Selfish Sewing Week Fall 2014, and more about the Zsálya pattern

After all the very businesslike (and sparse) posts on this here blog, we're back to sewing, and folklore! The Zsálya is one of the patterns featured during Selfish Sewing Week (and isn't it high time we all all took a deep breath and made something that pleases just ourselves?). So let me tell you a little bit more about this pattern! I really love to learn about folklore from different places. There's something so meaningful in the way folkwear remains connected to the past, even while each generation changes the way it's interpreted - using the materials of their own time, and subtly referring to the fashions of their own generation. One silhouette I admire is Korean traditional wear or Hanbok, as worn by women:


Hanboks at the Metmuseum


(All from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute - from left to right: ensemble from 1975, wedding ensemble from between 1875-1938, ensemble from 1912.) I love the clean lines, and the way the Hanbok provides a very defined canvas to play with colors, patterns, and textures. The curved-bottom jacket with the crossover V neckline and the straight gathers of the skirt create a sweet, flattering silhouette. Something about crossover V necklines draws attention to faces, and fullness that descends from it would probably hide a night of gluttony really well. The skirt of the Hanbok is tied around the breasts, which I rather suspect that, given the particulars of my anatomy in the chest region, I would not find very comfortable in real life. But you can't have everything. So instead of the traditional two-piece outfit, in the Zsálya I joined the jacket to the skirt to create a single garment.




And here's the blouse:




The sleeve detail on the dress (or - short version of the sleeve) has a small V that mirrors the neckline:




Yes, I wear this dress. It's made of silk satin (which I got in Truemart Fabrics), and I sewed with the satiny side on the inside, which feels soooo soft when I put it on:




(This photo tells you a few other things too: I often only get to photographing anything when light conditions are not ideal, I've cut off most of my hair, and I need glasses because it's starting to be a problem that I can't see when a photo is not sharp.) Something I really like about the neckline is the way it opens up when you put on or take off the Zsálya:




I'm not sure how to show that to you in a less awkward way. The V of the neckline is also repeated in the long sleeve's cuff detail:




(I do like to make Zsályas in Liberty of London Tana Lawn. I have more than a few. It's a slightly expensive habit.) (By the way, the front and back yokes are GREAT canvases for embellishment. Like embroidery! And what's more, if you find it tiresome to make the back of your embroidery look almost as nice as the front, this pattern's got you covered: the yoke has a full yoke facing that will completely protect the back of your embroidery from possibly snagging on anything. More on that later as well - i.e. why anyone would care what the back of their embroidery looks like, in a slightly OCD manner, kind of like I do.) And finally, what do you think of the Zsálya as a high-low hemline tunic?




I've got a tutorial coming your way on how to alter the pattern pieces to make it. I made it in a silk crepe-de-chine I bought in Mood a while ago, and it's soft and a bit swingy in the back:




You could make it even swingier, if you like. I'm contemplating it. Here's the neckline opened up again:




See you soon!

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