Hi everyone, I’m Rebekah (also known as SewNo65 on Instagram and Facebook). I am super excited to bring you my first blog post with Felicity Fabrics. When Caroline and Fliss asked me to be on their blogging team I was so overjoyed. I absolutely love their fabric business and supporting it as much as I can. They stock the most beautiful fabrics and haberdashery. 

Trying to contain my excitement, I scrolled through the website browsing the fabrics to see which one I would choose for my first blog. I decided on the Lady McElroy Marlie Cotton Lawn called Tokyo Parasol. It is a stunning deep red colour with different coloured Japanese style umbrellas. Not a colour that I would usually go for but I am starting to like red fabrics more. I also love all things Japan, that’s where we went on our honeymoon so the fabric holds a special connection to that. 

When choosing a pattern for this fabric, I wanted to make sure I chose something that wouldn’t disrupt the print too much. I had a look through my patterns and settled on the Sade Blouse from the Named ‘Breaking the Pattern’ book. 

I pre-washed my fabric at 30 degrees and it dried very quickly. With only four pattern pieces to cut it didn’t take long – the front, back, front sleeve and back sleeve. I cut a size 4, I always check the finished measurements too. 

I used a universal 70 needle to sew this fabric, it seemed to work pretty well with it. I would always recommend testing a bit of fabric first to see which needle works best. When pinning this fabric I would recommend you to place your pins vertically along the fabric and within the seam allowance as the pin marks can mark the fabric though these would probably disappear with the iron. To avoid using pins where I could, I would give the hems a good press with the iron so it made it easier to sew or you could also use clips.

Overall the pattern was very straightforward to sew, the instructions are easy to follow and understand. There aren’t too many steps so perfect if you would like a quick and satisfying project to do. This would be suitable for a confident beginner right through to advanced depending on the type of project you are after.

The Lady McElroy fabric was great to sew with, it is very stable on the sewing machine and doesn’t slip while sewing. It is so soft and cool against the skin. I think it’ll be perfect for Spring and Summer. Though I plan to wear it all year round, when it’s cooler I can wear a vest underneath. 

I considered doing french seams for this blouse but in the end decided to overlock the shoulder and side seams. I didn’t have any red overlocking thread, so used blue, yellow, green and orange. All the colours that tied in with the umbrellas on the fabric.

The Sade Blouse requires you to use 1cm interfacing tape. I didn’t have this specifically so just cut 1cm wide interfacing from my stash of interfacing. You need to interface the centre back hems and the sleeve openings. This is worth doing so don’t skip this step…I was tempted. 

For the neckline, the pattern says to use bias binding. I had contemplated buying some plain red bias binding but decided to make my own with some of the fabric leftover. I’m glad I did, it has given it a much more luxurious feel to the garment. It was actually very easy to make my own bias binding, I can’t believe I haven’t made much before. I cut 4cm wide bias binding on the bias. I then folded both sides in and pressed with the iron. 

The pattern is designed to have a drawstring tie at the back and in the sleeve openings. I decided to use drawstring ribbon in the sleeves and leave out the drawstring of the back. I thought it would look better on me this way. I’m glad I did as I’m delighted with the result! This top will be perfect for all occasions! Hopefully someday I be able to wear it in Japan…

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.

Happy Sewing!

Rebekah x