Fabric Suggestions for 252 Beach Pyjamas

By Molly Hamilton
on July 07, 2020
1 comment

Fabric Suggestions for 252 Beach Pyjamas

Folkwear's 252 Beach Pyjamas, made of silk, linen, or cotton, often in bright, cubist-inspired prints, were the height of summer and resort fashion in the 1920s and 1930s.  They were worn from the afternoon to the evening as a fashionable summer style.  Our one-piece, sleeveless version features a full shawl collar that wraps in front and falls gracefully over the shoulders in back. The wide palazzo pants give the appearance of a skirt, and a contrasting or self-fabric sash ties around the waist.  For daytime wear you may want a cool linen or cotton and for evening try a silk or rayon with nice drape.

Suggested fabrics: Light to medium-weight fabrics with soft drape such as rayon, silk, or challis; also crisp, lightweight cotton or linen. Not suitable for fabric with nap, pile, or one-way design.  Attached waist sash is great in contrasting color or pattern of same fabric quality.

Below are some fabric suggestions from some of our favorite fabric stores.  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.

 

Of course we had to suggest a cool cubist print - this one in rayon from Style Maker Fabrics.  How fun and gorgeous would this be??

black and white faces in cubist print

 

I also love this abstract leaf shaped rayon print from Bolt Fabric Boutique. This would make a fun and flirty casual summer frock.

Cotton and Steel brand Rayon fabric form Bolt Fabrics.  Ginko leaf shaped multi color print on off white background.  p

 

Crepe de Chine has such a lovely drape and feel.  I love the breath-ability of the silk with the soft texture of the crepe.  The Beach Pyjamas would be perfect of this floral print from Stonemountain and Daughter Fabrics.

Silk crepe de chine fabric photo.  Off white background with pink floral accent print.

 

This lightweight cotton shirting would work very well for a casual daytime version of the Beach Pyjamas.  Harts Fabrics has several colorways of this fabric in stock at the moment.

Light weight cotton shirting.  Navy blue cubes on off white background.

 

We have some beautiful yarn dyed organic linen in stock here at Folkwear (Pictured above from left to right: apricot brandy, pacific blue, and charcoal).  Taker a look at our full fabric offerings here.

 

This rayon batik from Elfriede's Fine Fabrics would be so pretty and have a great drape and flow!  There are several other rayon batiks to choose from there as well.

 

We hope you enjoy the pattern and would love to see what you do to make it your own!  

 

My trip to Southern Africa

By Molly Hamilton
on June 14, 2017
2 comments

My trip to Southern Africa

zebra

lions lounging

elephant reflection

Saddlebill stork

I got back from my 2 week trip to Southern Africa less than a week ago!  With my mother, and through the company Natural Habitat Adventures, we visited Zambia (Livingston), Botswana (Okavango Delta region in the north), and South Africa (though that was mostly the Jo'burg airport!).  I learned an impressive amount of information about the ecosystems, animals, politics, and culture of the areas we visited.  Our guide was amazing, and the whole experience was wonderful. 

baskets made from recycled bags

making baskets

baskets

Textile- and craft-wise, I learned about traditional Botswana basket weaving and dying of fibers, and even got to try weaving part of a basket myself.  The women (and some men) who work at the lodges weave baskets made from grasses and held together by palm fronds.  They dye the fronds with roots, bark, leaves, and fruits of plants that grow in the Delta, and which they gather.  They gather dyes, dye the fronds, and weave the baskets during their off-shifts at the lodges.  Some of the traditional weaving patterns were "tears of the giraffe", "water lily", "flowing water", and "urine trail of the bull"(!).  I also saw so many beautiful wax printed cloths and skirts and dresses when we were in Zambia (not so many once we were in the "bush"/on safari), and I purchased many meters to play with at home. Women wear the cloth tied around their waist for a skirt, or around their backs with a child in it, or on their heads as a type of turban (especially helpful when also carrying baskets or pots on their head).  The cloth was also used in more tailored shirts, jackets, and dresses, and I was inspired to see the colors, patterns, and uses of the fabric. 

fabric

It was a life-changing trip and I am still thinking of it often.

sunset

Sewing with sheer fabrics

By Molly Hamilton
on May 19, 2017
2 comments

Sewing with sheer fabrics

The Greek Island Dress is a great garment to use with sheer flowing fabrics, but these fabrics can be a bit tricky to work with.  Here are some tips to help you before you begin to cut into and sew with those wonderful and fun (but maybe intimidating) fabrics.

  • If the pattern calls for interfacing, choose light-weight, sheer fabrics for interfacing, such as organza, organdy, or other sheer fabrics that match the fashion fabric or are flesh-colored.  For materials other than lace, you can even use the fashion fabric itself as a self-fabric interfacing.
  • If the sheer or lace fashion fabric is too transparent for your taste, underline the pattern pieces with a matching or flesh-colored sheer.  To underline, cut the pattern out a second time for the selected underlining fabric, baste underlining to the fashion fabric pieces (wrong-sides together), and handle as one piece. 
  • If neckline, armscye, front opening, or other facings will show through the fabric, omit them altogether, and bind the edges with bias strips, or line the entire garment with a compatible sheer fabric.
  • Cover cutting surface with a muslin, flannel, or old sheet to keep sheer, slippery fabrics from sliding around. 
  • Instead of cutting on the fold, cut in a single layer (making full-size pattern piece as needed).
  • Insert pins in seam allowances only, so you won't have pinholes showing in the finished garment.
  • Start sewing with a brand new sharp (or Microtex) needle and use size appropriate for lightweight fabrics (60/8, or 65/9, or 70/10)
  • If the fabric is too slippery and hard to manage while stitching, put a layer of tissue paper on top of the fabric, then tear away tissue after stitching. 
  • Don't backstitch at the beginning or end of seams.  Instead, set stitch length to 0.  Or, tie the thread tails in square knots.  Also, pull thread tails taunt for the first couple of stitches when starting to sew.
  • French seams are ideal for lightweight, filmy garments. 

These tips, plus quite a few more (including tips on sewing with lace) are included in the #266 Greek Island Dress pattern.  Happy sewing . . .  with sheers!

Kimono Fabric Suggestions (and some tips for online fabric shopping)

By Molly Hamilton
on April 25, 2017
2 comments

Kimono Fabric Suggestions (and some tips for online fabric shopping)

Sometimes it is hard to find just the right fabric for your sewing project.  Especially since local fabric stores carrying a wide selection of garment fabrics are not a reality for many of us.  Often, we are left with the option of online fabric shopping.

Shopping for fabric online can be daunting.  Is the color going to be right? the weight? the texture? fabric content?

A couple of things I do to make sure (or at least as close to sure as I can be) that I get good fabric that works for the garment I am making are:

  • I order fabric from a store I trust.  This is my number one tip, but it takes a little experience to learn who to trust. I go from other people's recommendations or the reputation of a company, or how long it has been around, or sometimes my gut feeling from the information they provide on their site.  If they provide lots of information, are candid and detailed in fabric descriptions, and contact information is easy to find, website is easy to navigate - this all helps. Reviews of the shop or fabric are helpful, especially if shopping on Etsy or other similar sites.  It is also a great idea to call the store if you are unsure about a fabric.  If it is a trusted store, their salespeople will be able to help you pick the right fabric (match colors, etc) because they are on the floor with the fabric.
  • I try to order fabric that lists the weight of the fabric in the description, and definitely won't order fabric if the content is not listed.  You want to know what the fabric is made of, as well as the weave/knit (crepe, twill, jersey, etc.) - which will tell you how it might perform for the pattern you are using. A fabric weight will tell you more about how heavy, or thick, the fabric is, and therefore its appropriateness for your pattern. A good description helps!
  • Go online with an idea of the fabric desired.  It is overwhelming to try and browse fabric online.  That is why I go into shopping for fabric online with a baseline.  I might decide a rayon crepe or a drapey silk would be great for a garment I am planning.  So, I will eliminate the website overload-overwhelm by being able to navigate or search for exactly the fabric content I'm interested in.  Or, the color I want, or the weight.  It helps narrow down the possibilities quickly.
  • Order swatches.  I don't always do this, especially with websites who I trust as fabric sources.  But, for expensive fabrics, matching colors, or fabrics I am just not sure about, I will order swatches.  This step can save you lots of money!  So, does calling the store.

So, after all those tips, I am going to leave you with a few fabrics I would love to use to make our Japanese Kimono.  We picked these out from some of the fabric stores we trust as online sources., but there are many more out there, so you can see this as just a starting point.

Rifle Paper Co Wonderland Black from Harts Fabric. This is a beautiful and popular fabric. 100% rayon. $14.79/yard.

Japanese Dragons - BlueJapanese Dragons - Blue from Stone Mountain & Daughter Fabrics. 100% cotton.  $11.90/yard

Rayon Challis Crane Print - RedRayon Challis Crane Print - Red from Stone Mountatin & Daughter Fabrics.  Rayon challis with a fluid drape and hand.  This light fabric and a pretty print would make a beautiful and drape-y kimono. $11/yard.

VF155-13 Bruce Botanical - Satin-Faced Silk Print FabricBruce Botanical Satin Faced Silk Print from Vogue Fabrics.  This is a beautiful print that I think would make a lovely kimono. 100% silk.  $12.99/yard.

VF155-02 Universe Nuance - Sunstone Abstract Cotton Print FabricSunstone Abstract Cotton Print from Vogue Fabrfics.  100% cotton, medium weight batic.  $8.99/yard.

Geishas & Ginkos - Ginkos - ML291729 - PurpleGeishas and Ginkos - Purple from Michael Levin.  100% chambray. $13.75/yard.

Genuine Handwoven Ikat - ML296748 - Raspberry / GreyGenuine Handwoven Ikat - Raspberry/Gray from Michael Levin.  100% cotton.  A traditional eastern look - very beautiful.  $18.50/yard.