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Fall Palette Challenge Week 3: Chevrons and velvet


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I kept it simple this week: A sorbetto in a loud chevron print, and a pair of clover pants in black velveteen. Two very easy and quick projects.

Let me tell you about the disaster that was the first incarnation of this chevron fabric. Oh my. I know we all try to remember that mistakes are just a part of sewing, but sometimes you look back and just wonder, what on earth was I thinking?

So, the fabric. It’s a lovely cotton/silk that I bought with Gertie when I last visited New York. I loved this print, and it’s the perfect weight for a blouse. I decided on a vintage blouse pattern I had from the late 1930s. I’d made it before, but I decided to try a different sleeve variation, a 3/4 length bishop sleeve type thing.

Loud pattern. Big puffy sleeves. High neckline. I looked like a clown. And not just any clown, but a psychedelic hurts-to-look-at-it optical illusion type clown. It was… not good.

What I needed was a pattern with far less fabric, something ultra-simple in shape. Sorbetto to the rescue! I did the variation without a pleat.

As for the pants, they’re also simple, but I finished the inner waistband with the leftover bias tape from the Sorbetto. It’s not visible from the outside of course, but I love having that hidden pop of color and pattern!

So that’s my sewing for the challenge this week! And I bought fabric for future projects today too. Anyone else making progress?

Some other posts you may be interested in:

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 24


Thank you for sharing the reassuring revelation that even an expert Sewist like yourself makes the occasional blunder. We are all just human beings! I LOVE the chevron print with the Sorbetto. Oooh, may need to make my fourth Sorbetto!


Sure, it’s just part of sewing and learning! Projects don’t always come out the way you see them in your mind, and that’s ok. Now I know to be more cautious about dizzying prints and clothing with volume, that’s for sure.


I love the Sorbetto! The fabric is beautiful and works perfectly in the simple shape – Your description of your other blouse did make me laugh though :)


You’d laugh even more if you saw it.


I made a fall palette, but can’t make a garment every week, so it is a slow progress for me. Besides that I have a hard time finding the right fabrics! It would be much easier doing it the other way, when you have a nice fabric and just have to choose a pattern for it. Although, reading your story I’m not sure anymore…;))


That’s ok, I’m just moving quickly because I mostly chose easy projects! For the Spring Palette Challenge, I think I finished something every two weeks.


I love Clover in velveteen! I have some corduroy that is more velveteen than cord marked for Clover as well. Did your black velveteen have lycra?

Sara Upshaw

I second this question! I love the idea of the velveteen or cord, but we need stretch, right?


Yes, it has 3% lycra. This is the fabric I used if anyone wants to try it:


Oooh, velveteen Clovers!! Gah! They are fabulous!! I love, love your Sorbetto blouse – so pretty!

Thanks for sharing your sewing mishap :)


It would be fun to do a post or thread in the forum where we all share our mishaps. My most common ones seem to be not paying to directionality when cutting. Still gets me all the time!


I just bought 2 colors of velveteen for the Clover pants and I just received the pattern in the mail yesterday. Can’t wait to get started!
P.S. is that your garden? looks lovely!


Yep, it’s my front yard.


Those clover pants in velveteen are spectacular. Does anyone have recommendations for similar fabric online (I don’t live near good clothing fabric stores)? How was it to sew?


Here’s a link to the fabric I used, it’s very affordable and was nice to work with:

It’s really easy to sew, you just have to be slightly careful when pressing not to crush it, but the pile is short enough that it’s not even a big deal.

The one caution I would have is to make sure to stay stitch because I found it to stretch out a lot.


I love the Clover pants in velveteen–gorgeous!


Do you have any tips on sewing with velvet? I want to make some velvet shorts and maybe a jacket but am a bit intimidated… Your pants look so lovely; you must know something I don’t!


Here’s a link to a post we did a while back on sewing with nap and pile.

Velveteen is much easier to sew than velvet. It’s stiffer and has a shorter pile. It doesn’t slide everywhere or crush as easily. Just follow the guidelines in the post above with regard to cutting and pressing and you’re fine.


Wow! The velveteen is a great choice. Now I have to get that fabric too! I did buy some fabric for the Clover Sew-Along, and have a general question about it and the Peony: what kind of interfacing do you use? I spend way to much time obsessing over interfacing online and in the sewing store. I’m always curious exactly what you use in your sewing.


For this, I used a fusible knit interfacing. It has a bit of stretch, and it’s very lightweight, so it doesn’t add bulk (which is good, since velveteen’s pile can make it a little bulky).


i really do love your pants in velvet. i just might want to copy the look!


I was inspired by this and decided to make the Sorbetto out of a chevron printed silk shirt dress that no longer fits.
It was WAY more work than I thought it would be — making a bias binding out of a chevron print exactly this wide, from a dress bodice, was not easy.
Thanks for the inspiration — I’ll post my finished work when I get a chance!

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