Fabulous Goodwood frocks…

OK I know this blog is predominately about cars but just this once I’m going to write about a frock… It is car connected as it’s this years Goodwood Revival ‘Mario frock’ and I promise there will be lots of pictures of Mario.

Last year I decided to print my own Mario fabric and make a vintage style dress to go with the car, it was so successful I decided to create another one for the 2014 Revival, the idea being that if I do another one next year, I’ll have a unique and personal frock for each day of the Revival. PrintDSC06091

After some thought I went down the ‘postcard’ route, that sort of ‘wish you were here’ tropical style 50’s design but with a bit of a twist as the postcards would all feature Mario. The first idea was to take pictures of Mario in front of landmarks in the area, sort of ‘Paris, Rome, Madrid’ but replace them with Bognor, Selsey and Pagham but it was difficult to find good locations so the idea evolved into landmarks at Goodwood, the places we drive to as part of the GRTC taxi fleet.

We went down to Goodwood on a fairly sunny Sunday and spent the afternoon driving round the estate taking pictures of Mario at the Circuit, Race Course, Hotel, Kennels etc and this formed the basis of the design. Below are some of the original photos, some of which didn’t make it on to the material design.

DSC03682 DSC03688 DSC03694 DSC03703 DSC03738 DSC03750 DSC03769 DSC03779 DSC03784 DSC03790 DSC03796 DSC03800 DSC03807I took the images into Photoshop and using some filters to give them a more 50’s illustrative style the pictures were mixed in with palm trees, postmarks and typography on a Mario lime/yellow background. Luckily I’m a graphic/web designer in my daily life and so the fabric design was quite straightforward for me. To produce the final fabric, I use a brilliant company in America called Spoonflower, you upload your designs, use their software to sort out the repeat and then they print the fabric digitally onto your chosen fabric.Postcard - earls court Postcard - entrance Postcard - pit straightHeaderLogo_NEW Layout 1 spoonflower-page

I wasn’t very organised this year and ran out of time to get a sample printed, so I had to bite the bullet and go ahead and order the whole 7 yards required. An anxious few weeks went by, before the package arrived and I knew that the colours had printed correctly. Using reprinted vintage Vogue patterns as a base, I made a dress and matching jacket which was finished just in time, not helped by the assistance of our young cat Birkin (named after Sir ‘Tim’ Birkin – we already have an older cat called Bentley).IMG_1230IMG_0549 IMG_0561

The dress was a great success, I wore the 2013 model on the Friday and the new one on Saturday and Sunday but with different accessories, it’s amazing how people don’t notice the print at first and then are amazed that it is the car they are riding in!

DSC06234 DSC06271DSC06279 DSC06325 DSC06729I really enjoyed designing the fabric and have been wondering if there is any market for producing custom made ‘team’ shirts for historic racers using images of their cars?

Now I just have to come up with another new design for the 2015 model.


Dressed to impress…

For many years now, Jane has been building a vintage wardrobe of suitable attire for Goodwood and to co-ordinate with Mario.DSC02691

Finding it difficult to find genuine vintage frocks in the right colours so in the last couple of years I have made dresses. Visitors at the Revival often comment on the ‘matching’ outfits but many seem to think it is a lucky coincidence! This year we decided to take it a step further and design and print our own fabric actually featuring Mario.

We found a company in the USA that allows you to upload your design and digitally print at quite a reasonable cost. I took a number of photos of Mario at different angles, cut them out and added some photoshop effects so they looked like illustrations. These were put together in a repeat pattern with a 50’s style graphic and some linking lines to produce my original design. The placing had to be very carefully thought out so that the design would repeat correctly across a width of fabric.Print

We uploaded the design and ordered sample swatches to make sure we were happy with the colour and fabric choice and waited anxiously for them to arrive before bravely hitting the order button to have six yards printed, after about three weeks a parcel arrived.DSC01968

In the meantime I had made up the chosen Butterick reprinted Vintage pattern in the lining fabric and fitted it to avoid wasting any of the unique material. The day I had to cut  the Mario fabric was rather daunting as I had no time left to get any more cloth if it all went wrong. The dress was made with a couple of days to go and some of the left over scraps were used to make hankies for the boys top pockets.

A trip out found a lovely new hat in a perfect shade and a huge sort out of my vintage collection produced outfits for the Thursday and Friday plus accessories for all the outfits. All packed up in our new matching vintage luggage we set off for the Revival in style.IMG_0236DSC02641

On Friday we were amazed to see this lady who perfectly and unintentionally matched Mario and much better than me!DSC02722

However on Saturday the new frock was revealed. I was very happy with the result especially as people didn’t notice at first which hopefully means that I achieved the proper vintage look, before suddenly exclaiming “OMG your dress is like the car”, I’m sure that some people still thought it was a lucky coincidence!

The dress got such a great and positive reaction that I spent the very few quiet moments over the weekend designing in my head, next years fabric… watch this space.