I’ve spent the past few years ignoring a couple things that make for some pretty comfy garments: elastic and knits. Elastic was for pajamas and bathing suits, and knits, well, they just weren’t my thing. What was I thinking, you guys?! The turning point for me came one day a couple years ago when I designed a few easy, classic skirts for a collection–and they happened to have an elastic waistband. The ease in making them coupled with the ease of wearing them was a revelation for us, especially me. Remember that for a long time my aesthetic had little to do with weekend wear or elastic or knits. In my defense, there’s nothing wrong with dressier tailored pieces–which is my true love language–but there’s also room for casual stuff too. In fact, I’m finishing a dress right now that has me excited to make more knit garments this winter. They can be just as fabulous as a dress in a woven fabric. But more on that later.
Today I can finally show you another finished piece from my group of fall projects, Butterick 5878. I first made this dress over the summer in a delicious pink floral challis, and I loved it so much I included it on my list for fall. I love this pattern for a lot of reasons: it has sleeves, it has a comfortable and forgiving elastic waistband, it’s quick and easy to sew, and a suggested fabric is rayon challis–only one of the greatest, yummiest fabrics ever.
Have you ever seen a garment online or in a store that immediately catches your eye, and then you think to yourself, “Huh, I can make that, and I can make it in a better fabric”? I have. I can’t remember where I spotted it originally–maybe a fashion blog?–but a few weeks ago a camel colored, knee length, shawl collared cardigan got my full attention. It was gorgeous with its rolled up sleeves and effortless, cool aesthetic. I called to me. I know for certain that it was an acrylic blend, which turns me off faster than you can say “Emily hates acrylic.” Acrylic isn’t horrible, and it’s getting better as fiber technology ups its game, but it has a tendency to look blah after just one washing. It can be scratchy and holds static electricity badly sometimes. Acrylic doesn’t scream “quality” to me and I steer clear of it whenever I can. So I walked away from this gorgeous but cheap acrylic cardigan on a mission to find fabric and make my own.
There’s so much to love about the sewing and design process: dreaming up new garments to make, investing time into perfecting the pattern, carefully stitching the pieces together–I could go on. But I think we can all agree that the best part is seeing the finished product. There’s nothing quite like creating something with your own two hands and experiencing the satisfaction that comes with it. For me, it’s also a thrill to see the design elements and colors come together. In college, one of the most important things I learned was the importance of cohesion in a collection, and that theory has stuck with me since then. Every once in a while, I will whip up a stand alone project, but most of the time I like designing mini collections with coordinating components in a thoughtful color story.
Over the past few weeks I’ve posted my list of projects for fall, and I finally have quite a few things finished. (Cue a happy dance!) First up is Vogue 9202. This pattern had me the moment it was released. Jewel neckline, short sleeves, fit and flare silhouette, interesting seams–yes, just yes. I went with view B in a gorgeous fall floral sateen from Promenade Fine Fabrics in New Orleans. You find the fabric here. I should also mention that I thought I had all my autumn colors picked out until I saw that fabric. It changed everything. I mean, how perfect is it for fall?!