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Beating The Heat With A Gift of Fabric !

By the time I finished sewing, the light was quickly fading. I had bright sunlight in one direction and shadows in the other. The colors are a bit richer in "real light".
One of my friends, Gail, has a son, Stephen, who lives a creative life in Thailand. He sells a selection of yoga-type pants and leather goods through ETSY. A year or so ago I asked Gail if her son would ever consider selling some fabric. I like wearing simple long tunics and my favorite fabrics tend to be cottons and rayons. Two weeks ago at our weekly quilting get together another friend, Barb, said that she had a surprise for me. Low and behold my casual comment resulted in my receiving a package of three lovely fabrics...2 yards each.
I had wanted to make two new patterns, but they required more cloth than I had available - so I chose to make a somewhat adjusted version of my very favorite, TNT (tried'n'true) simple pattern (Dress No.2 from 100 Acts of Sewing). Fabric limitations required that I piece the sleeves from what pieces were left after I cut the front and back...centering the motif on front me back as I wanted. In addition to being pieced the sleeves are also a bit shorter in length..but still look good and are comfortable.

Here's the back...I managed to place the motifs where I wanted them

The fabric is a very cool, very lightweight, rayon that is very noodly (a technical term that means it slides and moves a lot). The fabric also frays mercilessly. Stabilizing with starch before sewing helped and using clean finish French seams throughout ended the fraying problem for the future. I really love the professional look that French Seams give a garment and I also love not having to worry about any further fraying. I cut very carefully, sewed slowly, did a lot of hand basting in order to better match the patterns. Before sewing I stabilized the neck, shoulders and armholes with a lightweight interfacing. You can see how easily it frayed in the image below..this was with careful handling...

Below: I tried to make the side seams interesting by carefully cutting and hand basting the designs to mirror each other.

Below: I had just enough fabric for a pocket! As usual the little puzzle that I give myself is matching the design placement so that the pocket becomes as invisible as possible. I had to adjust the pocket placement and make the pocket a bit smaller than usuala little smaller than usual so that I could match the pattern with what I had left. Careful hand basting was required because I wanted to match all of those little, colorful, lines as well as the lovely motif. The pocket is lined with a lightweight interfacing to provide a bit of needed stability.
Below: These are the other two fabrics! Looking forward to wearing them! I will probably use the same pattern because I know it will work with the yardage, but I may make a tank top or two.
A new tunic just in time for our first burst of very warm weather!
These fabrics were an unexpected, truly appreciated treat, but what meant the most to me is that Gail had remembered my casually asked question. Thanks to you, Gail, and to your creative son, Steven! You made my day and I will enjoy wearing clothes made from this gift! xox

 

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