There’s a theory that black is safe, verging on dull. If you’ve ever attended a conference or work Christmas party, you might be inclined to agree. But dang, the colour is flattering.
Then I saw the photo above left. I’d invested hours of precious sewing time into creating an outfit as boring as that?! Was it time to hang up my unpicker?
Thankfully, I have a wardrobe full of self-made items to quash any self doubt. I changed my black stretch twill Ultimate Trousers (pair number six, if you’re asking) for my favourite Simplicity 2451, sewn in a stretch cotton sateen. It works much better with my fifth Sew Over It Pussy Bow Blouse, don’t you agree? It turns out the key to black is moderation. Same key that applies to chocolate and wine, so they tell me.
Whilst I was on a campaign to put the fun back into black, I decided to twin two new loves – some bambi print viscose crepe and the Sew Over It Ultimate Shift Dress pattern, ordered after I saw it on Lisa’s Youtube channel. Yes, you read right. Bambi print.
If the Gods of Sewing banished me to a desert island where the only patterns available were from Sew Over It, I wouldn’t waste any time crying. I love pretty much everything they do and this shift dress is no exception. I want to make a million copies immediately. So easy to wear! And so easy to fit. I risked going straight in without a toile, but sewing experience and knowledge of my own body helped. I automatically lowered the bust darts by an inch, pinched in the side seams under the arms and added an extra inch to the side seams from the hips down. Other than that, I cut out true to my size and powered on.
Yes, yes, Karen! But tell us about the BAMBI fabric. I bought mine from Saeeds in Walthamstow, but it’s also available here. As well as dresses, I think these could make an awesome pair of PJs. I put my viscose through a 40 degree wash and I’d suggest you do the same. You want any shrinkage to happen before you start sewing. Believe me.
You’ll also want to be careful about print placement. I am glad I had the foresight to have a column of deer running down the centre front of my dress. The back of the dress has a centre seam and that was difficult to negotiate. My one piece of common sense was not to slice right through Bambi’s body. This fabric has drape and fluidity and matching severed torsos across a seam line would have been impossible. (Apologies if I’m making any Disney fans tear up. Further apologies that I’m laughing right now.)
I think we can definitely agree I’ve put the fun back into black. Much better than that first photo. Do you have any tips for wearing black? Is this the colour that can do no wrong, or do you find it funereal?