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.