The Sewcialists on Twitter began chatting about life, love and the pursuit of happiness, as you do, when out of that, came an idea to sew colours. October then became Sew Red October, and here is the uber-fabulous badge that Gillian made:
I also discovered that the lovely ladies from By Hand London created a pattern called the Polly Top. It’s terrific, a great stash buster, and I will be sewing it again in other colours, for sure. And, it’s FREE! You can find the link to download it here. They’ve also included a how-to video so it’s perfect for beginners or anybody wanting to follow along with visual aid.
The smallest size was a bit too large, so when printing it out in Adobe, instead of selecting ‘actual size’, I reduced it to 94%. I did not want to lose the length, however, so measured how long the smallest size would be, and added that amount to the reduced pattern pieces.
The great thing about this top is that you can showcase a colour / pattern or fabric that you may never wear because you don’t like it on you personally, since the piece in front is small and doesn’t touch your neck/face. You can use either contrasting or matching bias binding for the neck and armholes and I opted to make my own bias tape (my first time) out of the striped fabric. I used a bias tape maker for this and it was very simple.
I have always liked the practicality and the swishy factor of culottes, so wanted to make a pair. I used a vintage pattern from the 1970s, Vogue 8136, which has a yoke, back zip and are high waisted, something I don’t normally wear, but I like the look with the yoke and wide leg. I believe it is likely we will be seeing more culottes in fashion. There are dozens of vintage patterns out there, or if you are interested in something more modern, Megan Neilson has recently developed the Tania Culottes.
Sewing Machine Needle Tip: The fabric I used for the culottes was a tightly woven sueded polyester/microfibre and I kept getting many skipped stitches. I was using a small size (75/11) Universal needle. But, for this type of fabric you NEED to use a Sharp or Microtex. The Universal needle has a slight ballpoint and it was not piercing and catching the fabric so the stitches were not taking. As soon as I changed to a larger sized (90/14) Sharp, I had no more skipped stitches. I used the striped fabric from the Polly top to line the yoke and the pockets of the culottes. So they do match the top, but since it’s all on the inside, only you and I will know it. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone. These culottes have quite the leg girth, so if you stand certain ways, It is difficult to tell if it is a skirt or trousers. I plan on making them again but reducing the size of the leg pieces to emphasize the ‘culotte factor‘ and make it more obvious.
–Do these trousers remind you of anyone?–
Today’s blogpost has been brought to you by: The Colour Red! While doing this Sewalong, I realized that I have absolutely nothing in my wardrobe that is red, except for one winter coat. What about you?
Red, a primary colour that is the hottest of the warm colours, is the highest arc of the rainbow and is also the longest wavelength of light. It is the colour of fire and is associated with heat and warmth. Red is the color of blood, and as such has strong symbolism as life and vitality. It is associated with energy, war, danger, strength, power, determination as well as passion, desire, and love.
Red is one of the first colours to be used by humans as art such as prehistoric cave drawings or body painting.
In an archaeological site in South Africa, Pinnacle Point, ochre coloured iron oxide tools were discovered dating back to 170,000 years ago. Before synthetic dyes were created, the colour red was produced by drying and crushing tiny insects called Kermes Vermilio (hence, vermillion red).
Being the color of physical movement, the color red awakens our physical life force. It is the color of sexuality and lust while love is expressed with pink. Red is a very emotionally intense color. Red is energizing. It excites the emotions and motivates us to take action.
It signifies a pioneering spirit and leadership qualities, promoting ambition and determination. Red is the colour most associated with courage and can give confidence to those who are shy or lacking in will power.
It enhances human metabolism, increases respiration rate, and raises blood pressure. The color red can stimulate the appetite, often being used in restaurants for this purpose. It also increases craving for food and other stimuli.
In heraldry, red is used to indicate courage. It is a colour found in many national flags (77% of all flags include red) and is commonly associated with socialism and communism.
Being surrounded by too much of the colour red can cause us to become irritated, agitated and ultimately angry. Too little and we become cautious, manipulative and fearful.
In Eastern cultures such as China, red is the colour for good luck, prosperity and joy and is traditionally the colour for weddings. In Indian culture it symbolizes purity and is often used in wedding gowns. In South Africa, red is the color of mourning, representing death. In Central Africa, Ndembu warriors rub themselves with red paint during celebrations. Since their culture sees the color as a symbol of life and health, sick people are also painted with it. In Russia, the word for “red” means beautiful. In the Middle East the colour carries symbolism of Danger and Evil. According to Greek mythology, the red rose originated from the blood of the slain Adonis, Aphrodite’s lover. Red became both the universal symbol of lovers, as well as nature’s cycle of life and death.
In the Catholic religion, cardinals wear read and its one of the most iconic colours of the clergy.
The colour red can provide:
Energy: it boosts our physical energy levels, increases our heart rate and blood pressure and prompts the release of adrenalin. Action: it is fast moving and promotes a need for action and movement. Desire: it relates to physical desire in all its forms- sexual, appetite, cravings. Passion: it means a passionate belief in an issue or undertaking, including passionate love or passionate hate or anger.
Red is the color associated with the Root Chakra, which is the first chakra, located at the base of the spine and groin area. This chakra deals with life at the level of practicality and allows us to be grounded and connected to universal energies. It is responsible for maintaining the body’s heat and has a relationship with the circulatory system.
Many kinds of mammals, such as dogs and cattle, have dichromacy, which means they can see blues and yellows, but cannot distinguish red and green (both are seen as gray). Some humans also have what is called red-green colour blindness.
Red is the rarest hair colour and between 1% and 2%, or 70 to 140 million people around the world, have red hair. It is caused by a recessive gene and both parents must pass it on.
Put some red in your life when you want:
- increased enthusiasm and interest
- more energy
- action and confidence to go after your dreams
- protection from fears and anxieties
- Trend to Try: Culottes (marieclaire.com)
- The Return of the Culottes and How To Wear Them (vogue.com)
- Culottes for Spring 2014 (youlookfab.com)