Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From the depths of my stash.

Maybe you remember these fabrics, although I would not hold it against you if you don't. They were purchased back in June of 2008, more that a year and a half ago. They are Liberty of London tana lawn cottons with matching silk/cotton lining fabric. They are beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. They are washed and pressed and ready to sew, but I have been holding them for over a year and a half.

I keep holding them for two reasons. One, they are so pretty (and expensive) that I am afraid to cut into them, for fear of ruining them. Two, I am not certain I made a good choice on the patterns. Sure, they are pretty to look at on the bolt (or in my fabric closet), but how will they look on my body? My hesitation comes down to the fact that these fabrics are so nice, and also so bold, that I am unsure what to do with them.

However, I am determined to do some more (successful) garment sewing this spring, starting with items from the stash. I am thinking some basic blouses might do the trick. I had hoped to use patterns I already own, but I am just not sure I have a pattern appropriate for these prints. So now I am obsessing over ordering a new pattern. I am especially thinking about this pattern from the lovely Colette Patterns line.

What do you think?

From the pattern envelope, a "Simple, versatile blouse perfect for creative embellishment, with deep tucks at the front and back waist for a loose but curvy shape great for tucking in. Version 1 closes with back snaps, making it easiest to sew. Version 2 has neckline tucks and buttons up the back. Version 3 has a keyhole neckline with tie closure and buttons up the back."

The blouse is just so lovely on the model, because it seem loose and comfortable, with just the right amount of shape and detail to keep it tidy. The one think I am a tiny bit concerned about is dong a full bust adjustment, because it likely means putting a side dart into the pattern. I do not want to disturb the dolman-style cap sleeve, and I certainly do not want to cause any odd armpit bunching (refer to the Everyone's Favorite Claire McCardell disaster).

My other concern is the thought of purchasing another pattern. My husband has started to enforce a sewing purchase crackdown, and I can't blame him. The poor guy suffers so at the hand of my sewing hobby. He worries and frets every time I come home with fabric and patterns and grand plans for creation. In many regards his concern is justified. Sewing is truthfully a pricey past time, made more pricey by my expensive taste and my propensity to hoard. While I have made some nice pieces from the discount area at JoAnn's, the truth is that I lean much more heavily toward the luxury items, the out of print patterns, and the lavish notions like real shell buttons. And on more than one occasion my attempts at grandeur have resulted in disaster, which also equals a waste of money (and also a worthwhile learning experience). So, I understand why he is concerned and why he does not want me to order more patterns.

But even still, I cannot stop thinking about this blouse. I am filled with optimism that it is the right choice for my fabric, my skills, and my figure. Below are more images of the lovely blouse, sewn up in all of its many splendid version. I am very smittin' with the key hole version, and look how they button up the back! Since my fabric is rather bold, this simple, classic silhouette may be just what I need. I think they will work will with trouser jeans and a cardigan, or even on their own in summer.

I look forward to your feedback.


OldRound said...

Okay I'm not experienced enough to offer really valid ideas, except that maybe all the details you like might be obscured by the patterned fabric? But ignore that because what else can you do with that lovely fabric but make a lovely blouse.

Sarah said...

Maybe I am a simple person but I like the plain vanilla top the best and the keyhole second best. The fabrics are gorgeous and will look great on you. I know next to nothing about adapting patterns but I think a muslin mock up would be smart on this one before cutting the real deal.

Monica said...

You're right to be cautious—these fabrics are precious (and gorgeous)!

Honestly, I don't think this blouse is right for you. I think the cut is unflattering on a large bust and on this (lovely) girl pictured. Why? Because it's just a vast flat expanse of fabric over the breasts with little definition. Something unabashedly feminine with a v-neck, like the decades of style butterfly blouse would be better. What happened to your custom fitted pattern? You are now ready to design your own top! Go for it!

You could certainly turn these fabrics into some lovely floaty summer skirts. With a simple, feminine solid-colored T-shirt/jersey top, the prints would really stand out.

Another option would be to put these liberty prints in the hands of a professional seamstress and have her make you the dress of your dreams. That way you can relax and just enjoy the fabric.

moye said...

There is nothing wrong with holding onto a pattern just because it's so pretty! Well...maybe. I still save squares of wrapping paper just because I love looking at the design.

Btw, I know nothing about sewing from scratch (besides hemming pants) but I think that blouse pattern would be simple enough to showcase those awesome fabrics.

Karen said...

You might not need to do a FBA on the colette pattern--at least that's the word on the street :)

I think your liberty fabrics would be great as skirts; if you line them they'd be all-weather in texas. (So jealous of your liberty hoard...) I don't know about a blouse, but I'm sure you can make it work.