Friday, 7 March 2014


When I lived in England I knew the location of practically all the dress fabric shops in the south-east of England as my job as a rep took me from Kent to Oxfordshire, down through Hampshire and everywhere in between.  I always popped in to see what was new and was able to make some lovely things to wear.  John Lewis was and still is a favourite when I can get there but sadly many of the small individual shops have disappeared now.  Maybe with the renewed interest in needlework engendered by the Sewing Bee we may start to get some new shops opening up. 
 Here in France there are 2 fabric shops not far from my home but the choice of fabrics is very limited and I struggle to find anything I really like, maybe only one or two things a year. 
When we were on holiday in Corsica a couple of years ago I spotted a rail of sarongs and wow! I had a eureka moment.  The patterns were lovely and summery, the fabric light and there was enough to easily make a tunic or blouse.
I bought 2 sarongs and got started as soon as I got home;  Above is the layout I used and depending on the length you want you could cut the facings out at the top of the bodices which would leave enough in the middle for a longer sleeve.  The possibilities are endless really as long as you remember to reverse the sleeve pattern piece so you get a pair and if it's floral keep all the pieces going in the same direction.
This is the third one I made after buying another sarong last year in Tenerife.  It has pretty keyhole details on the neckline and sleeve, sorry they are not too easy to see in the photo.
This one looks great with a suntan and white trousers.
This and the turquoise one cost only 10 euros each which I think is amazing when you see the same things ready made in the shops here for at least 30 euros.
And finally a few more sketches from the college notebook .  This was a gorgeous pink herringbone tweed and I'm sure I made the suit and the trousers.
You can see I was crazy about jumpsuits!  I made quite a few over the years, now the only thing I wear of that style is the overall I wear for gardening!