So it’s the fourth and last week of Project Sewn and what a competition it’s been! The finalists outfits this week are out of this world! I absolutely love the wearability and effortless chic-ness of Alida’s outfit – I want all of it including her fabulous hair! The creative tour-de-force that is Oona just blew me away again – her dress and coat left me speechless! Uber cool! And finally only a statuesque Brazilian beauty such as Rachel could pull off that amazing sculpted dress with all its fasinating design details! How inspiring it’s all been and what a pity it’s about to end!
As in the previous weeks, the general sewing public are invited to get involved by posting a pic of their ‘signature style’, an outfit that reflects their personal style and sewing ability.
This challenge got me thinking about my own personal style and how I express this with my sewing. My sewing skills are still somewhat rudimentary and with two small children to take care of and a dog, I don’t have endless time for sewing. So I definitely prefer sewing simple designs that are comfortable and practical to wear for my active lifestyle, aren’t too taxing and time consuming to make and which I can choose to enhance either with fancy fabrics or with embellishments. My latest make is a prime example of this.
This is the Viviane dress pattern from French independent pattern company, Republique du Chiffon. It’s a simple style that is easy to sew up. It pulls on over the head so there’s no need to worry about zips or buttonholes, it just has a simple loop and button at the back of the neck. You can choose to make either a top or a dress from this pattern, which you buy as a PDF download and print out.
I think this dress has many endearing features such as the elbow length sleeves and the dropped waist but it was the quilted yoke that attracted me to this pattern. I love the scalloped quilting lines and wanted to emphasise them in my dress.
I’m blaming my daughters for the sequins! It’s carnival time here in Germany and I’ve been working on costumes for my girls which involved lots of hand sewing of sequins and well, I got a bit carried away!
I don’t know yet if I’m happy with the result but I don’t really mind because I had a lot of fun trying this out and I enjoy experimenting – nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
Plus that yoke isn’t just decorative, it’s functional too! Oh yes, it’s this dress’s secret weapon, it’s a Trojan horse, if you will. You see this baby is working double duty because it’s stuffed with this:
Wool! – pure and unadulterated complete with bits of straw, fresh from the German organic sheep farm it came from. And boy does this make a difference to the warmth of this dress! It’s toasty! I may have to work a bit of this insulation into all my winter garments!
The dress is fully lined with a viscose lining fabric. I actually treated the top of the dress and the lining as one to sew up because it all got too complicated with the yoke attachment and the sleeves.
If you’re unfamiliar with Republique du Chiffon, then go and check them out, they’ve got some great French chic patterns and have just released a free dress pattern to kick off the launch of their 2014 pattern collection.
For oodles more French inspiration, also stop by the Republique du Chiffon fan blog, where you can see the wonderful creations that have been made by fans of the Republique du Chiffon patterns.
Pattern used - Viviane dress by Republique du Chiffon PDF download. Made in Size 36
Fabric used - Wool suiting, linen for the yoke, organic wool batting for the quilting, viscose lining and sequins – all from stash!
Pattern Difficulty Rating – Easy
Don’t forget to exercise your democratic right and cast your vote for your favourite outfit over at Project Sewn!
Have you added any secret details to any of your hand sewn garments? How would you describe your personal style? What’s the most experimental thing you’ve made? I’d love to hear about it, so please leave a comment below.