Sew and Tell: 139, 261, 264, and 268

A wonderful and talented customer sent us photos and descriptions of some recent Folkwear garments she had sewn, and they were so great that we thought we would share them here (with her permission, of course!).  So, in her own words, you can read all about her makes below!

#139 Vietnamese Ao Dai:  This outfit was made to wear during the Spring Tea of the Corporation des aînés [association of retired persons] of Gatineau (Québec) where I live. Among the three teas that we served, there was a green tea from Vietnam. Being in charge of this event for the last three years, I like to wear an outfit typical of one of the countries where the teas are from. The tunic was done with a see-through cotton-polyester blend featuring Chinese clouds and dragons that was purchased decades ago. So I had to line it. The collar turned out to be a bit too high for my short neck. The middle shoulder seam of the sleeves would be more flattering for square shoulders, otherwise it could be necessary to add shoulder pads for raglan sleeves. The pants were done in soft silk jacquard matching one of the colors in the dragons. This piece of silk was purchased recently in a thrift store.

#261 Paris Promenade Dress: This outfit was worn during the mini-Fête d'antan (small yesteryear celebration) at the officlal summer opening of the Auberge Symmes» the museum of the Aylmer area of the city of Gatineau . During this event, visitors are encouraged to wear period costumes (XIX century and early XX century). Being a short 5-foot person, I had to shorten this pattern in the lower portion. The plain pumpkin color polyester-cotton blend of the outer-part was too see-through to follow the cutting layout of the pattern for the lower part of the dress. I cut two complete outer-parts in order to apply them as a large appliqué over the light-weight printed cotton of the background part that I had modified to have two complete layers of the main printed fabric in the lower part. Then, I added a narrow patterned trim all around the large appliqué. This proved to be a fairly long process, but the end result was worth it as I received lots of compliments for that dress.

#264 Monte Carlo Dress: This dress was worn by my friend also attending the event mentioned above.  The dress was done with a textured cupro rayon in a teal blue purchased years ago. The sewing instructions were straight-forward and easy to follow, the most critical part being the narrow straps in the upper part. The tunic was done with a fine silk (white background with a teal blue and dark green flowery print that was purchased recently in a thrift store) lined with white rayon lining fabric. Beside the small dark green frog closure at the neck, I added two larger dark green frog closures to hold the side openings (to prevent flowing in the wind) and three dark green tassels at the end of the three lower points. The free-flowing dress and tunic were very comfortable even in a fairly warm day.

#268 Metropolitan Suit: I made this suit to wear a few years earlier to the Fête d'antan in Aylmer, which I attended with friends (very top photo). The main fabric of that suit was an amazing bargain at $0.50 a metre. It was a fairly loosely woven polyester bouclé in brown-tawny colors with a nice drape, but with a tendency to fray. So the cutting and assembly had to be done carefully. It was lined with rayon lining fabric. The trim was an upholstery braid and flower-shape frog closures were added. The outfit is flattering even for the short person person that I am. I did not alter the flow-y jacket, but I had to shorten the skirt.