For a few years I’ve been thinking about a project that I needed to tick off my sewing bucket list, scarf tops / dresses. Living in the world of fashion for over 20 years and working in Australia and London in some amazing businesses, the simplicity and beauty caught my eye. Then my universe aligned…..
Last year I was graciously given a beautiful antique carpet-bag from one of my dearest friends, Jules. The bag was full, bursting with fabrics neatly pressed and folded in sleeves. Is that even possible I thought, it’s so full. Only Jules could pull that off. I was humbled to be given such a gift, so much time spent ironing and folding, so much time spent putting each scarf into a sleeve and so much time spent at work to make the money to buy these beautiful scarves and to buy them from around the world. Truly I was near tears. I could not accept this, I didn’t want to offend Jules though, I knew Jules had a plan, she always has a plan, for fun or for me or for what ever it is. (we have a long loving history this special lady and her hubby).
Needless to say I was completely interested in her gift and wanted to learn all about each piece of fabric, well scarf but at that stage I wasn’t sure what was in the bag. Once she told me what was in the bag I was closer to tears because I knew how much she and her hubby Rossi loved travelling. OMG, I could have squealed. Still to this day I don’t know if she knows how much I loved this moment spent with her and her love for me.
I’ve lost count of how many scarfs were in the bag, perhaps 40 to 50 of various shapes, sizes and colours. When I got them home I proceeded to take on a museum curators persona and sat on the floor with my daughter and slowly go through each scarf. It was lovely see each one and delight in its colour and perfection. Have you ever really appreciated a scarf, the neatness of the hemming and the sweet treat that is the hand painting or printing. OMG there are some beauties, and one of my talented student’s Krystal told me last year, any with ropes by particular designers are collectors items and worth a lot of coin. I was like, REALLY, had no idea. Will give those back to Jules if there are.
Jules also included some beautiful antique jewels, Mrs Sadler’s dress jewellery pieces. (more on Mrs Sadler in other posts) The colour of the jewellery is from a time of choosing to suit your style and maintaining it season after season.
So, last year I made several scarf tops for myself and for Jules of course. There was a bit of trial and error when it came to the head opening and the size of the armhole. Question: Did I plan to layer or have it as a stand alone top, (too big and armhole meant bra and skin was on show.) Trial and error as I said.
This week I am now doing some more with some of my own beautiful scarfs I’ve bought whilst living in London, combined some more of the ones Jules gave me. I feel great in these, they may not be a fashion trend or fashion forward in some people’s eyes, but I love the story behind them and I love the fact that these scarfs are so well made and why should they be kept in the draw, why o why.
If you would like to receive a free pattern to make a scarf top please follow my Blog, Facebook The Porcelain Tree & Instagram pages The Porcelain Tree and type in The Scarf Project and I will forward you the patterns. The beauty of this style is it can be made from pieces of fabric too.