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January 20, 2022
While we all love RCF’s fantastic CLUB prints, they also offer a carefully curated collection of solids and basics in top quality substrates. I have been admiring the gorgeous linen and linen blends section for a while. And with spring surely to come in a few months’ time, I find myself increasingly drawn to their yarn-dyed stripes rayon linen. Although a classic fabric suitable for all seasons, it nonetheless distinctly evokes spring vibes to me. Farmers market, outdoor café and striped linen just go together, right? RCF stocks 3 beautiful colourway variations: navy, chambray or coral, all contrasted with white stripes. I fell in love with the timeless navy.
With this lovely fabric on my mind, picking out a pattern becomes a challenge. There are just so much potential for this versatile fabric. Being medium weight with just the right balance of drape vs. body, it can be made into practically anything from blouses and dresses to pants and jumpsuits. The possibilities are endless and it’s hard to go wrong.
But as fate has it, Elbe Textiles released their new Steele Pinafore and it was love at first sight. It’s a fresh take on the classic pinafore dress with relaxed fit and fabulous details such as a shaped bodice, deep scooped pockets and adjustable back ties. It turned out I was not the only one falling head over heel – overnight it seemed like everyone was making a Steele ASAP. I immediately ordered the rayon linen and had it on my sewing table several days later. The fabric is even more gorgeous in person with its subtle slub texture and soft swishy drape. Being yarn-dyed means the weft and warp yarns are dyed separately before being woven into cloth, giving it a vintage/heirloom feel. If I hadn’t already found the perfect pattern match, it would be hard to cut into this beauty!
The Steele Pinafore comes in 2 cup sizes and 2 views with either A-line or gathered skirt. I made the B cup and gathered skirt, shortening the skirt a few inches to suit my 5’2” frame. The pattern is masterfully drafted and the instructions meticulously written, making the sewing process a real joy. You know those special projects that make you want to slow down to savor every step? The Steele Pinafore paired with the gorgeous rayon linen was that project for me! If you are new to Elbe Textiles, go check out their inspiring feed and become an admirer of Lauren’s impeccable style!
I played with stripe placement to accentuate the lovely curved seams on the bodice and the deep scoop of the pocket. I used vertical stripes (which run along the fabric’s selvage) on the center front bodice, back bodice and skirt. Then for the side front panels and pocket lining I used contrasting horizontal stripes. I really love the visual effect this creates. Plus, no stripe matching! Win-win in my book.
A small mod I made to the pattern is to add a fly to the side closure, which is designed with 2 buttons and a long slit, to be worn over a long top or dress. The pattern offers the option to add more buttons along the slit too. I know I will be mostly wearing my Steele over a short tee and wanted something with more coverage. I extended the side of the back bodice by 1” and added a fly below the extension (kind of like the zipper fly on jeans). When the side closure is buttoned, the fly goes under the front piece so there’s no chance of any peek-a-boo.
My new Steele Pinafore turned out more beautiful than I have envisioned, thanks to the stellar fabric and pattern combo. The drape and weight of the rayon linen is just perfect for Steele. I lined the bodice of the pinafore with a cotton poplin to give it a little more structure, but the unlined gathered skirt flows and swishes beautifully. The whole garment has the unique effortless comfort that linen offers and is such a joy to wear. The relaxed fit makes the Steele great for layering in all seasons. I styled mine with both short sleeve tee and long sleeved turtleneck - and can’t decide which one I love more. I might have had spring in mind making this pinafore but will surely be wearing it all year around!
Have you tried the RCF linen / linen blend collection, and what have you made / would like to make with them? Please do share!
Until next time,
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