The holidays are right around the corner and I am ready! I love this time of year— the weather, the food, the decorations, all of it! It is also an amazing excuse to sew something new and festive to enjoy during the season. I have been playing around with a few different ideas but when a new shipment of suede shirtings arrived my decision was made for me. Kind of a perfect storm— a new pattern and a new fabric arriving about the same time and they are a match made in heaven!
Grainline Studio’s Farrow Dress was released a couple of weeks ago and it is the perfect go-to dress to make for any special occasion. A classic and elegant A-line shape with flattering diagonal seams and handy concealed pockets. The pattern calls for light to medium weight fabrics such as linen, wool or cotton. Along those lines I though why not a suede shirting? Suede dresses and shirts are all over the runways and ready to wear and I love this look and the beautiful texture.
For color I decided on the gorgeous jade green suede for my Farrow Dress. The perfect jewel tone for the holidays and one of my favorites to wear all year. As this faux suede is 100% polyester I didn’t take the time to pre-wash as there isn’t really a fear of shrinkage. Normally I pre-wash everything but I was a bit antsy to get sewing!
To get started I first took a look at all the pattern measurements to find the right size and check the finished garment lengths. In Grainline’s patterns I am almost always a size 8 and I often make a few slight adjustments in the length. For the Farrow, I left the length of the dress alone (as that would have involved moving pockets) but I did lengthen the sleeves by 3 inches. I also checked the sleeve width, with woven sleeves I often find them too tight when I bend my elbow. The Farrow’s sleeves were a bit narrow and I ended up widening them by 1″ which also led me to lengthening the sleeve facings to match.
Remember that suede is directional! I took extra care to make sure each piece was cut out in the same orientation with the grain of the suede going up the garment for the best color. Once I had everything cut out I got to sewing! I used a coordinating jade thread and a Microtex sharp needle in my machine. I finished all the seams and raw edges with my serger for clean look. Construction was straight forward and easy to understand with the directions included in the pattern. It also went together quite quickly. I was just about done in one afternoon.
Once I had the whole dress sewn together I tried it on for fit. I loved the overall shape and style but due to the structure of the fabric it didn’t drape as closely to my body as a light weight cotton lawn probably would. I decided to take it in a bit on the sides to give a bit more definition to the the silhouette. First I tapered in the natural waist about 1/2″ on each side. I then tapered in about 1″ at the pockets and continued in to 2″ at the hem. To clean things up a bit I gave the low hem of the back a fresh curve and I was set hem and add the finishing touches. Note: The measurements are from the original seam line so total the waist came in 2″, hips 4″ and hem 8″.
The results were perfect! I love the clean lines and look with the suede. It is just like some of the A-line suede dresses that I have been admiring on Pinterest. This fabric was a great choice of a winter Farrow— a little more substantial but still has great drape and movement. There is also nothing better than the soft feel of suede, even if it is faux suede! My favorite feature of the dress is the high neck line— perfect for showing off a statement necklace! I also paired mine with black leggings and boots for the cool weather and will definitely be wearing this on Thanksgiving Day this coming week.
I would highly recommend this pattern. I can definitely see how this one can become a favorite to sew up year-round, dress it up or down to suit the event. Just one other note about the fit, it is a bit tight across the shoulders so you might want to muslin the bodice and sleeves to check the fit before you begin.
Happy Fall Sewing!