one-piece wardrobe

I Am Aphrodite - i am aphrodite

“Are you petting your fabric?” John asked me from the driver’s seat. We were on our way home from the traveling Fabric Market in Germany where I had just purchased a couple bags of fabric, including one very soft, malleable linen twill.

I nodded, “It’s telling me what it wants to be.”

“What does it want to be?” John is, fortunately, really great at humoring me. He is also really great at accompanying me to fabric markets, but that’s chatter for another time. Instead, my response:

“It wants to be a cloud.”

At the risk of sounding totally insane and losing all 15 of my newly acquired readers (hi new readers!), I tell you of this interaction, because (while I cannot actually commune with fabric like I wish I could) this simple linen has such luxe qualities that it really did seem like it wanted to be a cloud. It has volume and bounce while simultaneously being light and airy. It has the lightest sheen within the folds and a yarn that oscillates between sky blue and white. I was pretty convinced it had to be something with drape then, maybe something cut on the bias. Something with swish. Or at least, I was convinced that that’s what the fabric was telling me. - i am aphrodite - i am aphrodite

Anyway, I did what any sane person would do: I gave it a nickname and held onto it for a couple months (with the occasional walk-by petting) before doing nearly the opposite of what the voices in my head told me to. I made an easy-to-sew, boxy and slightly-structured shift-dress.

But all-in-all, I’m happy with what the Cloud Fabric (clever nickname, I know) turned into. A seasonally-inappropriate summer-time staple. An I Am Aphrodite. - i am aphrodite - i am aphrodite

The Pattern: Aphrodite by I Am Patterns
The Fabric: 100% Linen Twill from Stoffmarkt Holland
The Size: 36
Adjustments: 2.25cm darts added to skirt back

I intentionally chose the Aphrodite as my next make precisely because it’s a pretty straightforward pattern. After my (as-of-yet unblogged) Bly Overalls, I just needed something I could sew up in a day or two, and it’s hard to make something so not-fitted into something super ill-fitting. There’s no zipper, the only darts are in the bust, and almost every seam is a straight one. The only curved lines I encountered are the sleeves and neckline, so it makes for a quick sew. - i am aphrodite - iam aphrodite

I did, of course, make a muslin before cutting into the Cloud Fabric and found that almost no alteration was necessary. The only real issue I had with the fit was that the open back gaped so much that any creeper on the train could peer directly into the skirt. I’m attributing this to my short torso, which would make the true waist of the dress (and thus the skirt top height) lower than intended. I wanted to keep the low open back, so I took in 4.5cm of the back skirt split into two darts, but that still didn’t fix the problem entirely and I couldn’t take much more in than that because I needed to make sure this thing could still come off over my head.

So I started pinning and tucking and subsequently imagining the necessary zipper. Thirty minutes and tens of pins later, I had to remind myself that the Aphrodite was supposed to be a break from complicated sewing. Sure, it could be more fitted, but that would take away from the easy boxiness of it. Sure, I could have added pockets (and I did fiddle for an additional hour with drafting a built-in kangaroo pocket that got nixed).

After talking myself out of that burning desire to make things more challenging, I’ve left the slight gape in the back for now, and decided that with the leftover linen twill, I’ll sew a matching pair of mini shorts to wear underneath. That way, I can wear it while sitting on picnic blankets in the summer and sipping on rosé without running the inevitable risk of flashing all my girlfriends. - i am aphrodite

Because the skirt has no flare, I didn’t need to alter the length before cutting the linen, and I left the length as-is. As such, I’m not quite sure how much I ended up lobbing off the bottom, but I basically hemmed it to 6cm shorter than that bottom edge. The skirt does rise up quite a bit with both arms raised, but I’m not worried because Future Spanky Pants.

I also topstitched the sleeves into a faux-cuff. I think it plays nicely with the rest of the seaming in the back and adds a simple design detail from the otherwise-unembellished front. - i am aphrodite - i am aphrodite

As always, I finished the entire interior. The Aphrodite comes with a 1cm seam allowance, and again, in an effort to make this less complicated, I left it as such. I did consider making matching bias-binding to finish the insides, but I wanted to keep the topstitching to a minimum (and I needed that fabric for Future Spanky Pants!), and in the end, opted for the tiniest 5mm french seams for whatever remaining edges not enclosed in other ways and opted for rolled hems on the facing. In retrospect, I probably should have added 1cm length to the facing as that was eaten up by my finishing technique, and thus in the future I may have to end up tacking the facing down.

But despite how simple the pattern is, I have to compliment how beautifully intricate the back interior seam-lines appear! It kind of has a calming effect, no? - i am aphrodite

I used the previously mentioned 100% linen twill from Stoffmarkt Holland, the traveling fabric market here in Germany. Before any of you start thinking that I’m a glutton for punishment who really loves working with fabric that wrinkles immediately if you so much as look at it wrong, I should tell you the reality of the situation is that I live in a Fabric Desert where most of the fashion fabric selection is knits. I was lucky to find a linen vendor at the Stoffmarkt (one of the only wovens in the entire market!) and (as suggested by John) just snatched up meters of various colors to try to tide myself over for a while. (Yes, John did actually encourage me to add to the stash. Do I have a keeper or do I have a keeper?)

It’s bittersweet, but in a week, I’ll be barreling across the Atlantic at 550mph towards Fabric Depot Portland to stock up on all the woven prints and yarn-dyes my little heart heart desires see all my wonderful friends and family. On a serious note, I’ll sure miss Germany and, of course, John for the few months I’ll be stateside, but I’m excited to catch up with all my other loved ones. I hope everyone else has some exciting plans for the holidays! Have a great week, y’all! - i am aphrodite - i am aphrodite

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