Sunday, 30 April 2017


My grand plan for stash reduction is really Not Going Well.

I am on the online mailing list for my local fabric shop (probably a bad idea), and on Tuesday they emailed me a voucher for a flash sale which was being held the next day. Under normal circumstances I'd think, "That's nice, but I can't get home from work in time to get there". Unfortunately, I already had Wednesday off, so since I'd been sent an invitation it seemed rude not to just pop in and have a look . . .

Anyone who has been following my makes on this blog for a while will know that 1) I don't do frills, 2) I don't wear black and 3) I like bright colours. (One of my fellow postgrad students told me recently that she can always spot me in a group because I've got a distinctive dress sense; rightly or wrongly I chose to take this as a compliment rather than as, "You dress like a mad old lady".) So when I spotted this Liberty Tana lawn, it was love at first sight.

Yep, that's bright

Just to give you an idea of the scale of the print, here it is with my 6" quilting ruler (laid on top of an envelope, because it didn't show up against the pattern.

You can tell the size of the pattern repeat from this

This fabric shouts 'sundress' to me, and I'm tempted to take the easy route and just make another Butterick 6582 because I loved the first one so much. The only problem is that a combination of darker fabric, a sleeveless dress, and upper arms which resolutely refuse to go even slightly off-white in the sun is not a good one.

While I was pondering this problem, I remembered this.

Horrockses to the rescue!

This is a picture I took at the Off The Peg exhibition back in 2012 (why can I remember something from five years ago, but not five minutes ago?!). I loved the way that the bolero picked up the blue from the roses, and the way that the bodice had been cut to perfectly place a rose in the centre.

Bolero close-up

So, it was off to the remnants section to look for a suitable plain fabric. In the linen-mix bin I found a piece of just the right green. It was crumpled, snagged, and generally looking very sorry for itself, but it was the perfect colour, and at only £3 (before the discount) I decided to take a chance. Once I'd smoothed out the snags, and washed and pressed it, it looked far better.

Slightly over-exposed photo, but you get the idea

My only worry is whether there will be enough for the bolero; those front pieces with the all-in-one sleeves and the ties will eat fabric. I  might have to do set-in or raglan sleeves instead. If even that doesn't work I do have a Plan B; a Horrockses advertisement from the same exhibition.

Alternative, and slightly more formal, bolero

None of which gets me anywhere with my Vintage Pledge plans, but never mind!


  1. Hehehe! Who can resist a discount on fabric, especially from a shop just down the road? I'm so glad we don't have any decent fabric shops near me, it really would be fatal.

    I'm loving that Horrockses dress with the roses, it reminds me of one of the first vintage dresses I bought. It's handmade in a really hardwearing fabric but it's white with huge bright blue roses all over it. I don't really wear it anymore, but I'll never part with it, it's just too gorgeous! xx

    1. I've actually changed the route I take when walking into town, in part to avoid walking past the shop! At least until I've used up some of the backlog of fabric.