Saturday, 8 March 2014


When I saw this week's topic I smiled. Probably everyone who likes sewing has been seduced by the power of the unwise print at some time or another. Maybe my Coco dress is a case in point, as a solid or stripe would have been so much more sophisticated...but damn it, I still love this fabric!

(Brighter IRL)
So maybe this week's exercise has come just in time to save me from myself. For the full details go here to the Coletterie blog - it's well worth a look.

What percentage of your favourite, most worn clothing is printed? I don't own a lot of printed clothing, but the few bits I do own are in constant rotation as they brighten everything up.

What are your most beloved styles of prints? My entire life I've loved and been intrigued by ethnic prints, especially African wax and Indian hand-printed woodcut type designs, closely followed by tie-dye and batik.

African wax from my stash - not sure what this is going to be yet!

Indian print from my refashion pile - going to be a top
I also like stripes, have to be in the mood for spots (they are an upbeat print, I always think), and wear small to medium florals occasionally (I would like to experiment more with these). The florals I like best are dark, geometric, smudgy or stylised.

Cotton from my stash

Pattern detail from one of my favorite handmades - a cotton top refashioned from a dress. This came out of the wash today ripped too much to repair so will be replaced, but you can see how it's kind of, but not obviously, floral.
Being small in height big prints overwhelm me and I've never worn one larger than this that was successful.

can only handle animal print on accessories and even then I'm not sure. I feel really uncomfortable wearing something the colour of an actual animal, but I love this scarf (my only bit of animal print) and wear it a lot.

Finally, I've never tried any novelty/conversation prints. I tend not to see them as clothing prints at all (unless we're talking pjs then anything goes of course). But I haven't ruled them out - I'm undecided. It would probably depend on the individual print.

Sarai suggests seeing if any of the prints relate to your style words (mine are practical and relaxed). I think they do? Anyway, if my style words were glamour and glitz, I would be in trouble with these choices!

What prints do you like to wear? Do you suffer with the sewer's curse of choosing inappropriate fabric because you can't bypass a pretty print?

On a completely unrelated topic, have you been watching the Great British Sewing Bee? I love it! It's the only garment sewing show I've ever seen on British TV. There are some really great contestants too. I am in awe of Chinelo - how does she do that pattern drafting where she takes someone's measurements and draws straight on to the fabric and it fits like a dream? I want to learn how to do that!

Happy sewing, 'till next time,

Philippa x


  1. I'm loving the GBSB, too! I like seeing how the different contestants all have different strengths in sewing.

    But prints... I love prints and, too, don't have enough in my closet. I think because it's so much harder to find the right print than it is to find the right solid color. And I also have a small frame to think about. I love ikats right now, bit they have to be the right scale, and am so excited for big florals for spring! Maybe it's this extra cold snowy winter, but looking at my recently sewn and to-be-sewn lists, it's been a lot of plain grey and black so far in 2014.

  2. Yes, ma'am, I flat out adore prints! Of course some are bigger favourites than others, but in general, they're something I reach for frequently (especially florals, plaids, and polka dots). I love that a print can dress up or down a look, convey a sense of anything from history to a holiday, and that there's a limitless of array of them out there. Plus, it's always tons of fun to try and coordinate one's accessories with one or more hues from a print for a really pulled together, polished look.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. What, your style words aren't glamour and glitz? Hehe. I think I've started wearing more prints since I've been sewing...possibly because it's one thing to find a print you like, but it's another to find that print in just the garment you like and that fits.'s easier to buy a fabric and sew it into what I want. Knowing yourself (as you are doing with this series of posts) is an excellent to help you spend your fabric money wisely!