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Guest blogger – Safia!

Hi everyone, I’m Safia (known on YouTube as Safia’s Boutique). When I was picked to be the guest blogger for June to say I was ecstatic was an understatement, for someone who hasn’t won anything since year 6 pass the parcel, this was a biggie for me 🙂

So, June has finally sprung and brought the gloriously hot weather with it, however back in January when Caroline and Fliss asked me to choose my fabric, all I could think about was keeping myself cosy and warm, I took a ridiculously long time lusting over all the fabrics (a whole week), but I kept going back to their gorgeous boucle. 

Now I hear you say… boucle in June?! Let me set the scene, you may be having a little picnic with your friends, worn a gorgeous little, thin, summer dress, yet it’s gone past 8pm, the sun is setting and there is a chill in the air, however you haven’t just spent over 6 months in lockdown away from friends to call it a night, hence a cover up is needed, and my idea for the Friday pattern company Cambria duster in boucle was born. 

Anyone that knows me, knows I am always cold, my colleagues have named me the ‘hot house flower’ luckily, I have my own consultation room, otherwise I probably wouldn’t be very popular!

      Once I had settled on the boucle fabric, I was spoilt for choice with the four beautiful colours available:

In the end I went with the artichoke/black colourway, as green is one of my favourite colours, I figured it would go best with a lot of my clothes. I was nervous after I had made my selection, as boucle fabrics I have felt in the past have been quite stiff and I didn’t want the style of the Cambria to be boxy in style. 

The Friday company Cambria duster is a really versatile pattern, depending on the fabric chosen it can completely change the whole look of the garment. It has a dramatic draped shawl-style collar, ties which can be tied at the back or around the front for a more cinched in and covered up look. 

The fabric requirements for a size XS-M in fabric 54-60’ wide was 3.2 metres. 

I asked for 3 meters, as who doesn’t like living on the edge? Plus, I am only 5ft tall so I thought I could sacrifice length if I needed to, however the fabric from felicity had a little over 3 metres so no sacrifice needed 😅

After making my choice of fabric it arrived after a couple of days, and I LOVED IT! 😍The boucle was soft and not stiff at all. Normally I pre-wash all my fabrics however I guessed it wouldn’t be required with the boucle as I wouldn’t be washing it on a regular basis as I would with other garments. Whilst cutting out I was expecting a lot of fluff but surprisingly there was very minimal fluff…bonus! After a little game of pattern Tetris these are the little bits of scrap left:

As a Yorkshire girl who tries to be as sustainable this minimal!

The pattern itself was very easy to follow (I would say suitable for a beginner), I used the sew a-long video on the creative-bug website, I had a free three-month trial, so used this whilst I was sewing, to be fair I didn’t really need it as the instructions were so easy to follow. I chose to make a size M at the top and grade out to a XL at the hips, I looked at the size chart and followed my actual body measurements but as there was no finished garment measurements (I think due to the style of the garment) I just estimated I would have enough ease due to the loose look of the duster. The only other alteration I made was I reduced the hem line by approx. 6 inches this was due to the pattern being drafted for a 5ft 5 person and my height being 5ft. 

It took me roughly 12 hours to make, I am a slow sewer so I would do a little after work each day. My machine (an ancient Aldi one) handled the fabric so well, thankfully there was no buttonholes or tricky fastening to insert in this garment (exactly why I chose this pattern 😉). I did manage to break two needles whilst sewing but one was because I sewed over a pin and the second because I didn’t slow down when I got to a bulky seam. 

When I make another Cambria Duster (when not if!) the only thing I would do differently is I would take the time to bias bind my finished edges, perhaps in a funky contrast? I just overlocked mine but if you are taking the time to make such a beautiful piece, I think it deserves a little something special, especially when it is tied at the back a glimpse of the inside can be seen, I think a bias bound finish would make it extra special. 

So, if you have made it this far and let’s be honest had enough of my waffling 😁 here it is in all its glory:

The Cambria duster is so comfortable to wear and isn’t as warm as you would expect, the fabric is breathable making it perfect for a cooler evening and autumn wear. Here I am wearing it quite casually with jeans however I could imagine wearing it tied at the back with heels and tights for a more formal look too. 

I have also been thinking of buying some of the petrol boucle to make a skirt to wear with tights and a top in the winter (perhaps a TATB Arielle skirt?)

Hope you have enjoyed reading my June blog for felicity fabrics and I want to say a big thank you for Caroline and Fliss with providing me with this most gorgeous fabric and choosing me to be your June guest blogger 😘