Hi all, its Lesley here again or @sew_sleep_deprived as I’m known on Instagram.
For this blog I was torn with indecision for quite a while what to do. Sheona as always has utterly gorgeous fabric which kept turning my head towards all sorts of lovely summer garments. Added to the mix when I signed up I was part way through Me Made May which if you haven’t heard of it is a challenge by blogger Zoe (So Zo What Do You Know) to encourage people who make their own clothes to develop a better relationship with their handmade wardrobe. In essence you are encouraged set yourself a target of wearing say one me made item of clothing a week, a day, etc and to encourage you to wear your me-mades and reflect on your skills, creativity and learn some lessons about yourself.
I thoroughly enjoy #memademay as it’s an opportunity to reflect on your wardrobe, what gets worn most, what rarely gets worn, what combos work well, and whether there are any gaps. Initially I ordered fabric after seeing the gorgeous Emily Hallman wear a pair of McCall’s M7661 (my crush level on Emily is not yet at the point of needing a restraining order but I am rather in love with her and her sewing). However, after a few more weeks of ‘Me Made May’ it became clear I do not need any more trousers for quite some time. Also, as lovely as a pair of big floral wide leg trousers would be, I don’t really have the lifestyle currently to wear them. Right now my life requires practical clothing but my soul craves some luxury. Which thankfully is something Sewisfaction stocks by the metre.
I chose this viscose twill fabric. The colour is something lovely for summer but I also have visions of this being an autumn and winter staple. The texture is just unreal. It is so soft and bouncy and drapes beautifully. It also frays like a bugger so beware. I overlocked the raw ends before washing this but even the selvage came apart a little after washing so perhaps next time I might overlock the whole piece. If you don’t have an overlocker I would highly recommend you folding this in half and use a zigzag stitch to stitch the two ends together.
In terms of pattern choice I went for the Kalle shirt dress by Closet Case patterns. I’d toyed with the Heron dress by The Sewing Revival but I’m on a bit of a binge of Closet Case patterns at the moment. They’re incredibly well drafted and often come with a brilliant online tutorial. I went for the popover full dress version this time with no hacks or edits to the pattern. I’ve sized down one from my measurements but could afford to size down further if you want a sleeker look.
This fabric is very soft and a bit slippery. My tip is to use lots of pins as the fabric can move as you sew. A walking foot in your machine can also be a good bet when it comes to slippery fabric. Also test out your stitches on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure your tension is correct for the fabric. I’d also check you have a new needle in your machine as a blunt needle can result in pulled threads which would be such a shame. But don’t let this put you off – its standard practice when you sew with anything but cutting corners with lovely drapey fabric like this can result in regrets later on.
And here is the finished result. I’m truly and utterly in love with this dress. Its lovely and soft for summer with bare legs (varicose veins be damned!) but will also be fab in winter with black boots and tights. Personally I prefer the Kalle with a belt but that’s a personal choice. And one of the best things is its totally and utterly practical. I can chuck it on and walk the dog or go down the pub for a nice night with friends.
Thanks for having me again team Sewisfaction!