I want to sew more like Gwen Spencer. Her projects never cease to inspire me, each with a distinct sewing and personal style. You may know Gwen from our booth at the Puyallup Sewing Expo or from the Design Outside the Lines retreats where she will be a teacher.
Gwen makes the 4+ hour drive to my studio from her home in Corvallis, Oregon to work/play/collaborate with me when it is time to sew the prototypes for my Vogue patterns. She brought these 2 dresses with her last month and I was inspired to share them. In the photo below, we are on our way to dinner with friends at The Farm, and Gwen is wearing her version of the Cirque dress, Vogue 9112.
- Gwen has a large roll of white cotton tailor/twill tape that she has been using in both garments featured below.
- She did NOT pre-shink the tape, likes the puckered effect that happens when the garment is washed.
- Gwen incorporates hand stitching in many garments too, has a 'passion for a needle and thread', and usually has a hand sewing project for early morning coffee chats and evenings sitting around watching a movie or sipping a cool drink on the deck.
- On a visit last spring, Gwen told me that she wanted to invent some new clothes.
This blog is designed to inspire, is not a tutorial, no instructions other than what I've included here from my conversations with Gwen.
Up Close Look
Fabric is a cotton puckered seersucker check that gets softer and better with washing and wearing.
'I had a lot of fabric!'
- Gwen combined two of the lower hem edge pieces into one and cut them on the bias.
- The bias hem is left raw. ...one of the 'rules' of textiles (right up there with the law of gravity), is that true bias does not ravel.
- Bias will fray a bit on the edge, but no ravelling.
- The twill tape extends a bit beyond the hem edge, adding a bit more texture.
Gwen narrowed the depth of the collar and cut it single thickness, also on the bias.
Note that the short overlapping front edges are turned and finished, but the outer edge is left raw.
Line drawing shows the seam details...