Curtain call for the Martini!

capital chic martini front

Sadly this is my first and very likely my last post of December. But I’m not going to duff myself up because… it’s Chriiiiiissssstmaaaaasssss!

Just one more day of work to go. I repeat, just one more day day of work. Excited? Me? Yes siree. But also determined to hold that wonderful thought and not to get stressed out that I’ve not yet scratched the surface of my shopping list nor yet contemplated what is to appear on the Christmas dinner table!

But let’s get priorities in order. Let’s blog this latest outfit of mine. This two-piece garment of brilliance that’s been so patiently waiting in my inbox! It’s the Martini pattern by the very cool and talented Sally of Capital Chic. I’ve been a fan of her amazing Charity Shop Chic refashions for like aaaages so when she asked if I’d be interested in trying out one of her new patterns I was flattered beyond belief. It just took me a hundred years to get round to finding the absolute perfect fabric to do it justice!

So just how delighted do you think I was to find this amazing set of vintage bark cloth curtains with ‘Martini’ written all over them!!

vintage bark cloth curtains

They were peeking out behind a rail of really naff shiny peachy curtains in Snoopers Paradise, Brighton. I’d almost given up hope of finding any vintage fabric at all. And as I gave one last despairing glance backwards, there they were, glowing, calling me. I literally ran back like a crazy woman, in case anyone else spotted them before me and whipped them out like my life depended on them. Nostalgia screamed from every thread. I’m pretty damned sure we had these curtains in our living room when I was a kid!

Here’s a little intro to Snoopers Paradise if you haven’t had the pleasure…

I think I might possibly be a professional snooper!

And oh the beautiful irony that this pair of the coolest curtains were to be refashioned into a Capital Chic outfit designed by the queen of charity shop chic, herself!

And so they became my Martini. Why oh why isn’t bark cloth made any more? It sews like a dream, it doesn’t crease, it presses beautifully, it has body and holds its shape, and washes like a dream. I think I am actually in love with this fabric. The colour too, actually. I knew I loved it, lairy as it was, but I’ve had at least three random people comment on how ‘very me’ this lime green is. And there’s me thinking I’m all red and black!!

This is probably my most impressive invisible zip insertion to date. Once again, Thank you for all the advice on my invisible foot purchase. How ever did I manage without it?! The zip totally sinks into the centre seam of the back skirt. And the top has a separating zip. I so love that there’s always something new to learn about sewing. This is the first time I’ve ever had to shop for one of these, let alone sew one on a garment!

capital chic martini close up back

The construction of this two-piece is very simple if you pay attention to every word of the carefully presented instructions. I say this only because I’m definitely one for skipping an instruction or two and thinking I know better. But Sally knows her onions and her technique for sewing an all in one lined bodice is genius, as is her explanation on how to line a vent in the back of a skirt.

The waist is high on the skirt as you can see and is supported by bones sewn to the darts and the seams in the lining (which makes for six). But if I had to add one thing to those instructions, it would be to file those bones more roundy at the top, because boy do they dig in if you don’t sit up straight or lean over without hoiking up your skirt!

Also, The top worked out surprisingly short. Totally my fault for not toilling and so I defo need to add an inch or two next time. I’m no spring chicken and I’m not sure that the world needs to be exposed to any amount of my midriff so I sewed an inch of ‘modesty lace’ to the hem. That said I’m still horrified by the amount of skin that still shows. I’m hoping that this is because the lens was low!

capital chic martini front

I love the cutaway armholes in the top. Even if they do highlight the squidgy bits of my arms. But I will go a size up next time to lessen the squeeze. The beauty of this two-piece design is that you can have a totally separate size top to bottom. Which is what I am. You could also add a contrasting colour top to bottom as Thumbelnina did. and if you were really clever you’d make two or three sets that you could mix and match!

Watch out crazy curtains…. I’m on a mission and I’m coming after ya, big time!

capital chic martini back

33 Replies to “Curtain call for the Martini!”

  1. I always have a snoop in Snoopers Paradise when I’m over in the U.K. as a trip down to Brighton is on my ‘to do’ list every time. I’m not sure I’d have had your imagination though if I’d caught a glimpse of these curtains so well done you for spotting them and putting them to such good use. The outfit looks amazing on you – the skirt fits like a dream.
    I have some vintage barkcloth I found in a charity shop over here in France but it’s long and narrow as it was a bolster cover so I’m not sure I’d get anything wearable out of it. Like your curtains, It is also quite a ‘memorable’ design – brown with big cream hibiscus- like flowers – and a lot of vintage barkcloth I’ve seen for sale seems to be like this. I wonder why?
    Have a great Christmas by the way.

    1. I’m totally sure you’d have had enough imagination. You make such great fabric choices! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas too x

  2. This fabric is dynamite! I love the armhole design and the little lace edge. Really cute! You must have been freezing in that in an English winter during your photo shoot! Merry Christmas!

    1. Isn’t it just! Thank you Justine. And yes I was bloody freezing! The sacrifices we make for our art, hey?! Belated Christmas greetings and a very happy new year to you too x

    2. Hi Ev! Well, this entire outrage about AIG bonuses is redundant and irrelevant, and both sides are to blame—from the president (both Bush and Obama) to every member of congress. So far, Obama is like Bush #3 with his foreign policy and continuing the bailout frenzy started by Bush. I oppose both the left and right; they are both wrong.The trillions being spent is frightening—it’s basically robbing future generations.

    1. Thank you Gail. I was thinking of checking out the upholstery fabric shop for my next coat. I reckon it would be far more interesting and durable than regular wool coating!

  3. Reading this post has been like a late Christmas present to myself! Are you sure you’re not related to Scarlet O’Hara? Or Maria in the Sound of Music? Did curtains ever transform into something wearable so well? Perfect, Janene, just perfect! And I love the lace edge on the top! Happy New Year to you!

    1. Oh Karen, you are so lovely! Thank you so much as always for your wonderful comments and inspiration. A very happy new year to you too x

    1. Thank you Betty. I’ve got my eyes on an original 50s curtain at my MIL’s house. She’s completely sussed me though! 😉

  4. I just found your blog via Did You Make That. Seeing post about your barkcloth dress was very coincidental as I had pulled out a piece from my stash last night and have been trying to figure out how to use it. It has a gorgeous blue background and really wants to be a jacket, I think. But barkcloth blazer types can be very dated. Your dress does not look dated! Good job!

    1. Thank you Martha and welcome to ooobop! Your barkcloth sounds awesome! I’m a total fan of that kind of fabric and it’s so easy to work with too. To be honest I wasn’t expecting to love my outfit quite as much as I do. It’s had so many lovely comments, some from complete strangers in passing! I’ve a sneaking feeling that your intended jacket will be amazing and will of course be totally unique. I don’t believe in dated!! 😉 x

  5. Great outfit! What a versatile design and I love the choice of fabric and agree with you about the quality. I thought it was a dress in the first photograph. Are you going to make co-ordinating tops/skirt to mix and match for a separates look too?

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