Since I made the Carme blouse, I have been wanting to make Pauline Alice's Cami dress. The Calluna Herringbone is what I would describe as a shirting weight. Imagine a beautiful, quality men's shirt, from the sort of gentlemen's outfitters that sells brightly coloured socks and cashmere sweaters - that is the weight of Calluna. It is light to medium weight, perfect for shirts and dresses. It is soft and the weave produces a two tone effect with a light colour on one side and a darker version on the other so perfect for contrast details like the button plackets, collar stands, cuffs and pockets on this dress. This fabric most definitely needs a prewash. I washed mine twice with with non bio powder and on a 40 degrees synthetic wash this is the one that has one line beneath the 40. My top tip for pre washing Oakshott or any other woven, is to clip a triangle off each corner before you pop it in the wash. This lessens fraying and tangling. Calluna Herringbone is wide at 135cm/53". I used around 2.5 metres to make the Cami dress.
This fabric turned the colour catcher pink after two washes and pale pink on the third - Michael is talking to the weavers about this as usually Oakshott fabrics are dye fast. I was recently talking about the complexity of fabric traceability and ethics for Fashion Revolution Day. Michael has known the herringbone weavers for over twenty years, his grandfather knew the family involved over 50 years ago. This is typical of Oakshott and its relationship with the producers. It is ongoing and Michael plans to travel out to see the weavers again in the not too distant future.
As with all Oakshott fabrics, the Herringbone cuts easily, presses beautifully and is a pleasure to sew with. I used a reversed lightweight cotton interfacing on the button placket, the collar and stand and the cuffs and they still retain a softness that comes from the fabric. You can see the gentle stripe coming through which is the effect of the weave. Here are some of the contrast details:
The Cami dress pattern has a full skirt which is something I shy away from as it isn't always flattering on the hips, but this fabric is soft enough to gather gently, making a full skirt which hangs beautifully and is a pleasure to wear. There was no need to line anything, the fabric didn't need it, no see through effects here!
My daughter took the pics, she was making me giggle after the first twenty!
What can I say other than great fabric! Such a pleasure to sew with and such a pleasure to wear. Thankyou Michael for letting me test your newest product, I love it - and thank you Lynne for alerting me to this new fabric with such great dressmaking potential. I have written a more dressmaking focused post on this dress here. I used colour way 01, you can see the other fabrics in the Calluna range here. I would love to see this fabric in white shot with pastel colours- sky blue, lemon, mint green, coral, pink- just an idea for the future ;)