Posted on March 09 2020
Guest blog by Sarah Jolley
Online fabric shops are dangerous. You get sucked in by all the lovely pictures and end up wanting ALL the fabric. I have slowly managed to teach my brain that, yes the fabric is beautiful, but no you don’t NEED it, and yes you might miss out on some lovely stuff but there will always be more lovely fabric!!
However, I am not always as disciplined as I would like… but that’s ok right?? Also, there are times when the sewing gods line up and fabric and pattern work together against you to create an irresistible “NEED”. Sure who am I to challenge that? So, when Fabric Romance got in touch to ask if I would be interested in writing a blog post for them in return for some fabric it felt like the sewing gods were in alignment…
I’ve had my eye on a few of Fabric Romance’s fabrics for a while now but have been resisting because I have bit of a crazy stash and have been trying to work through it. When I heard they were having a pop-up shop in Dublin city centre a couple of months ago I jumped at the opportunity to go and stroke all the lovely fabric. I loved getting the chance to see the quality of the fabric up close. I was not disappointed and few in particular stood out and are sitting at the top of my fabric wish list:
- The gorgeously soft Fine Merino Knit. The rust colour and the soft texture have since been haunting my dreams. I’m all about comfort and know this could make a stunning simple sweater dress.
- The herringbone flannel; so soft with a lovely drape. I made a friend a linen dressing gown recently (Lahja Dressing Gown by Named Patterns) and have since been coveting one for myself. This is the perfect fabric to make a cosy but not too heavy robe.
- I was totally surprised by the Night Reflective Denim. I expected it to look/feel a bit odd, but it is gorgeously soft, a beautiful dark blue shade and you would not know without looking closely (or in the dark with a torch in hand) that it had night-reflective properties.
You see, I am hoping shortly to release my first PDF sewing pattern in the form of this lovely little (as yet unnamed) backpack, with a crossbody option to be included also. It is a simple, modern design, well drafted (I hope!) with neat proportions and some unusual diagonal lines. Perfect for playing with colour and texture while maintaining a modern aesthetic.
My two boys and I have recently started cycling to school and work. While we’ve always walked and most of the time they can cycle along quiet footpaths I’m now even more concerned to ensure that they are always highly visible. I couldn’t resist asking Steph for a metre of the Night Reflective Denim with which to make this pre-test draft of the bag. I combined it with some yellow baby corduroy from my stash - the perfect combo for road safety: bright yellow for daylight visibility and the harder wearing denim with magical night time reflective properties.
The denim is even softer than I remembered from the pop-up shop and is great to sew with. There is a slight striped texture to it and the reflective thread can be seen upon close inspection, both working to give the fabric a bit more depth than standard denim. I managed to convince my middle boy to stand in the middle of the road for some night time photos to see if I could get some reflective pictures for you. As you can see it really works!!
While sewing I also snuck in one of the Kylie and the Machine “It Has Pockets” labels that I bought from Steph a while back. I recently took the decision to stop saving them for “special” projects: every project has time and energy and love sewn into it and using the lovely labels helps me recognise and value this. Plus they really do add that extra detail and layer of quality to your work.
Thanks so much to Steph for gifting me the super fabric. I have a little bit of it left… here are a few of my plans… Soft lined reflective mittens for use on the bikes, appliquéd panels on the back of a sweater getting the reflective value out of a small bit of fabric, a hat for me from the pattern book “Atelier to Nani Iro” that has been on my list for a long time. Ooh, that would be a good one for the current #sewthatpatternnow challenge underway over on Instagram! I’ve another bag pattern in my brain that could make great use out of some reflective appliquéd panels, but more about that another time…
If you’re interested you can keep in touch with my pattern making plans over on Instagram and Facebook as @incompletestitches and at www.incompletestitches.com. Exciting, but ridiculously busy, times ahead for me!