I briefly lost the power of rational thought at the Knitting and Stitching Show last week. Not quite to the same level as the lady next to me who had four carrier bags of wool and was mumbling, "I didn't really need any wool"… but still! I stumbled on a fabric company I'd never heard of before and fell head over heels in love with everything on their stand. The company - Til The Sun Goes Down - produce a unique collection of beautiful dressmaking fabrics in limited edition prints. Most of the fabrics I saw were silks, satins and rayon, all inspired by vintage prints from the 1920's to the 1960's and all absolutely breathtaking.
I kept leaving and looking at other stands, but my feet kept bringing me back to the stall and to one fabric in particular - this beautiful aqua posy print. I had a vintage inspired blouse made from a near identical print about twenty years ago. I loved that blouse and was devastated when I caught the front on a nail at work (god knows how) and ruined it.
I caved in eventually and bought a metre. The fabric is a lightweight silk crepe de chine with a slight sheen to it. It's also eye-wateringly expensive (£36 a metre), which is the most I've ever spent on fabric, but it was the only thing I bought, so I'm telling myself that justifies the expense. I have big plans for it anyway - I want to recreate my nail-shredded 1930's style blouse! With fabric this special I don't want to mess about with an unfamiliar pattern, so I'm going to use vintage Simplicity 2844 which actually dates from the 1930's and which I've made twice already (here and here.)
It has some lovely vintage features such as gathered shoulders and a back yoke and I think it's a perfect pattern for my precious fabric. The crepe de chine is very fragile - recommended garments to make from it are French knickers, camisoles and slips! - so I'm going to fully underline it with white silk cotton. This will make it a little more robust, especially for areas like buttonholes. It will also boost the colour too as it currently looks a bit grey rather than aqua next to my super pale skin.
I'm going to consult my new sewing bible - Fashion with Fabric - for recommendations on sewing with silk. I'm also wondering whether it's worth using silk thread for this blouse? If anybody has any thoughts on this or on working with crepe de chine in general, I'd love to hear them. x