Fanciful dress for Clementine

made by rae fanciful dress for clementine
made by rae fanciful dress for clementine

When my Fanciful yardage arrived I asked Clementine if there were any prints that she wanted to wear, and this pale pink print was her favorite. I designed this overlapping back bodice using Geranium as a base pattern, thinking it would be cute to have a black bow in the back. I originally thought this might work as a tutorial or new pattern, but while I was sewing it, it I discovered that the overlap presents an issue with the lining at the spot where the two layers overlap, so if this design is to become anything I’ll have to try it without the lining instead. All that to say: this isn’t a pattern or tutorial; more experimentation is needed.

I still think it’s a fun piece to show off this understated print, which might go unnoticed amongst the more exciting prints in this collection. You can see the entire collection here, and Fanciful is in shops now!

PS. Read my thoughts about sewing garments with quilting cotton.

made by rae fanciful dress for clementine

Fanciful top with bell sleeves

made by rae fanciful top

I sewed a fun top out of one of the prints from my newest line of fabrics, Fanciful for Cloud9 (I introduced the collection on the blog here if you want a look at the entire line). Since the line is quilting cotton and I don’t typically love using quilting cotton for garments, I thought it was worth having a quick discussion about that. 

There are some patterns that can work quite well with quilting cottons, if you know what to look for and expect. Generally, patterns that don’t require too much drape (so they have a bit of structure), and patterns that don’t require too much stretch. Second, not all quilting cottons are equal. I find that some companies have thicker quilting cottons that aren’t suitable for most garments at all. Cloud9’s quilting cotton tends to be lighter than most (Art Gallery is another company that has a fairly light and almost silky quilting substrate), so I don’t mind wearing garments out of them, given the right pattern. Of my patterns, these work pretty well with quilting cotton:

I want to be clear, however: while I think you can make lovely garments with quilting cotton, I definitely prefer other fabrics (check out my favorite apparel fabrics post for some ideas); quilting is obviously what this fabric is intended for. 

So why did I make this top? Partly, I just can’t help myself — I was inspired by this beautiful print and wanted to see it in a bell-sleeved top. And because the bell-sleeves are rather structured and the top is somewhat tailored, it’s actually quite comfortable! Will I wear it alllll the time? Probably not, but I could see myself wearing it out for dinner or on a date. Would I love this even more in a more flow-y fabric? Definitely. It’s still fun for me to see my designs sewed up into a garment…because garment sewing is my happy place. 

A few pattern notes

I used the same pattern pieces (from my Beatrix pattern) and bell sleeve as for this white bell-sleeved blouse, but this time used facings at the neckline instead of lining. Also handy if you want to recreate this look:

And now for some pics of me in my top!

made by rae fanciful top
made by rae fanciful top
made by rae fanciful top

PS. I love it with the off-white silk noil Cleo skirt I sewed earlier this year!

Fanciful fabric is here!

made by rae for cloud9 - fanciful fabric

I’m so excited to announce that my latest line of fabrics, Fanciful, is now in shops!! Fanciful is printed on quilting cotton that is 100% organic from Cloud9 Fabrics.

Here’s a glance at all 10 prints in the collection:

Fanciful is my fifth fabric collection and is an homage to blooms and blossoms. You may remember that my previous fabric collections were designed primarily for children, but I wanted to do something a little more grown up this time around, and this collection was inspired by my late grandmother, Grace, who loved flowers of all kinds. She loved dressing up in bright floral prints, owned a rather impressive collection of floral teacups and teapots, and had a staggering number of artificial flower arrangements. She loved all of her children and grandchildren so much, and I miss her dearly. She died four years ago last week, so it seems like an entirely appropriate time for Fanciful to launch.

made by rae fanciful fabric

Fanciful is now available at many shops around the world. You can use the shop finder for US shops on the Cloud 9 website:

FIND A SHOP

I’ve already made a couple of things from Fanciful (sneak peeks above), and have some more ideas up my bell sleeve (sorry, I couldn’t help it). What would you make with these prints?

I’m always thrilled to see photos of your projects with my fabric pop up on social media! If you make something, please share it with the tag #fanciful_fabric. If you work at a shop that carries this line, post a pic and tag it on Instagram so we can share!

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