How She Made It: Kuna Hapi

By Molly Hamilton
on February 21, 2020
4 comments

A truly talented customer (from northwest Washington state), Susan, sent me photos and a description of an impressive and gorgeously-made lined and quilted Hapi Jacket from our 129 Japanese Hapi and Haori pattern.  Susan has allowed me to share her project below and I think you will enjoy it very much!  This jacket's simplicity allows for lots of artistic interpretation - an amazing example of which is seen here.  And, Susan's sewing talent allowed her to change this unlined jacket pattern and change it into a lined and quilted coat that is perfect for the cool weather of the very northwestern US.  Her artistic vision is outlined below - in Susan's words and photos:

A stash of brilliantly-colored, reverse-applique Kuna Indian mola patches has been nagging at me for years. Created by young girls as sewing samplers, later sold for pennies to tourists, they feature relentlessly cheerful birds and monkeys in unambivalently tropical habitats. What could be more inspirational during dark, January days? When a friend donated a few yards of African polished cotton from Mali, boldly printed in ochre diamonds on black, I set about inventing a garment for her that would combine these equatorial textiles into something suitable for Lummi-wear.


Assembling the components


Struggling with the back - a needle-breaker.  Because of the varying thickness of the fabrics, this was difficult to sew on the machine and I ended up hand sewing  a lot.

Sussing the neckband


Solving the neckband


Tricking out the mola

 


Front

Inside

Back


Bonus minaudiere

 

March 2020 Sewing Class at Folkwear!

By Molly Hamilton
on February 20, 2020
3 comments

March 2020 Sewing Class at Folkwear!

Folkwear is excited to kick start your spring and summer wardrobe by offering a sewing class right here in our shop and studio! 
Come for an inspiring and informative day of sewing with the Folkwear team to create your own version of the 142 Old Mexico Dress or Blouse from start to finish. This is a fun and easy project to make and a perfect “go to” piece to add to your warm weather wardrobe. Join us to learn and create a fun sewing project!
This class is geared towards the beginning sewist.  Are you just getting started or need a little guidance, or simply want to have fun making a great new piece?  This class is for you!!
Date and Time:  Saturday, March 14th from 9 am to 4 pm. Light refreshments and hot tea will be provided, with an hour a break for lunch.
Location:  Folkwear studio - 1185 Charlotte Hwy, Unit G, Fairview, NC 28730
Price:  $95 (includes pattern, sewing machine (if needed), and sample of Swedish tracing paper).
Materials needed:  Fabric for pattern, some minor sewing supplies, sewing machine (we can supply, if needed).  We will send a list of what will be needed via email after you are registered for the class.
How to register?  Just click here, enter your contact and payment information and we will be in touch with all the details of the day! 

This will be a fun sewing class and a chance to get to know Folkwear a bit more!

 

A Western Shirt Made - lots of options

By Molly Hamilton
on February 17, 2020
1 comment

A Western Shirt Made - lots of options

Our 212 Five Frontier Shirts pattern does not have the popularity I think it deserves.  This pattern is one that I get glowing praise about, from the few people who make it.  It is well drafted, with great instructions, and it comes together easily because of this.  And, with five options for shirts, and all the fabric combinations (not to mention embroidery possibilities), there are endless shirts that can be made from this pattern.  The plackets get the most compliments, with one customer telling me that she uses the placket from this shirt for all the shirts she makes now.

You can read quite a bit about this shirt from Wanderstitch who made it for her partner, three times!  Her blog post about the first version is here (View D), second version, and modified for short sleeves here

Also, Joanne Banko has used this pattern to create an embroidered version which she featured on her TV show It's Sew Easy (itsseweasy.com).

With this pattern, you don't have to have the front yoke parts, on any of the views. Views B and C have a buttoned yoke over the slit front neck, but they can be left off, and Views D and E have curved yokes added on top of the shirt front and back.  They can be left off for a traditional-looking button down shirt.

I have been wanting another button down shirt as I don't really have many and I like to wear them.  At first, I thought I would make a flannel shirt, View E, without the curved yokes, and I even ordered the flannel and was about to cut it out when I passed by our collection of organic linen and I new I had to make the shirt in linen - and in two colors so that it would be a bit more "western" and a little different than my normal button-downs.  I decided to just do the curved yoke without piping, and to make the cuffs, cuff plackets, and collar with the second color. 

I added snaps (but did not add the collar stand snap because I'll never use it) and it adds a bit more western feel, but not over the top.  This will be in regular rotation in my everyday wardrobe.  It looks cute tucked in or out! 

It was a fun pattern to use and I have lots more ideas about what to make with it!  You can see some on our Pinterest board. Maybe the flannel, maybe an embroidered yoke, or plaid with a solid yoke, or View A without the laces/eyelets in a linen or silk . . . .

What would you make?

 

 

 

Flamenco Skirt for Me

By Molly Hamilton
on February 14, 2020
1 comment

Flamenco Skirt for Me

Happy Valentine's Day!  I thought this skirt fit really well with some themes of today, and so I would post about it on this Valentine's Day.  Also, I just finished it two days ago!

I made this skirt with our 140 Flamenco Dress & Skirt pattern, and with a length of African wax print that I brought back from Ghana two years ago.  This pattern is perfect for the slight stiffness (and color) of African wax prints!  I loved this print and when I was thinking about making a skirt from the pattern, this one jumped out to me from my stash.  Not only are the drape and color of African wax prints great for this pattern, but since they are usually sold in 6 yard increments, they are great for making a whole dress (or two skirts).  

I wanted a skirt I could wear to work or out to dinner - nothing too dramatic or long.  So, I decided to make the skirt and just add one ruffle, or flounce (also it would  not take as long to sew).  And, it really did not take very long and I thoroughly enjoyed the process!  

The skirt is fairly simple, with just two back darts, a back zip, and a faced waist (no waistband). Adding the ruffles was fascinating.  Since I was only going to add one layer of ruffle, I cut out fabric to make the first tier of the dress/skirt.  The first tier is made of three different pattern pieces, cut into 6 fabric pieces, each of which is cut as a circle with a small center opening and a slit on one side.  The pieces fit perfect to themselves and create a large ruffle of varying widths that needs no gathering!  The ruffle fits onto the skirt bottom perfectly.


Look at that great pattern matching on the back seam.  I'm usually not that good!

I finished the ruffle hem with a narrow rolled hem on my serger - so quick and easy and simple - it was perfect.  It all came together much quicker than I expected.  But, with no gathering to do, it makes sense.  Now, don't get me wrong, if you are adding more tiers, the time of managing the ruffles (putting them together, pinning, slashing, dealing with all the fabric) can take quite a bit of time and energy.  But, I loved how well drafted the pattern is to make this time-sink of a task so much easier and fun. 

So, I ended up with a skirt I love.  A bit of a statement piece, but one I feel totally comfortable wearing out and about.  And, it is perfect for V-Day.  My kids loved it, too!

This pattern is on sale all month!


I love how swishy it is!

Fabric Suggestions for 212 Five Frontier Shirts

By Molly Hamilton
on February 12, 2020

Fabric Suggestions for 212 Five Frontier Shirts

Choose one of these 212 Five Frontier shirts for the cowboy or cowgirl in you, and sew up the five different variations for every day of the week: lace-front, square bib, shaped bib, contrast yoke, and traditional bull's-head yoke. Our pattern includes historical information and instructions for piped trim and "smile" pockets.

Suggested fabrics: Light to medium-weight fabrics such as chambray, cotton, silks, calico, corduroy, flannel, denim, wool.

PLEASE NOTE: These suggested fabrics are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written, and may go out of stock from store at some point.  If link is invalid for specific product, look for a similar fabric you can substitute.

This pattern is also great for embroidery - on the yokes and/or cuffs.  Fabric combinations offer endless possibilities.  I have found some inspiration for the 212 Five Frontier Shirts on Folkwear's Pinterest.  Check out the 212 Five Frontier Shirt Inspiration board I've created and see what might inspire you!

 

This fine wale floral corduroy from Bolt Fabric Boutique is fantastic, especially for making more feminine versions of the Five Frontier Shirts.  You could use one or both to make a beautiful shirt. 

  

 

I love this Ponderosa Plaid shirting from Hart's Fabrics.  I can envision the fabric as the main part of the shirt with a complimentary solid for the yoke or bib to add an interesting effect with the layout.  

 

 

This light weight quilting cotton from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics is suitable for garments, and I've used it to make shirts for my children.  I love the blue background color with this mustang print.  This could be a fun touch to the 218 Child's Frontier Shirt which is also features this month. 

 

We currently have several colors of this beautiful organic yarn dyed linen in stock here at Folkwear.  It is perfect for this pattern.  In fact, Molly just finished View E of the 212 Five Frontier Shirt for herself using two of the linens for contrast on collar, yoke and cuffs.  The shirt turned out great!

 

 

This embroidered denim from Vogue Fabrics would add a nice flare and texture to this top.  This would work very well for View A which has the simple lace up neckline, but it would also make a great contrasting yoke for Views D and E (modern versions) instead of embroidering your own fabric..

 

And finally, here is a fun one that will certainly not go unnoticed!  For all you avocado lovers out there. This 100% cotton avocado print from Oak Fabrics gives a nod to the Southwest.  Lots of fun as a contrasting yoke!

 

Inspiration for 140 Flamenco Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on February 09, 2020
1 comment

Inspiration for 140 Flamenco Dress

A sensational fashion for dancing or dress-up, with lavish flounces that move with flash. The dress has princess seams, flounced cap sleeves, V-neck front, and up to four tiers of flounces. The skirt features back waist darts and raised waistline; make it with all four flounces or just one flounce for a salsa-hot mini.  Make simple-sew fabric Rose accessory to attach to dress or pin in hair (included in pattern).  Read Cynthia's blog post about the Rosette for more details!



Suggested fabrics for the Flamenco Dress and Skirt: Silk or polyester dupioni, taffeta, faille; other fabrics with body and slight stiffness. For lightweight drapey fabrics, lightly interface flounces.

While many of the suggested fabrics are full bodied and stiff I also love the possibilities for other lighter yet full bodies options that would provide lots of movement.  I have enjoyed building  this Pinterest board featuring some traditional and some more modern variations of the Flamenco Dress and Skirt that I hope will inspire you to create something fun and beautiful!

Here are a few of my favorites looks and inspirational Pins from Pinterest (links to Pins are embedded).  And do check out our Pinterest board for more inspiration!

 


Traje de Flamenca from Pinterest

I love the mix of fabrics in this modern tango skirt! The polka dots and floral pattern really give a great nod to the traditional while adding an interesting break in the design.

 


This Agime dress has a fantastic line!

A similar look could be achieves with the Flamenco Practice skirt that is part of the 140 Flamenco Dress pattern.  Such fun polka dots -  a nod to tradition, but a fun modern outfit to wear out.

 


Acento Artesano Flamenco Collection

This dress form the 2015 collection incorporates a Cheongsam influenced bodice and neckline.  And, I love the floral print fabric, especially paired with a solid for some of the flounces.

 


El Pais Article on African Fabric used in Flamenco Dresses

An interesting article in El Pais about a collection of Flamenco dresses made with traditional Senegalese fabric.  African wax fabrics have a nice body and stiffness for this dress as well - and the colors are fabulous!!  And, if you get a 6 yard section (as they are normally sold), you can make any view of the dress or skirt as it uses a lot of fabric.  African Wax Prints can be very affordable.  One of my favorite shops for them is AKN Fabrics, but you can find them in lots of shops.

 


This Monica Mendez design adds the fringe and tulle ruffle!

I love the drama and flare of this dress!  Her designs are breathtaking.  You can view her work on her We Love Flamenco website.  there is a great photo gallery of Flamenco dresses on the runway!  The design inspiration from this dress is that you can add tulle, lace, ruffles, or additional colors to the flounces - either underlining the flounce or sewing the two fabrics together as one flounce.

 

Folkwear Travels to Madrid, Spain

By Molly Hamilton
on February 08, 2020
3 comments

Folkwear Travels to Madrid, Spain

I got back from a fairly quick, but jam packed, trip to Madrid earlier this week.  I traveled with my oldest daughter (14) for four days to learn a bit about flamenco dancing/clothes/culture, as well as to check out the great fabric and clothes shops in Madrid, and to experience a bit of Spanish culture and food.  We packed in a lot and had a wonderful time!

First, I want to shout out Liesl from Oliver+S who has a great blog post about the best fabric stores in Madrid.  She is a pattern designer who lives in Madrid. This was very helpful, and I definitely checked out most of the stores she mentions. 

Also, I want to note a few things that I noticed that might be of interest, or be helpful, to anyone who is headed to Madrid.  First, most people did not speak a lot of English.  I found this surprising since I think of this as a fairly large tourist destination.  But, that idea is very Anglo-centric and not accurate.  So, it really helps to have some knowledge of Spanish, though you'll be fine without it.  I actually loved being able to try out my Spanish and was pleased that people actually understood me!  And, I could understand much of what was said to me (if it was fairly simple transactions:-)).  Second, the vegan movement does not seem to have had much influence here yet.  Food is based mostly on meat and cheese (and potatoes), and it was delicious.  Amazing cured ham, salty and nutty cheeses, egg and potato tortillas (so good!), paella, fried potatoes with cheese, tender and flavorful stewed meat on bread, sausages, etc.  It was all very good, especially washed down with a beer or glass of wine (which was about as cheap as water and all very good).  But, I often eat a large salad daily and love vegetables, so this was a bit of an adjustment.  Even the Caesar salad I ordered was mostly chicken and bacon with a little lettuce mixed in :-).  It was delicious!  And, third and textile-related, nearly everyone dresses very well, especially on weekends and evenings.  Going out on Saturday night, we ran into women in high heels and sequined dresses who were just going out to dinner and drinks.  On Sunday walking through Retiro Park (above), we saw teenage girls in tweed capelets, oxford shoes and tights; little girls in pleated wool coats and cute dresses.  Dressing well, and fairly conservatively, is standard here, and I (and my daughter, who loves torn jeans and t-shirts) loved it.

Fabric and Trim Shops

Ribes Y Casal is a great place to shop, and probably my favorite.  The staff was very friendly and the selection was very large.  Prices were also terrific for most things, though there were some high priced items mixed in (Liberty lawns and silks and some amazing wools). I bought a rayon challis, "Made in Spain", and I think I will use it to make a Folkwear pattern you will see featured next month!

Liberty silks

The other fabric store that stood out was Julian Lopez.  This was a bit higher end and a little more organized, and the selection was even greater.  Though I did not find it as fun to visit, I enjoyed browsing all the fabrics and was impressed with the selection.  Definitely give it a visit!

I also enjoyed visiting Almacen de Pontejos, an old-fashioned trim shop where you ask for things over the counter and they are picked out and wrapped up for you to purchase when you leave.  It was a lot of fun to look through the buttons (I bought a few buttons and kind of wish I'd gotten more). 

All of these stores are located quite near the Plaza Mayor and city center and were easy to walk to.  There were several other fabric stores nearby as well and I stopped in a few, but these three shops really stood out.

Plaza Mayor

Sunday Morning Flea Market

The flea market, El Rastro, a bit south of Plaza Mayor, was HUGE (to me).  It took up several streets and side streets in the area and seemed to keep going on and on.  The market takes place every Sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.  We got there fairly early and I'm glad we did because it was very crowded by noon and we headed out.  There was a bit of everything there - lots of clothes (second hand, new and cheap, handmade clothes, clothes from India/Nepal, etc.), antiques, toys (again, second hand and new and cheap), souvenirs, and art.  It was fun to stroll around and look at things, especially the clothes and antiques.  We were impressed the with number of fur coats for sale (mostly second hand), and the antiques were fascinating!

Royal Tapestry Factory

Visiting the Royal Tapestry Factory was one of our favorite things we did in Madrid.  It was so interesting and the English tour (only at 12:30 - and you need to email them and sign up beforehand) was really great.  No photos are allowed in the factory which has been around since 1720.  It was built because Spain had lost their Belgian territories and therefore their tapestry workshops.  The factory has been producing tapestries and rugs for palaces, museums, and wealthy people since then.  The factory now also repairs, cleans, and restores tapestries and rugs. 

Since no photos are allowed, I don't have much to show from the visit except that we got to go into the attic of the weaving rooms and see all the wool that they use for weaving rugs (and photos were allowed).  All the wool for rugs and tapestries comes from Toledo (area outside of Madrid) and they dye the wool in house, creating what seems like hundreds of colors.  This wool is used to make rugs as well as repair rugs, so they need lots of colors to create the designs, but also to match to colors on rugs that need repair. 

They use a finer wool, often blended with silk, for weaving the tapestries.  The tapestries take longer to weave and can be very intricate.  Again, they blend their own colors using the Toledo wool and French silk, filling bobbins to create the colors they need for the tapestries. 

I found it wonderful that the workers in the factory were a mix of older (50-60+ year olds) and younger (20 year olds) people.  Some of the older workers had been working there since they were 14 or 15 years old, and the younger workers had been trained in a school that was open for a short time a few years ago.  The work seems tedious, but fascinating at the same time.  While we were there, they were working on a set of tapestries for a palace in Dresden.  They were being re-created from photos of the originals which were destroyed in the war. 

Flamenco and Madrid

One of the main reasons I took this quick trip to Madrid was to get a little more insight into Flamenco dress.  I love our Flamenco Dress and Skirt pattern and since it is uncommon to find Flamenco dresses here, I was excited to learn more about the styles, fabric, and design of these dresses. 

There are several nice shops in Madrid for Flamenco dresses, skirts, shoes, fans, and accessories.  Maty has a large selection of dresses, and huge wall of flowers, shawls, fans, and hair combs, and is fun to visit.  They also have dance clothes and costumes.  El Flamenco Vive (Moratin, 6) has a great selection of music and guitars, and has a sister-store around the corner (Duque de Fernan Nunez, 5) that has flamenco dresses, skirts, shirts, shoes, and accessories.  Also, I really loved Senovilla (just beside El Flamenco Vive) which produces and sells gorgeous professional flamenco shoes.  I nearly bought a pair, even thought I am not a flamenco dancer because they are really beautiful shoes and are super cute!!  They do ship world-wide and you can get the style you want made in your size.  It was a really fun store to visit (and I want a pair of their shoes!).

Shoes in Senovilla


Flowers in Maty


Flamenco earrings in Maty

I liked seeing the different style dresses, or different dress features.  Dresses and skirts were made from stiffer cotton or poly fabrics, from drapey knits with body, and lighter-weight cottons that had flounces underlined or doubled up with laces or other fabric.  Edges were often finished with a rolled or very small serged hem, though sometimes it was turned under, and occasionally it had a hair or plastic wire serged or sewn into the hem to make it a bit stiffer and stand out from the dress/skirt.  I could tell these dresses and skirts would move beautifully and would be lots of fun to wear.


Flounce edges embellished/finished with trim


Rolled hems/serged hems with different fabrics for flounces

We also attended a flamenco show one night - at the Corral de la Moreria.  We both enjoyed the show - the music (guitar, drum, flute), singing (not typical "western" harmonies but hauntingly beautiful), and the dancing, which at times became trance-like, and was fascinating and beautiful to watch.

The culture of flamenco runs deep and long in Spain, with roots in the gypsy history of the country. 

Other things to do in Madrid

One of our favorite things that we did was to visit Toledo for the day.  It was a fairly quick bus ride (45 minutes) from Madrid and was a beautiful and fun old town to explore.  We enjoyed walking the winding streets, stopping into the cathedrals, synagogue, El Greco museum, shops, and other sites in the town.  It felt small and easy compared to Madrid, and we (who hail from small towns) enjoyed that brief respite. 

We visited the Reina Sofia to see Picasso's work - which was fascinating and disturbing, yet helped us understand the trauma and history of the Spanish Civil War. 

We visited a couple of roof top bars which was a fun way to spend the hour or so around sunset - relaxing, enjoying the view, having a drink and snack.  The Hat and Circulo de Bellas Artes were really great.  The Hat was small and simple with a nice view of tiled roofs and evening birds, and Circulo del Bellas Artes was a much fancier (and more expensive) venue with fabulous, nearly 360 degree views of the city. 

Sitting at cafes and people watching was also very enjoyable and we spent quite a few hours eating, drinking, and sitting and watching.

Another very favorite thing to do was stopping for churros and chocolate (both very different and much more delicious than anything in the USA).  My daughter loved them, and our favorite place as 1902 Chocolateria.  The staff was very sweet and the churros and chocolate were great.

I hope this little review of our trip will help you if you are traveling Madrid, but will also inspire you in your sewing, especially for the Flamenco Dress and Skirt

Flamenco Rose Tutorial

By Molly Hamilton
on February 06, 2020
3 comments

Flamenco Rose Tutorial

by Cynthia Anderson, Folkwear Creative Assistant

With Valentine’s Day literally just around the corner and the thought of spring inspiring me, my sewing aspirations have turned a bit romantic as I start to day dream of the clothes I want to make and wear.

What better project to satisfy romantic yearnings, as well as creating a nod to spring, than the Fabric Rose Accessory featured in the Folkwear Flamenco Pattern.

This project is easy to make and lends itself to so many possibilities. Of course, roses say Valentine’s Day, as well as notions of spring, gardens, weddings, parties . . . .  This project is simply the romantic touch only roses can conjure up.  Besides being easy to make with endless possibilities, you can practically make this project from scraps of fabric.

To get started you can use the pattern piece provided in the Flamenco Pattern, labeled Rose “Z”.  This pattern piece is quite large and would make a stunning statement piece be it for a dress, a purse, or even a pillow. You can make your rose any size you like. Use the “Z” pattern piece as a guide or make your own. Your rose size will vary depending on the width and length of the strips you cut. Cutting the piece longer will make a fuller flower, cut the piece wider for a larger flower.

Once you decide on the size of roses you want to make, you can cut out your fabric using a pattern as a guide or simply cut out your fabric freehand. This rose looks great cut on the fold as the pattern instructions suggests or it can be cut out as a single layer of fabric as well. Ribbon and seam binding work great too! When using mere scraps of fabric there is no excuse not to experiment. 

I chose scraps of silk dupioni left over from I dress I made for myself as a starting point for my Romantic Spring Rose Corsage. I wanted to work relatively small and vary the sizes of my roses to make my corsage. I ended up using scraps of silk haboti, linen, and silk organza to make additional roses. You can see the great effect of using different fabrics to make the different roses in the photo above and at the end of this tutorial.  

To get started, using the Rose “Z” pattern, fold fabric in half lengthwise, with wrong sides together. Do not press the fold… in order to make the edges of your rose softer. I am showing the "how-to" photos below with a blue fabric for the rose, set over a white fabric for contrast (sorry the fabric is wrinkled!).

Turn the lower corner of your fabric strip with the squared off edge (right angle) upward to create a 45 degree angle as shown.

Now sew a LONG gathering stitch (by hand or on a sewing machine) along the raw edge, about 1/4 “ from the edge. You might want to try making the gathering stitches in three of four sections, rather than trying to gather up the entire length with one thread. I did find this helpful because my thread would break when I attempted to do just one gathering thread. 

Next, start at the pointed end, draw up the gather stitches… roll the strip around itself. This is where you will want to do a bit of experimentation in shaping your rose to see what effect you like.

 

As you roll up the strip, hand sew the rose to itself, using the gathering stitches as a guide. Try different techniques with the look of your rose, pull the gathering stitches lightly for a more tightly closed flower, and pull tighter for a fuller rose. Do a little of both for a more varied look. I used a small hot glue gun to secure my rose on itself. This technique allowed me to shape my rose more quickly because I am not stopping to sew.  As with most things concerning sewing, you will find the techniques that works best for you.

Continue to gather, roll and stitch the entire strip of fabric. I manipulated the shape and edges with each small turn. Trim away any thread ends and frayed edges. 

To finish off the underside of your rose trim a bit of the fabric to make it easier to turn under. Secure the base with a round circle made of felt or fabric to create a backing. Iron a bit of fusible interfacing on the wrong side of your circle to help give it some stability. Then secure your finishing circle backing to the turned under edges of your rose with a slip stitch - or in my case I used hot glue. The idea in doing this is to cover up the rolled up raw edges and provide a nice finished surface.

You could to attach a pin, barrette, or ribbon, etc. and accessorize any number of things. I ended up attaching my roses to a piece of silk organza and adding a couple of strips of silk dupioni to create ribbons, then I pinned my corsage to a silk scarf to finish off the look of my dress.  On some of the rosettes in this corsage, I  left the outer edges raw (as opposed to folding the fabric in half so there are no raw edges exposed), and I really like the look of this as well - a bit rustically romantic.  

 

 

Winter Victorian Shirt Dress

By Molly Hamilton
on January 23, 2020
2 comments

Winter Victorian Shirt Dress

A year or so ago, a customer sent me a photo of her wearing the 202 Victorian Shirt that she had made into a dress.  It was made of a large red check or plaid pattern and it looked absolutely adorable on her as a winter dress with boots.  And, I have had that dress on my mind ever since.  And this winter I decided to make one for myself!  

I wanted the dress to be warm - warm enough that I could wear it cut above my knee without leggings and still be warm on a mild day.  I made it out of flannel because . . . it's warm, but also because there are so many really pretty flannels available (hello, Robert Kaufman).  I decided on one of the Robert Kaufman flannels from Hart's Fabrics. They have had a bunch of different ones that I have fallen for this winter, but I liked the blue/grey mix for wearing on myself. 

This Victorian Shirt was a delight to make.  I used the X-Small size (this shirt is roomy) and I didn't even extend the length.  The Victorian Shirt was traditional very long, tucked into trousers, but also providing lots of modesty when dressing.  The pattern can easily be shortened, or lengthened into a longer dress (or nightgown). 

I loved the simple little pleats in the back and at the wrists. I like the bit of interest the bib adds to the front, but it could be left off if desired.  I cut the bib on the bias to changed up the plaid a little (as well as the back yoke - though cutting it on the bias helped utilize all my fabric).  The front placket was quite easy as well (just pay close attention to which side is doing what as well as right sides vs. wrong sides facing).  I only put in one button on the front, as that was all it really seemed to need for me.  And, I added a button to the sleeve placket opening (to prevent cold air from entering!), and the sleeve placket is simply made from the underarm hem.  I also added (silk!) pockets to this dress - just drafting them into the side seams at a place that felt comfortable. 

This dress is really warm, very comfortable, and I love the way it looks!

You can make your own with the 202 Victorian Shirt pattern!

 

Fabric Suggestions for 263 Countryside Frock Coat

By Molly Hamilton
on January 14, 2020

Fabric Suggestions for 263 Countryside Frock Coat

This traditional #263 Countryside Frock Coat has been a versatile fashion for centuries and today is the perfect choice for historical military or Western reenactment, as well as an elegant contemporary look. The single-breasted unlined coat features shawl collar, princess seams in back, waist darts in front (woman's coat only), slightly lowered waistline, long narrow sleeves with band cuffs, and above-knee peplum with back vent.

Suggested fabrics: Lightweight denim or canvas, light- to medium-weight wool, linen, hemp, silk, brocade, velveteen, leather, suede, pre-washed tapestry or upholstery fabric.

PLEASE NOTE: These suggested fabrics are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written, and may go out of stock from store at some point.  If link is invalid for specific product, look for a similar fabric you can substitute.

 

This double faced glen plaid and herringbone wool coating  from Stonemountain and Daughter is so nice and would be perfect for this unlined jacket.  It however is deadstock, so it won't be available for too long. 

 

 

Hart's Fabrics has this lovely woven flax.  It has a subtle pattern and overall would make a nice staple jacket.

 

 My mother's Countryside Frock Coat was made of a light blue silk dupioni and it was perfect.  Fabric Indulgence carries a nice variety of silk dupioni.  I love this hazel gold color.

 

This Brussels cotton velveteen from Bolt Fabric Boutique is perfect for this coat - gorgeous and luxurious.