Hi everyone! It's Jess, again, to tell you about the second garment I made for Sew Your Hart Out September.
I loved the idea of sewing an outfit for Hart's festive month of sewing, and I wanted to take this opportunity to create an ensemble that was both elegant and fun. So, Cotton and Steel's rayon in Chalk, a chic deep burnt orange fabric with an abstract white motif, looked like a great match to my pink Papercut Nagoya Pants, sewn in Cloud 9's beautiful tinted denim.
Cotton and Steel is known for their original, detailed prints, as well as their excellent quality. I knew I wanted a pattern that could compete. Are you surprised, then, that I chose the Named Clothing Helmi Trench Blouse pattern to sew up this whimsical fabric?
The Helmi pattern comes with many style options, including a tunic dress. For my version, I made the full trench version, with lined cape, hidden button placket, strap cuffs, split hems, and collar.
Now, I'm a big fan of Named Patterns, and the Helmi did not disappoint. In fact, this is already my second version. You can check out my first here on my blog, which includes some of my comments on how I fit the Helmi.
As you can see, the full version of the Helmi Trench blouse involves some serious sewing. It is a great pattern to take your time with, and thankfully, this rayon was great to sew along the way. Rayon can be slippery to work with, but I felt comfortable sewing with Cotton and Steel's because the weight prevents the fabric from getting too fussy. However, I did make sure to take care of the shape of the pieces after I cut them out. Because rayon can stretch at places where it is cut on the bias, I stay-stitched the neckline of both the blouse and cape. I also added some interfacing to the contours of the cape to encourage nice smooth edges. This rayon has an impressive texture, that is soft and with the perfect thickness for a flowy, yet structured blouse. Plus, there is a real sheen to it that makes construction exciting as the blouse takes form.
As with any new project, I wasn't sure how the end result would make me feel. I can be picky... But because it has so many details that make it simply wonderful to wear—the fabric texture, the pattern design, the color—I am so pleased! It has a personality of its own, and more than one style or statement. I think this is what I like best.
When paired with my pink Nagoyas, the two garments create a 70s Western aesthetic that I never thought I could sew up—it is a happy accident that only confirms the fun of home sewing! I love discovering more about my personal style, and making these projects was a great way to play and create clothes I feel myself in.
Depending on how you wear this Cotton and Steel rayon in Chalk, you can either turn it up in tempo, as I did with the Cloud 9 tinted denim, or bring out its subtle side, for example with a simple straight skirt or slim pant. Soon enough, maybe I'll do just that!