When I buy fabric, it's not always apparent what it should be made into. Some fabrics shout out exactly what they should be as soon as you clap eyes on them. For others, it's more of a slow burn, with ideas coming and going. I prefer to wait until the perfect combo presents itself, sometimes this happens whilst I'm on the bus, when I'm asleep (yes, I dream about fabric...) but sometimes it's when I see a garment on another sewing blog.
That's what happened with the 2m of blue/grey wool mix I found in the bargain bin of my local fabric shop over a year ago. I've had lots of ideas of what to make with it but it was only when I saw Stephanie's blue knit wrap top that the penny actually dropped. There's a bit of a story here....at the end of last year, I sent one of my vintage patterns (Advance 7701) to Steph to copy, after she put out a plea for a 1950's wrap top pattern.
It was only after she made up her version that I knew what my wool fabric was destined for. I would make another wrap top from Advance 7701, but this time in wool - a kind of kimono cardigan. As a further little twisty turn in the life of this pattern, Steph has now created her very own Kimono Wrap Top pattern using the original vintage pattern as a starting point. Her pattern is available for sale on Craftsy. I can't tell you how happy this makes me!
Anyway, Advance 7701 was the first vintage pattern I bought and the first one I sewed back in November 2010.
I struggled a bit with the instructions and seem to remember the whole process taking a long time. The end result was a wearable muslin that happily has been worn a fair few times. Second time around and it was like I was sewing a different pattern. Everything suddenly made perfect sense and the cutting out and sewing was a doddle. It just goes to show how sewing on a regular basis really does improve your skills, whether you're using vintage or modern patterns, or even just making a few cushion covers - it's all practice. The whole process of cutting out fabric and following instructions don't seem quite so daunting when you're doing it virtually every day.
|MUCH happier this time round! Can you tell?|
So in summary, it was a smooth, easy make. I did think of lengthening the ties - the ties on my first version refused to go very far round my distinctly non-1950's waist and I ended up wearing it knotted at the front here, without any actual wrapping being done. I still like it worn that way, but it's a bit of a shame not to wear it the way it was intended. This time round, I banked on the wool having more stretch to it and it did. Way more stretch actually, it wraps around and ties quite easily. It's a simple pattern - there are only three pieces and one of those is just a tiny rectangle for the back collar. The main piece is absolutely enormous though, so you can really only cut it from fabric with a decent width to it. The only other change I made, which I copied from Steph, was to hem the edges of the top instead of using bias binding, which saved a lot of unnecessary fiddling time.
Verdict? I love, love, love it. The colour, the kimono sleeves, the vintage look of it and the cosy, cosy feel of the wool mix. I know I'm going to wear this a lot, especially as it goes so well with my high waisted sailor trousers. The fabric's quite light so I'm fairly confident I'll be able to wear it in the summer too. Yippee! A great outcome for my bargain fabric.
How about you? Do you always know exactly what you're going to make with your fabric or is it a long, tedious process? I'd love to know. Happy Monday. x