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Category: style

the TÉLIO collection: lovely lemons

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!

the TÉLIO collection: pretty polka dots

Polka dots: perhaps the most cheerful, darling print in the history of prints. Classic, charming, and a little whimsical, these happy little dots always catch my eye. It’s a print that will never go out of style, and I love the fact that it works year round. I have two other handmade polka dot pieces in my closet (a dress and a skirt), and even with the addition of the dress in today’s post I’m sill thinking about adding a few more items. Is there such a thing as too many polka dots?

My adoration for this little print is directly responsible for the inclusion of this fabric in the fall collection I’m showing you this month. Last week, I announced my collaboration with TÉLIO, and today we kick off the series with the first garment in the collection. This dress is one of my new favorites (Vogue 8739), and when I made it for the first time a few weeks ago I instantly knew I’d be making it again in more colors and prints – and this fabric is a perfect choice for the design of the dress.

This fabric is The Dakota Stretch Jersey knit, a lightweight navy blue rayon knit (95% Rayon/5% Lycra) with white polka dots, and it’s very soft and drapes beautifully. And before we go any further, it is available on fabric.com (item 0492756) . Also, follow @teliofashion for a chance to win a three yard piece of the fabric I feature each week!

Here’s the fabric in action: it’s so yummy and soft, but it’s also very easy to work with. I used a size 75 stretch needle and the “lightweight stretch” setting on my sewing machine. I serged all the raw edges and finished the sleeve and skirt hems with a blind stitch.

This dress checks a lot of boxes for me style wise, but I’m especially pleased that it can be worn so often (a lot of the garments I make aren’t quite so versatile). It works everywhere from the office to dinner and running errands on the weekend. Plus, the added bonus is that it’s so comfortable it’s like wearing pajamas without actually wearing pajamas.

I love how well the polka dots work with the other fabrics in the collection. The color story is consistent, and the scale of the prints in particular is quite complementary. The larger scale of the lemons is a nice anchor for the smaller polka dots, and incorporating the polka dots was a great way to introduce a second print without competing with the lemons. I’m particularly crazy about the texture and color of that marigold lace too, but more on that in a couple of weeks.

This dress was a great way to kick off the series with TÉLIO, and I’m so excited for you to see the rest of the pieces. One of my absolute favorite things in sewing is watching a group of coordinating garments come together, so this is especially fun for me.

Happy sewing, and don’t forget to follow @teliofashion on Instagram for a fun chance to win some fabric!

to the max: vogue 9104

I had big plans for maxi dresses this summer. I spent an entire morning one day on Instagram Stories going over my plans for at least three maxis, and I had a couple pages of notes and sketches in my journal with big ideas for these dresses. I even had cute blog titles for them like “great lengths” and “maxed out” and “floored” but this summer has flown by in a blink of an eye and I only got around to one maxi dress. I’m okay with that though, because it’s a pretty great dress. (I’m kind of bananas for it, really.)

Maxi dresses in the summer are one of those things that just make me laugh. It’s the hottest time of year and yet we’re intentionally searching for the longest dresses to wear? Isn’t there something ironic about that? I’ve had maxi dresses in the past, but besides the dress in this post I only have one or two store bought pieces in my closet now. I grew weary with the frumpy drape and cut of most of the ready-to-wear options, and I’m not someone who can wear low cut or spaghetti straps or something with lots of back exposure comfortably. So, I was always running to a styling issue of covering what I needed covered. “I can wear this if I put a necklace with it and if I throw on a cardigan too.” Not a great solution, but of course  I spent a couple years trying to force the issue – which just made me uncomfortable and sad.

My idea of the perfect maxi dress for me is something with a high enough neckline that it covers that scar on my neck I’m always complaining about and has full back coverage – but with enough flow and fullness that it doesn’t look like I’m a piece of sausage on sandals trying to walk around in a poorly cut full length dress in 100 degree Texas heat. I wanted something in a yummy rayon challis – lightweight enough to be comfortable but with enough drape and movement that it made a statement as you wore it. Why be boring when there are so many other options, right?

This fabric is another great find from Fashion Fabrics Club. (Not sure if it’s still in stock.) It’s a paint splatter print crinkle rayon, and it’s just really, really pretty. An unusual print for me, but I think it’s a perfect fabric/pattern match.

Like so many others I talk about on this blog, this pattern has been in my stash for a while but only when the right fabric came along did I finally get around to making it. It’s pretty clear to see why I like it so much, as it has all the design elements I need in a maxi dress. It also has a very interesting shaped hem with front and back slits. I appreciate this for air movement around your legs, but it’s also a very clever way to show off your shoes. (Virtually high-fives the fellow shoe lovers out there!)

I cut this dress out during my I-want-to-make-all-the-maxi-dresses day way back in June, but I got about halfway with it and decided to move on to something else. I’m so glad I rescued it from the unfinished pile because, my goodness, what a dress. Most of the things I make are comfortable, but this dress really deserves that adjective. I cut my normal size and didn’t make a single adjustment to the fit or design of the pattern. I will say that it runs a little big and that you can probably size down at least one size in it, and the hem was a little long on the sides, so I had to adjust that so that it didn’t drag on the ground. I omitted the armhole facings in favor of a bias tape finish, which I like much better.

The hem.

The back.

Thank you all for the kind messages about our recent home purchase and move. It’s been a whirlwind few weeks, but we’re so in love with our new house and feeling incredibly grateful and humbled to have it. I’m still working on the studio makeover, but the end is (finally) in sight. I decided that this move was the perfect opportunity to finally make this the studio of my dreams, but it’s a huge undertaking. It’s pretty big room with seven doors (four leading to attic storage, one to a regular walk in closet, and two entrances), three windows, two built-in window benches, and a bunch of angled walls. Every inch of the space is getting painted, along with all of my tabletops and a few other furniture pieces. This has been an enormous test of my patience and determination, but I’m happy to do it because I know what it will look like in the end.

These photos are from a few days ago, and the walls have since gotten a second coat of paint, tape has come down, the tabletop has been finished and reattached to the table, sewing tables have been painted and sealed, and the window benches and cabinet doors are almost finished. I’ll go into more detail about this room once it’s more finished, but if you’d like to follow along with the progress, find me on Instagram – I’m posting updates in Stories every day. Seeing it all come together is so much fun!

Window benches mid-sanding:

Window benches after sanding, two coats of primer, and two coats of paint. Much, much better.

Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back next week with new posts and the first TÉLIO garment!