Helmi plus Cotton and Steel

I’m late* (fashionably?) but still timely with this post. Late, because I made this dress earlier in January but just couldn’t get it photographed. And then, over at Belle Citadel, Claire wrote a great post about sewing garments with quilting cotton.

So here’s my timely follow-up about sewing with quilting cotton despite all the doubts I always have about it.

Helmi-c+s1

It’s the print that was the decisive factor in this case, since, to be honest, whenever I’m considering quilting cotton for a garment, I always question that choice. Most of the time, I think it doesn’t work because a bit of give, fluidity, and drape makes a significant difference for how the garment hangs.

But I keep seeing a lot of successful projects that use quilting cotton — maybe the bold prints make up for drape sometimes? Claire’s post lists several shirt patterns and it’s shirts in quilting cottons in particular that catch my eye on Instagram.

And I guess that’s how I ended up choosing this print for yet another version of my favorite Helmi pattern from Named Clothing.

Helmi-c+s2

I discovered this print thanks to this dress made by Natasha. The birds kept reminding me of this mitten pattern by Spillyjane, which I made years ago. The birds must have imprinted themselves in my mind because I found myself remembering it repeatedly, looking it up, then deciding against it because what am I going to sew with quilting cotton… until I just went for it before last Christmas.

And that’s how you end up with a print that feels kind of outside your comfort zone but also kind of familiar. There’s a story in there, very different from Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds, unless it’s a sequel in which the birds give up murder, take some marketing seminars, and settle on using subliminal advertising to sell cotton prints.

Helmi-c+s3

The Helmi was the obvious choice. By this point this pattern must be imprinted, like the birds. I guess I just have to keep making it. I’m thinking about another version as I type these words…

I went with Esther’s (@estjune on Instagram) suggestion and elasticated the back. I like the look of the original pattern sample on the model but I don’t think I could pull it off most of the time. I also shortened the bodice slightly and added side-seam pockets, and skipped the hidden placket yet again because I found these buttons in my button box.

And that’s all, folks. Tell me about your sewing adventures.

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kalimak

I write about sewing, knitting, and may sometimes be tempted to talk about books.

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