Outback Wife, Elaine Dark Pink - Calicoandivy

Outback Wife, Elaine Dark Pink

100% Barkcloth, with Pink, mauve and lemon coloured flowers on a black background.

Each fabric from the Outback Wife range has been designed around rural women in Western Australia.    

This fabric has been named Elaine and Cathi from Gertrude Made has shared her story below:-

It’s fitting that I conclude sharing the stories of the rural women I have named my fabrics for on this day. If you haven’t read the previous three stories, I welcome you to go back and read them.

My final design story is that of Elaine. I feel there is a poetry in me sharing her story. Elaine is not only a rural woman, but also started out as a dressmaker.

I could spend hours listening to her talk of sewing in the old days. It’s still a passion for her, so having her name printed on a fabric selvedge means a great deal. She told me how it was drummed into her when she was dressmaking to always, ALWAYS, remove the selvedge before sewing, as “seams with selvedge just don’t sit properly”, but she’s not so sure about cutting the selvedge off her fabric.

Elaine is grandmother to one of my husband’s best friends and each time I’ve bumped into her over the years she has always enquired how my dressmaking was going. I never realised that she had been a dressmaker herself.

I couldn’t believe it when Elaine told me how old she is. She’s easily the most vibrant and feisty 85 year old I’ve ever met. As she says, she stills does everything, still “burns” around in her car visiting her friends, is an active member of her local Returned Servicemen League and still plays sport.

She’s mother to 4, grandmother to 11 and great-grandmother to 11, with more on the way.

The thing that resonated with me most in talking with Elaine was how much she loves her husband. Though he has long passed away, she is still as in love with him as she was when they first met. She carries black and white photos of the two of them together everywhere she goes.

For those who have not heard of it before, when Elaine speaks of a ‘wagga’ she is referring to an Australian bush quilt. Waggas are a unique part of Australia’s quilting and bush history. They were often not all that pretty to look at, as they were made with what was on hand and were sewn primarily for function.

I’m pleased to introduce you to Elaine.


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