Sunday, 8 July 2018

My Most Precious Fabric Sewn ! Ottobre Woman S/S 2016 Kimono Top.

 I finally used my most favourite piece of  fabric that I own .
This piece of silk was bought in Beijing in 2008 . Perhaps it was because it was 10 years old , perhaps because I am getting bigger and my fabric is not , perhaps because of life stuff but I finally used it .
I only had 1.1 metres and I had quite a different pattern in mind when I purchased the silk but that pattern is looking dated now .
Instead I used what is becoming a TNT pattern , the Ottobre Woman S/S 2016 Kimono top pattern.

A simple darted woven top with a  scooped neck with a  bias binding finish  , dropped shoulders forming a small sleeve and  a relaxed amount of ease. And it only takes about a metre of fabric.  It is a classic pattern that will not date quickly.

The silk is  predominantly  in a minty green with swirls of  mauve , ocean greens and blues , chartreuse and charcoal.
It was purchased at the Silk Road Markets in Beijing . Most of the market was taken over by stalls selling fake designer clothes and bags , pashminas and chop sticks etc but on the top floor there was a very large area selling silks and the variety was overwhelming. It took me some time to narrow down my choices but then you can not just simply buy the fabric. There were no prices displayed and I suppose you are meant to haggle which I hate. Next to me were an American couple negotiating  costs  and what they were being offered was  much higher  than what my shop assistant told me were the prices so I just accepted that and said yes ! It worked out to be about $15 Australian and I thought that seemed quite good although I am not in business of buying silk regularly.

 My photos unfortunately do not show up how beautiful the silk is in real life . Now that I have sewn  it  I suppose that means another fabric moves to the top of the precious list . I still have two pieces of silk from Beijing and another couple of pieces of cotton from Shanghai. Then there are three remaining  pieces of cotton my daughter bought from Tokyo for me . I also bought a spotty georgette from Toyko as a souvenir in 2013 . I have a piece of cashmere wool blend to make a skirt and Mum gave me a large remnant of  some pink and white striped Swiss cotton which feels as good as Liberty . The theme of precious fabrics being they are souvenirs from overseas or of  exceptional quality . I am working on a plan of sewing about one of these per year to extend the joy of my precious fabrics which equates to a decade !
If anyone has any precious fabric stories they would like to share then I would love to hear them !
Cheers Janine.


  1. A classic simple shell is all you need for this beautiful fabric - the fabric itself does the work. It's hard to use precious souvenir fabric - I have two pieces that have also sat and waited.

  2. It sometimes takes many more years for me to finally settle on a pattern for fabric I love. I call it aging the fabric. It must be well aged in order to behave correctly! Your print is gorgeous and suits you well. Brava!

  3. Thankyou ladies. I hope I can encourage you to use your precious ones too. But I agree it takes a while to make sure the pattern is right.

  4. Your top is beautiful. I can see why this fabric was precious and you used it well. I would hate to haggle also. :)

  5. I keep looking for my go-to woven top. This looks like a great pattern! I'm going to have to find me an Oottobre magazine!

  6. What a gorgeous silk top, and beautifully sewn. I can see why it is your favourite fabric, and so precious you waited until the time and the pattern were right.

  7. Oh go you! Very brave. It looks beautiful and perfect pattern for it... simple and stylish letting the fabric get all the glory. I love the colours in it... something I would definitely pick too.

  8. Beautiful top! Simple and elegant out of your beautiful silk. This is a pattern I have yet to make.... but think I need to one day soon as yours turned out so pretty! :)


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