Saturday, 8 September 2012

Dear Stella's double Gilt Trip


Yesterday an unexpected parcel, seemingly from Johnnie Boden, arrived on my doormat. I looked at the familiar spotty packaging and felt mystified by what it was that I might have ordered. Then I felt guilt. Do I really place so many Boden orders that I can't even remember what I've ordered? I didn't think so, but I decided to leave it on my desk while cutting fabric and not to open it until I could recall what might be inside. Four hours passed and I still couldn't think what it might be so I eventually allowed myself to peep inside. It was not a Peter Pan collared blouse, a pintucked shirt or even some of Johnnie's love wrapped up in tissue paper and placed in an envelope especially for me (I'm still waiting patiently for the latter), but some Gilt Trip fabric by Dear Stella, sent from Annie's Village Haberdashery who uses similar (but not identical) spotted bags to Boden for posting. Released from my own guilt trip I could swoon over the metallic fabric with glee. Annie had sweetly sent me a few fat quarters so that I could see what I thought of it. And it's glorious.


My initial thoughts had mainly been around how fantastic it might be for a sunglasses case, a tote bag or something similar. But something odd happened on opening up this fabric package: I started thinking about how amazing Gilt Trip would look as a skirt. Using quilting cotton for garment construction is a much-discussed topic amongst dressmakers and my own feelings fall heavily on the side of never using it. I'd go so far as to say that I'd sooner where a Lycra catsuit than wear a garment that I'd made from quilting cotton. It's a matter that seems to provoke extreme feelings in people. It's very subjective, but for me, the weave, drape and texture just isn't right for clothing. So it was a surprise and shock to my internal compass to suddenly be thinking that a quilting cotton may just make a perfect skirt!

The image of the skirt was so vivid in my mind that I took a pot of pins and began stabbing pleats to the waistline of Evangeline (who, due to her location in the dining room, doubles as my husband's imaginary work colleague and who he insists upon calling Derek!) and then folding the striped fabric to create a waist band.


Look how the gold shimmers in different lights. The picture above was taken first thing this morning when my daughter discovered the previous night's pinning frenzy and shouted upstairs to me that she adored the skirt that the mannequin was wearing, at which point I went down to reassess matters as my children rarely notice any of the fabric creations going on around them now as it's just one of life's backdrops for them. The one below was taken a few hours later once the sunlight was less of a warm glow.



The golden buds and gilt stripes of Dear Stella's Gilt Trip seem to elevate it from a workaday fabric into something more refined and wearable, making it a highly versatile range of fabric. While I wouldn't make a drapey smock top from it, for a structured skirt or dress with a fitted bodice (and very possibly a twirly 1950s skirt) it feels just right. I can imagine wearing a skirt like this on Christmas day...so can my daughter.

If you're interested in seeing Gilt Trip in quilty form, you can find it on Dear Stella's website here. If you're England or Europe-based and thinking of buying some you can find it at the Village Haberdashery here.

Florence x

15 comments:

  1. Hee hee, your packaging story made me chuckle.
    The exact same thing happened here yesterday, a spotty bag came via the postman, "Another, Boden order!?" quipped my hubby, and I'm thinking "Boden? Thats quick!" but no it was my order from The Village Haberdashery too.

    Never quite sure of metallic, but your mock up skirt looks just lovely.
    Sarah

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    1. I'm so pleased that's not just me. I did see my husband sigh when he picked it up off the doormat and gave it to me - it was so lovely to later tell him it was actually fabric samples!

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  2. Ooh, that fabric looks gorgeous. I'm off to visit the Village haberdashery and have a look at some!

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  3. love it mmm off to the village haberdashery to see how much I'd need!

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  4. I loved guilt trip as soon as I saw it released but never thought it quite right for quilting so never bought any. However seeing it used for this skirt makes me want to try a similar thing out.

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    1. I love the idea of it for quilting, but it just wouldn't fit in with the style of my house, so yes, to discover it's good for dressmaking is a very good thing.

      I'm also considering it for a bag for my daughter too.

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  5. This fabric would look lovely as a wiksten tulip skirt. Me going to get some soon!!

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  6. I agree that quilting weight cotton doesn't make for good clothing unless it is a distinct structured shape, in order to take advantage of the somewhat stiff drape of the fabric. Tulip and lantern shapes are fantastic for this. The way you have arranged it on Evangeline is particularly good though; it puts me in mind of similar displays in John Lewis' haberdashery department - our local store has an amazing collection of dresses, skirts and tops, which have all just been artfully pinned into place, not sewn. Such skill! Look forward to seeing the finished article. What might you wear the skirt with? I always say think that if you can't match something exactly - contrast instead, so perhaps a plum or mustard shade?

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    1. I'd already thought that through! I'd wear it with a thin cotton navy-coloured plain top and a lovely subtle-gold cardigan that I currently have on a time-share basis with my daughter (it was actually mine, but for the brief time that she's a similar size, we share it...in a couple of years it will be all mine again).

      I hadn't thought of mustard or plum, but you're right - I think they'd look lovely with it too.

      I love seeing the pinned clothes on mannequins too - it's actually really fun to do as well.

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  7. Wow, this looks beautiful! I would love wearing a skirt like this!

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    1. Thank you! I bet you'd be wanting yours with a back though. This one is made from ome fat quarter, so doesn't actually cover one's bottom! x

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I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x