Secret Sewing

One of the things I like about making things by hand is the ability to do what I think of as "secret sewing". This could be interpreted as the sewing you do when, say, you are making a father's day tie for your husband, or even sneaking some time in with your machine when everyone else in the house is watching a movie. What I am referring to in this case is the little personal touches you add to a project to really make it your own. These details are often visible only to the close observer, or to someone who sees the garment on the hanger or on the inside, typically known only to the recipient of a handmade gift. Things like pocket linings, facings, hems, seam treatments and linings don't have to be boring or match-matchy. Instead, they can be opportunities for creative expression or personalization, and are also a good way to use special or sentimental little pieces of fabric, ribbon, trim or contrasting thread.

This is the Rose City Halter dress that I made in the beautiful periwinkle Birch Floral rayon from the Rifle Paper Les Fleurs collection for Cotton and Steel. I showed this dress in an earlier post, but what you didn't see was the inside. I always like to include hanging loops on my garments, and for this dress I used pieces of the selvage from the fabric. Cotton and Steel is known for their cute, creative selvage designs, which generally include the name of the artist who designed the fabric and the year the collection was printed. This one is also especially pretty. The dress was lined with vintage silk that was part of the stash that I inherited from my grandmother, who played a big part in teaching me how to sew. This way, when my daughter wears this dress to her upcoming homecoming dance, she will be carrying a good luck charm from her great-grandmother.

This is the hemline of one of the many Esme tunics that I have made. The pattern is from Lotta Jansdotter's book Everyday Style, which I highly recommend. The dress is made from Robert Kaufman Chambray and the hem binding is a Liberty of London Tana lawn. I love making my own binding as it's so much nicer to sew with and is a really easy way to make even the simplest garment special. This particular Liberty print has a funny story behind it, so every time I wear this dress I'm reminded of a silly negotiation around the purchase of this fabric from a delightful  jobber at my very first Quilt Market last Spring.

This is a close up of the Bianca blouse shown in my post about the Les Fleurs fabric line. The cute pattern for this blouse is from a French Company called Wear Lemonade. The body of the blouse was made of the Rosa cotton print in Navy and the back role was made from a very pretty vintage cotton with both Swiss dots and a jacquard stripe. I bought it at a vintage shop and don't have very much yardage of it, but there was plenty for these yoke pieces. I even have some leftover for another project . . . I'm thinking it would make a very cute sailor collar.

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Here is my most recent make, yet another Esme dress, this time in fabric by Lotta Jansdotter's Hemma collection. I love this collection for its great color palette and block printed feel (more about that later). In this case, the dress is made from the Orancy print in the Gray Rock colorway with the facing in Lilla Citron. I'm loving this mustardy yellow color this season, but for someone who is not ready to go all in wearing it, having a little peek of citron inside the neckline is a more subtle way to enjoy this color. The little bird seems to like it too.

I'll provide more details on this make in my next post.

Happy Monday and have a great week!

Sarah