When Rhonda posted a link to the Chanel runway show a few months back I was in the middle of a series of projects using Merchant and Mills patterns. It occurred to me that they were on opposite ends of the spectrum...luxury on one end and simple working garments on the other. It was interesting to have those two ideas in my head at the same time. Chanel takes a very down to earth fabric...tweed, and elevates it to total luxury. Merchant and Mills take basic working garments and brings them into today's fashion vernacular. So what would it look like to merge those ideas? That is what this month's challenge is all about. Taking humble garments and humble fabrics and pushing the envelop of how we usually think of them.
I pulled out a tweedy wool jersey for a top for this week's installment, but after seeing Rhonda's trial of the Francine pattern as a dress I decided I wanted a dress version myself.
Hmmmmmm....I'm not sure what the original dimensions of the piece of fabric were, but after washing and drying it I was left with a 47" X 66" piece. No problem for a top, but I wanted a dress. (whiny stuffy headed noises!!!) Now, if you have read my Threads article from last year about 'Reversible Garments' you know that I am a total sucker for double faced fabrics, and, you guessed it, my slightly shrunken (is that a word?) wool jersey is in fact, double faced. It is a lovely grey on one side and a grey and tan herringbone tweed on the reverse side. So not only do I want a dress, but I want it to be reversible as well!!! (maybe I shouldn't sew when I have yucky sinus-y head stuff going on?!)
I knew if I could get it laid out on the fabric I could make it work...
My usual trick of skimping on the seam allowances wasn't an option. I needed them for the flat felled seams that would make my dress reversible. I also 'decided' that I would like 3/4 length sleeves...yeah, 3/4 length sleeves that's the ticket! I spent a very long afternoon wiggling pattern pieces and fabric around, but in the end I got it all on!
The fabric was a total treat to work with. (I wish I remembered where it came from?) The knit was very stable and incredibly straight, no twisting that usually comes with a wool jersey. It was also very resilient and I could press it directly without a pressing cloth which made turning all the seams way easier!