Grey Pastille – Decisions, Decisions…

For the first time ever, I actually ordered swatches of fabric before making an online order.  Normally I’ll just take a punt on it and it’ll probably do.  I do seem to have a change in mind set though whereby rather than just seeing each garment as a learning experience that will hopefully be wearable, I now see wearable as the main goal!

This is probably how most of you sew, but as I’ve been sewing for less than a year (garment wise, anyway) I never had particularly high expectations of the finished garment.  I think it was my Sencha that has changed all that – every time I wear it, I get complimented on it and asked where I got it from.  My current response is to mumble that I made it and then make myself scarce!!

The Pastille Dress from the Colette Sewing Handbook

But, back to the point!  I would love to have a dress that I can wear to work.  Makes the whole getting dressed in the morning thing a little less of a headache.  In my mind it just means putting on a dress, tights and as sensible or silly pair of shoes as my heart desires and then off out of the door!  Pastille is in my sights for that dress.  Demure enough for the office but with an interesting neckline and pleating detail at the bottom of the skirt.

So with that in mind I went interwebs shopping as I’d got it in my head that I wanted a dark grey fabric.  I couldn’t decide and as I mentioned, my expectation have increased a wee bit.  So I ordered three swatches from Ditto fabrics.

From the Top: Wool, Linen, Cotton

The top plaid is wool
The silvery grey is 100% linen
The dark grey is 100% cotton and is the same tone as school uniform grey

The one I love best is the plaid wool.  But I have never sewn with wool before, and have no idea how to care for it.  I’m guessing that machine washing it would be a bad idea?  Can someone please give me some advice?!  I recently did a swap with Annabelle and have some gorgeous wools to use but I’m a little bit scared.  Partly because of the care issue, partly because I love the fabrics SO much I don’t want to use them and not love the finished garment (please say I’m not the only person who feels like that about bits of fabric…)  Also, would I need to line it?  Which would mean drafting a lining…  Any tips or recommendations for tutorials on that one?  I have a rough idea but would like to research the heck out of it first to make sure I was happy that I knew what I was doing!

The linen is gorgeous and I can see myself ordering some for a Rooibos and using the teal plaid I thrifted the other week for the contrast collar and piping

The dark grey cotton has a bit of stretch to it, even though it’s 100% cotton.  I think it may be due to the weave?   That’s a complete guess on my part though.  And it’ll be the easiest to look after.  Plus I kind of like school uniform grey!

So, what do you think?  My heart says the plaid wool, but I definitely need to do some more research to make sure I can look after it properly and that it’s comfortable to wear…

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8 thoughts on “Grey Pastille – Decisions, Decisions…

  1. Vicki – I was actually going to do a post about this sometime soon! (Washing wool that is). It’s really not that bad at all. Here is what I do, zig zag the edges of the fabric first. Then I actually throw it in my dryer with a few damp towels. Essentially this steams the fabric. Afterwards, just iron and you are good to go. I had done this with all of the wool garments that I have made. This also works for washing the garment afterwards because of wool’s antimicrobial properties. If you want any more details, I will try to find the original article I read and this, plus I hope to have a blog post in the near future. Of course – always test it on a swatch. The neatest part is that you will actually see that fabric has shrunk a bit if you take some measurements before and after.

  2. All that being said, go with what your heart says. Choosing a fabric that delights you will always make a garment you are more proud of. Gotta run to work – so I don’t have a lot of time for all the details now – but hopefully I’ve given you some piece of mind that it is not that bad.

  3. How about sewing up something quick with some of your other wool, just to learn about the sewing experience? Just a quick skirt, or even a coin purse or something really small. Then you’d be more confident working with a bigger, more important project!

  4. Ooh, you’re so smart to order swatches! I don’t order much fabric online, as the first time I did, I SHOULD have ordered swatches, because the fabric was way too flimsy and sheer for what I had in mind. And, like, you, I have some lovely fabric that I’ve held onto because I’m afraid I’ll screw up! I have 1 meter of really beautiful Liberty that I purchased right when I was beginning to sew and I’m so glad that I didn’t try to use it then!

  5. Just go for it, Colette’s instructions are very good and I’m sure you’ll do a good job, and learn on the way. If you are unsure because of a)fitting and b) lack of confidence in your sewing skills, I would suggest sewing the whole dress in a cheaper fabric first. You’ll be able to see how it fits and where your sewing might need a bit more attention. Unfortunatelly when I did a muslin for my latest dress I omitted the gussets and that is giving me massive headaches now that I’ve cut main fabric.
    And I think wool would look fantastic.

  6. Just dropping in to say Hi and ask if you have started your Minoru yet? I am participating too and got caught up tonight. I’m looking forward to sharing pics with everyone.

    1. Yep, I’ve started on my Minoru and so far am keeping pace with the sew along… I think we start on the hood today, and I’m lining my mine so I’ll try and take some photos of that bit if Tasia doesn’t cover that variation… Hope yours is going well!

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