Sewing Something Special: January 2020!

My resolution for this year is to buy one peice of special fabric each month, and sew it up right away! I want to sew really fabulous clothes that I will wear and love for years, instead of settling for whatever “good enough” fabric I can find locally. Here’s my very first project!

This is a Cashmerette Montrose made with Telio fabric from Blackbird. It’s all sold out now, but I’ve seen it at other stores like and Marcy Tilton. I fell in love with this fabric right away because of it’s bold large print. I’ve regretted for years not buying another print that had multicultural faces on it, so I knew this had to be mine. As an ESL teacher, most of my students are shades of brown, and almost all the teachers I work with are white, so representing that everyone is beautiful is important to me.

As much as I love the fabric, the colours aren’t perfect for my skin tone… but that’s nothing a little bronzer and my new red hair can’t fix! (Also, can we take a moment to enjoy the eyeballs on each shoulder?)

Part of sewing precious fabric is taking time to pick the right pattern. I *almost* made this into a Cielo Dress, because I’ve loved wearing all my versions… but it would have needed a lining. I switched instead to a Montrose blouse which I’ve only ever sewn as a stable knit dress. As a blouse, the fabric doesn’t need lining, and the pattern still has simple lines which show off the print. The hem does ride up at the front, so maybe I need a bigger cup size… or maybe it’s just that I made mine a bit loose and the rayon is draping down lower under my arms? Either way, I’m not bothered.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I recently had to replace my expensive long winter coat from 2011 because I’d outgrown it. I also sewed a dress (coming soon) that turned out too small because my waist has grown since I had last measured. The long and the short of it is, I gain about 1″ circumference per year, and I took that into account when I sewed this top. If I’m going to buy special fabric, I damn well want to fit it for a few years! I went up a size from my knit dress version, and added a bit of extra width into the gathers under the back yoke. My shoulders are always the first place something grows tight, so I hope that gathering provides some extra ease and longevity.

(I think it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway… I’m not looking for advice on losing weight nor explaining why I gain it. I’m just talking about sewing!)

I ordered this fabric in mid December, then procrastinated sewing it… which led to my new rule: Thou must sew the special fabric for one month before the special fabric for the next month arrives! I saw Merchant and Mills had a very reasonable price on the Indigo Hopscotch print I’ve been drooling over since seeing someone wear it this summer at a Frocktails, and I splurged on it… then it shipped really quickly so I had to bang out this blouse before it arrived. Having a deadline helped me not to overthink it.

Here’s my summary for this project:

Month: January 2020
Fabric: Telio Faces from Blackbird Fabrics
Cost: $52 for 2m including shipping
Leftovers: None
Pattern: Cashmerette Monstrose, size 20 E/F
Measurements: 45/41/52″, 5’2″ tall
Success: 10/10! I got so many compliments when I wore this, and I get excited when I see it in my closet.

We’ve started a hashtag at the Sewcialists called #SewThePrecious, which you can read about here. I’m basically sewing the precious fabric with this challenge of mine, except I also get to BUY the precious each month. Truly, I’ve created the most self-indulgent and fun New Years Resolution ever!

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