A statement summer dress in Silhouette by Alison Glass September 3, 2017 18:00
Alison Glass is a fabric designer I love. Her fabrics are bold, colourful and I have had a lot of pleasure from working with them in the past few years.
Handcrafted was my choice for this Improv Quilt I made in 2016. It is a collection of Indonesian batiks - very modern and fresh.
I have also sewn up a storage basket with her Indigo handcrafted, and Kay made this cushion by Jeli Quilts recently for the studio.
I met Alison and the Andover team at Quilt Market in May in St Louis. Her booth was a little heavenly corner of everything I would like in my life.
The most exciting range for me was definitely the Silhouette collection, just released and making its way to shops across the globe. It's a simple reverse border print in 4 colour ways and you have to stroke it in real life to know it is a beautiful soft lawn cotton with fantastic drape.
What to sew with silhouette?
You can certainly quilt with lawn cotton (think of all those Liberty beauties out there) but for me I was straight to garment planning.
In my opinion, when a fabric speaks for itself, the key to success is to keep the garment as simple as possible. I didn't want to begin shaping darts, creating a waist seam and interrupt the flow of the design.
In the end I opted for a shirred, floaty dress. I have made some for my daughter and enjoyed how easily they came together. To avoid looking too child-like I avoided straps (they always seem to slide down), and I also didn't fancy a halter neck as they can be quite uncomfortable to wear. So I have inserted a broad elastic band across the bust so I have no fear it will fall down, and some little sleeves to make it look more than just a tube when I am wearing it!
And here it is on the my summer holiday in Cornwall a few weeks ago - waiting for Poldark to ride by!
Free dress tutorial
The good news is if you fancy it, this dress requires no pattern. All you need are approx 3 metres of Silhouette, a tape measure, approx 30 metres of shirring elastic and about 5 hours of free time - though you could do the shirring whilst watching TV as it requires little effort!
To read the full step by step sewing directions watch out for my tutorial on The Village Haberdashery blog in a few week's time - they have the fabric available to pre-order too.
In my experience Alison Glass fabrics sell out pretty quickly, so if you do want some then don't ponder for too long.
Coming next on the blog is my portrait of Comet the dog for my friend and sewing heroine, Anna Maria Horner.
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