Fibremood Gabriela

When the new Fibremood patterns came out, I was, as usual, quite conflicted as to which one to try, but was kind of seduced by the concept of a body warmer. It’s quite cold in my sewing room in winter as I have a gas fire I’m too scared to turn on due to fabric flying around, so I thought one of these would be just the thing. It’s the Fibremood Gabriela Bodywarmer and it’s in Fibremood Issue 22.

This is the image that got me loving the pattern. It looks quite fitted doesn’t it? However, a look at the line drawings shows a slightly different story, it is quite flared.

I decided to make my first one exactly as per the pattern and use a doona cover I bought in an op shop for $2. It’s the most beautiful soft cotton and has a nice design on it. I really like the cream, grey, blue and orange colours. I just had to decide which part of the pattern to use.

I’m actually really pleased with my pattern placement on this one. Pattern matching not exceptional but everything lines up, so that makes me happy.

I chose to sew the patch pockets on and it is the the fully lined version with ties.

You can see that it’s quite wide, but it sits quite well when I’m moving about in it, the last photograph is at a community event in our local park where the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra was playing; I’m so pleased that I’ve worn it already.

I didn’t use any sort of padding with this one, so I thought I’d make a padded one. I had a rummage in my stash and found part of a mattress protector which had been on our guest bed. I kept it because it’s high quality and all cotton. I cut out the pieces to make an unlined version and cut the bias binding from a sheet.

I didn’t want to look like I was wearing a mattress protector so I ice dyed it using pomegranate, lac and logwood, all natural dyes. Unfortunately I was too heavy handed with the logwood so it’s much more purple than I planned.

It’s hard to tell from the photos but there are some nice patterns from the ice in here. When I was cutting this out I could not match the quilting lines, so decided to deal with them once I was sewing. I simply added more lines, extending existing ones so they matched up. The extra lines give a nice pattern and I resisted just adding lines to make things more symmetrical.

Some interesting shapes did appear. I love this little bell? flower? that is right in the centre front binding. I machined the binding on one side and hand stitched it down. I might have to have another go in some sections where there is bulk, as is the case with the neckline. My 2023 year of the rabbit looks cute in there though.

A couple of seated shots. It’s a really comfortable vest to wear.

I added an “invisible” pocket on this one, but only put it on one side as I liked the patterning on the other side too much to want to cover it up. At some point in the making process I decided that I should remove all the white stitching that didn’t get dyed, so there’s been lots of unpicking and resewing. However, I had already applied the pocket prior to making this decision and I wasn’t going to remove it, so it will have white stitching forever.

I was nearly satisfied with my Gabrielas and then my eyes lit upon a small piece of red blanket which I had bought at the Fibres West Garage Sale and knew i needed one more. I had made a size medium for the first two but felt that they were probably too big (although would be fine with a few jumpers underneath), so I reprinted the pattern as a size small and began cutting out.

Sarah, the designer behind Pattern Union visited me for some playtime

She helped me choose the closure for the vest – a vintage bow clasp. She suggested that I sew each side to a ribbon and then on to the vest and it has worked perfectly. I adore this feature.

Once again I made a lined version and the invisible pockets. For the lining I used some beautiful silk which I had also bought at the last Fibres West Garage Sale.

I love the bright yellow against the red. I also love to have silk lining in the winter, it’s light and warm. However the design requires that a gap is left in the lining seam through which the armholes are sewn. This was quite tricky with the thick wool and my silk didn’t look in the best shape by the time I finished. Next time I’ll overlock these edges. I think I will also leave gaps in both sides so I don’t have to pull so much fabric through the single hole to do both armholes. I did manage to close it up with no dramas though.

I thought I’d do a Sewn Shown Seated shot, and then got lazy so you also get a Sewn Shown Lounging shot too!

I nearly called this post “Fibremood Gabriela: The bedding edition” as each of these vests is made from some form of bedding. There is the doona cover Gabriela, the mattress protector with sheet binding Gabriela, and the blanket Gabriela. Maybe I need to make one from a pillow next?

These are all eligible for the Refebulous challenge happening on Instagram, which is an annual challenge aiming to inspire and encourage people to repair/refashion/reuse cloth or clothes. I think these three fit the bill nicely.

Finally a highly edited video of Miss G on her swing, sadly I had to edit out the bits of her saying “wheee”, but she’s very cute.


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