A Frivolous(?) Decision

When inspiration strikes, one must seize it, even if it doesn’t really make sense.  You may remember this fabric from a couple of months ago, purchased online from Britex Fabrics:

This is one of those fabrics which has just gotten better and better the more I have looked at it.  I have had it sitting out in my sewing room since it arrived, just pondering its potential.  Then one day I went “shopping” in my fabric closet.  I have my stored fabrics divided according to fiber or usage, with a large “basket” container for each class.  For example, all the silks are together, as are the linens, the cottons, the lining and underlining and interfacing fabrics, with the wools (which take up more space due to their generally bulkier nature) stacked on shelves next to the baskets.   Well, this particular day – the day I went “shopping” – I pulled out the silk fabrics just to reacquaint myself with what exactly I had in that container.    Buried down at the very bottom I found a deep pink, polka dotted silk charmeuse jacquard and INSPIRATION struck!  I had found the perfect complement to my newly acquired floral printed silk twill.  

At that point all I could imagine was a pink silk blouse and a flowing hostess skirt.  My prudent, practical side told me I have no occasion for such an outfit.  But my creative, dreamy side said “If you make it, you will wear it.”  I am stealing the following quote from some unknown sage, but it is speaking to me now:  “The chief enemy of creativity is good sense.”  

These two fabrics are meant for each other with their perky polka dots and shared sheen.  And the somewhat amazing thing is I purchased the pink charmeuse probably 10 years ago from – you guessed it – Britex Fabrics!  

Once I had the two fabrics side by side, I really began to “see” the floral twill, all its intricacies, the brilliance of design in having a spacious polka-dotted field for those whimsical flowers, and the color combination where the blues and pinks play off of each other in a color tug-of-war.  In the words of Oscar Wilde, “To look at a thing is very different from seeing a thing.”  [My italics]

My mental wheels were really turning by this time.  I knew what blouse pattern would be perfect for this two-piece project.  I had made this 1950’s pattern a few years ago in a silk dupioni – and it has continued to rank among my most favorite makes.  

(Well, this could use a good pressing!) I love the sleeves with their French cuffs and the lovely neckline of this pattern.

I will have to search for a skirt pattern, but suffice it to say, it should have uncluttered lines to show off the fabric, and it definitely needs to have a gentle fullness to it.  Decisions still need to be made as to how I underline this fabric.  I believe white cotton batiste will be best, as I will need to block the show-through of the pink blouse fabric.  That, combined with a white crepe  de chine lining, should do the trick.  We will see, as they say.  

Time is, God-willing, on my side.  I envision the start of this project in late Winter or early Spring of 2022.  And buried deep in my head – like that pink fabric buried deep in its lair – is the thought I may just have to HOST some tony party to provide the perfect setting for my elegant hostess skirt and swanky blouse.  Who wants an invitation?  


Filed under Polka dots, sewing in silk, silk, Uncategorized, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s

24 responses to “A Frivolous(?) Decision

  1. Mercedes

    I adore both of these. I am amazed by your fabric stock. It is always of good quality. I am in the UK and struggle to find stockists of unusual but good fabric preferably without paying a King’s ransome. I am really looking forward to the completed items.

    • I’m sure I have too big of a fabric stock… It is always so difficult to resist beautiful fabrics when they come my way. I always feel better when I can use a stockpiled piece, and that is one of the reasons I am so excited about using the deep pink polka dotted silk! Something to look forward to, for sure. Thank you for your comment, Mercedes.

      • Linda

        I just came across your blog while searching for a vintage pattern I originally made in the ’70’s, and am already in love! But I am forced to ask, what is this thing of which you speak? A “too big stock of fabric”?? Bah, such a thing does not exist 😉

      • This is just what I needed to hear! Thank you, Linda, and I’m so glad you found my blog!

  2. Mercedes

    I adore both of these. I am amazed by your fabric stock. It is always of good quality. I am in the UK and struggle to find stockists of unusual but good fabric preferably without paying a King’s ransome. I am really looking forward to the completed items.

  3. Invite moi! I do think we subconciously match items and then are surprised in when the reality shows up in front of us! wonderful choice of fabrics,if you have that party,then I ill have to be creative and come up with something to wear that is equally special(I made a wool tweed hostess skirt once in the long ago and paired it with a cream silk blouse). But no sure if I can pull that one off again!

    • It would be great fun to look forward to a fancy party, wouldn’t it? It begs the age-old question – which comes first, the party outfit or the party plans? We all know the answer to that, don’t we?

  4. Janet

    Ah! Gorgeous combination! I delight in knowing someone is going to sew something so lovely. A dreamy skirt for sure!

  5. I can relate to this spark within! And I see beauty in your selection!

  6. Mery

    Absolutely gorgeous. People are eager for social stimuli and starved for beauty. Do make it. Surely occasions will arise. Hostess, yes, definitely, plus as many more occasions as can be squeezed in. Garden party. Summer cocktail party. Museum opening. Zoom party alone isn’t enough, but it could fill in more opportunities.
    Your invitation is a delightful idea.

    • Hmmmm – I am thinking cocktail party – or garden party (but that means my gardens have to be ready – which wouldn’t be a bad thing, I guess). Let’s see what the next year brings… Happy May to you, Mery!

  7. Heather Myers

    You remind me of the saying “if you have a ballgown, you will get an invitation to a ball!” This will be spectacular! And I’m amazed at your planning and discipline to have your sewing planned to know this is 9 months away. 😊

  8. Wonderful combination of fabrics. Shopping in the stash is always fun and justifies having an assortment to choose from. Aren’t we all looking forward to the day when social gatherings are once again possible.

    • We are, indeed, looking forward to sociable occasions – and the opportunity to sew for them! I so enjoy my collection of fabrics and it’s always exciting to find just the right piece hidden away.

  9. These fabrics are breathtaking! Your plan for a party/hostess ensemble will be divine. I will keep an eye on my mailbox for that invitation! Allow me to share my next sewing adventure with you. I consider myself a fashion seamstress first and foremost. While I appreciate the skill of the quilter that has never been activity I thought about. That being said, I do have ten Dutch boy and ten Dutch girl quilt square appliques that my mother hand made in the 1950s. She gave them to me a few years before she passed away. I always knew that I would make one quilt; now my quilting adventure begins. I’m making this quilt for my nephew and his wife’s first baby, a boy who will be the fifth to carry on the family name. I will have to practice for stitch perfect machine quilting. Wish me luck.

  10. Peggy Shaver

    Great story. I’ll put that party on my calendar.

    Xoxo Peggy

  11. Janney Ryan

    How sensational!
    The combination of these two fabrics brings each of them to life
    in a totally different way! They pop when together!

  12. Kimberlea B Close

    I shall be there, but not as elegant as you!!

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