Painted love

Do you buy the pattern and then find the fabric to fit when you’re sewing? Or do you work the other way around? I must say that after years of working with vintage kimono material, I have got used to always letting the fabric do the talking. This is why I tend to buy material even though I have no immediate plans for it, and it then ends up sitting around until it decides to speak up. Last July I bought some fabric at the Oakleigh market, and over the summer break I finally got it to tell me that it wanted to be a mini-dress.

It’s a pretty simple pattern with raglan sleeves and with such a loud painted-looking pattern I’m fairly sure most people would have left it at that. But where would have been the fun in just whipping up a dress and not adding anything to it? So I decided to stitch around the neckline in green and also use some of my ample supply of bias binding to add a bit of interest (that probably no one but myself will notice).

I made some thickish piping from green bias binding and cord that I had lying around and inserted it into the shoulder seam. This did not work as well as planned as the binding wasn’t really wide enough for the cord, but here’s how I did it:

Simply wrap the binding around the cord and stitch it using the zipper foot on the machine, and (theoretically) hey presto, you’ve got piping at whatever width you like it instead of having to buy from the limited range on offer at the shops (and this way you can use up bits of material too, if you don’t have a shoebox full of bias binding like I do).

The idea had actually been to make crazy thick piping, kind of like rope width, but as I didn’t have any binding that wide, that didn’t happen. But don’t you think really thick piping would look great to define shoulders on a plain jumper or something like that? (Or a patterned one, in my case…!!) I will definitely try it when I get some time (ha, when will that be!?)

I was pretty happy with how it turned out – worn here with op shop earrings from ages ago and op shop shoes which I got for $14 at the Salvos last month! (Close up pic here)