"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans. "-Woody Allen
That quote is so true! How often do you plan on making one thing with a fabric and end up making something completely different? Back in May, I was inspired by Peggy Sager's YouTube channel to copy Eileen Fisher's System, where you have 8 neutral wardrobe pieces that form the backbone of your wardrobe. It's a great idea, and I ordered some neutral fabrics from the High End designer section of Fabric Mart's website. Here are the items from Eileen Fisher's website that I originally planned to try to duplicate:
I knew that I could sew all of these pieces for less than the retail price of just one full price garment, and I was so excited- couldn't wait for my fabric to arrive and to get going! So, I started out with the plan, and made the black tank dress from black 100% cotton gauze. This was a very lightweight and delicate fabric that required a style where it wouldn't be stressed, or else it would tear.
I'm trying to use some of my pattern collection, and found Kwik Sew 3306 which was originally published in 2005, but I think feels very current. I've forgotten how much that I love Kwik Sew patterns! This one has a really great all in one facing for the neck and armholes. I made View A with the double flounces. This is a pullover dress with no zipper.
So, after sewing that first piece, and much hemming and hawing, I decided that my white and cream fabrics were just not going to be drapey enough for the Eileen Fisher system tops, and I decided to scrap the plan, and let each fabric become what was best for it. Whew, relief! The silly things that we impose on ourselves can be quite restricting. Now, I was able to really move forward, and have fun. So, the next thing that I wanted to sew with was a beautiful embroidered lawn. I had enough for a full skirt, and used Butterick 5386- a Connie Crawford skirt pattern.
Here's a close up of the skirt fabric for you to see the embroidered design- it is so feminine and beautiful:
It's quite sheer, so I made an attached half slip out of a beige cotton, which you can see when the sunlight hits it just right. I just sewed it into the elastic waistband, and ended it at the highest level of the slit.
I just love this skirt, and used a leftover piece of brown-olive designer quality linen for the top, using Butterick 6221. If you have just a short piece of fabric, this is a fabulous little top to make. I don't like to tuck tops into skirts, and this just comes to the waist, so it stops where it would be tucked in. I'd like one in every color!
The fabric was originally white, but I've decided that true white is not the best color for me, so I dyed it a pearl gray, which I think is a great neutral for me. That's the great thing about white cotton- it can be whatever you want it to be!
I had one more fabric left from my original fabric order. This was the only knit in the order, and it was a linen cotton lycra blend in a cream color. It was a substantial weight- which was fantastic. I get a little frustrated with some of the really thin knits that have been all the rage lately. They are harder to sew, and show every lump and bump. For this fabric, I chose Kwik Sew 2762, a hooded t-shirt dress with a kangaroo pocket.
I wanted to play around with my cover stitch machine, and outlined the pockets and hems with the reverse side of the cover stitch in black. I also dyed some white cording to a dark color to make it stand out.
This dress is so comfy, and with the cotton/linen/lycra fabric blend, I am happy with how the fabric breathes even on super hot days. I've had some time to wear all of these a few times since I made them, and probably am most pleased with the light gray dress. Considering that I was so frustrated with the pattern that I nearly threw it away, I'm really, really happy that I kept searching for the right fabric for the design.
So, even though my original plan didn't come to fruition, I still ended up with 5 completely unrelated pieces out of some fabulous neutral fabrics! The moral of the story- don't fret if your fabrics don't want to become what you originally planned. Listen to your gut and you will be happy with the results!
Over to you- do you stick to the plan, or let the fabric drive your sewing direction?
Ann for SewBaby News