Stunning Lady McElroy Miller Check Cotton

Hey, it’s me, Camilla, aka @she_sew_fabulous and I’m here to talk to you today about this stunning Lady Mcelroy Miller Check Cotton.

I’d had it in my stash for a couple of months before using it, because it’s one of those fabrics that’s so lovely it can’t just be wasted on any old project, it needed to be saved for something special. Before the latest lockdown hit, I was booked into a shirt workshop at The Fashion Box, a sewing studio based in Seven Sisters. Alas, said workshop was postponed twice due to lockdown restrictions and the fabric sat there, cut and waiting for its moment. Finally the time came over the May bank holiday and the class was rebooked. Hurrah! At last my beautiful fabric would be used and right after Winter Week on Sewing Bee where the pattern challenge was plaid shirts. It’s as if it was meant to be!

I opted to make the long shirt dress version of the Tilly and the Buttons Rosa for the workshop. Unlike Sewing Bee, I didn’t do any pattern matching (I never do, because I don’t like to waste fabric) and the style of the shirt means that the mismatched pattern on the seams is hidden nicely. I think the checks and the princess seams are quite honestly a match made in heaven : one seems to complement the other perfectly. Overall, I’m delighted with this shirt and can’t wait to wear it out somewhere. It may be a while given that the weather has just decided to get sunny!

Here are my top tips for sewing with this fabric :
I’d definitely recommend overlocking if you have one, as it did fray a little in places. I didn’t overlock each piece, but I did overlock the seams together once they were attached.

The ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ side of the fabric have two very different feels. Quite honestly, I couldn’t decide which was which, so I decided to go for the softer side on the inside and the smoother side on the outside. This was because on the softer side, the pattern isn’t quite as crisp. Make sure you pay close attention when sewing. I must confess that there’s a pocket which is sewn on the wrong way round! (ssssh, don’t tell anyone!)

The fabric is on the thicker side. I put in a brand new needle for the buttonholes (I believe it was a size 16) and would definitely recommend testing first and going slowly. Some of my buttonholes are far from perfect (it’s okay, the shirt looks fab, I’m not crying over some imperfect buttonholes!)

Overall, this fabric was delightful to sew with and it’s given the finished shirt a structured feel whilst at the same time allowing it to have a great amount of drape so it hangs really well. I would 100% recommend this for making shirts with (and I would also highly recommend making a Rosa with it, I think I may actively hunt for patterns with princess seams in, I’m sold!) but I can also see it making a really nice skirt (the Pocketful Skirt by Stitched in Wonderland springs to mind). This was my first foray into Lady Mcelroy fabric and definitely won’t be the last : now I see what all the fuss is about! So head over to the Lush Cloth page and snap some up : you won’t regret it!

By @she_sew_fabulous