I remember my first November in Austin, Texas as a student. I was out and about, minding my own business and suddenly the street was full of cheerfully macabre people with painted faces and flowers in their hair, marching in a rather large and disorganized parade. It was wonderful. A friend told me that Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday of blended Aztec and Catholic traditions, a day set aside to honor the dead and celebrate the lives they lived. I like that, it’s a great reason for a holiday and a parade.
These days I’m in Brisbane- no parade but I thought in keeping with the “killing your darlings” theme and since today is November 1, I’d paint my face. (I may poke my nose into the Day of the Dead celebration in the Valley later this month…any locals wanna meet up?)
So rather than mourn what I’ve purged from my life these past two weeks, I thought I’d dress up a bit and celebrate. Any excuse for full-face makeup, amirite? (I hated washing this face off, it was so much fun to wear…)
I mentioned Megan’s Vendetta earlier on in Frosting Fortnight… She’s definitely frosting, definitely wearable, but I can’t stand her. She makes my skin crawl. It might have something to do with the construction process, the texture of the fabric, some puckering issues… I don’t know. I plan to use the fabric in a cute dress for Lila. This dress is dead to me.
Marching right along, here we have the Sisters of Edwardia blouse in silk twill and the Pinkie Pants in cotton no-wale cord. I haven’t worn either for many months, but for completely different reasons. Poor old Pinkie lost the bar the hook needs to keep my waistband fastened because I spent most of the winter overeating and under-exercising. Skeleton from my Closet #1: I got too fat and the waistband on my stretchy pants burst. I’m exercising more and eating wisely these days, so I replaced the bar and now we’re all happy.
The blouse is a little more problematic, she’s Skeleton #2. I don’t wear her. Why? I can’t say. She’s comfortable, she fits properly, the fabric feels amazing but for whatever reason this darling blouse doesn’t see much wear. I’m sick of looking at her and feeling guilty. It’s even worse (to me) because this is a pdf pattern I made last spring. How can I not like my own pattern? Perhaps the silk feels “too good” for regular wear? Should I give this blouse a last-minute reprieve?
This shirt hails from the time I went to the Harry Potter 4 premiere and they handed out free t-shirts! The Dark Mark glows- not a wuss glow, I think He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named himself would approve of its brilliant menacing color in the dark. Most unfortunately, this shirt smells awful. It’s smelled awful for years but I kept her around anyway. Now she has gone to a better place.
Skeleton #3: My favorite garment of all time, living and dead, is a 100% polyester doubleknit rainbow skirt I found thrifting almost ten years ago. I’ve mended her so many times, she might as well be a me-made. I love this skirt- the cut, the color, the way she mixes with most of my other clothes. I love her. I’ve tried to take patterns from the skirt, but for some mysterious reason the copies never fit as well as the original- they lack some magic. Polyester. This is perhaps the only piece of polyester fabric I own.
I am keeping both of these pieces, and they’re a prime example of how easy it is to lose track of great clothes when they’re drowning in dead things. I made the skirt last year when I was conducting secret research into simple shapes for woven fabrics. I tore into the waistband a few months ago to play around with the stitching and left it open. In the spirit of my Frosting Fortnight challenge, I mended her- just in time for summer.
My favorite thing is simple tone-on-tone embroidery of Picasso’s peace dove near the hem. This skirt and the Pinkie Pants are made from the same type of no-wale stretch corduroy. It’s wonderful fabric, the perfect casual bottom weight.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get good detail shots of this top. It’s another one of my simple shapes in wovens experiments, and she’s also made of high quality quilting cotton. I’m a fan of the wing collar and the general simplicity of the top- in fact, I may need to make another…
I’m really, really happy I rediscovered these! I couldn’t go through every single thing I saved and chucked and why- these are a sampling. It’s been really great to sort through my wardrobe and get rid of things I don’t need/want/wear through recycling, cannibalizing and plain old throwing them out.
I’m also surprised how quickly I can stitch through a pile of mending once it’s all collected into one place. The trick is to sit down and do it. Once I did, it took very little time and suddenly I have all these clothes I can wear that were formerly unwearable. Win!
While we’re on the topic of the Tiramisu Dress, I want to mention a slight hitch with the printing. More accurately, we had a small production glitch in preparing the pattern for the printer. It was out of my hands, I did everything I could. The issue is sorted now, and Tiramisu should be finishing printing any time. Once it is, I have the freight company ready to transfer the carton of patterns from the printer in Kansas to my front door in Brisbane. I filled out the customs paperwork and I have cartons of shipping envelopes and address labels and postage waiting. Waiting. I’m dying to get this pattern out to you, and to show you what else is coming up for Cake…
I know you’re waiting, too, if you ordered a Tiramisu Dress pattern during the pre-sale. Originally, I had aimed for an early November shipping date. If all goes well, the patterns should ship in the first two weeks of this month- but the vagaries of printing and international shipping are out of my hands. As soon as the pattern arrives, we’ll start stuffing envelopes and dropping them in the post to you. In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated about Tiramisu’s progress.
Have you been clearing out your wardrobes along with me? Did you find an unexpected gem? Skeletons? Dead things? I’d love to hear about them…
And many, many many thanks to Mari for putting together an excellent lineup of food-as-clothes posts, a sartorially eccentric child, imaginative vintage Halloween costumes, and a marvelous roll of guest contributors. She’s also written useful posts on laundering Frosting-type clothes, the importance of a lining, and many links to great basic patterns perfect for embellishment. If you haven’t, go check out what’s been going on at Disparate Disciplines. Thanks, Mari- you’ve done a fantastic job!