I wanted to share with you another project I made in collaboration with the Fabric Guys blog. For my third project for them I have opted to do a fabric review since I’ve been meaning to make another version of the Simplicity 1775 (Leanne Marshall) for ages. So when the opportunity to test this lovely chambray I knew I have the perfect pattern for it.
I chose to make view B of this pattern mainly because I have to wear a bra (strapless bras are not an option) all the time and don’t like exposed bra straps. Did you know that the colour of 2020 is blue (I didn’t, until recently), I’ve chose for my dress the plain blue chambray for bodice and skirt and the blue with white dots chambray for the sash, sleeves and collar.
I used the tracing will and waxed paper to trace all the markings from the pattern onto the fabric (all on the wrong side, just in case the marks do not come off in the wash).
The fabric was easy to work with, and a good thing since I have to sew in loads of darts and pleats. Gosh, it felt like all I did was to sew darts and pleats on this dress., especially since I made a mistake and first cut the wrong size and made up the dress once, only to discover that it was too tight. After ordering some more fabric, I started the dress again. To make sure I was accurate as possible, I pined and sewed one pleat at the time.
At the same time, I felt that I needed to interface all collar pieces. The chambray is very light and soft and for the collar I wanted to have more definition, which could only have been achieved with extra interfacing. My preferred method is to cut the relevant pieces in interfacing, add all the markings onto it and then block fuse the fabric.
For all my projects I always consider finishing the raw edges but using the overlocker for all the seams that are exposed on the inside of the garment. I did not bother doing so for any seams that ended up hidden by hems, lining or facings. However, as the fabric is super soft and light, French seams would work as well if an overlocker is not available.
The patterns instructions called for an invisible zipper, however, I fancied adding a lapped zipper into the dress instead, more for making myself to practice other zipper insertion techniques.
Although I feel that the finished dress is still a little to tight (all that sweets eating at Christmas might have something to do with this) I am quite pleased with it.
And guess what! My dress has pockets! Don’t you love it when a dress has pockets? I do so.
Overall, I enjoyed working with chambray, because the fabric easy to manipulate and presses well. Once I washed the fabric it became much softer and now the dress is so soft against the skin, I’m tempted to make myself a pair of pyjamas to sleep in. What do you think, would chambray be suited for nightwear?
A few tips for working with chambray:
- wash your fabric before you cut and construct your project. The fabric might shrink in the first wash, it’s better if it happens before you cut into it.
- consider finishing the raw edges as the fabric frays.
- The fabric us lightweight so small size needles are needed to avoid damaging it.
- This fabric is great for shirts or shirt dresses or garments for which the fabric has to have some drape. Summery projects are best suited for this fabric in my opinion.