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.