A few weeks ago Megan Nielsen of Megan Nielsen Patterns asked me if I would like to join in an event celebrating the sewing community, friendships, and showcasing the creativity of local makers. She thought doing a Perth photoshoot would be a great way of achieving this. I jumped at the chance – what fun! When I accepted I had no idea that Megan would also provide patterns and fabrics, although I knew that the photoshoot would feature her patterns and fabrics.
I duly visited her studio where I was allowed to try on all the samples and finally settled on the Tania Culottes and the Floreat top.
I’d always wanted to try the culottes but the top had completely slipped under my radar as I’d only seen the dress and knew it wouldn’t suit me. The top is a different matter though! The minute I tried it on with the culottes I knew they were a match made in heaven. Now all I needed was fabric. Due to the shop being full of beautiful fabric, I didn’t find this easy, but finally made my choices. I chose a luscious linen for the culottes and matched the colour to the spice cupboard – sweet paprika, although I’d probably call it dark ginger if left to my own devices. The top fabric was two remnants of peace silk. If you aren’t aware, peace silk is so named as the silk worm is not killed to get the whole cocoon. It is allowed to leave the cocoon and go on and spin another day. However, in leaving, it makes a hole which means that the silk strands are broken and are therefore not one long strand as in a cocoon where the worm is sacrificed. Anyway, the peace silk is a gorgeous colour with a beautiful print and I couldn’t wait to make it up.
In the meantime I needed to test the patterns. First up was the culottes.
I made them from some beautiful viscose fabric that had been donated to my stash by my friend Leonie. It had been her mother’s and I am assuming that it was from the ’70s as it was fairly narrow.
I can’t tell you how much I love these culottes. The swish factor is fabulous and these aren’t even the swishy ones!
I teamed them with a self drafted t-shirt and I really like the culottes with a knotted shirt.
Worn here with Missoni sandals. How well do they go?
The Floreat top was next on the list. I made the first one from some silk and cotton lawn – very light weight. I made it according to my bust measurement, but I’m finding that my shoulders and back have bulked up from the swimming and it was a tad fitted in the shoulders.
This one is cropped, and I felt that it had the propensity to ride up whenever I lifted my arms above my waist, so I decided to make all future ones the longer length.
I made another pair of Tania culottes from the sweet paprika coloured linen from Megan’s studio and made a Floreat top from the scraps left over. I graded down a whopping 18cm in the hips for this top, but it was necessary in this fabric. When I wear the top and culottes together I feel like a giant ginger snap!
I found that the knot on this top was really bulky so I had a bit of a fossick and came up with this rather enormous belt buckle from the 1960s perhaps. It is the perfect thing for gathering up the fabric whilst still reducing bulk.
Even though this linen is pretty solid it still gives a good swish when encouraged.
The dragonfly brooch is made from bamboo and I gave it to my Mum about thirty years ago. It has found its way back into my possession now and I love that it goes so well on this top.
Then I made another Floreat top where I graded up a size in the bust but left the hips the same. I did consider grading the hips down after the top was finished but the thought of unpicking the French seams was just too off-putting. The fabric for this one is a cotton/silk blend which came from the Fancy Silk Store in Birmingham. It is the perfect colour for the culottes.
Having tied the ginger linen top with the belt buckle I had another browse in the button stash and found this rather gorgeous vintage amber ring. It might have been a napkin ring or part of a bag, I don’t know, but I am so pleased to use it. I tied the top a little differently, tucking the pointy end back into the ring, which created an almost flower effect.
I haven’t finished making tops to coordinate with these luscious culottes. I will write another blog post on the actual photo shoot and share my silk Floreat top then.
I love all the outfits in the post. It is almost the right weather for the linen outfit but of course I am not really leaving the house except to exercise, so it’s not yet getting a fair outing, but I have found myself putting it on and wandering around the house in it. It’s so comfortable.