I was instantly drawn to this fabric as I am a complete book worm and I love actual books. No kindle for me. There's just something about real books and yes I am one of those readers who won't crease the spine. I try not to hoard too many books as my house would be filled to the brim. I've got a few favourites on a bookshelf and use books as features around the house, mainly my rainbow collection of Observer Books and a seasonal collection on the coffee table. This fabric is perfect as it means I can have a collection of books that only takes up a tiny bit of room in my wardrobe!
Although I would loved to have made a French Navy Orla I decided to make another favourite, the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine. Im still trying to perfect the fit of this dress and I think I'm finally there. Working out how to do an FBA with no darts of a gathered bodice was a bit of a head scratcher! I basically just held the bodice piece against me and marked on the apex and from here drew three lines, one to the waist seam, one to the side seam and one to the armcycle. These lines formed the cutting lines for the FBA.
The fabric is a quilting cotton but this never puts me off using it for dress making. I find that you can get some amazing designs in quilting cotton that you just can't seem to get in dress making fabric. I was originally going to make the Tilly and the Buttons Bettine dress but as I've just made a pair of jeans I decided to make the Bettine into a top as I don't have many me made tops.
The books are printed onto a white back ground I decided to line it.
Here's a quick run through of how I lined the bodice:
- cut out the front and back bodice pieces in your fabric and lining fabric. I decided to use some white fabric from my stash. I was thinking about a blue lining but didn't want the white fabric to look "dirty" from the right side if it slightly showed through giving it a darker appearance. No need to cut out the facing pieces.
- sew the shoulder seams as per the instructions and do this on the lining pieces as well.
- attach the lining bodice to the fabric bodice as per the facing instructions. Sew. Trim the seams. Press. Top stitch.
- sew up the side seams of the fabric bodice, making sure the lining is out of the way.
- sew up the side seams of the lining making sure the fabric is out of the way.
- for the cuffs I attached these these by the method in the instructions and treated the lining and fabric as one piece.
If you are happy with the top this shorted cropped length them hem the outer fabric and lining fabric separately to give it a nice neat finish. I would hem the lining about an inch shorter so there is no risk of it peaking out the bottom.
I decided to add a contrasting band to the bottom to match the cuffs. To do this I did the follow:
- cut a strip of fabric double the width of the cuffs and the length of the front and back bodice pieces. You can either cut this as one piece or as a front and back piece. I went for a front and back piece so my fabric scrap wasn't long enough. Remember to add the seam allowances.
- fold in half wrong sides together and press.
- with the top the right way out place the band over the top with the raw edges together. Sew to the outer and lining fabrics.
- finish the seam and press towards the top.
top stitch the seam allowance so it sits nice and flat.
This top is perfect for all year as it looks great with ginger jeans in the autumn and winter. In the summer this will be great with shorts and saltwaters.
The Kona Evening would make the perfect contrasting cuffs and band and the Kona Buttercup would be a perfect lining fabric. I'm also imagining a Bettine dress with the books as the bodice and an Evening coloured skirt.
Using up some left over scraps I make a little zipped pouch for the SMS blog which you can read about here.
As always this fabric was a dream to work with. It is super soft and washes and irons perfectly.
You can follow Georgina's sewing on her instagram account @sewinthegarden & she also blogs about her sewing adventures on her blog.