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What I’m currently working on…

June 10, 2014

I am attending the Minerva Crafts Meet-Up

In case you haven’t already heard, Minerva Crafts are hosting a meet-up on Saturday 14th June, and some of the bloggers from the network are going to be there (including me).  We’ve been asked to make something special to be revealed on the day, so that’s what I am currently working on… and I don’t mind admitting that I am relieved to not have to reveal my garment to you just yet, as I haven’t actually started making it!  I am very last minute this month!

My project is going to be a floral print dress made with ramie.  No big surprises there, as dresses are my preferred thing to sew (and wear), and I’m partial to floral prints.

The fabric I am using is a John Kaldor ramie.  I’ve never sewn with ramie before, so first of all I consulted my ‘Fabric for Fashion: Swatch Book’ by Clive Hallett and Amanda Johnston.  There is a swatch of ramie and a description as follows: ‘Ramie is an ecologically sustainable plant that has an exceptionally long fibre-producing lifespan and can be harvested up to six times a year.  It is a strong fibre with a high tensile strength and holds its shape well, although it tends to wrinkle easily and can be brittle.  It shares several of the visual characteristics of linen and has been used as a less expensive alternative.’

I have another reference book about fabrics called ‘The Fabric Selector’ by Dana Willard, and this is what that book has to say about ramie: ‘Ramie is made from plant fibres that are native to Eastern Asia.  It is soft, cool, eco-friendly and comfortable to wear, but just like linen, can wrinkle excessively and is costly to produce.’

John Kaldor Raspberry Ramie dress fabric

John Kaldor Raspberry Ramie dress fabric

The thing I love most about this fabric is the print – a large scale floral with a red, cream and brown colour scheme.   The saddest thing about this fabric is that Minerva have now sold out of it.  I snaffled the last of the bolt – lucky for me, but not so lucky for anyone who wants some for themselves!

Simplicity 1801 - Cynthia Rowley pattern

Simplicity 1801 – Cynthia Rowley pattern

The pattern I’m going to use is a Cynthia Rowley for Simplicity pattern – 1801.  I’m hoping to make the maxi version of this dress, but as yet I haven’t cut the fabric so I don’t know for sure that I’ll be able to squeeze it out of the length that I have.  Although I haven’t started making the dress yet, I have already made a toile, which was too small, so I traced the bigger size ready to start sewing this week.

Bodice toile - too tight

Bodice toile – too tight

When I made my toile I didn’t just baste as normal, I made the bodice as if it were the final garment (minus the arm facings) – I even French –seamed it all!  So I’m feeling pretty confident about sewing this up in a short space of time, and confident about the fit, too.  Wish me luck!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. machinegunmama permalink
    June 10, 2014 3:06 pm

    Good luck! 🙂

  2. June 10, 2014 5:32 pm

    As a fellow Minerva blogger, I shall be there too. Looking forward to seeing your finished dress along with all the others.
    With my wedding 4 weeks away I’ve dipped out of the garment challenge so feel a bit of a fraud!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 11, 2014 6:27 pm

      Looking forward to meeting you! I don’t blame you for not making a dress: sounds as though you have other things to prioritise right now!

  3. June 10, 2014 5:39 pm

    good luck! It’s going to be a great dress in that pretty fabric.

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 11, 2014 6:27 pm

      Thank you. Maybe not classic ‘evening wear’ but nice all the same.

  4. June 10, 2014 8:39 pm

    Looking good so far! I won’t be at the meet up as it’s too far, but I hope you guys have a blast!

    • tabathatweedie permalink*
      June 11, 2014 6:28 pm

      Thank you. Shame you can’t make it but I hope to see you again soon!

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