First off I wanted to thank you all for signing up on the testing/reviewing list! I was very pleasantly surprised at how many people want to help us out. Since the Jade launch there has been some response but at the same time it has been a bit quiet on the blog in terms of interaction. That’s of course to be expected with a new blog but it still left me slightly worried. I only noticed this when we got so many lovely and encouraging comments on the testing form. Your words really made a difference and have lifted a bit of weight I didn’t know was there. Thank you so much! I will email those chosen for the next pattern on monday morning. So if you don’t hear from me, maybe you will for the pattern after that.
Onto the real topic of this post. This project is one that has a lot of things I was very excited about before I started. I had wanted to try some shibori dyeing, DIY Couture’s wrap top was on my list since there was talk of it coming out (two years ago?) and my new favourite summer fabric, linen, was involved. It sounds like a good recipe but I’m not sure about the outcome! But lets start at the beginning.
As I said I’d been eyeing that wrap top for a long time, so when Rosie was looking for testers I jumped right in. I had 1,5 m of white linen of a medium weight, bought at an amazing fabric store in Italy. (Rows and rows of beautiful silks which I still regret leaving behind… sigh). I wanted to make the wrap top version so it could be worn like a kind of blazer/coat. There’s also a dress version for which you need more drapey fabric. Natural white fabric, so perfect for dyeing. I followed this tutorial on how to fold the fabric. I used a tin of Dylon Arabian Nights I’ve had for ages and just dissolved it in a bucket with hot water with salt. I left it in for 20 minutes maybe, stirring and trying to keep it from floating to the surface.
I was really pleased with the result, although I could have folded the fabric a bit neater. Which I knew when I was folding, but I don’t know, sometimes you’re stubborn and don’t listen to yourself. Also the linen wasn’t working with me. Maybe ironing could have worked?
I was really excited about following the instructions because Rosie lets you draft the shirt right on the fabric, including the sleeve. I used my white shirt as a template since I like the way it fits me. And I loved the introductory articles: she explains every item you need to sew this, and has a good piece about how to go about choosing your fabric. She says how choosing a fabric is exciting and confusing at the same time. And she sums it up in the best way I’ve read so far:
“Quite simply, you have to strike out your intangible dreams and choose your physical reality.”
Guys, I need to hang this on my wall. Or even better, write it on my fabric shopping list. It could save me so much time and money!
The instructions are easy to follow. There’s a photo as well as an illustration with every step. It was a bit tricky to figure out the right pattern placement and squeeze everything out of 1,5m of fabric. I made the sleeves too tight at the bottom because there wasn’t really enough fabric. I can still shift them up a bit, an essential feature for me.
Ok so here’s what I like about this wrap top: I love how the shibori turned out, and how it works with this shape. I love the linen and how it moves. But here’s what makes this not a 100% successful make to me: I don’t know how to wear this. Although I like the look of those dyed folds at the front, I feel very conscious of all this fabric in front of me when I wear it. Which became very apparent when I was sorting out photo’s: there were 211 photo’s and there were only about five where I wasn’t fiddling with those folds. Argh!
There’s multiple ways to wear it: just let it hang loose, fasten it in some way at the shoulders or armholes, or knot it at the front. But I don’t know, none of these makes me feel very comfortable. Maybe the shibori and the folds are too busy combined? Maybe it’s this shape on me? I’m thinking of chopping off the front flaps and turning it into a kind of blazer. Or maybe chopping off the hem and make it cropped. I love that version in the instructions too. Maybe you have some ideas, what would you do? Do you agree there’s something not working here or should I just get used to those folds?