August 8, 2019

And I Was Doing So Well - Meet My Challenge Fabric

So you may have heard that at the first 4.5 day Carriage Corner Sew Camp - there was a fabric challenge.  I was able to partner with Fabric Mart and get a ton of yardage of a beautiful piece of fabric for the group.  You can read more about how the fabric was picked and how the challenge originated over at CarriageCornerSewCamps blog.
The Challenge Fabric
I had big plans for my challenge fabric.  I thought it might be a dover dress ala Carolyn and I cut a 'muslin' from a beautiful linen I had in my stash, but didn't love it.  The fabric will be cut up into napkins and so there will be no photos.  But, I haven't given up on Dover and will try again, just with a fabric with a bit more body.

Then I thought maybe I could make a pencil skirt for my daughter.  Tossed about making Eleanor some jeans from it.  Finally - I decided to revisit Helen's Closet York Pinafore.  Revisit, you ask?  You aren't aware that I tested the new expanded sizes of the York for Helen because 1.) I'm a terrible blogger; and B.) it's too big!! 

My York Tester Version
So, using what I knew from the first version, I retraced the sides of the pattern and that helped, but it wasn't enough.  So then I used a trick I learned in a Peggy Sager's class years and years ago.  Baste the skirt portion together then try it on.  This next part is easier with a friend - pin it to you shape, as fitted as you want it.  Then carefully slip out of the garment.  Next, line your hip curve ruler up with the pins until you find the match.  Make note of the where on the ruler YOUR hip curve falls.  Transfer that to your pattern.

 basted skirt pinned to fit, using hip curve ruler to find my hip curve
transferring to my pattern
In the first hip curve picture, is my second 'wearable muslin' of York.  I used this fabric to get my waist and hip fit properly - and I'm so much happier with how this version fits!

Next up - cutting my challenge fabric.  I played with the layout on the border print fabric and ended up fussy cutting my York.  I didn't want the black at both the shoulders and the hem.  I cut the fabric using mostly using the floral - there's a little bit of the fade at the sides and I fussy cut a hem band to get enough length. 

I made my own bias tape for this dress and bound all the seams.  I have never made anything with bound seams before.  I've used bias tape to finish a neckline, but never bound the seams.  Because I still wanted them to open flat, I bound the sides and the hem band seam separately.  Also, because I only had 2 yards, I put inseam pockets into this version - and then I panicked that they were going to pull at the hips and be a bad choice - but I didn't want black pockets breaking up the print.  

Insides of my challenge york
All in all - I'm really happy with how this turned out.  The only change I might make - is to go back and sew the pockets to the front so they don't droop and pull at the hips.  

Will I make York again?  Not sure, I now have 2 versions that I love, but I do think that I couldn't go wrong with a denim version.  

What for a full round up of all the challenge fabric garments coming soon!  


  1. It looks really good on you; the black tee with the challenge dress is perfect! I added my challenge dress pictures to the photo album you created; I hope others do, too!

  2. Gaylen, love, love this on you! I'm slowly leaning toward getting/making a York. I can't believe I'm saying that, but I've seen so many curvy versions lately that look really good. Yours included. :-)

  3. Cute pattern, I can see why you adjusted.

  4. Love it! Creatively customized and it looks so good on you!

  5. AB.SO.LUTE. PERFECTION!!!!! This looks SO good on you!!!

  6. I love this version! What a way to add class to a pinafore!

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