Wednesday, December 5, 2012

McCall 3580 and a first look at our spring signature fabric


I am super excited about my newest creation because it combines my love of 1940s McCall patterns with one of the fabrics from the WE spring collection.  WE stands for 'Women's Empowerment' and is the name of the fabrics we are producing through the Weaving Destination social enterprise.  Weaving Destination is a women's weaving collective in Assam, BTC, India that seeks to support the fabric weaving traditions in indigenous communities and to provide a source of financial independence for women who have experienced trafficking, forced migration or whose families are living with HIV/AIDS.  Read more posts about this exciting new venture here and here and check out some of the handwoven scarves we will be offering here.


First up, let's talk about the pattern. I made the dress using McCall 3580 from 1940.  Just look at the cover and pattern illustrations--I love how they've used stripes in many different ways in the illustrations.

The WE signature fabric is the perfect match of the vibrant early 40's inspired striped fabric and the traditional weaving designs of the Bodo women weavers in Assam.  Here's a close-up of the design:


The handwoven cotton is great to work with.  I just love how it drapes.  The hand is firm but still supple enough to flow nicely.  I've already worn and laundered the dress a few times and it's SUPER soft.  I just love how it feels!

I had fun playing with the design of the fabric.  I used the main design on the shoulder straps in the back of the dress:


I had to do a bit grading with this pattern (from a B30 to a B34).  I am very happy with the result.  I just love the design of this dress and it's absolutely perfect with stripes.  Am I freezing in these pictures? Oh yes!  But if you look back at the pattern, you'll see a cute little jacket that accompanies the dress.  I'm planning to make that with one one of the silk fabrics we will be offering as part of our spring fabric collection (oohhh that was so much fun to say!)


The best thing about making fabric?  The endless accessorizing possibilities!!!  Here's a sample of one of the bags we will also be offering.  We are thinking of these more as conference bags, but they also make nice totes and purses as well.  I'm excited to explore other accessory options!  Let me know if you would be at all interested in that and if so, what would be a good accessory project for the social enterprise to start with!


We are calling this the WE signature fabric because we plan on offering this every season in a different colourway.  Green was the first colour chosen by the women weavers and it's perfect for St. Patrick's day!  We are hoping to offer the fabrics online in the new year.


So??  What do you think? What colours would you like to see this fabric in for the summer collection?  Red? Navy blue? Teal? Hot pink? Let us know in the comments!  We have many more designs and colours in our spring collection and I hope to make up a few more samples this month!

31 comments:

  1. Great dress! The fabric looks awesome and the pattern show it off to advantage. I love this green; I'd also like teal and red. (Though it willprobably be heading into winter here when you bring your fabrics out, so I might have to stock up for the following summer)

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  2. It's beautiful! Both the fabric & the dress, I mean :) I'm so glad you made a dress with the fabric, so we can see how it works out - perfectly, I'd say! Can't wait to see what else y'all come up with (and I can't wait for the fabric to become available, ahh!). As for colors, I am loving teal, pale turquoise, yellows, and pops of red.

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  3. What a woinderful summer dress! The dark, winter days look much better now... ;-)

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  4. That is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!  The fabric is amazing and the way you use it in the pattern is inspired.

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  5. tulleandtweed.comDecember 05, 2012 8:32 PM

    This looks great on you and the pattern is a real winner, could be made in a heavy weight fabric, cut a bit looser and worn as a pinafore for winter. As to the fabric its lovely I would love to see this in a turquoise colour-way for summer.

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  6. Orange! I want orange! With red and yellow. 

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  7.  Oops. I got so excited that I hit "post" before I had a chance to say, "what a beautiful dress!"  And, "I think your social enterprise is an amazing and beautiful thing!"

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  8. I LOVE the green!!!  It's so marvelously rich and vibrant - and I love how you have used it in this dress!  The design is spectacular, and I will definitely be checking out a length of this for myself, I think :)

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  9. Yes please! would love a teal blue. I am off traveling to India/Nepal in February and i am planning to do a slightly altered (longer) version of the Salme dress pattern (avaliable from Etsy) and this cotton would be PERFECT! 

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  10. Wow.  That fabric is so unique and beautiful.  The design and color are really special- a wonderful shade of green, cheerful without being too bright.  I can't wait to see the whole collection!   I would love to see that fabric in a shade of blue.  I don't often wear pink, but I think it would look stunning in  a hue like fuschia.

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  11. SOOOO love this fabric. Can't wait to buy some for the spring. Teal would also be a good colorway. Also black with the colored stripes would be good. Beautiful dress and my daughter loves the bag.

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  12.  I love the fabric and the dress. I am just dying to touch that fabric. It really does seem to be a perfect dress weight. So many ideas! I think teal would be lovely, but that might be because I have a closet full of teal dresses! Have you thought of doing an orchid or lavender shade? How about white or off-white with multi stripes for summer? There are so many possibilities, you will have fun deciding.

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  13. Gorgeous! I love the fabric! And for summer I'd vote teal, pink or a deep glowing red. Amazing! I can't think of any more suggestions on the accessories at the moment...

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  14. It is gorgeous!  Definitely on the blue and red :)  Maybe you can convince them to try and blue and white stripe for a more nautical feel...

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  15. oooh debi debi debi, now i know why you were so excited about getting yardage, this is just STUNNING on you! i can see david's jaw dropping!

    (hot pink...hells yes.)

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  16. love the fabric and the dress.. and you look amazing in these pictures :) i'm with oona, and vote for hot pink.. and teal too

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  17. Such gorgeous fabric! What an exciting start for this enterprise.

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  18. Lovely fabric and great background to it as well.  I would love to see it in a hot pink colourway (but then I would!) or teal colour.  Anything bright and bold would be wonderful....

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  19. Absolutely lovely fabric - I can't wait to get my hands on some! A lovely vibrant orange would get my vote - although they all would be wonderful.

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  20. Oh I love the fabric! I would really like to see it in red as well.
    Your enterprise sounds awesome and I wish you the best of luck with it :)

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  21. oranges_and_applesDecember 06, 2012 10:14 AM

    it's so gorgeous, I love that shade of green!

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  22. I love the green fabric! Think it will be beautiful in whatever colours you choose, but I'd like to see a bright/aqua blue. Or purple!

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  23. Navy blue!!!

    It is pretty green in Scotland in winter time%))) 

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  24. A lovely fabric. I may have to get me some, I fancy a maxi dress in that stripe. I love the feel of woven cotton too :)

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  25. How wonderful you are doing this. Red is always good!

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  26. thisblogisnotforyouDecember 08, 2012 11:23 PM

    I'd love to see navy blue!!

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  27. ooh Debi, it's lovely!  and I have to say I'm loving your hair in this post! All round gorgeousness! Looks perfect for the weather here in NZ right now!

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  28. i actually think this is one of the most beautiful things i've ever seen of yours, and that is not counting the amazing efforts behind the fabric.  everything about it is beyond lovely!

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  29. The dress and fabric are just lovely! Good luck on your venture!

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  30. Debi, as a new sewist I've been lurking around enjoying your posts. I write the newsletter for my weaving guild and I hope it is okay that I wrote about your site and Weaving Destination in the upcoming issue. It's wonderful to see someone enjoying doing good in the world, and always nice to see someone whose focus is sewing enjoy working with handwoven fabric. Thank you!

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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