Today I’ve been able to get down to a spot of creativity after a busy August. But the origins of this blog started way back in 2007 – and it didn’t start with me.
I love fabric – bold designs, colourful designs – there is such potential in what that fabric can become and what the result of that transformation can mean. I love the feel of a new bolt of cloth – and a fabric shop to me is as a sweet shop is to a child. I am not alone in this. My boyfriend’s late wife, Maria was a fellow fabric devotee. Her passion was for vintage fabrics, particularly those of a 1970s design and she had built up quite a collection over the years.
As life inevitably moves on down an unexpected path gradually a house-clearance is underway. It is an odd feeling lifting out the bolts of cloth, I imagine Maria’s delight in sourcing, and owning each piece. A talented artist her mind must have been fired up by each acquisition.
In her collection were two sections of a Rupert Bear design. They came with a note, dated 2007 from Janet. I’m guessing they were bought on eBay or something similar. Janet says ‘I hope you make something lovely from the fabric’.
The fabric was held for many years, waiting for its new lease of life, but one that sadly Maria couldn’t give it. I asked my boyfriend if I could have the fabric and he agreed.
The Rupert design is effectively a series of printed squares, which does make for some limitations on how the design can be worked with. Cushion covers or a basic bag would be ideal but I didn’t want either. It was all too easy to opt for my familiar duvet dress pattern. I could keep the repeating panels in the skirt, and a little jiggery pokery would provide the bodice (I even had a recycled invisible zip handy). The fabric at one stage must have been held in a swatch book because there are a series of punch holes along the top of the two sections – there was no way of avoiding these when making the bodice so as not to lose the length, so Fray Check has been employed (it’s a small price to pay). I finally added a white bias binding edge to the hem (after I took the photos) which completes the dress. Worn with one of my 1950s- style petticoats it looks great!
And so now I can say to Janet that yes, something lovely has been made from the fabric. I can say thank you to Maria for finding it all those years ago and keeping it safe. And I like to think that there is always a new way to cut and re-stitch the cloth of life from the most treasured of remnants.