Dawn's Diary: GBSB Mania!
Did you know that we have a stunning range of organic cotton jersey, interlocks and cuffing fabrics that were originally made for a baby wear company? They are so super soft and comfy and perfect for the Babygrow pattern. The pattern is a lovely side-opening babygrow (without feet) that's suitable for ages 9 months to 36 months.
Suggested fabrics are cotton stretch jerseys, with the GBSB version including cuffs and binding in the same fabric as the body. I think that it's a great idea to add your own touch to your garments, such as the use of a contrasting binding and cuffing, using coordinating fabrics from the same range. Here are just a few of the fabrics that we have in our organic cotton jersey collection.
If I were to make this babygrow, my choice for the main body would be the Army of Frogs with matching cuffing in Leaf Green Organic Ribbed Jersey Cuffing. For the binding you can either use the Army of Frogs or create extra impact using another coordinating fabric from the collection; Micro Stripe Leaf Green - Organic Cotton Interlock. This narrow, horizontally knitted, striped interlock isn't too stretchy down the stripes which makes it perfect for binding the curved edges of the opening of the baby grow.
Together, these 3 fabrics make a winning combination, all crafted using the ever popular organic cotton jersey that's super soft, irritant free, and specifically designed for baby clothing. What more could you ask for!
Breton Top & Dress:
If you like the sound of our super comfy, organic cotton jersey fabrics but don't have any babies or toddlers to make for, another great GBSB pattern that will suit the interlock jersey is The Breton Top and Dress. We have a lovely selection of stripes within the organic range, from single jerseys to interlocks, these fabrics are ideal for the Breton style, you just need to pick your colour and create that same look yourself. Trust me they feel incredible next to your skin, and their extra width means you will probably need less fabric than if you were using standard width fabrics (usually 150cm). Make matching tops or dresses for your little ones using the leftover? A simple easy pattern that'll work its way to becoming a staple garment in no time!
While we're still on the subject of knitted fabrics , a really simple and quick make that's super versatile is The Wiggle Skirt that is basically a tube skirt with an elasticated waist. Go for different lengths and colours to suit your style, this one is customisable. Great! The suggested fabrics for the pattern are stable double knit jerseys such as ponte and a medium weight scuba fabrics, both of which will work excellently. Plain scuba fabrics may work better than the patterned / printed ones (if you're going for a skin tight fit). Should you prefer your Wiggle Skirt to have a design on it, there are so many beauties to choose from I would definitely recommend creating a figure skimming fit (rather than a tight fit) as overstretching printed and knitted fabrics like these can cause the print to distort and loose definition.
For those of you already familiar with knitted fabrics and how versatile they are, I think the Jumpsuit pattern, translates easily to be made up in another double knit jersey, the same as the Wiggle Skirt: ponte or (lighter weight) scuba fabrics. I would strongly advise the use of interfacing the zip opening edges, as is suggested in the book, as it will be really helpful when applying your zip mainly because stretchy fabrics can be tricky and if overstretched will cause the zip to curl and not lie flat.The silky drape quality of the lighter weight scubas will look and feel amazing and will give you a garment that's both stylish and comfortable!
My ideal choice for the jumpsuit would be Super Sleek Navy Ponte, a first rate ponte that oozes class and has good drape quality, is stable, but still has stretch and a beautiful subtle sheen, plus its made from cotton! Make the jumpsuit in this classy fabric and add a superb metallic zip (rose gold, with a ball chain zip pull) will make an excellent additional feature! This stylish garment can be worn to the office with flat shoes and simple accessories, you can also layer it up with a fine knit roll neck jumper/ sweater in red or white. For a simple but classic evening look , just add your favourite pair of heels and some eye-catching jewellery. Think of the different looks you can create by simply adding different shoes and accessories!
One pattern in particular from the last GBSB book that really caught my eye was the Asymmetric Skirt. I think the combination of the mustard boiled wool, curvy raw edges and lovely drapey style were the dominant factors. I do love boiled wool fabrics but they can be expensive and rather itchy so having closely examined some of Fabworks scuba and pontes I have decided that ; Super Sleek Navy Ponte (as suggested for the Jumpsuit), Matte Black Scuba and our Navy Scuba will make excellent alternatives. All three fabrics have good stability , excellent drape and barely fray, also they are excellent value too. As they're non-fraying fabrics creating the garment should be something of a doddle too, relatively speaking. The beauty of making this skirt in a dark colour is you can add colourful top-stitching where the yoke is attached to the skirt pieces. Practice on scraps on fabric to see what works for you. I love colour so I am all about the quirky notions such as contrasting thread details!
Chinese Inspired Top
Now for another pattern I have been intending to make for quite some time; the Chinese Inspired Top. The GGSB book suggests using a medium weight satin, brocade, faille or challis, but recently I've had the pleasure of using one of our wonderful designer jacquards and was left in awe at the superb sheen on the background contrasting with the matte secondary colour of the pattern detail, and I know that it's actually a perfect alternative.You can see and read all about these fabrics in our blog posts (Biker Cardi Using Perfect Paisley Jacquard and More Chic Than Sheikh. Whilst making the Biker Cardi, I was reminded that I'd previously purchased some of the Blue Dusk Palms Jacquard intending to make a very swanky tuxedo style blazer, but when writing the description for the Palms Jacquard collection I had always thought it will make a beautiful Chinese inspired top or dress, with its light silky properties. So, why not the GBSB one? Just over 1.5 metres will make this sleeveless top, but if you buy 2-2.5 metres you have the option to add sleeves and turn it into a dress. For a dress pattern with full skirt and sleeve options the Simple Sew pattern The Lily Dress is ideal. If you don't want to make the dress, GBSB's Chinese Inspired Top is simpler and you can just extend the length and add some side splits for a super tunic style dress.When I finally get round to making my version I will add some navy or black piping to the collar and front opening to emphasise the contrast in the yarns of the very beautiful Palms Jacquard.
If you are in desperate need of some very versatile trousers (who doesn't?!) then look no further than the simple Palazzo Pants'from the 'From Stitch To Style' GBSB book. 2/2.5 metres of drapey fabric will make you a pair of trousers. Choose your preferred design first (I always encourage this, the design is the most important - you're not going to wear something you don't like the look of!), then using the weight of fabric the trousers will make up in a variety of different styles to suit the seasons. Use a medium weight linen for summer, a soft and drapey ponte for autumn / winter that'll take you through to spring. For occasion wear, satin backed crepes, dress crepes, viscose and silk velvets and other occasion wear dressy fabrics are all perfect depending on the season. If you make your Palazzo Pants in a fine worsted suiting you can wear them all year round unless you're experiencing tropical temperatures! Tropical suitings do exist too! For more info on suiting fabrics and their uses take a look at our blog - Suiting- A Fabric To Suit Everyone (also written by me). I have made various garments from our wonderful range of fine Italian suiting fabrics and discovered that if I pre-washed and hence pre-shrink the fabrics then I don't have to worry about dry cleaning and fussy laundering techniques later on. Of course I always purchase extra to allow for any shrinkage but often find that if they are closely woven and washed at a cool or delicate / wool setting on the washing machine, then gently air dried they hardly change. I'd also strongly recommend using a detergent specifically tailored to washing wool and silk products. There's nothing worse than washing a nice wool and it coming out of the machine looking nothing like it did when it went in.
I haven't followed any particular order in my choices from the last GBSB book because I have intentionally tried to group my fabric choices together by fabric type. Another woven range of fabrics we are proud to sell at Fabworks are our finest, high thread count Italian cotton shirtings, believe me , these are the most beautifully soft finely woven fabrics from Italian mills that supply all the top designers. So when your sewing skills are honed enough to tackle the Men's Pin-Tuck Shirt you will have oodles of choices.
I hope you've enjoyed reading my thoughts on everything GBSB. The book 'From Stitch To Style' is on sale with most online retailers. Now we're in the zone ready for the new season, let's get back to sewing and enjoying what the new series has to offer!