A Chambray Vacation Outfit

Jenny Maker Microstripe Chambray Forsythe 4

Hello again, friends! I hope you’ve all been enjoying Chambray Week so far!

When we first started planning this theme, I knew I’d be prepping for a trip to the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans, so of course, a loose, casual dress was in order. I’d had a grey linen option on my queue, but when I saw this blue and white micro stripe (now sold out, sorry!), it jumped in my cart (I am always on the hunt for blue and white stripes!) and when I noticed it was described as “reading” as a blue grey, I knew it was meant to be!

Jenny Maker Microstripe Chambray Forsythe 6

Even better, the other vacation projects I was working on were in shifty linen and lyocell, so sewing up this stable cotton was such a lovely break! It’s so funny how, even if sewing the shiftier fabrics doesn’t bother you (I rarely mind myself), it can be a bit of a relief to sew with something you know is going to go through the machine exactly how you want it too. It made this dress come together so quickly! I had the bulk of it done in just an afternoon and I’m not a speedy sewist. It cut perfectly, everything lined up as it should, and it pressed beautifully. Ah, cotton. Am I right?

And let me tell you, a cotton with a bit of body like this one is perfect for a hot and humid city like New Orleans! Granted, we visited in the spring but the sun was definitely shining for that day of the festival and I was comfortable the entire time. The body of the cotton kept the dress off me, which is crucial for staying cool, and the fabric, as are all chambrays I’ve tried so far, was completely breathable. Basically, this was ideal festival fabric 😉

Jenny Maker Microstripe Chambray Forsythe 3Jenny Maker Microstripe Chambray Forsythe 2

And while I would normally (and have) pair this particular pattern with a drapier fabric, I found this to be the perfect vacation combo, for the same reasons. Especially with the extra deep pockets I added. Side note: I added about 5″ to the depth of the pockets which turned out to be the perfect amount for holding the cd I bought from one of the festival bands haha

But, my chambray love couldn’t end there. I love how many varieties there are, don’t you? The dress fabric was a little weightier and had a bit of body and my next one is light as a feather and has a rather soft hand.

Jenny Maker Microstripe Chambray Forsythe 1

Knowing that the sun in New Orleans can be a bit intense, I thought a lightweight scarf would be a great idea! And lo-and-behold I found more stripes haha. A scarf like this is perfect for keeping the sun off, while being light enough to not add too much warmth. And they’re also one of my favorite ways to use a single yard piece of fabric that I love, but don’t have a project in mind for. Making one the way I do actually preserves the fabric so you can always use it for another project later!

I took a few photos while I made this one to show just how easy it is:

Jenny Maker Scarf Tutorial

  • Straighten the grain (if needed, this one was cut straight) and thoroughly press fabric
  • If your fabric has frayed selvedges, like this one, simply press up a 1/2″ hem along both cut edges, then fold the raw edge into the hem
  • Stitch close to the folded edge (tip: If sewing a striped fabric, I like to match my bobbin thread to the underside and my top thread to the, well, top.)
  • Press the hems and you’re done!
  • If your selvedges aren’t frayed, you can stitch a line just inside them and then use a needle to fray them OR if the selvedges are too tightly woven, you can cut them off right along the edge, sew a straight line 5/8″ from the new cut and use a pin to gently remove the parallel threads.
  • Then, hem the shop-cut edges as above and you’re done!

Jenny Maker Scarf Flatlay.jpg

Easy right!? And so handy. (Note: you can do the same with a longer piece of fabric for a wrap or a throw blanket, as I did here. Just fray the cut edges instead, for speed.)
So, are you sharing our love for chambray yet? There’s still more great stuff to come!
Happy sewing! x

Jennifer M, from Jenny Maker

Hi! I’m Jennifer, or Jenny if you’d like, and I blog at Jenny Homemaker. I currently reside in Atlanta with my fiancé/sounding-board/photographer, Brandon, and fur baby/supervisor/photobomber, CoCo.

I started sewing in 2009 after a long-distance move, when it became clear I needed a new hobby. I was fearless, choosing a fully-lined, polyester satin, bubble-hem party dress as my first garment. As you might expect, it was a bit of a disaster and was never worn (we dubbed it the “shiny trash bag” dress), but I saw potential in the idea of sewing my own dresses and didn’t hesitate to jump back in.

What started as a way to pass the time has turned into one of the things I’m most passionate about! I’m well on my way to having a fully handmade wardrobe, sewing everything from lounge clothes to silk dresses! When I’m not sewing, I’m learning. When I’m not learning, I’m planning.

Since fabric is such a great part of sewing (sometimes the best part, right!?), I’m really looking forward to being a part of the Cali Fabrics team, sharing some amazing fabrics and helpful tips with you!

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