Red Floral Shirring Dream

Posted Tuesday, 7 April, 2020

Hello crafty people!

I hope that this post finds you well. We're keeping it together here and are so grateful for all that we have during this time of uncertainty.

I'm continuing to study and do my work as I'm able. At the same time, I also recognise that I'm so fortunate to be in a position where I can lean into doing creative things as a release and beautiful escape. I hope that you can as well. 

Something as simple as having a little plant or something outside of yourself to focus on or care for can be so uplifting. That's been my experience anyway. As many of my instagram friends will know, I've been spending a lot of time working on our garden, dreaming up plans and being outside. For me personally, this has helped a lot.

In keeping with my gardening chatter, I suppose that this is a good time to introduce my latest floral make, the Pattern Preacher Olivia Dress (generously provided in exchange for review). I absolutely adore this pattern and have fallen in love with every version that I've seen. To see for yourself, go and take a look at the dedicated Olivia hashtag #preachtheolivia. Aside from my own dress (yes, I'm openly biased!), my favourite is easily the version that my dear friend Chantelle (@i_seam_so_happy_xx) made. The contrasting hem detail is just so pretty!

When I first received the pattern, I was blown away by the gorgeous full booklet that it came with. No awkward poster-sized instructions for me! (Sorry Big 4. Sorry vintage patterns). I really enjoyed being able to quickly flick through the booklet, peruse the techniques that I'd be required to use (complete with detailed instructions), easily locate my shopping list, decide on seam finishes and double check the line drawings (I always look at line drawings to get a sense of how the pattern is constructed and how the finished garment should look). My only minor criticism is that I couldn't see shirring elastic listed in the materials needed. This could just be me not reading properly, but as a heads up to others who want to sew Olivia: she has a gorgeous shirred waist panel, which requires some elastic!

Speaking of shirring, I had been considering trying to learn this technique for a while. I think that it's so delicate-looking and impactful. Until Olivia, I found shirring intimidating for some reason. If the design wasn't so pretty and if I hadn't wanted to try this pattern so much, I probably wouldn't have been motivated to give it a go. Now, from the other side, I want to encourage those who haven't tried shirring to please do! You'll love it! My favourite part of shirring was steaming the elastic by hovering a hot iron over it. Watching it shrink and become proper shirring was magical.

Now, let's talk fabric! I've made this dress in a beautiful lawn by Storrs London called "Chelsea Garden" (also graciously gifted for review - specifically for the Olivia!). When browsing the Storrs website, this red colourway instantly spoke to me. It perfectly matches one of my favourite lipsticks, Nars Audacious Lipstick in Lana. It's a brilliant tomato red that is simply eye-catching and, in my opinion, brightens the complexion. I cannot go past a red like this! 

Even better, when I opened my parcel, (sent all the way from London!), I was thrilled to discover that the bright red and sumptuous colour saturation wasn't due to my computer monitor and wishful thinking. It was every bit as gorgeous as I had hoped. For those who are a bit reticent to shop online, I cannot recommend Storrs London enough. The shipping was prompt and the fabric is to die for. The quality and drape of the lawn is amazing, but again, I just want to mention the colour. I'm so enamoured by it!  I also love that their website is organised by colour groupings, making it really easy to compare and contrast fabrics. Some of the prints have backstories, and it's so lovely to be able to read about the inspiration behind a design. 

So that's Olivia! Photos were taken inside our house and I apologise for the quality. I'm still trying to find my way. I don't think that this detracts from the beauty of the fabric or pattern design though.

How are you all doing? I'd love to know. Feel free to hit me up in the comments below for chats, or with thoughts and observations. Alternatively we can continue the conversation over on insta. 

Stay safe, stay well.

Brooke