Tuesday 15 July 2014

Staying cool

Hello my dear readers, I hope you've been enjoying the summer so far. The hubby and I have just arrived back from our little break in Sicily, and we had a lovely time. 

The weather was hot and dry there, so I feel that my body has stored up enough vitamin D now for a while :) 

In addition to eating Granita, which is Sicilian's answer to shaved ice/slushies/sorbet, I brought my new silk dress to help me stay cool. 

Yep, this is my second version of the Burda Jamie Shift Dress. Remember my first version in viscose? I had grown to love the silhouette, and thanks to all your helpful comments I decided not to bother with a belt. Now I love it so much that I made another one! 

I started making this the weekend before we went to Sicily, as I realised that I needed something to keep me cool. This was just the number, as the Jamie pattern is nice and loose, great for letting air circulate around the body, and the silk fabric is natural, breathable, and extremely lightweight. 

The silk was a purchase from my recent trip to Dubai, from the fabric souk. It was a mere £4 per metre, and was sold as "Indian silk". I think it's a silk charmuse. I loved the "tribal" pattern and the lovely colourful border (despite what my lovely husband tells me - over the years I've learned to selectively listen to him :p), and as soon as I saw it I knew what I wanted to make with it. 

And the beauty of using the colourful border/selvage this way is that I didn't need to hem the dress. Result. 

Another reason I used the Jamie Dress pattern is that I realised from my last version that I didn't need the zip to get in and out. I didn't want to have to match the pattern on this slippery fabric, and I worry about seam slippage as it is, let alone with a zip. So the dress is only made up of 2 pattern pieces! Super easy. I think it only took me an afternoon from laying out, cutting to finishing the seams (with my new overlocker!)
I didn't make any additional alterations since the last attempt, as it fitted well. One issue I ran into was the bias binding - as it was such a soft and drapy fabric, making self fabric bias tape with this was near impossible. In the end I used a leftover cotton lawn that I had which was very lightweight, and it did the trick. Note to self - do not try and make bias tape with silk charmuse again. 

So that's all I've got to say about this. It was a simple project, and one that I could see coming together before my eyes as soon as I spotted the fabric at the souk. I just love how the border "pop". That said, I think the fabric choice/placement may be an acquired taste. Practically, though, the beautiful silk and the loose fit did wonders at keeping me cool in the heat, so I think it was a successful project :)

What about you? Are you making last minute holiday wear, too? Or busy sewing in anticipation of the "heat wave"? 
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