I was asked by the lovely Amy at Indy Bindy Fabric Company if I wanted to work on a collaboration using some of her beautiful fabric, and of course I jumped at the chance (scroll to the end to see how you could win some fabric of your own!)
I’ve been wanting to make myself another Trend Patterns Frill Hem Top/Dress since my beloved black one is a little too tight across the arms and shoulders post-partum (can I still call it that 9 months on?) and after browsing the gorgeous fabrics set my heart on making one with the ‘Minamo’ fabric.
I was so excited to receive this package from Japan. Yup. You heard me right. Japan!! How amazing is that? Amy is actually an Australian, living in Tokyo with her family. She started her fabric store just over a year ago and her key goal is to support small indie designers and sell amazing, unique fabrics. She even know’s all the designers personally! This particular print was from the design house, Otsukiyumi by designer Otsuki Yumi. She starts by hand drawing designs which are then digitally printed onto fabric so you can see each brushstroke.
The name of this print is ‘Minamo’ which translates as ‘the water’s surface’ and was inspired by a trip to the sea. It’s a moody, hand painted image portrays the water as light shimmers on the top of the ocean, creating movement and depth.
Otsuki-san describes it as “The light reflects on the surface of the water that goes on forever”
I mean…have you ever had such a beautiful description of fabric as this? And the fabric is really truly beautiful. The cotton is a gorgeous medium weight (would take structure, pleats etc well), sews so perfectly and presses beautifully.
I made the dress up the same as before (apart from the pattern cutting changes below) and I actually used a zip for the first time in ages (seriously, if a garment calls for fastenings I normally ignore it or go for something else!) But for some reason it was just calling to me to use this light gold chunky zip in my stash and I’m so glad I did. I forgot how little touches like this make a garment feel that little bit more luxurious. Although…I could probably do with a little more practice with my exposed zip insertion!
Unfortunately for me I forgot how wide the pattern pieces get when making my dress hack of the frill hem top and only when I started cutting out realised I didn’t have enough fabric! Whoops.
But the beauty of sewing is that you can do whatever you want right? So I split the back yoke, creating a diagonal V shape seam-line so I could cut it in pieces, and added new seam lines in the bottom half which created new side seams (this pattern is super clever and doesn’t actually have side seams in the original version!) The new side seams also meant I could add in seam pockets, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing! After all that pattern fiddling I managed to squeeeeze out the dress, all apart from the frill. I originally wanted to make the whole dress out of the same fabric and when I realised I didn’t have enough I decided to go with a contrast frill. I actually tried two different shaded of white/texture of cottons I had in my stash and landed with this slightly off-white, heavier weight version.
In all honesty, deciding on whether or not to add the frill in the first place was such a dilemma for me. But I figured that the Frill Hem top without the frill seems a bit sad (it’s in the name right??) So I went for it. I’m still not sure if it’s the best idea- I’m swaying between loving its general Fabulousness and thinking it might look a little 80s…in a bad way? Or that could just be because I’ve been watching loads of The Goldbergs recently…
I love love love the colour and print, and you know me- I’m not a print kinda gal so that’s quite something. This one is just beautiful. I still have that niggling feeling that I may not have matched it to the perfect pattern and done it justice (do you get that feeling?) but I know I’ll wear this loads. It makes me feel super glam with minimal effort, win-win! I’m also open to taking it on a trial run in real life and see whether I remove the frill and just have an A-line dress with some cool seam detailing?
Would love to know your thoughts!
*For your chance to work with some of this fabric Amy is running a giveaway on her page here!*
With thanks to and in collaboration with Indy Bindy Fabric Company. All opinions my own.