly and if that means eating a plate of fried food washed down with a bottle of red, so be it.

When I finally bit the bullet and purchased this 1950’s Barkcloth from mrsrocksbackroom, I was keen to find a pattern befitting of it’s beauty. I fully examined the design – it’s weight and drape – before rushing for the scissors. After much prevarication, I settled on Deer and Doe’s Chardon Skirt as the vehicle to bring new life into these old threads.

Whilst I’m conscious that I’m starting to fall into the trap of heralding the latest make as my favourite – this pattern is in a class of it’s own. The high waist and inverted box pleats are the ideal compliment for my bottom heavy figure and its features give the mid weight barkcloth the structure I hoped for.

Construction should have been smooth as the instructions are clear albeit brief. However, I was hampered by sewing inexpertise and made a few basic errors. The centre back seam – of which I am rightfully most proud – was almost my undoing. Whilst insufficient fabric negated pattern matching, I spent an age on pattern placement to ensure a balanced design. However I neglected to observe that the back pieces are symmetrical and stitched the outside seams together. The result neither offended the eye or affected the shape but I painstakingly unstitched, cogniscent of the intention to approach my craft with care and attention.

I am prone to focus on the faults of my creations and this is the first time I’ve stepped back and viewed the finished product with unabashed pride. The pockets, pleats, centre back seam and zip all surpassed my exacting standards and I believe the fabric and pattern to be a perfect marriage. A rousing start to another year in stitch but I’m mindful that the method of execution is as valuable as the outcome and hope I can remain as jubilant in the face of less aesthetically pleasing results.

8 thoughts on “new year, worn cliche

  1. What a wonderfully crafted piece of workwomanship. There are so many facets of this latest creation that I admire. It’s nature at work again in this lovely material. I have a skirt which has box pleats which start from the same length from the waistline as yours and I love it. Flared skirts from a gathered high waist can look really old fashioned as opposed to vintage. I can also see those box pleats looking good on a dress. Well chosen accessories as usual. Although I am a great fan of your red boots, your Mary Janes compliment the outfit very well giving your skirt the starring role. Looks good from every angle in the photographs. Thumbs up, hats off! XXX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Workwomanship – now there’s a word – love it. And thank you for the glowing feedback as always – I’m ever so happy with it. I feel like a ballerina when I’m wearing it – hence the Mary Jane pumps. I bought the pattern from France so that’s another £10 or so on top of the £20 material but so worth it as this is a pattern I will use time and time again. Box pleats are my new favourite as is this skirt. A good start to the sewing year Terri! xx


    1. I don’t feel patronised in the slightest and really value the positive feedback. I started a blog to link up with fellow creatives for ideas and support and it’s been great so far so thank you!! Xx


  2. its soooooo gorgeous, and great you are pleased with it. nothing really beats that creative pride – seriously – I am running thru a list in my head and nothing really equates to a job well done all round. That fabric is so unusual – the mix of the 50s images yet modern tones and hues, fabulous. best of luck with you taking the new year head on, cant beat a good plate of chips! just checked out that etsy link……………..gorgeous fabrics. hope your manchester trip goes well. (you write so well by the way…. so many talents!)


    1. Thanks so much Eimear – there really is no better feeling is there – taking your time to see something through and being pleased with the results. You must have felt like me x100 with that amazing dance costume you made. I fell in love with this fabric months ago and then finally snapped it up in the seller’s January sale. I’ve always wanted to make something from barkcloth and was worried I would look like I was wearing a curtain but I think I’ve pulled it off. I’ve had a productive Sunday writing my blog and hatching up ideas for Maude. Made a list of things to look out for in the bargain buckets and fingers crossed I get lucky. I really appreciate your kind words about my writing. I’ve always wanted to write but never had the voice – until I found sewing which seems to be the vehicle I was looking for:) x


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