Monday, April 1, 2013

Gridlock of the brain

Competitions are a great way to focus the mind and the spirit. Taoist philosophy would advise that if one is to enter a competition, you should do so for the experience, rather than being attached to a specific outcome (ie winning) (or losing - you know, whatever floats your boat). 

So when the Tessuti Gridlock competition was announced I was right in there, champing at the bit. The brief was to use this lovely cotton-poly-polyurethane material called Gridlock to create a daywear outfit of your choosing. I no longer live in Sydney so couldn't check it out at the store, so purchased the material online and was very excited when it arrived! I love getting mail and parcels.

It was wrapped in old patterns!  swoon

Now I don't know about you, but I sometimes suffer from creativity-block, which I attribute to spending years being a very rational and pragmatic commercial lawyer. The creativity muscle is a bit atrophied. 

This material caused me some confusion. You could say I had gridlock of the brain. It's very lovely - lavender blue, a slight stretch, lots of texture. Originally I was thinking of making a dress but it just didn't feel right, you know? I draped and draped and draped and nothing seemed to work. I was quite overwhelmed by the pattern and texture.

What it did remind me of was the Chanel suits that Jackie Kennedy used to wear in the 50s and 60s. It has that tweedy sort of texture, slightly rough, and very warm. With that it mind I settled on Burda 7175 as the pattern - a two piece, short sleeved, kind-of suit that I could wear to work in winter (the material is way too hot for me for any other time of year).

The pattern was very easy but has some lovely details including french darts and vents in the bodice and two big buttons on the front. I used self-cover buttons with the reverse of the fabric. The waistband of the skirt is also finished in the reverse of the fabric.

So this is the finished garment, and I have to say it still doesn't sit 100% right with me. I learnt many things whilst making it - lots of practice on the overlocker, putting on a waistband, machine blind hemming...but...hmmm.

See it on the Tessuti Facebook page here.
Red lining in the skirt

Buttons and vents
If you are a Pinterest-er you can see the other entries here.  Many many talented ladies who have huge wells of creativity! I am very inspired and happy to have learnt some new techniques, but might chalk this one up to experience.


  1. I think vintage was definitely the way to go with this fabric, it looks fab! The reverse side buttons really made it. I just got a message from Grae my partner's brother to check you out. I've seen some of your shots on Tessuti's flickr page, congrats of your new blog. I started mine a couple of months ago, it's so great to be able to share projects and get feedback from this wonderful online sewing community. Come over and check me out

  2. Hi Amy! Thanks for the feedback :) Sewing is super fun, I've just squizzed at your blog and am glad to see that you're loving it too! LOVE the elvis shirt!