Riviera Italia in Turquoise

I’m really excited about my next sewing project – so excited that I haven’t been able to cut the fabric. Instead, I just keep draping the nubbly turquoise silk/wool blend and lively printed silk crepe de chine around my dress form. As soon as I get up the courage to cut, I’ll be making a peplum dress for a friend out of these two pieces.

What?! Another garment for someone else?!

Well, in this case, the dress is a bit of blackmail. You see, I’m fairly private about my sewing blog. I love sharing it with all of you, but it’s really our little secret. In fact, up until a few weeks ago, a good portion of my friends didn’t even know I had a sewing blog. That is, until one of them stumbled upon it.

Our (paraphrased) conversation over text:

J: I found your sewing blog. (1) Why didn’t you tell any of us???? And (2) I want you to make me something! Haha!

J: You are leading a double life. This is crazy! And awesome.

J: I am speechelss right now.

J: Amy, this is insane.

I finally see these messages. After she’d been scrolling through old posts. For a long while.

Me: I mentioned I liked to sew.

J: That is so not the same as what reality is!

J: Lie by omission!

At this point I called her. Her demanded bribe for silence: a teal peplum dress with long sleeves. I knew the pattern immediately: BurdaStyle Peplum Top 08/2012 #113 and matching skirt #111. The two pieces will function much like my last “dress”, allowing versatility since each piece can be worn separately as well as together. But, it took me awhile to find the right fabric from Mood. I struck out for anything described as teal, but when I finally stumbled upon this Carolina Herrera silk/wool blend in turquoise, I knew I had my fabric. I wanted that texture. When I went searching for lining fabrics next, I couldn’t pass up the Riviera Italia print. It deserves to be the center of attention itself, but I can’t help but love that it will be a secret between my friend and me. Even if said friend isn’t above blackmail!

Now, to cut. I’ve even already prepped both pieces. I wasn’t quite sure what to do for the wool/silk blend, so I threw it into the dryer with a wet towel and hoped for the best. A quick press later, and it looked as gorgeous as ever. I followed my now-standard protocol for the crepe de chine and handwashed it with shampoo. At the time of this photo, it hadn’t been pressed, but it since has, so it really is ready to go.

Does anyone else find the cutting to be the most dread-provoking step in the whole sewing process? Once something’s cut, it’s cut. Scary stuff, man.

Update: I forgot to mention that I bought these fabrics with my Mood Sewing Network allowance.  Also, be forewarned that the vertical repeat is actually only 38″.  I’d just started laying everything out to cut when I realized my pattern pieces were never going to fit!  I needed those extra 18″ I was expecting!  Now to get creative…

34 thoughts on “Riviera Italia in Turquoise

  1. What’s going to happen when all of your friends see her in the dress you make?! Is she allowed to divulge where the dress came from? Love the lining choice!

  2. My friends know that I’ve started sewing but they don’t know I blog about it. My husband knows but he’s the only one. That’s so funny that your friend stumbled across your blog! I also have some fabric that is going to be really hard to cut, too pretty! Hope your friend loves the dress!

  3. What a great friend you are! I hate making clothes for friends, they are always a lot fussier than I am and want changes to patterns etc.

    Devastated to find I cannot online order from Mood Fabrics, I live in Australia. I loved the Riviera print. Mood Fabrics have a wonderful range, you lucky U.S. customers.

  4. Ha, I’m glad I’m not the only one who prefers to keep my blog relatively private in my real life… my family and close friends know, but I haven’t told any of my collegues – so I totally get it. Still, this is gonna be one amazing bribe! You should get a cake or something as well as silence in exchange!

  5. Isn’t it funny how blogs (which involve sharing our thoughts with anyone who has an internet connection) can be so intensely personal that so many people (myself included) keep them secret from the “real life” people we know?

    That fabric is so gorgeous, I can see why you’re scared to cut into it! I think the cutting aspect is why sewing is so much more intimidating to me than knitting. With knitting, you can always just rip it all out and you’ll still have the yarn. Once you cut fabric, that’s pretty much it! Which probably explains why I have a tendency to cut things too big….

  6. What a very lucky friend. I get friends asking all the time but my hubby and childrens demands means that no one else gets a look in! That fabric is lush!

    1. Perhaps once my friends catch on and all start asking, I’ll have to start saying no. So far, being asked to sew something for someone else is such a novelty that it’s fun!

  7. Hah! I just had a conversation with a friend the other day about my sewing blog and it was very, very odd and slightly uncomfortable for me! I don’t know why it’s so weird talking about my online life IRL, but I really hope my colleagues don’t ever find my blog! Even with the threat of blackmail, that is very kind of you to make a dress for your friend…that fabric is so lovely and the color is gorgeous. Good luck cutting into it!

  8. Gorgeous fabric and lucky friend. I too didn’t advertise my blog, as it is my online diary, but after a while, I did. As for Mood, they don’t ship to Australia, which to me is very surprising in this internet age, so I’ll have to plan a trip to the US – hmm 2013!!!

    1. I guess Australia is a long way away from the Mood warehouse, but it’s too bad anyway. At least you have Tessuti and other great fabric stores already!

  9. Ooh, I have a swatch of that silk/wool and it is dreamy. I love the texture. You’ll make a truly elegant dress! It didn’t always feel this way but I love the cutting, the feel of the scissors going round. (Unless there’s a match stripe going on…) Maybe cutting fabric soothes my nerves, who knows?

    I love your story and it’s exciting that your friends can see all your beautiful work! I didn’t tell many friends or family about my blog because I thought, ‘sewing blog’ seems too specific or alien to them, but my husband started telling friends and family, because after all I spend a great deal of time sewing and blogging now. It’s so funny to perceive aunts and so on as part of my audience but they love it! And it helps me feel integrated that I talk blog stuff with them now. Perhaps it’s easier to share with a fairly distant online community than immediate loved ones, so it feels a little vulnerable when they are tuned in. Theirs are the thoughts and opinions we really treasure!

  10. Ok, ok. I’ll admit it. I’m the blackmailing friend named “J”. And now I will use this opportunity to tell you all how much I love Amy, and how proud I am to have such an amazing friend. Amy is so talented in so many ways, so it comes as no surprise to me that she has this secret talent. What surprised me was her ability to hide it so effectively! I am so genuinely impressed by you, Amy. Keep sewing, keep creating, keep being you. And be proud of yourself because we’re all proud of you!

    P.S. I’m a lawyer, so I have some pretty good negotiating skills. But Amy definitely deserves the better part of this bargain. Amy, in exchange for the dress, I will provide you with TWO cakes. 🙂 And I will definitely model for you. So fun!

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