FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
Outline the story …
The tight-fisted, covetous, solitary, old sinner, Ebenezer Scrooge returns to his gloomy rooms on a teeth-chatteringly murky Christmas Eve. He closes the door and double-locks himself in. Thus secured against surprise, he puts on his dressing-gown and sits before the meagre handful of fuel, burning low on the fire. Unsettled by the visit of a ghost with dire warnings, Ebenezer goes to bed without undressing. Still clad lightly in his dressing-gown, travels with three spirits, visiting past, present, future, poor and the rich at heart, mend his ways, and all that soppy Christmas Carol (by Charles Dickens) that defines the holiday spirit we adore.
Always, the narrative returns to the dressing gown and how it isn't proper attire for supernatural travel.
Most insightful was the third night when we eavesdrop on braggarts who stole from the corpse. We learn about Scrooge by what he left behind. Dickens makes a point of describing the one shirt without a hole or threadbare place as if this damage was typical among his apparel. Perhaps Scrooge is something like me, and would rather repair than waste money on the frivolity of buying new clothes? Especially something worn only in the privacy of his chambers and occasional haunting.
My Confession: my choice of entry was guided by my lack of sewing skills and my need of a new dressing gown. Too stingy to buy one, I opted to learn to sew one. A toss-up between Scrooge or Arthur Dent, my fabric choice was the clincher.
Outline the construction…
My inner miser teamed up with my outer pauper to create a new dressing-gown from an ancient duvet cover and no money spent what-so-ever! I wanted something simple and based the pattern on my old housecoat, scaled up to match my current size and lumps. Although my pattern is not correct for Dicken's period, I did try to work in a Banyan vibe with wide cuffs and a bit of a kimono wrap look.
The duvet fabric is blue, cotton twill that had faded in places with light and use. Apparently, knee-length dressing-gowns take a lot more fabric than I anticipated, so I also cut up my old cotton housecoat to creating the facing on the collar. Both cloths are distressed with use, so it was challenging to mix and match the colours to make it appear a design feature rather than make-do and mend.
Unsure what I'm doing, I begin with some rectangles and quickly discover my body is not that shape. A technique I saw "The Workwoman's Guide" by A Lady, involved trimming triangles off the top of the body and transforming them into gores at the bottom of the skirt. It worked a treat.
The seams are felled, and all that remained is to deal with the threadbare spots I missed when planning the fabric. I reinforce the worn spots with some darning in not-quite matching blue mercerized cotton thread. I imagine Ebenezer would approve of my thrift.