Rainbow Shibori Kaftan

My fabric buying budget has been a little low lately, but I won’t let that dampen my zeal for sewing!  Whenever I run out of new fabric I start hunting through my “archives” to see if there are any pieces that I can recycle.  I found a few test scarves that I made when I first started experimenting with shibori, and I thought they might look cool pieced together into a colorful patchwork of some kind.

shibori collage

Close-ups of the shibori scarves.

I laid out the scarves in different ways until I found a combination I liked.

rainbow shibori scarves

Too busy?

I decided to go with a long flowing kaftan with shoulder cut-outs.  I like to keep the silhouette simple when the fabric is so colorful and kaftans are basically a rectangle with holes for your arms and head.

I first stitched all of the scarves together to make two larger pieces of fabric, then cut out the front and back pieces from these.

shibori patchwork dress

The front pattern piece of the kaftan.

I sewed all of the seams with french seams.  It does take a little longer because you have to sew each seam twice, but they look so nice when they are done.  They make the inside of your garment look as good as the outside!

french seam close-up

French seams for the persnickety seamstress in us all…

And here is the (almost) finished product:

shibori kaftan

After photographing it, I thought the shoulder cut-outs needed a little adjusting.  With such a colorful voluminous garment I think there needs to be a good balance between fabric and skin, so you don’t look like Mrs. Roper…

I made the cut-outs a little bigger and finished them with blue bias binding.  The binding added definition and the hint of blue picked up the blue in the rest of the dress.

I think it tied the whole thing together!

colorful kaftan

rainbow silk dress

I can’t wait to wear this during the summer!

(And to take some better pics outside when it’s not freezing:)

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Handmade Wordrobe progress report

Wow!  I feel like I’ve been gone for a long time!  I have made some progress in the “making my own clothes” department and I wanted to share some pictures.  I thought at first that I should start with cold weather clothes because it was winter, but I decided it made more sense to work a season ahead so that I would have a collection of garments ready to go when the weather gets warm.  One possible down side to this is that it might be difficult to motivate myself to work on a wool coat when August rolls around…

I’ve been on a real shibori dress kick:

baby doll dress

Bell Sleeve dress

dolman sleeve tunic with pockets

v neck dress

Patchwork dress

I put my scraps to good use:)

Well, that’s it for now.  If anyone else is working towards a handmade wardrobe I would love to hear about it!  The challenge continues…

P.S.  I just wanted to add–I put my own tags into everything I make, even if it’s just for me.  I have a stamp with my name and logo on it and I use fabric paint to stamp it on a piece of fabric, then sew it into the neckline.  It makes my garments feel more professional and complete and let’s the world know who made them:)

Dharma Trading Featured Artist

I just wanted to pop in quick to say that Dharma Trading put up my Featured Artist profile on their website today.  I get all of my fabric dyeing supplies from them–they have everything.  I submitted my work a few months ago, but I wasn’t sure if/when my profile would show up on their website and then I saw it there this morning!  Thanks Dharma Trading!  Happy New Year!!

Featured Artist Dharma Trading 1-1-14 resize