Well, I didn’t mean to take such a long break from blogging….long story short, my mental health has not been great, and I’ve barely had energy for the essentials – showering, turning up at work, feeding the humans and animals in the household – blogging hasn’t been that high up the list to be honest. My ‘something creative everyday’ has been limited to some very slow knitting – which can be done sitting on the sofa – and sewing has taken a back seat. The fog is starting to lift, I think (touch wood), and I do have some unblogged finished items, so I thought I’d start there. I’ve done my usual hermit impression over the last few months – I’m definitely a natural introvert, and engaging socially with people whether IRL or online is one of the things that I make an effort to do when I’m well, but becomes very difficult when I’m not. So hopefully a quick and dirty blog post – careful drafting and proofing are a bit much just now – will help me ease myself back into the big wide world.
Back in the spring I discovered the delights of the Etsy shop Miss Matatabi, and ordered myself some gorgeous Nano Iro double gauze. I didn’t really have a pattern in mind, but I knew it would need to be something with fairly simple lines which would make the fabric the focus. Not long after that Papercut Patterns released the Flutter Blouse / Tunic pattern which fit the bill perfectly. And not long after that I realised that accepting the responsible position of godmother to a Little Lion meant an excellent occasion to wear a frock. Serendipity maybe? Or maybe I should just make more frocks anyway, there is a distinct lack of ‘nice’ clothes in my wardrobe currently. It doesn’t help that there really is no dress code at all at my office, we have people wearing slippers and all sorts, so I’ve reverted to where I feel comfortable, clothes-wise – ie dressing ‘like a student’ (thanks Dad…!)
Anyway, frock-excuse found, I started by making a muslin of sorts. I thought the beautiful fabric deserved it, so I decided to make the blouse version out of some very pink, deconstructed-paisley-esque viscose that was a bargain from Remnant Kings. I went with the size S to start with, based on my bust measurement, and it turned out quite well. Definitely wearable, anyway.
The fit is pretty good, and I really like the neckline and back. One lovely girl that I work with told me that this top looked like I’d bought it ‘in a really expensive shop’ – I wouldn’t go that far but I do like the finish with the bias bound neckline.
There is some slight pulling around the armholes, difficult to see in these photos I know, and I wasn’t sure if that was down to the unusual sleevehead, so I decided to test a couple of different sizes / adjustments before I cut into my precious Nano Iro. I’ve always avoided the idea of an FBA – mainly because said full bust is a result of my weight gain over the last few years, and I’m in denial – but I finally succumbed to the inevitable. Based on my high but measurement I went for a size XS, with a 4cm (8cm in total) FBA – I think, it’s a while ago and I can’t be bothered to check the pattern piece. I didn’t bother with cutting the sleeves, it was the shoulder and bust area I wanted to check.
Whilst technically I think this might be a better fit, it’s not a fit I feel comfortable with. I have a real thing about fitted clothes, they’re just not me, and I always feel restricted in some way. My next version was a size S, with a smaller FBA – again I wrote it on the pattern piece but can’t remember exactly how big – possibly 1.5cm or 3cm in total. I don’t seem to have any pictures of this version but it felt much more comfortable so I went with that.
The dress I ended up with is gorgeous, and is one of my favourite things to wear.
Unfortunately the beautiful mint-y green (eau de nil even, maybe) background colour of this fabric proved very difficult to photograph – these were the best photos we managed to get. I love the texture of the printing on the fabric as well – some of the white bits are quite raised, and there are some subtle sparkly bits as well. The fit around the shoulders and neck is really comfortable, and I love the full, longer sleeves.
It does wrinkle a bit with wearing, but I quite like that – a bit like wearing linen. I’m really pleased with the choice of this pattern as a match for the fabric as well. The incredibly simple lines really let the fabric be the star – both in design and texture. My husband says that this is his favourite make of mine and I’m not going to disagree with him.
The back also looks pretty fabulous – I didn’t make any attempt at pattern matching, because a) I had limited fabric to work with, b) I like the print for its abstract qualities – although there are repeats I didn’t want to emphasise them, and c) well, as discussed before, I’m too lazy.
I think the back is one of the reasons this design works so well. I’m partial to a sack dress anyway, but this one is just sexy enough with the very open back and the length to mean it’s not frumpy. Well, I hope it’s not anyway! This dress also works really well with leggings for a more casual look, and it’s been a hit at work worn like that.
It’s a dress I will definitely make again – it’s a great option for a special fabric that needs simple lines – and it’s got that slightly quirky feel I love with those extravagant sleeves and the deep V in the back.
I’ll round off this post with a picture from the event this was made for – my god-daughter’s blessing ceremony. Not the best picture of the dress but a lovely picture of the girl in question. Please ignore the glaring continuity error of my haircut – it’s only taken me three months to blog this project….