Thursday, 17 July 2014

Fabulous fabric finds

I really debated whether to post this (warning blatent self-promotion follows). I was/am concerned about boring you, or worse annoying you, with what is basically a post about my Etsy shop. However, it is no secret that I have a shop and since I do sell fabric, I thought that some of you may be interested.

One of my favourite fabric suppliers is a small textile company, Baan Thai, based in Chiang Mai. Not being overly fond of prints, I find that textured fabrics can add interest to what would otherwise be quite plain garments and this place does lots of nice textured cottons. They have also recently created a remnants section, which I discovered with the lovely Lara. So I snapped up some of the more interesting pieces. The captions are linked and will take you to the shop if you want to know more.

Black and charcoal textured cotton

This is so lovely and light and sheer. Yes, you'd probably need a lining.

Black and grey geometric print

My idea of a great print. Not too colourful and very geometric.

Black shirred cotton

I've never actually seen anything like this before. And obviously it isn't the best to photograph.

Blue and grey textured cotton

Fabulous muted colours

Silver grey small seersucker

This actually has been dyed with a bit of a distressed look. They aren't all creases.

Stunning stripes

This cotton voile is so vibrant with a great mix of colours.

Dark red textured cotton

This deep red has a self-check for textural interest.

Striped seersucker

Large seersucker in summer stripes.

Lots of spots

This is actually double gauze and the spots are a steel grey/blue.

So what do you think about posts like this? 

Are you happy to see them every few weeks (after all it is fabric)? 


Do you never want to see another (after all it is just an ad)?

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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Fabric shopping in Chiang Mai

Last Friday I was fortunate to go fabric shopping in Chiang Mai with the lovely Lara from Thornberry. You can read about it on her blog too if you want more details about Chiang Mai and the shopping experience. Plus of course Lara was in tourist mode so not only did she bring a camera but she actually used it. Unlike me.

It was so nice to meet Lara (and her lovely family - hi everyone!) and to go shopping with someone. This is usually a solitary pursuit since I don't know any other sewists in real life.

As well as buying fabric, we pored over clothes in small, local "boutiques"- checking out the details and how they were designed and made.

I didn't actually buy that much, after all I can go back next week if I wish. And I will be back soon. So what did I buy?

First up, we went to Ban Thai which sells locally produced machine-woven cottons. Both Lara and I bought this

It is black and grey double gauze and the reverse side looks like this

Of course we both immediately said "colour blocking!" So it will be interesting to see what we both do with it. And yes, it is black but I took these at night after waiting for several days for some sunshine. I decided I really needed to just do this now because when the sun does shine I will be very busy photographing all the lovely new fabric I bought for the shop.

I also bought this intriguing fabric which appears to be samples of fancy stitching/machine embroidery/whatever all stitched together. It was impossible to photograph all of it so here are some shots of the individual 'rows'.

And yes that is my shadow. Oops.

Now obviously each section is not very wide but I'm sure that at least some are wide enough to become yokes on my beloved V8805. The narrower ones could be used for neck bands or even hem bands. I'm sure I'll find a use for them.

I also bought some plain black stretch denim which I didn't even bother to photograph. Becuase really it is just black fabric and you all know what it looks like. This will become a pair of Style Arc Barb pants. I have already made a very wearable muslin, which I actually wore on our fabric shopping expedition, so expect a post on those soon.

But my buy of the day was definitely this

It was impossible to photograph well as each of the white semi-circles are about 40cm (16").

This photograph shows better how they are offset from one another. And apologies again for the shadow.

Now such a dramatic graphic print obviously needs a plain (and large) canvas. I'm thinking of the Tessuti Pia.

I've been thinking about it for a while and while it is outside my comfort zone I definitely want to be a little more adventurous. I also figure that if it looks dreadful, I will be able to salvage a top and recut another skirt.

And it is black and white and the Monthly Stitch are having mono-sewn month so that fits. It will also be my Make a Garment a Month for July. And it is my birthday early in August and would make a great birthday dress. So it ticks lots of boxes.

What do you think? Is the Pia a good choice? Have you made it? Or do you have any other suggestions that might suit my very dramatic fabric?

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Thursday, 3 July 2014

The grape dress

This dress almost didn't get made. You see when I first saw, and bought, this fabric, I thought it had a random swirly pattern. See what I mean?

However, when I was ironing it, after prewashing, I realised that they are actually grapes! Yikes, I wasn't sure that I actually wanted a dress with grapes on it.

But I did keep coming back to it and eventually made it into this

I only had a metre of the grapes fabric so I used some black textured cotton for the back.

This was made using KS2627 again, with self drafted tulip sleeves. This pattern is also free so if you're looking for a good, basic shift pattern give it a go.

I used this excellent tutorial from sewmanyseams. I also used both fabrics in the sleeves.

Checking out those grapes. Or perhaps realising that i did actually have shoes on this time....

I have used this pattern several times already. The first time I started with a combination of size L and XL. Then I used M and L. I have now decided that I'm going to do an FBA on the size M.

I have come to this realisation because on this one I took it up another couple of centimetres at the shoulder seams and everything fits better, especially the sleeves. Although of course this also raised the bust darts which then had to be lowered on the actual dress after they had already been sewn:)

I also think this soft drapey rayon it actually too lightweight for a dress. It probably would have been better as a blouse. And this pattern will make great simple woven Ts once I've done that FBA.

Oh, well. The dress is extremely cool and comfortable and easy to wear.

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