Friday, 16 May 2014

Christchurch / History / Butterick 5139

There's no denying it, there's not much black in my wardrobe. There's not much black in my fabric stash either. So when it comes to funerals and I know there's no RULE about having to wear black but... I tend to think of the occasion as a formal chance to live up to traditions and wear black. Recently to honour my Uncle Carnes passing in Christchurch I reached for this geometric black fabric that was kindly donated to Sew Love from Vesta Clothing in Auckland, Thank you! I have a lot more on the roll too for up and coming workshops. I didn't feel like making a dress, I wanted something a bit different, and wanted to still be formal without having to whip up a 2 piece suit in 24hours. I found the vintage Butterick 5139 in my mothers stash. This has a front and a back joined at the crotch, button over shoulder straps and ties around the waist to cinch and secure. Overalls, come culottes - SO comfortable, awkward for toileting, but really fun to make. Just have to be careful of the side leg peeking out between the wrapped layers, especially if drinking tea with the choir.
Christchurch showed us destruction, but also the colours of creative re-birth. I was shown that legacies live on, even if they are in a different physical form - like the cardboard cathedral below and so the legacies for my Uncle live on, as he was a key person in designing and introducing roundabouts, intersections and other roading amazingness to NZ! I will always remember him when driving on our roads. Amongst 'the red zone' the heart of the city, there lies wild flowers that are picked up by Martine, there lies street art brightening up nearly every enormous wall, there lies containers in formations to create shopping malls for local makers. Also the installation of white chairs pictured above is representative of the 185 lives lost in the earthquakes, each individual and unique, passer by's are welcomed to sit in one and ponder, think, remember, wonder.
So as I turned to black, to a vintage history of a sewing pattern, for the space of mourning and grief, I am reminded that this doesn't need to be the case, colours can come from rock bottom and rubble as we celebrate a story, a history, a legacy. Through my work I strive to honour the past, past resources, materials, skills, values and techniques, and no doubt I will continue to wear colour and more colour.

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