Rewa Biddington

Obviously 15 minutes on the sewing machine is licence to go fill up the fabric project drawers to bursting again. Yesterday Brighid and I just happened to drive by an op shop on the far side of Wetville. Brighid spotted this spotted green fabric and thought she would like me to make her a skirt out of it. I'm thinking I might do a dress for her though, given I seem to have advanced beyond elastic waist everything this week.
There was a big stash of clothes on the racks which were named, indicating I think that the person had been in a retirement home. I chose three frocks belonging to Rewa Biddington, and I've been wondering about her story ever since. When I learn more about her, I will publish it on my blog - I'd like something of her story to live on. These frocks are from the 1970s I think, all home made. I remember these kinds of fabrics from my childhood and they repulsed me for ages, probably until very recently. Now I really like them, in all their printed polyester glory. No ironing here. I had a wee squiz at the 1970s dresses pages which google found for me and I think these fit into the category of styles for the older woman who did not want to wear the very short fashions of the young.
I'm not sure just what I will do with them next (apart from put them in my project pile) as I like them as they are but I'm unsure I have the style to pull off retro without looking ridiculous. I remember admiring my peers at university who wore retro op shop gear with long black boots and looked amazing. But they were 19, tall with long fabulous legs and I'm pushing forty with lumps and puddles of fat front and back.

The girl in her new op shop apron.
A kilt. Such a good idea. The lady selling me all these things asked where I would wear it and I wasn't exactly sure. I just felt it was a good idea to have one. Hmmm.
Later yesterday, more treasure. This cupboard and shelves set with a formica top was about to be thrown out and Favourite Handyman thought I would like it for a potting bench. Indeed I would and do.
Showing off my progress on my dress. This looks distinctly like a bodice doesn't it? I don't think I have ever attempted something with such shaping and I certainly can't find a cotton dress with shaping in the shops to fit me. Fingers crossed. Last night I discovered a great sewing website called New Vintage Lady: vintage sewing for the stout woman. I love the title and I've learnt a lot from reading her site so far, even though I'm not sure I agree on her 'rules' for flattering a stout woman. Stout is a fantastic word though, and I recognise many of the styles from photographs of my stout paternal grandmothers and great aunts.
This afternoon I weeded the strawberry bed, added a bag of compost, poured on some liquid bokashi fertiliser and then Favourite Handyman made me an improved structure for bird protection. Last year I had hoops arched over the bed and although it did keep the birds out, it was a bit low and as the strawberry plants grew, they got squashed by the netting. So this year I have a square frame attached to four posts to create more bird-free space.

Also in my garden but not photographed, I transplanted sunflowers into little pots (from the tiny newspaper 'pots' I germinated them in) and they are now outside on the potting bench, under the lean-to. I transplanted some basil and culled my tomato seedlings down to the best in each cell and somehow, as I was buying some extra bird netting, I bought some broccoli and curly kale seedlings. I also bought beer to make a beer trap so these new seedlings are not lost to slugs (who have already been raiding my tiny home-germinated kale seedlings) but now it is dark and I realise I drank some beer and forgot all about the beer traps. I've been weeding around the roses some more and I began to tidy up the sprawling compost, with the help of five chooks. They do like an afternoon out.


applepip said…
Oh that vintage sewing for the stout woman website is fantastic!
Anonymous said…
Oh I do like your bodice! What is the rest going to look like?
Hi Pippa! 'Tis a wonderful site indeed.

Missjoestar, New Look 6674. The picture comes up easily on google. I think it will be pushing it a bit to be finished for next weekend, but I may bring my progress with me to show you and Mum. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

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