Sewing Circle at Adventures in Dressmaking
Dear readers! I'm so excited to announce a brand new feature for the blog, inspired by some of you!
A few of you have contacted me with great sewing questions in the past. How to turn a retro 80's skirt into something cute? How to get motivate to learn to sew and what resources are there? How to take in a t-shirt that's too big?
Last week I got a great question, one that warranted not just a blog post but a whole new (ongoing) blog feature: Naomi emailed me with this issue:
Q: While I really like to sew, I find myself a little adrift when it comes to matching the fabrics I buy with the style of garment they might be suited to. So I thought maybe a fun little project could be if I send you, say, a few photo swatches of fabrics in my stash and maybe you make suggestions for the types of garments you'd make out of them. Just whatever your instinct is.
I love matching patterns to fabric, so this sounded like a great project to me!
This encouraged me to start a new blog feature, a combination between an advice column and a community forum for ideas--Sewing Circle at Adventures in Dressmaking. Regularly, I will answer reader's question on Sewing Circle and you can all chime in, too! I look forward to hearing your questions and hopefully helping you out!
So, Naomi sent me pictures of fabrics she had, and a list of all the patterns she had bought and liked. She also sent me a pic of herself and a description of her style, lifestyle and current needs (including, "I want to live in Anthropologie."--haha, me too!).
I had fun matching up the fabrics Naomi had with some fun inspirations and selection of her patterns. So take a look at what I came up with and please, add your ideas, too! That's the fun part of Sewing Circle!
Q: What garments should I make out of my fabrics?
A: Try these!
This paisley is one of my faves of Alicia's selections. I can't tell what weight and texture the fabric is, but it looks like a fairly lightweight cotton (maybe semi-sheer?) or linen-look.
Some of my first thoughts were a funky, sort of hippie-ey dress like this Anthro halter:
You could get this look with this McCall's pattern, the criss-cross halter style (widen the center waist band by several inches so the fullness of the skirt starts at the waist!)
That great paisley fabric could also be a funky skirt! Like the Phosphorescence skirt from Anthropologie:
Naomi also has this light green and tan knit swirly print.
For this I looked through Naomi's patterns for knits, and saw this very cute Simplicity (I used to own this, made it once, and somehow no longer have it? Weird since I don't usually lose things...). You could go sort of hippie with this one, too, and make the long halter that's shown in a dark paisley.
For this, I would use a pattern like the sleeveless dress from McCall's M6032 and add some contrast fabric in the twisted waistband. You could use the pattern but make it much, much shorter so it's a top, or you could do a dress version of the Ancient Pathways tank.
Naomi's next fabric reads like a linen/cotton or just a nice heavier cotton, but is this pretty batik-ey/block print-ey, more rustic paisley.
It immediately reminded me of this dress from Anthro:
You'd need a simple tank bodice pattern for that, and give it a gathered skirt.
Another cute look for block print fabrics is the long skirt--I have yet to rock it myself, but I thought the Shifting Buttons skirt was so pretty in the Anthro catalog--
It's clearly a circle skirt, which is also fairly simple but I'd recommend a vintage pattern also, although I imagine there is a circle skirt pattern out there in production now, as well.
Some looks that are similar out of the patterns Naomi currently has are:
The long style with the higher waist on this Simplicity:
Next Naomi showed this plaid. My first thought was that this was a suit weight cotton, good for a sheath dress or jacket for fall, but it could be a lightweight shirtweight plaid, also.
Hard to find a pattern for that exactly, but you could use the tank/halter bodice from this Simplicity:
Naomi also included a pic and description of some of her solid-color knits. She has this turquoise one:
...and she also has knits in solid red and solid graphite color.
One of my favorite recent knit dresses is this classy one from Anthropologie. I felt it at the store the other day and it is really nice! Soft, thick enough to not be inappropriately clingy!
So there you have it! My recommendations for Naomi's fabric, using mostly patterns from her collection and for her needs this summer! I'm sure she would love to hear your thoughts, too!
If you have any more ideas for Sewing Circle at Adventures in Dressmaking, leave a comment on this post, and if you have a question for me and the readers, send me an email!