Sewing bookworm – It’s habit forming

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I love this book, Breaking the Pattern. I set a slightly tongue in cheek challenge to myself as I designated one square of my #makenine2019 to “Everything in the Breaking the Pattern book”. With the possible exception of the the tote, and the Utu pinafore as it felt a bit too “worky” I want to make nearly everything else.

This was my #makeeight from BTP

I’m sure we all start our #makenines fully intending to make all of them, but I acknowledged that I probably wouldn’t, as I hadn’t finished all of my 2018 nine. However, this collection is so compelling that I may actually make them. I have two more to add to my tally.

White double gauze

The double gauze used in the book inspired me to get a stock for my own Sade but I didn’t want navy. I decided to make this my first dyeing experiment and create my own colour.

I have a selection of dyes from Teinture Textile which I’ve wanted to use so I tried their Rouge, a deep red. I put this into my washing machine with about two metres of the fabric, I also put in two metres of a cotton twill as well. As the wash program continued I noticed that it looked very pink so I hastily added a Rit orange machine dye that I had too. The double gauze came out a rich earthy red which I really liked. The twill picked up much less of the colour but that’s for another story.

At about the time I did this I also thought it would look good with a pair of Rae pants and I saw this ⬇⬇⬇ fabulous plissé fabric at Stoff and Stil. Who said anything about a fabric shopping diet?

This stunning fabric put in my mind a pair of Rae pants

The look came together in my mind, the colours of the plissé perfectly complemented the double gauze dye job that I had done. Don’t you love it when the sewing stars align?

Hidden armed and pointy boobed imaginary me

I first finished all the edges with a 5 thread safety stitch on the coverlock. I think this is my favourite stitch on this machine. It trims and finishes the edge and there is a row of chain stitch which forms the seam. I really like this.

Finished the edges with a 5 thread coverlock

The key design element is the layering of the sleeves and the split bodice back. They are both free flowing with ribbons used as closures. The two back pieces overlap to form a double layer and then they are joined to the front..

Two piece sleeves join at the shoulder and then can be attached to the bodice. Both bodice and the sleeves then have a channel at the hem so that the ribbon can be passed through to close them. The result is slashed sleeves and an open back which gives a very floaty feel to the top.

Contrasting ribbon for interest

Sade can be put together in about 2-3 hours and I’d rate it as beginner friendly. I was ready to sew up its partner now.

The Rae pants are again very simple – wide legged trousers with a twist. There is a seam at the front which is open from above the knee. You can have this open at any height that suits or eliminate it altogether. I think I may make any future versions with a lower split.

Very straightforward construction of the legs, sewing the vent in the front that gives the split. I deviated from the instructions with the waistband as I had some very wide picot edged elastic without an immediate purpose so I inserted that rather than the channelled waistband – verdict later.

Obligatory dirty mirror selfie!

A quick check in the mirror to see that the length was OK and then I was ready to attach the waistband.

Waistband ready to attach
What looks like giant picot elastic makes the waistband

I cut the waistband double the width of the elastic then added a seam allowance. Covered the elastic with the waistband, stretching to fit and pinned to the trousers and then I attached it with the coverlock.

Inserting the waistband elastic

As the fabric is sheer-ish I’ve left the finishing to the minimum to avoid bulk. I simply overlocked the edges. I wear some slip shorts underneath, I got a pair from Intimissi while on hols which are perfect.

There are a couple of adjustments I’d make to these two garments – the first is the ribbon ties – I’m going to replace the ones at the wrist with elastic and make the ribbons decorative only. I’m also thinking about doing something with the neckline as the boat neckline is not my favourite with my slopy/rounded shoulders. For the trousers I may make them with shorter splits or without them at all. I also omitted the pockets (sacrilege I know) because it’s a sheer fabric, but I admit that was not ideal! However I am still loving this combo and enjoying more warm days in it.

Did I love swanning around Verona in this get up – I suuuuure did! Will I love it when I get home? Truth is both the top and trousers are a little floaty for me IRL. I’ve already tacked the sleeves closed at the elbows as they were just flapping everywhere. As for the trousers, I had to do a weird tuck job with the legs as I cycled from our camp site into the town centre so practical is not a word I would use to describe them. This version of Sade and Rae are pure frosting. I’ll have to see how I’ll modify them if they are to get regular wear.

I’d love to see some more versions of Rae and Sade, and see how you feel about them for everyday life. Share, share, share!

Thanks for dropping by.


About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

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