Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Creativity To The Rescue!

Finding a fabric that you loved in the store but you get it home, begin your project and then think, "Really?!" can be soul crushing for those of us who *bleed* fabric. Before you toss that fabric into the scrap pile, re-think how you might change your original design idea to rekindle your "loving' feeling" for the offending fabric.

Grainline's "Tiny Pocket Tank" got us all excited by its simplicity and semi-fitted versatile shape. At our last wardrobe planning session, we picked out a soft ikat in a rich olive color to make another pair of Sewing Workshop's "Hudson" pants.

My monthly wardrobe planning process is a collaborative effort - together with a couple of my creative staff members and Laurel, my seamstress, we work together to pick fabrics and patterns that best express our collective design aesthetic. Working towards a common goal of creating inspiring wardrobe pieces that I would wear, we manage to create garments that we all love.

To pair with the olive ikat pants, we found a soft off-white double gauze for the tank to best coordinate with he pants and yet stand out on its own as a visually interesting piece.

Double gauze is, very simply, two layers of very soft gauze that are tacked together with little stitches that are somewhat invisible. I have previously featured on this blog the double gauze plaid in my Liverpool Shirt.

After pre-washing her fabric, Laurel took a closer look on the cutting table and found that the color of the gauze was not the nice off-white that we thought we saw in the store, but in fact, a greenish-grayish off-white, resembling something akin to a drab dish towel or putty. Try take your fabrics to the store window's natural light to make sure of your color choice, keeping aware of the time of day as morning light can be more yellow and afternoon light can look blue. Suffice it to say, the idea of a drab colored tank top not sound appealing to me or my seamstress. What were we thinking?!

Solution: Be creative and shift gears!

Laurel came up with the idea of incorporating the olive ikat fabric into the top.  She also thought the gauze fabric might be better suited to something like the Scout Tee, thus adding sleeves to soften the overall look.

The Scout Tee uses a bias strip for the neck binding. Laurel cut bias strips of the ikat design - even though the design wasn't on the true 45 degree angle of this fabric, it would still have enough of the stretchiness of a true bias (this was done since ikat does not have a symmetrical or regularly distanced pattern like printed fabric, so it looked better to keep the fabric design symmetrical).

And since we loved the tiny pocket on the original Grainline Studio pattern, we added our own tiny pocket, also made in the ikat. With our creativity now flowing, maybe we need to add a cute button detail!

Laurel cut sleeves out of both fabrics, but ultimately decided to use the ikat.  The resulting design changes and addition of the contrasting ikat changed the whole vibe of the cotton gauze from dirty T-shirt to casual color-blocked fabulous.  It looked like we planned it that way from the beginning!

I'm not much for "matchy-matchy" outfits, but I have to admit, paired with the ikat Hudson pants,  the result looks pretty cute on the Zanikan.  This top would also be great with a pair of jeans and it is so very soft!

The bottom line is, don't be too quick to toss aside a length of fabric in which the love is lost.  Chances are, if you re-think your initial design and let your creativity loose, you can probably salvage the love relationship of any fabric!

Come by the store and check out this great Scout Tee top and the wonderful versions of the Hudson Pant I have fallen in love with! We have so many of the FabricLady garments hanging around the store, so be sure to look up as you walk our aisles!

Creatively Yours,