It’s a shawl thing

Some of my readers (and friends!) have been asking what I was actually doing in Laos (when I wasn’t sitting around in cafes nibbling on desserts or getting drenched due to the Lao new year custom of tossing water all over everybody). As I mentioned, I was working with Lao groups to develop accessories, but I was also working with a tailor on a few things…
This is one of the tops I had made for me from organic, hand woven, indigo dyed cotton. I love the deep blue colour (which unfortunately doesn’t come through well in photos), it’s comfortable to wear and I cannot wait for it to fade and get old and soft, just like denim jeans do. But because it feels a bit stiff initially, I won’t be having it produced for sale in this fabric – I just don’t think the average consumer would be prepared to spend time wearing something in, and there’s also the slight risk of the dye running, although this has not happened with my particular top. So I’ll be using a different fabric, and I also have to make some changes to the fit. I decided to trial this pattern from my (vast!) collection…

… using this cotton shawl I bought in India a few years ago:

It’s a cotton gauze and was kind of a nightmare to sew because it is very thin and it also sticks to itself. So it’s hardly the kind of dress to wear at this chilly time of year! But here’s how it turned out…

As you can see, I cut the top from the centre of the shawl and the skirt from the ends. I wanted to make use of the pattern of shibori dots – not bad, hey?

(One of my readers said I should make my photos larger… is this big enough? I’m still hopeless with Blogger and all its changes are driving me mad!). I really like the fit of the top but because this fabric is so thin, I’m not sure it’s turned out accurately. I’ll have to trial the pattern using a sturdier material – and in the mean time, be super careful wearing this dress so it doesn’t tear!

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