Sparks & Sewing

by pauline kettlewood on December 21, 2021

The spark struck when the Christmas Liberty Fabrics arrived at the shop. The idea of a piece of a handmade Christmas outfit filled me with happiness and hope for the upcoming holiday season. But what to make? There were too many options… I decided to let it simmer and wait for inspiration to strike.

Do you ever buy fabric with a specific project in mind only to find it doesn’t spark joy? That’s what happened to me with the Mind the Maker Viscose Solid. After seeing how beautifully this fabric drapes in a top Pauline made, I bought a meter and a half to make The Assembly Line’s Puff Shirt.

Singer sewing machine

My vintage singer

I even started to pin the pattern pieces on the fabric, but meh, I lost motivation, folded it up and stuck it on my pile of future projects. Part of it was the color, dark green is generally outside of my color palette, and I couldn’t really see it sparking joy when I pulled the finished product out of my closet, even though the fabric is amazing.

Then about three weeks ago, while organizing and tidying up my making space, the magic happened. While admitting defeat and removing the pieces of my Puff Shirt from the fabric, synergy happened.

I’ve wanted to make this Helen’s Closet York Pinafore Hack  for a while, but couldn’t decide on what fabric to use. How gorgeous would a pinafore be in drapey, swishy fabric?! I pulled out my pattern pieces to check if I could make it work and low and behold, with some thought-out steps my pinafore could even have pockets!

Do you ever buy fabric with a specific project in mind only to find it doesn’t spark joy?

To make the most of my fabric I started by folding the selvedges to the center line so I could cut both the front and back pieces on the fold using minimal fabric. I’ve made the York Pinafore before so I knew that the size 16 would work perfectly.  With large arm/side holes there was enough fabric to cut out inseam pockets using my standard inseam pocket. I then folded the remaining fabric with selvedges matching to get the width and length I needed for the skirt. I chose to make a shorter skirt for a more playful look. This fabric tends ravel easily, so for sanity’s sake I cut out as many of the pieces as possible with my pinking shears. If I find I’m still having issues after sewing I’ll just apply some Fray Check and that should make it stop.

York pinafore

Now the York Pinafore requires approximately 4 meters of Bias tape for the neck and armholes. I love the surprise pop of mint on my original pinafore, and I considered using the red or silver sparkly bias tape we have at the shop to give it a fun pop. In the end I decided to use the matching bias tape, as it makes it less obviously seasonal. A spool of matching thread and I was ready to go!

Now the pressure is on to finish it for Christmas...

by Sara Nathan