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!