Friday, 12 June 2015

Placket Happiness and The Moth


This button placket may just be my favourite thing that I've ever sewn. Not only did I find the construction of it - from drafting the pattern, to sewing it together - ridiculously satisfying, but there's actually nothing about it where I look at it and feel dissatisfied. That rarely happens for me.


This is the shirt that it sits within. It has curved hems and those weird sleeve puller-uppers that I don't know the official name for, but which I love. I've put lots of tiny details into this shirt...like this band of ribbon where the collar stand joins the shirt. 


And rounded sleeve puller-upper tabs, to match the button placket. 


The fabric is the Indigo Dot Cotton Chambray design from Robert Kaufman's range of Chambray Union fabrics. The fabrics in the range are a variety of different weights, but all intended primarily for dressmaking, so there's a fantastic selection. The fact that they're all different does leave you feeling unclear about what the weight and drape of each fabric may be though. I'd seen this print appearing all over the internet, but somehow failed to comprehend quite how incredibly soft and drapey it is - it's very similar to the feel of a soft cheesecloth, but with slightly less wrinkling, and it's perfect for summer. 


I'm actually pretty happy with the whole shirt, but I may tweak the back of the collar next time I make it to give it a bit more rise at the back of the neck. 


I'm unsure what it is about this time of year, but it often seems to throw me into a month or two of extreme dressmaking, where I temporarily shun all other sewing projects in favour of it. But something miraculous has happened this time around: there are finally a lot more fabrics combining a drape, weight and neutrality of print that I want to sew with. In previous years, it's taken an awful lot of work to snuffle these options out and even then there was often a compromise. For example, voile was a very welcome initial alternative to quilting weight fabrics, but in reality, I found it a little too much on the crisp side for a lot of styles that I wanted to sew and at other times too sheer to make unlined dresses with. This year, there feels to be far less need to compromise.


Let me know if you'd be interested in a post rounding up some of my favourite dressmaking fabrics that I've spotted recently.

I listed to story podcasts from The Moth while making this. Whenever I'm working on anything that doesn't require me to concentrate on it exclusively, this is what I tend to have on at the moment. They're true stories about tiny, everyday moments or enormous, life-changing events in the lives of ordinary people, told by the people themselves onstage, live at The Moth, which is a venue that moves around the world. The stories are life-affirming, painful, joyful, hilarious, curious and often a combination. You can listen through their website if you're interested. I've been thinking about what story I'd tell if I were to go to a story slam when they're next in London...and realised that I have no idea, but it's something I enjoy thinking about. It's my new version of the desert island game (what five foods/five books/five shops/five pieces of music etc etc) for when I'm waiting somewhere and have to amuse myself from within the confines of my own head. I'm enjoying sorting through my memories, even if they aren't all entirely wonderful.

Florence x

32 comments:

  1. So glad you are dressmaking again. Love the shirt and yes please to that post on dressmaking fabrics.

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  2. Yes, please, on the fabrics!
    Also--your post title sounds like an odd chidren's storybook :)

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    1. Placket Happiness would be a great name for an adventurous girl! Genius. And I too would love some fabulous fabric tips!

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    2. Placket Happiness would be a great name for an adventurous girl! Genius. And I too would love some fabulous fabric tips!

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    3. It does doesn't it, Bethany ;) And I love the idea of a heroine in it called Placket Happiness...possibly thinking of renaming myself now too...

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    4. Placket Happiness and The Moth -- could also be a great band name!

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  3. I really love that shirt. Beautiful work!

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  4. i would LOVE to see a post about dressmaking fabric resources! I do not live near any fabric shops and I have not found much online .... love this shirt pattern too ! Beautifully done!

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  5. I LOVE the dotted chambray range of fabrics, it's perfect for dressmaking! And that's a beautiful shirt Florence, I especially like the collar and placket (and matching sleeve puller-uppers!) x

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    1. They're wonderful, aren't they! Robert Kaufman seem to be doing amazing things for dressmaking fabrics at the moment and they seem to arrive with us in the UK so much quicker than they used to too...it feels like things have changed a lot over the last few years! And thank you - so flattered you like my shirt. x

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  6. What a beautiful top! Is there a pattern or is it self-drafted?

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  7. Ooh, yes please do a post on dressmaking fabrics!

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  8. Hi - that is the perfect shirt pattern. Something I have been looking for. Pattern drafting terrifies me. Well done you. I love your work.

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  9. Ooh, nice shirt! The placket is so pretty and I really like how it matches the sleeve tabs and the rounded collar. I'm seeing more and more good apparel fabrics in the sustainable/ethical fabric world, too, these days - organiccotton.biz keep expanding their range and Cloud 9 have so many new substrates coming (sure I saw Cloud 9 double gauze mentioned somewhere but now can't find it...).

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  10. I would love to read a post on dressmaking fabrics. Being in rural Australia and buying most fabric online from the US, it really is hit and miss as far as suitability for clothing.

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  11. Yes please in the fabric roundup! I just finished reading a collection of The Moth stories and I found them so compelling. The fact that they are quite short as well meant far too many late nights as I read "just one more".

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  12. I would love posts about dressmaking fabrics. I'm on a clothing making tear right now. :) Lovely shirt, btw!

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  13. I too was curious about the pattern! You are not only clever making such a beautifully finished shirt but to have drafted the pattern yourself is a real credit to your skill! It looks fabulous on you!

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  14. This is very lovely! I have the same fabric, but I've yet to use it. This is beautifully drafted, well done!

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  15. the curved placket details is brilliant, really fabulous shirt! So tempted to sew this in a washed linen. Would be great to see your fabric pick too

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  16. You not only made that beautiful blouse, you drafted the pattern?? Is there no end to your talents?!!!

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  17. That is a very perfect shirt! None better. Beautifully constructed, perfectly fitted, exquisite detailing and sewn like a dream. I thought it would be self drafted.

    I wish I had a bit of space for a table to do some drafting on. That's my excuse anyway. I hang on to the fact that you have suggested before now that maths is not your strong point; it certainly isn't mine and I feel infinitely encouraged by what you have achieved.

    I couldn't choose 5 of anything. There are generally no bests in my world as there are just too many talented authors, composers etc. I would have War and Peace but that is the only book that I can unhesitatingly say is my very favourite and comes ahead of all the others. The war parts are so apropos to everything going on around us now, and I suspect most wars that there has ever been. I didn't find it dull at all, just enlightening and thought provoking. There is a lot about war though which may not be for everyone. The peace parts are so full of engrossing love stories and characters that are just so interesting and involving that I was totally engaged. Tolstoy just seemed so insightful about people.

    I don't have a single shop to put on a list. Perhaps that is weird of me. Oh perhaps Waterstones, as that is the only bookshop we seem to have left.

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  18. I'll add another vote to a garment making fabric round up. I have a terrible time shopping for fabric online unless it's something already known to me such as quilting cotton or Liberty tana lawn. If you can include as much detail as possible regarding weave and weights that you choose, that would be wonderful. I often see fabrics like denim sold in different ounces and have no idea what those measurements mean as I can't touch them. Sadly, my local Joann fabric store rarely has clerks on staff with the knowledge to explain their wares when I'm shopping in person.

    Absolutely lovely work on your blouse. Every detail is perfection!

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  19. Beautiful placket. You always do such a lovely job with your projects and choose fantastic fabrics. -- michele

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  20. This is gorgeous!! And I was so bummed to find it's self-drafted (although it shows your wonderful skills!). I've been looking for a pattern like this for a while now. And I have a top in that fabric- heavenly in the summer!

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  21. De lurking as a regular blog reader to comment of your perfect placket, just lovely. The shirt is a real classic I'm a big fan of the sleeve puller uppers too!
    Plackett Happiness moniker reminds me of our new bunny who has been named Happy Rolly by our 3 year old, a fine rabbit name in my opinion!
    PS I'd love to read your fabric round up please :-)

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  22. Gorgeous shirt! I'd wear it in a heartbeat. I have some chambray lurking. It's awaiting just the right project (I've been saving it for some sort of summer shirt dress).

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  23. Love the shirt!! I bought the chambray dots in several colours just to see what they were like, and was utterly delighted with the softness and drape!
    Thanks for the Moth link - if you haven't already discovered it, you would also enjoy Now Hear This on Australia's Radio National - same idea, people telling stories. So interesting!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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