Posted on Friday the 6th December 2019 by The Unfinished Seamstress
A simple thing, in a beautiful fabric: what more do you need?
For years I’ve been looking for a really luxurious alternative to silk for lingerie. I love rayon and viscose, and sew with it frequently, but it doesn’t have quite the same hand, quite the same sheen. This Lady McElroy sandwashed cupro fabric
is what I’ve been waiting for.
As with last month’s make, this is not the easiest fabric to cut. It’s on the slippy side - like silk. If you’re careful though, it’s completely worth it. I used a new sharps needle
again for this project as well, which worked wonderfully. I noticed very slight snagging in places I had to pin, so I would recommend silk pins or clips as well, if your pins are old or well-loved (ok, dull). Cupro is similar to rayon and viscose in that it is a derivative of natural cellulose fibres, but achieved by a different chemical process. It is astonishingly silk-like, but a fraction of the price. It is biodegradable and breathable, supple and hard-wearing - I’m really impressed with it. I highly recommend giving it a try if you're exploring plant-based alternatives to silk.
The pattern is the Sylvia Robe by Sew Over It
. It’s a simple boxy robe or jacket with drop sleeves and no closure, which can be worn as loungewear or as a light jacket. Indeed, I have a short one in linen (and I’ve given one to my mom in medium weight denim), which has a completely different feel. I feel like it’s a good value pattern - easily customisable, with nice proportions. I’ve lengthened this one slightly from the longest length available to add drama. I would happily wear this over a slip dress or jumpsuit to go out, or around the house. It’s a match made in heaven with beach pyjamas. There are a few similar patterns about, Seamwork Quince
being another I like the look of, and if you prefer a paper pattern something like this Simplicity pattern
could be a nice alternative.
As the pattern is so simple, I decided to take my time with the finishing. It has French seams throughout (a really lovely touch for this type of fabric), and I decided to finish the collar by hand. A simple slip stitch on the inside keeps the lines beautifully clean outside - no topstitching, no wonkily catching the fold underneath. For the denim version I made my mom, I don’t think that would be strong enough, but it’s perfect here, and gives a butter-soft, vintage finish. It’s probably a hand-wash only garment because of that finish, but that is absolutely fine by me for something special.
Lastly, I feel like I need to explain the moody photos. I take my own blog photos, and this low winter sun is giving me such a hard time, so I’ve just decided to go with it and hope you all like a bit more of an editorial feel this month! Thanks, as always for reading.