Swimming With The Salmon Pink.... Medieval Style

Long ago, but not so very long ago, I worked at Hancock fabrics to help out while they were closed down. Hoo boy. That was fun. J Not only did I get some awesome fabric set aside, I also got to be around people like me, who glory in the feel of cool satin, the luscious weight of wool and the bumpy silk of embroidered brocade. The only problem with working at a closing store is you see where the fabric goes.

Before Hancock I was blissfully innocent. I imagine that woman buying that organza was making something fabulous. No. She wasn’t. See as a worker, part of my job was small talk. Small talk in a fabric shop included the innocent question ‘So you have a project for this?’ Oh the horrors, my friends. The absolute horror. I sold twelve yards of dull shell pink satin to a woman who was buying it for her daughter. When prompted the little tyke smiled up at me with missing teeth and said ‘Im gonna make a tablecloth!’


Swallow it down. I told myself, its okay. Just let it go. I’m sure something good will come of it. But over and over I sold bolt after bolt of lovely, beautiful fabric to people whose goals were about as lofty and craft mac-and-cheese. (Bear with me through my snobbery, please) One memorable lady came in day after day buy literally hundreds of dollars of fabric each time, and finally I asked her about her work.

“Oh, I don’t sew yet!” She demurred. My jaw dropped “See I’m just learning, and I don’t know what I’ll do with all this, teehee”

After that I (thought) I stopped caring. I realized how biased I was being. Just because I made pretty gowns and lurked on people’s blogs who did the same doesn’t mean every purty fabric had to be a pretty pretty princess dress. I got on with my work.

Last two days of the sale, it caught me. THE BUG. It comes with every closing, that irresistible, uncontrollable ITCH. I began thinking, pondering, playing with ideas for each item I put back on the shelf, each piece of fabric more than five yards. Bustle dress here. Kimono dressing gown there. Finally it blew through me. I whipped through the store snatching up any fancy dress fabric that was five yards or longer.

That’s how I ended up with pale new leaf green crepe-back satin, salmon orange crepe backed satin, twelve yards of brassy gold satin, a neon purple crepe-back satin, a pale green oriental brocade, skin-toned dull colored satin and gold dull satin. I just couldn’t stop myself.

When I got home I was shocked. Why the hell did I buy such fabric?!? Sure its pretty but shockingly bright, I couldn’t wear it for my usual modest historical costumes.

Stupid Last Day Sale.

Anyway, back on track. I decided to make a couple gowns for a few friends. These were to be (Past tense of course) gowns for a renfaire. Afterward I’d keep the gown, shelving it for dissection later or maybe photoshoots or something. I began with the salmon color.

Now believe me, I’ve got quite a stack of fabric. From old ladies who left me buckets to my mom who buys MORE buckets to my shameful stint at Hancock (by the by, didn’t actually make any money. With all I bought I pretty much paid THEM to work there) I have a lot of fabric. So, one would think I would have a bit here and there to match these outrageous colors.

One would be wrong. The shades were so… bright and off that none of my satins, silks or velveteens would fit. They couldn’t even be worn ironically with themselves! So finally I gave up and paired them with whatever looked the least bad. With the salmon, it was black silk. (from sheets, lol) I used these patterns: 

And went to town: 

Of course this is mostly pinned together. By the time I sewed the top up it began to look strange and unappealing. So into a bag it went, to await the time I have more patience to deal it it.

….whenever that is.

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