Lotte Martens Party Animals Blog Tour
Once upon a time, I used to sew pretty much exclusively for my kids. I made all kinds of dresses (mostly twirly), staying up late and sewing in the daytime...and then I started slowing down and eventually discovered the fun of sewing for myself.
If I am totally honest (you know, in that dark, deep down part of your soul where you don't really admit things to anyone -- and sometimes not even to yourself), I really started sewing because I wanted to make clothes for me. Now, there's nothing wrong with that. I think we women should do nice things for ourselves. My confession is this: I started sewing for my girls first because I wanted to get "good at it" and I didn't want to mess up when it came to my own clothes, but it was ok if I messed up theirs. There, I said it.
Lotte Martens makes beautiful hand-printed and digitally printed fabric. She is a Belgian textile designer, and all her designs are original and absolutely gorgeous. I was given the opportunity to choose something from the Party Animals Limited Edition collection, and I selected the dark blue silk SUPIA 01. It's a digitally printed fabric, and it's stunning! I can't even describe how amazing this color is. Like all the shades of the ocean in one. It's at once vast and deep and mesmerizing. And I think it would go so well with gold. Maybe even this Plisse Limonium Gold.
Also, there are some fabrics that I want to save for myself. I have fabric that I first started
collecting buying in anticipation of one day getting a serger, which is a dream that is about to come true, thanks to some amazing friends!
When I received this Lotte Martens fabric I was sent for the Party Animals Tour, I knew I had to make something for myself! Besides, I had already made my daughter a dress from their beautiful fabric last time. Now it was my turn. No serger? No problem! I was going to French seam this one! (I could have done a better job pressing, though, I admit.)
Upon some consultation with some trusted friends, I decided on a pattern pretty quickly. There is a RTW top I saw in a magazine that I wanted to copy, and I hoped that there would be a Japanese pattern for it. Sure enough, there was! And thanks to my
uncontrollable Japanese sewing book buying appreciation of Japanese books, I found the perfect pattern. In fact, I am sure I bought the book for the pattern on the cover, which is what I ended up making.
I love the voluminous sleeves and the flowy feel of the blouse. It's a style I've seen plenty of around Tokyo, and I'm glad I could make one for myself. The added plus was that it happened to have a high-low hem. I made a muslin and then ended up adding about 1cm to the length in front. Not a huge difference, but I'm glad I did it.
The strange thing I realized when I went to trace the pattern is that it's one of those "free size" or "one size fits all" style Japanese sizing, which I think can be quite frustrating because - hello, we are not all the same size! For instance, I am 5'1" and I have quite broad shoulders for my height. I suspect I might have a longer-than-average torso, but I have not had a chance to test out that theory in any scientific manner.
Anyway, I wanted to show you the back, because look at that fabric! Isn't it amazing that all of these colors came from 1 meter of fabric?? I didn't have much room to play around because the sleeves were pretty voluminous (in fact, I had to lose about 2cm of gathering length in the sleeves because of how I was placing the fabric, but turns out there was plenty of volume anyway). I made a muslin in...some kind of gauze/linen blend -- you didn't think I was going to try out a new pattern using this precious fabric, did you?? -- and although it doesn't drape as beautifully as this silk, it still worked really well, in case you are tempted to try out this pattern for yourself in gauze.
One thing I might change the next time I make this pattern is that I will probably try to make a facing rather than use bias tape around the neckline. I'm not sure if that will be an improvement, but part of me felt that I should have done it this time with the silk. That and maybe I should have made a loose pseudo-cuff piece rather than using elastic to gather the sleeve hem. What do you think?
I love how you can see so many colors in one sleeve! Ahhhhhh.
Thank you, Lotte Martens and Eva, for this dreamy fabric and for having me along on the tour! I feel so fancy. It's really such a nice feeling to make yourself something pretty every once in a while. <3
Lotte Martens will be present at H+H Cologne in Hall 2.1 at booth C069 from March 23-25, 2018. If you happen to be around, you should stop in to say hi! They've got some goodies for you! And if you can't make it, there are plenty of online stockists (in Europe) to satisfy all your fabric shopping needs.
Be sure to check out the other bloggers below for more sewing inspiration!