Sewing competitions. Why do I enter? Because I love the community feel of being part of something bigger than me and my sewing machine. Not so much because I think I could actually come first. The skill of entrants in these competitions is truly humbling.
Plaid matching and excellent grading and looking as good inside as out? And everything else fabulous about sewing? Love it. But not anywhere near as much fun when it has to be done to a deadline and someone else’s schedule!
Tessuti Fabrics runs a competition every year and the fabrics are always interesting and often very desirable. I didn’t participate the last two years and regretted this, either when the fabric sold out while I procrastinated, or after the competition ended and I saw what could be done with the fabric in the hands of fabulously creative sewists. Or both.
This years competition fabric was a cotton linen viscose spandex blend plaid. It wasn’t instantly appealing… but FOMO struck so I purchased.
Then, what to do? I fell down a Vivienne Westwood early nineties Anglomania rabbit hole. Pinned lots of inspiration and potential patterns.
Then reality hit. Very busy at work. No way I had time to play with draping and pattern making if I wanted to make the competition deadline. I should have stopped there and realised the competition was the problem. I didn’t.
Even my sewing machine was trying to warn me with this project!
I wanted something draped and maybe a bit twisted to have fun with the plaid.
What about Burda? Surely Burda had some skirt designs over the last ten years that were Westwood-esque? I could make a top too. Combined they would look like a dress, but I’d have options with other garments. The colours should work with my sort of summer corporate wardrobe SWAP. Good plan I told myself!
Burda didn’t disappoint. Several options, but I kept coming back to this.
Flat pattern measures told me I needed to draft a size up. Bit tricky with the strangely shaped pattern piece, but a competition should have some challenges shouldn’t it?
Decisions, decision, decisions. Should I put the waistband on the bias or straight grain? The back skirt is on the straight grain, so I went for bias for the waistband. Love how this looks.
I love the bias binding finish on the inside of the armscye too. What can I say? Simple pleasures!
But what about the front of the skirt? It’s a mix of directions. I went for the front waistband on the straight grain. Hindsight says it would be better on the bias too.
I shamelessly copied Ruth and made a matching top using Paco Peralta’s draped front top pattern. BTW this is a fabulous pattern. I already have several versions in my wardrobe and wear them a lot.
So, how do they look together?
Hmm. Interesting. Almost like a dress.
The top will probably get worn more often on its own. Like this. Perhaps with better shoes. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE these shoes. But I do wear them way too much.
Also I added about 5 cm length and next time I won’t. I know. I could just reduce the hem on this one right now.
But then I’d lose most of that lovely upside down V on the side seam.
And what did everyone else make from this fabric? Some absolutely spectacular things. On Pinterest here, and on Instagram with #tessutisklinescomp.
Note to self. Buy the competition fabric if it appeals. Sit back and watch what everyone else does if unsure or uninspired or time poor or all of the above. Make something later, when I feel like it.