To build a community we are exploring every part of the world and only then we came across Miranda who showed some beautiful skill by making an Indigo Dress.
Over to Miranda...
I am excited to share a special review today. I have teamed up with Fabriclore to create some handmade garments using their special artisan-produced fabric. They have a diverse collection of fabric which includes hand-blocked prints like the one I chose to use.
Fabriclore is passionate about creating more home sewists and I am thrilled to be able to help enable them on that mission.
I selected this indigo hand-blocked rayon modal and perhaps it was a subconscious decision but I chose to make the Indigo dress, by Tilly and the Buttons for this review. Since I've never used a modal fabric before, I wasn't sure how different it would be when compared to regular rayon. The difference is (according to my research) that it is more durable than regular rayon (or viscose as we say in the UK) and can take dye as well as cotton does. Perfect for hand-blocked dyes!
As a garment sewer, I love nothing more than perusing fabrics in search of a print that captures my attention. I like the appeal of a unique print and, to me, a hand-blocked print serves to more than satisfy that need. To know that an artisan printed the fabric by hand, giving their full attention to that piece, makes it a special piece of fabric in my eyes.
I pre-treated the fabric by hand washing in cold water as per the instructions on the website. I washed it separately as recommended because this indigo will bleed in the wash. I found it needed 2 washes before the excess dye was not visible in the water. Once dried, the fabric’s color and brightness remained unchanged (hooray for those colorfast fibers).
It’s a very lightweight fabric, almost sheer, however, I found the print prevented the end product from being see-through.
I selected a rayon because of its drape and I knew it would be perfect for this project. This rayon is a modal fabric which means it has a slightly softer hand than regular rayon, to me, it feels similar to cotton lawn.
I decided to make a favorite dress pattern of mine, the Indigo Dress by Tilly and the Buttons. I have made this dress 3 times before and I just love how its simple lines allow a beautiful fabric to shine.
The Indigo dress has a simple construction and is aimed at confident beginners. I highly recommend it because the instructions hold your hand through the process and the photographs are clear and helpful. As a beginner, dresses can seem intimidating as they may involve a few processes. The skills you'll develop for this pattern include:
• Sewing a facing
• Inserting a sleeve
• Adding pockets
I prepared the fabric after washing by ironing before cutting the pattern out of the fabric. The width of this fabric is 44inches and this is important when deciding on a pattern and the quantity needed. I used a combination of clips and fine pins when pinning the pattern to the fabric to avoid creating holes in the fabric.
I would suggest using a high-quality polyester thread and a brand new needle. Choose a needle recommended for lightweight fabric, again to avoid creating holes or skipped stitches in this delicate fabric.
Before commencing stitching, always use a scrap of fabric to test the stitch length and tension. I used a stitch length of 2.5mm and I didn't alter my tension (it's usually set at 4). Rayon can be a fabric that can shift while sewing so don't be afraid to use a lot of those fine pins to keep it steady whilst sewing.
The instructions in the pattern suggest using an overlocked or a zig-zag stitch to finish raw edges. I chose to deviate slightly from the pattern and I used French seams because of the delicate nature of the fabric. I love the way the seams are completely enclosed and I feel this adds to the longevity of a garment.
I am pleased that I chose a version with long sleeves as this dress will become a great transitional piece in the cooler months. The dress feels lightweight and easy to wear. The pockets are of a generous size and they might just be my favorite feature of the dress. I love to style my dresses casually and I pair them with trainers for comfort as well as style. This is the beauty of creating a handmade wardrobe as you get to make the rules and create your style.