I like to make things.

Cotton + Steel Frock Rayon Oakridge Blouse

Cotton + Steel Frock Rayon Oakridge Blouse

Cotton + Steel Frock Rayon Oakridge Blouse

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I am so happy to be today's stop on the blog tour for Cotton + Steel's new rayon collection, Frock. The talented team of women behind C+S have already tempted us time and time again with their incredible quilt weights, lawns, double gauzes and home decor fabrics; now, praise hallelujah, they are venturing even further into apparel. Frock ships mid-February, and it'll feature eight different prints on the most dreamy-drapey rayon substrate.

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After much anguish I chose the Gemstone print in pink, designed by Sarah Watts. Then the stars aligned and maybe some black holes collided and Sewaholic released the Oakridge blouse pattern. It was the perfect project for some pretty rayon [Jaime and I must have been bouncing around in the same thought bubble] so it was an easy project choice.

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it was really raining, that's not just some kind of prop
First, let's talk about the fabric. It's luscious. This is, sadly, not the first or even second time I've used the word luscious to describe fabric on this blog, which could be yet another sign that I have a problem. But this fabric really is luscious. It has such a soft, almost-peach-skin-like texture, and it's flowy and fluid without being clingy. It's very comfortable but it looks really luxe. [Keep in mind that it's 45" wide, so take that into account when shopping for a project.]

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Now, the very first thing I do when I get this beautiful stuff into my hot mitts is to throw it in the washer on gentle and the dryer on whatever. This is how I've always washed rayon, not for any particular reason except that it works nicely with my strict laissez-faire approach to laundry. Lo and behold, C+S actually recommends that you dry clean. So, my anecdotal experience says that I didn't notice any adverse effects from the washer, but the official word is to dry clean [although I bet hand washing would be ok].


Of interest to note [at least to me] is that because of the molecular structure of rayon, it is much more fragile when wet than dry. It's made of plant cellulose, which absorbs a ton of water, which in turn puts a lot of strain on the fibers' cell structure. So if you do wash it, treat it gently when wet.

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Now let's talk about the pattern. First let me set the stage. It was Friday night, I'd had a long work week at a new job [which I'll tell ya'll about soon] and my sewing room was in a such a state of disorder that I'm sure the producers of Hoarders are on their way to my house as we speak. It's been the recent site of many back-to-back endeavors in which I throw things directly on the floor when I'm done with them, which is my tried and true method for completing a project in a timely manner.

It can be a thrilling way of working, but it has its drawbacks.

Anyway, this project was actually the first time I was doing a sleeve placket, as I've never made a long sleeve button up shirt before. When I got to that point in the directions, I really couldn't tell what was going on, which may or may not have been at least partially due to my mental state and work environment. I actually ended up looking up the Grainline Archer sewalong post for the placket, and it dissolved all my troubles. So, thanks Jen!

And all in all, I'm SO happy with how the plackets turned out, especially considering they're rayon.

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Fit wise, things went pretty well. I was measuring into the 6 and considered making the 4 based on the finished measurements but I was scared because I wasn't doing a muslin, so I cut the 6. I did shorten the sleeves by 2" after reading Jaime's post and holding the pattern piece up to myself in the mirror; next time I'll shorten an additional inch. I decided to also do a 3/4" narrow shoulder adjustment, again after the extremely hi-tech method of holding the pattern piece up to my body, which actually worked out well. The only other thing I'd change next time is to raise the dart a little because it's hitting me a bit low.

I really, really like this shirt, and I looove how it looks in the back, even though there's nothing happening there. I don't know, I can't explain it. In the rayon it just looks so nice.

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Miraculously, both set-in sleeves went in on the first try. I hemmed with 1/2" single fold bias tape because the bottom was curvy and slippery and I already had the bias tape, so done and done!

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Like everyone else has said, the best thing to do when working with rayon is to GO SLOW. [I cut everything in a single layer with a rotary cutter.] Practice all those good sewing habits that you know you're supposed to, but maybe sometimes skip. Be careful and deliberate, it'll make it so much better. It's worth it!

This is going to be a great shirt to wear to work, and I will definitely be making some more. As for the Frock rayon - I'm going to be first in line to get some more of this stuff, because it's truly a level of lusciousness that's impossible to resist. You've been warned.

Here's are the other Frock blog tour stops so you can check em out:

January 28 Jaime -  Fancy Tiger Crafts
January 29 Deborah - Whipstitch
January 30 Amber- Fancy Tiger Crafts
January 31 Rochelle - Lucky Lucille
February 2 Christine Haynes Christine Haynes
February 3 Devon Iott - Miss Make
February 4 Jemellia Hilfiger - JemJam
February 5 Anna Graham - Noodlehead
February 6 Oliver + S - Oliver + S
February 7 Rae Hoekstra - Made by Rae

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My New Job [and a free pattern!]

My New Job [and a free pattern!]

Colette Patterns Dahlia Dress - Version 1

Colette Patterns Dahlia Dress - Version 1