Hey gang! We are really in the dog days of summer here in East Texas, with temperatures hovering near triple digits. In heat like this, there’s really no way to stay cool – honestly, I’ve given up trying! Instead I just put on a pretty outfit that makes me smile, even if I am a wilting flower well before noon!
This month’s make for the Mood Sewing Network was one of those times when my first glance at a fabric immediately inspires a whole outfit, complete with lipstick colors and hairstyle. It’s rare that this happens to me, but when I saw this geometric embroidered linen on Mood Fabric’s ‘new arrivals’ page (side note: I always check the new arrivals first when I visit the online store, just to see if anything really interesting has come in, because when it does, it goes fast!) it just spoke to me – and when a fabric chooses to speak, who am I to turn a deaf ear?!
This fabric was really unique and interesting to work with. Normally I wouldn’t be drawn to something so green, but the print was so special, and the sheen of the embroidery really caught my eye. The fabric is a lightweight linen, but with the addition of the embroidery it is quite heavy. The yardage has wide edges of plain white linen along each selvedge edge, which I made use of for the the waistband and button placket of my skirt. After pre-washing, the area that was embroidered seem to shrink up a bit, leaving the edges a bit wavy. I gave it a good steamy press, and this seemed to help a little, but the shrinkage was still definitely noticeable. In the end, it didn’t affect my finished skirt in any way, but it did give me pause when I saw it happen! I was also really worried that the embroidery would ravel something awful when cut, but I’m pleased to report it barely raveled at all, which, combined with the crisp press of the linen, made it a breeze to work with!
The pattern is Colette’s Zinnia skirt pattern, view A – a simple gathered A-line skirt with a button front detail. As I said, when I saw this fabric I immediately imagined it becoming just such a skirt, but once it arrived and I felt it’s heft, I worried that it would be too poofy or heavy for a gathered skirt. I hemmed and hawed for about a week before I just decided to follow my instinct and pair this fabric with this pattern. I won’t lie, gathering the linen was a bit of a bear, but I’m really pleased with the results. In the end, I feel like this fabric turns this relatively straightforward skirt pattern into a real statement wardrobe piece! I used some jade green buttons, which happened to be a perfect match, from my stash to finish off the skirt. All in all a great, easy, fast sew that packs a big punch!
While I was pretty careful about print matching on the front of the skirt (at least I made sure that the rows of the patterns lined up) I really didn’t bother trying to match the fronts to the back. I figured with all of the gathering, plus the fact that the side seam is cut on the bias, it really wouldn’t matter.
This linen is a bit on the sheer side, so I lined it with some plain white cotton lawn I had in my stash. While it did add additional bulk when it came time to gather the waistline, I’m super happy I decided to line this! I just don’t think I could abide a slip in this heat! The pattern doesn’t call for a lining so I sort of had to wing it, but it was really quite easy. I just cut all the skirt pieces out of my lawn, minus about an inch along the hem, and then attached the lining along the front button placket, letting the rest of the hem hang free.
The striped top is also new, made from some navy and white striped jersey I had in my stash, using Closet Case File’s Nettie bodysuit pattern. This top was the other half of my outfit inspiration that the fabric gods whispered to me through my computer screen. I guess I just felt like the print mixing would work really well with these two fabrics, and would keep the look less ’50’s housewife’ (always my fear with full skirts) and more ‘classic bohemian’. I’ll let you guys be the judge of how well that pairing worked out – all I know is that I felt like the Belle of the Ball running (walking) errands for work today, despite the sticky, sweaty heat!
So, have you guys ever had a fabric speak super clearly to you? What did it say??