It’s Patsy here again and, boy, do I have a *beauty* to share with you today! Earlier this year I made my first Farrow dress by Grainline Studio and I loved it. I’ve wanted to make another version since then but still hadn’t had a chance, the inclination or the right fabric. However, all of that changed as soon as I laid eyes on this magical Ferns and Flowers rayon.
The first thing I noticed was the colour. It’s a beautifully rich rust colour in the background and it features – yep, you guessed it! – ferns and flowers 😁 all over it. It really is stunning. There are some small turquoise accents as well which look gorgeous against the warm autumnal tones. It’s so much more striking in person though. I actually squealed when I opened my sunshine package containing this one!
As I mentioned, it’s a rayon, which can be challenging to cut and sew. Having said that, this is my second project using a See You At Six rayon and they are something else. Compared to other rayons, they’re incredibly stable and behave so well. They’re still quite fluid and have beautiful drape but they’re not as shifty as other rayons I’ve sewn with in the past.
Harriet’s selection of rayons is to die for. There are so many to choose! I am currently on a self-imposed fabric buying ban, because my fabric stash is slightly out of control, but I have a few on my list. Like this Atelier Brunette viscose twill and this Watercolour Spots viscose which I’ve been eyeing up for a long time. The beauty of the Farrow is that it would work with all sorts of different fabrics, from Cotton Gauze and Cotton Lawn to Crepe and Georgette. The sky is the limit, as long as you keep in mind that the drape of your garment and how it hangs will vary according to the fabric you choose.
Now, on to the pattern. I did make some changes to it this time around. The original pattern is constructed with angled seams that divide the front and the back into top and bottom sections. On the front, this seam line also conceals the pockets. The front and back pieces are pieced together, too, which gives this dress amazing colour-blocking potential which I am yet to explore.
However, due to the busy nature of the print on this fabric, I decided to clean things up a little by eliminating the angled seam that joins the top and the bottom, both on the front and the back. Controversially, this eliminates my pockets 😱 which sounds like a stupid idea but hear me out. I believe the pockets would work better with a weightier and/or more stable fabric. I don’t use the pockets in my original Farrow because if I put anything heavier than, say, some tissue in them, they pull the dress down and it looks weird. Even my phone ends up being too heavy to go in the pocket. Besides, they gape open a little bit, so it made sense to skip them this time.
To do that, I followed this Grainline tutorial on how to remove the pockets from the dress. Given that I wanted to eliminate the angled seams from the front and the back, I marked the diagonal seam lines on all the pattern pieces. Then I aligned the seam lines and taped them in place before cutting my fabric. I also wanted to cut out the front on the fold but I got distracted and forgot to take out the seam allowance before I cut the fabric; so I still have a centre front seam. 🤦♀️
I made a straight size 4 and made no adjustments. However, I should have made a full bicep one. It’s something I often have to think about because my upper arms and shoulders are a little too big in comparison to the rest of my frame. I had made a mental note to check the bicep measurement but, as I mentioned above, I was not on the ball while cutting this out and I completely forgot to do that. Luckily, I got away with it because the fabric is quite malleable. If it had been a bit thicker, I probably would have had to recut the sleeves.
The sleeve facings were a bit of a struggle for me. Far too deep to topstitch and the opening was too narrow to fit around my machine’s throat plate. As a result, I just folded the facing back on itself, towards the inside of the sleeve and stitched in the ditch to form a little cuff. It’s cute and I’m pleased with it. The little button I used for the back closure was leftover from a recent project and I thought it was the perfect button for this fabric. I think it finishes it off nicely.
That’s it from me today! In the meantime, you can follow me on Instagram to find out what I’m sewing next.
***As a member of the Sew Me Sunshine blogger team, the fabric for this project was sent to me free of charge. I chose which pattern I wanted to make and all opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.***