Do you sometimes feel like a sewing project is bewitched? My vintage raincoat started out so well but has gone rapidly downhill over the last few days. This morning, I attempted to attach the sleeves SIX TIMES before finally admitting defeat. Luckily, I took a deep breath, stepped away from the offending raincoat and ordered more fabric to redraft the sleeves. The alternative was to slash the entire thing with scissors, which would have made me feel better - but maybe not for long.
So, instead of working myself into a frenzy about a pair of crappy sleeves, I've decided to immerse myself in my next project, which will be sewing my denim shirt dress. Hoorah, even just typing that sentence has brightened up my day. I know for a fact that this dress will be a well worn staple in my wardrobe - and that's before I've even made it. How do I know this? Well, everything I've ever made from denim (my Ginger skirt, Kelly skirt and stretch capri trousers) has been worn and worn to death. Perhaps it's because denim is quite forgiving in fit (especially stretch denim) and tends to mostly flatter the wearer. It's hard wearing, long lasting and doesn't show the dirt, so you can wear your denim items until they're virtually standing up on their own with grime. I love sewing with denim and am in the process of putting together a 'Tips for sewing with denim' post, which I'm hoping will be useful to some of you. In the meantime, let's feast our eyes on a few highs and lows of this wonder fabric.
Historically, denim's durability and strength made it a popular fabric with manual workers such as cowboys and miners. It was also perfect for workwear in the form of overalls or dungarees as it protected the clothes worn underneath.
It started to become more popular in the 1950's and was even advertised as a dressmaking fabric. I had to look up the word "sanforized' from the ad below, but apparently it means, "to preshrink a fabric using a patented process."
|Adorable denim playsuit|
|A super-chic denim ensemble from 1950|
Most of us are perfectly content to wear one item of denim clothing at a time and this look, in my opinion, is effortlessly stylish.
|Joe Orton: king of the turn-up|
|Jane Birkin looking fab|
For some however, this isn't sufficient. and they feel the need to wear it on both their top and bottom halves. Otherwise known as 'double denim', this is a dangerous fashion territory in which to wander, and there are only a fabled few who can artfully pull off this difficult look.
The double denim winners…
|The king (naturally)|
and the losers….
|Gotta love Shakin' Stevens|
The highs by far outweigh the lows though, as there's very little denim can do wrong in my book. This little round-up has definitely put me in a positive frame of mind for starting work on my denim shirt dress. What's your take on denim? Love it? Hate it? Or are you a proud double denim aficionado? I leave you with a clip for Denim aftershave, the favoured scent of rugged He-Men throughout the 1970's. Interesting fact…. my husband's one and only party trick is to do an exact rendition of the voice over in this ad. Oh yes, he's one talented man! x