I am so glad that you are all as excited about the Shelby Dress and Romper as I am. I have been wearing mine secretly for the last few months and can’t get enough of it. In fact I wore it three days of a 5 day vacation in the spring because it was just so fun to wear.
With the Sewalong starting next week, I wanted to write a bit about fabric and notions to get us ready. Sometimes this is the funnest part – dreaming up all of the possibilities. I will share a few fabrics that would work great for the Shelby, but of coarse these are just recommendations. I am excited to see what you come up with. First, lets talk about notions.
Under notions the Shelby calls for coordinating thread, 2 yds of lightweight fusible interfacing, and 3/8″ buttons. I feel like coordinating thread is pretty self explanatory, so lets start with the fusible interfacing.
Make sure that the interfacing is lightweight or you will have a very stiff center front that does not match with the drape of the rest of your dress or romper. Any lightweight fusible interfacing from your big box store should be fine, but if you want to go the extra mile I love using the ProSheer interfacing from Fashion Sewing Supply. The quality and drape is noticibly different than your average fusible.
Next let’s talk about buttons. If you are sewing a romper view you will need 5 buttons and if you are sewing a dress view you will need 7 buttons. Also keep in mind any extra buttons you may need if you add any length to your pattern. The buttons should be about 3/8″ (of course you have artistic discretion on this). I have been really into the shell buttons with this pattern myself. I like that they are pretty much a neutral but also have that kinda 90s vibe that is perfect for the Shelby.
A couple other things that you may want that are not included in the notions description is something to turn your ties with. A small safely pin works great, but if you already have a loop turner that will work too.
A couple of items to consider for your buttonholes. I always use fray check on my buttonholes and let them dry before opening them. I also like to use a buttonhole opener with a small hammer to cut my buttonholes open. These are both completely optional, but if you are committed to sewing they might be things you want to add to your tool box.
Lastly, I would think about your sewing machine needle. Since the fabric you will be using for the Shelby is most likely lightweight, I recommend buying a needle that matches. I have used both the universal lightweight needles and also the microtex needles on my samples with great results.
Now for the fun part, lets talk about fabric. The pattern works best with lightweight woven fabrics with drape such as rayon challis, linen, crepe, silk and voile. It works equally well with prints or solids although keep in mind that with all of the pattern pieces matching an obvious repeat would be hard. That doesn’t mean don’t use a print, I personally would just embrace the randomness if you do as pattern matching that many pieces would not only be a time suck but also take so much fabric. All that being said, here are few great options from some of our favorite indie shops.
I hope this gives you all a great start and makes you excited for the Sewalong. I can’t wait to get started next week and see what you come up with.
I you still need the pattern you can find it here.