I'm not a fast fashion follower but rather a self-taught sewist, knitter, sustainable product design graduate, participator of #makersforfashrev and I spend my week working for an ethical footwear business - and I'd like to support more green businesses like Amandine's. A Me Made wardrobe is one way to swim against the fast fashion current. But I also quite like the idea of taking it further. One method I've been exploring recently is using fabric with sustainable and ethical morals. Generally speaking, this makes for higher quality garment that not only lasts longer in your wardrobe, but a better impact on the environment and society as well - before, during and after it's time spent with you.
Somehow, my pitch worked, and last month I was sent a selection of organic fabric from France, complete with organic matching thread. Yes - that's a thing!
For the first of the four projects, I decided on a shirtdress (Simplicity 8014) using Amandine's Sateen in the colour Dark Lagune. First impressions were that the fabric is a nice, lightweight one (perhaps slightly heavier than a cotton lawn), and the shade of green lends itself well to the Christmas season. It washes. presses and cuts well - so great for the more structured details of a shirt.
My original plans of making View B changed to View C, when I realised a looser fit dress is far more comfortable for dietary requirements of the Christmas season. I made a couple changes along the way:
- Lengthening the sleeves so they finish closer to my elbow, more like the cover photograph
- Grading out to one size larger at the hips, for additional wiggle room
- Hand-sewing the placket closed - because I realised I can slip the dress over my head no problem without undoing anything and this meant I could match up the lines of the fabric better.
I realised after taking a few photos that the dress has a slight pyjama-like look to it. And for Christmas, I'm more than ok with that. I've worn it so far with this cardigan layered over the top.
It's a comfortable dress to wear - so I'm happy that I modified my original plans. The shoulders sits perfectly, the collar is a good size and sits open in a flattering way, and the matching fabric belt means I can adjust how tight it sits on my waist. It's a sewing pattern I would use again, and recommend to other people. It's simple-to-make dress that would easily get a lot of wear - and quite importantly, is true to size! I went with what the pattern envelope suggested.
However, whilst the sleeve cuff detail is neat, I think I need to unpick it to lengthen it even more. I also went to the trouble of french seaming ALL the insides. Which is great until you need to make alterations.
I have another post planned for how I've dealt with the leftover fabric - so if you're interested, keep an eye out!