Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Out of Print Fashion Show - What a Night!

It's happened, the Out of Print Fashion show at Bookbarn was on Friday, and what an event! We had our best Friday night out for years.  THANK YOU BOOKBARN - Susie, Sophie, Paige, Jim, everyone!... so many people involved who all worked together to put on a fantastic unique show. 

The challenge was to make an outfit using old books.  Everybody came up with different ideas, and the end results needed to be seen to be believed.  As soon as I have collected a few links I will do a new post showing photos of as many of the different outfits as I can.  There were twelve altogether, including an immense ball gown, a crinoline petticoat, a corset bodice with skirt, a coat with changing pictures (ingenious and so gracefully modelled) and five year old Georgina as a fairy tale princess.

Here is the outfit I came up with, inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon...

An organza skirt in terracotta orange and turquoise blue covered with big paper flowers and a few trailing leaves.  This was the only real sewing part of the project.  The gathering at the waist was done on the 1936 201K treadle using the ruffler - it worked a treat - and for the waistband I used broad black bias binding.

The bodice is made of book covers cut to shape and laced together, embellished with pictures of antique Bedouin jewellery, the whole thing secured around the waist with ties made from old black tights.

The back bodice, also made from book covers, hangs down sandwich-board style.  The parrots add a bit of of an exotic flavour, just perched above the waterfall.  To give the impression of water I cut out lots of blue photographs from the books, pleated them, and sewed them using the 1949 15K hand machine (with a big blunt old needle) to four thin strips cut from one of my husband's old shirts.  To give the finishing touch to the water I cut the pleated strips into a fringe and curled them around a pencil.   

Fans of Linda at Linda's Landscapes will remember the gorgeous gown in the photo she used for inspiration for the girl in her garrison quilt.  I knew that somehow I had to do a lace-up back. Thank you Linda!

For the accessories I tried to make the best use possible of the books.  Here is my first ever (and probably last) home made hat.  The brim is cut from a hardback cover, the main body of the hat is made from old black cotton and a ridiculous amount of wood glue, and covered with old black tights - the elastic at the top of tights is very handy for hat bands.  A couple of paper flowers to pick up the colours of the skirt on one side...

... and a parrot from the front cover of a book at the back ( complete with the author's name), with his own personal sunray background.

To complete the outfit I made a reversible fan using dust jackets - Japanese rice paddies for the blue and green side...

... and ancient Mexican carving for the terracotta side. 

Here she is on the night, my in-house model hamming it up after the show in front of the book shelves...

... showing off her waterfall and parrots ...

... and the fan.

The smile says it all.  She had a whale of a time strutting up the catwalk.


Another show next year???  We are raring to do it all over again!

Linking up today with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday...

... and Barbara's blog Cat Patches for the May NewFO Challenge.
This barmy outfit was completed over a period of eleven days during May.  Here is an update on my February NewFO, the free motion quilted landscape, which I have been working on at a much more leisurely pace.

... and Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday


  1. Oh my gosh. How much fun is that! Very cute.

  2. Should have won. You woz robbed.

    1. It's OK Phil, we're big girls, we can take it. Just wait till there's another show, ve'll be beck.

  3. What a unique way to use books, looks like it was a fun time! Thanks for sharing at Linky Tuesday! Freemotion by the River

  4. Wow! I am sorry I have not been reading blogs lately as I almost missed your post. What a wonderful concoction you have come up with using books. It's fantastic! What a creative mind you have and as usual, your model did a great job showing it off. Cannot wait to see what the others made too although I see you are having computer problems. Hope that gets worked out soon so you will be back to blogging with your usual great photos.

    1. Thank you Karen! We had a brilliant time. I am waiting a little while to collect a few more links so I can do a post showing lots of the other outfits.
      Computers can be so temperamental...



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