There’s nothing more fun than the challenge of putting a collection together, and for how much I go on and on about how much I love it I sure don’t have a chance to do it very often. I blame all the pretty fabrics out there – it’s too easy to get distracted and work on individual, unrelated sewing projects. But this, this collection with TÉLIO fabrics, has been nothing short of incredible, and it’s the most fun I’ve had sewing all year. It’s given me the opportunity to add a few new things to my closet in some truly exceptional fabrics, but it’s also challenged me to think about a group of projects as a whole: the color story, the prints, how each piece makes sense next to one another. And the dresses in today’s post in this series really highlight all of that. The best part? We still have two weeks to go!
Over the past few weeks I’ve mentioned that my inspiration for this fall collection was the lemon print sateen. It’s the anchor of the collection, and it’s what I used to determine the other colors, textures, and prints. I knew going into this that I’d be using it twice – as the anchor print it’s nice to see it more than once. The marigold lace (although I’m thinking it’s more “buttercup” than “marigold” after studying it for the past month) is two things: it’s a happy pop of color and also an interesting texture in an otherwise smooth group of fabrics. I went with this particular shade of yellow because it picks up on the darker yellow in the lemon, not the bright, sunshine yellow that really stands out in the print. It’s a little more subtle and a better fit for a fall collection.
The lemon print sateen (the Bloom Sateen Print 38203 -04) is available at EmmaOneSock Fabrics, and the yellow Amelia lace is available at Sew Much Fabric. Fabric.com also carries the Amelia lace in six colors. (That royal blue is stunning!)
The Amelia lace is a nylon/cotton blend, and it’s lightweight but not too delicate. I wanted to make a classic dress that showed off the beautiful scalloped edge, and I also wanted to underline the lace to make it pop a little more. I cut a dirndl skirt so that the hem was a totally straight edge and hemmed the underlining to just above the highest point of the scallop. This way, you don’t miss the scalloped edge, but the underlining isn’t an odd length – and it still does its job of adding a little more volume to the lace.
One of my favorite dresses of all time is this dress in a large scale floral with lots of blues and greens. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worn it, and it’s because of that and other reasons that I decided to use this lemon print and make another version of that dress. This is one of those dresses that just makes me happy because it’s so my style and such a beautiful print. I drafted a full circle skirt on to the bodice from Vogue 9197 and fully lined the dress. I lengthened the bodice by about 3/4″, and the skirt is 27″ long. I added a facing to the neckline, because I think it looks a little more high end.
Many of you know my penchant for making multiple versions of a pattern, when the pattern is really, really great. Well, Vogue 9197 has had a mighty great run in the last year, but it’s being retired to the archives now. It’s an excellent pattern with lots to love (the fit, the perfect sleeve, the French dart in the front, the fact that you can draft any skirt you want on it), but I’m good with four versions of it – especially because each of those dresses have been and will continue to be worn for a long, long time.
I’m so excited about the last two looks in this series, and I think (I hope!) you’re really going to enjoy seeing them. Next week’s dress is a return to knits, and I’ve used a brand new pattern to bring it to life. Then, for the big finale, I’m doing cocktail separates that are probably the fanciest, prettiest special occasion looks I’ve ever made for myself. I can’t give too much away just yet, but I will tell you that there’s almost 20 yards of fabric involved. And don’t forget that TÉLIO is hosting a weekly giveaway of all the fabrics I’m using, so follow them on Instagram and watch for the contest post. That’s one of the most fun parts of this for me – I love seeing you guys win pretty things!
I can’t think of a single color I don’t like. I definitely have favorites that I wear a lot, but it’s hard to think of a color that I make a concerted effort to avoid or that I just don’t care for. I’ve spent a great deal of time looking for fabric in just the right color over the years too. Navy must be rich and dark, not vintage or faded looking, yellow should be bright without being gaudy or cheap looking, and reds should be true red – not too orange, not too blue. Emerald is also a color I love, especially for fall, and it’s a color I think I wear well. (After a summer in lots of white, I’m reminded thanks to all the pictures I take that white is actually not a great color on me. So, moving forward: less white, more bold colors. Hold me to it.)
I found this fabric shortly after discovering the lemon print fabric for my fall collection series with TÉLIO. The moment I saw it I not only squealed with delight at having finally found the perfect shade of emerald, but I also knew it would work exceptionally well with the lemon print, the small scale polka dot, the marigold lace, and the pine ponte knit. (You haven’t seen the ponte knit yet but it’s good. Really good.) The emerald plays up the leaves on the lemon print so nicely, and it’s nice to have that color as an accent with the other fabrics.
The fantastic part about this fabric is that it is in stock at fabric.com. It’s 100% Viscose Rayon, 56″ wide, and it’s machine washable.
Rayon (also called viscose) is made from wood pulp, a naturally occurring, cellulose-based raw material. I like it because its characteristics are similar to that of linen and cotton, and it is beyond comfortable to wear in the Texas heat. I love the drape of viscose batiste or challis, and it’s easy to work with and launder. It also retains color well, which is why you can find such rich colors in a rayon fabrication. It doesn’t pill unless the fabric is made from short, low-twist yarns (I’ve never had a rayon that even remotely pilled), and it doesn’t build up static electricity. Rayon does, however, wrinkle so loose fitting garments are best (full skirts and dresses, flowy tops, and scarves). Bemberg rayon is also a fantastic option for linings. I choose it over polyester or acetate every time.
This particular rayon is a batiste, so it’s especially lightweight and drapes exceptionally well. It’s opaque enough to forgo a lining, which is great. Use a little extra care when you cut it out, because it can be a tad slippery (no edges hanging off your cutting table!), and I would also pin your pieces together in one or two additional areas as you sew it just to ensure it doesn’t move around. I used a size 70 universal needle, all purpose thread, and I serged all the raw edges. French seams would also be lovely. I let the dress rest on the dress form overnight to let the bias fall, then I leveled it and hemmed it.
I used an out-of-print pattern, Butterick 5878, and I replaced the tiered skirt with a full circle skirt for the most movement. I’ve made this dress twice before, over a year ago. It’s easy to sew, and very, very comfortable. I especially love the elastic around the waist.
For those of us in warmer climates where seasons take their sweet time arriving (or don’t change at all), color is a great way to dress for the season without layering or piling on coats or things that don’t make sense for the weather. So this emerald viscose makes for one seriously pretty dress, and I can ease my way into fall without looking or feeling ridiculous. Considering how much I love this color, I’m surprised that this dress is the first garment in this color I have in my closet. I think I’m looking at a fall season jam packed with emerald green!
I’m one of those sewists with a fabric stash. It’s not huge or outrageous, but I will admit to having more than enough. Most of the time, I’m a smart shopper and I only buy what I need at that moment or know I’ll use right away – but I’ve been known to stock up from time to time. (If my husband reads this he will have a good laugh while enthusiastically nodding his head.) It’s hard not to indulge, especially when I find things at great fabric stores when I’m traveling or when there’s a sale or . . . the list goes on. I have a feeling some of you can relate.
Fabric is what inspires me more than anything else, and there’s no greater thrill than finding something that makes your heart skip a beat. That print! Those colors! It’s perfect! The moment I saw this stunning lemon print sateen, I knew it was meant to be. I loved the idea of using this print as the anchor for the entire TÉLIO series, and the colors in the print are perfect complement to each other and great for a fall transition collection. I’ve been dreaming about a lemon print fabric for years. I found something earlier this spring and while I love it, it doesn’t have the richness and depth that this sateen does. And the navy blue background might be my favorite part. Lemon print fabric isn’t impossible to find, but most of the time it’s on black, which I think is a little harsh. Navy blue is a lovely partner for all that yellow and green.
I knew I wanted a twirly midi skirt out of this fabric, because it shows off the fabric well – and it’s an item I wear all the time so I knew I’d get lots of use out of it. I wanted a separate hem band piece, which I could highlight with contrast piping in the seam. This was a great way to break up the fabric without being distracting, and I like that it draws your eye down from the waist – really accentuating the fit and flare.
Now for the fabric and pattern details: This skirt is my own design, and the top is McCall’s 7573. The lemon print sateen (97% cotton/3% spandex) can be purchased at EmmaOneSock. I made the blouse out of Belvedere 100% cotton shirting in optic white, and it will be available soon at Sew Much Fabric. I don’t think I’ve ever touched another shirting that felt as magnificent as this does – it’s exceptionally good quality. It is not entirely opaque though, which I why I went with a design that gave me a double layer across the bust. This little top is incredibly easy to sew, and it’s super comfortable. Looks great with jeans and tennies too.
This is a pleated midi skirt with slanted front pockets, hem band with hem facing, contrast piping, and invisible zipper in the back. No need to line it, so I just added yellow bias tape to the waistband to incorporate a little detail on the inside.
These pieces – separately and together – are welcome additions to my fall wardrobe. The skirt in particular will be worn so much people might start asking me if I own any other clothes. 🙂
Have a great rest of the week, and I’ll be back on Friday with a dress that should have been on the blog weeks ago, as well as studio makeover update. Slowly but surely, it’s coming together!
And don’t forget to follow @teliofashion for a chance to win a three yard piece of the fabric I’m featuring that week. Last week’s winner was announced this morning, and be sure to enter tomorrow for a chance to win some lemon print sateen for yourself. Happy sewing!