So way back at the beginning of March, Funki Fabrics contacted me with the offer of free fabric in exchange for a blog post mentioning their name and linking to their website. I have never been approached by any company to do something like this before, so I was extremely flattered to be noticed, but a little apprehensive. It did feel good to have a company say that they value my opinion as a sewist, but I do understand that they are getting the benefit of free advertising as well. I hummed and hawed for about a week about whether or not to do it. I mean there seemed to be a number of Funki Fabrics posts out there already (although not nearly as many as there are now), and honestly, it's not the type of fabric I normally would use (they specialize mainly in athletic and dancewear fabric - and let's be honest I'm not a good enough dancer to need dancewear and I am definitely not an athlete. Gym? What's a gym?). But in the end, the offer of free fabric and curiosity of what it might be like won out, and I decided to give it a go. I know that a lot of people have been made the same offer, so I'm sorry if this post is a bit redundant. A number of bloggers have made leggings and that seemed like the natural choice for me too, until I spotted this amazing cotton stretch fabric. I wasn't entirely sure what it would be like, but I requested it hoping it would be more my style, along with two other lycra prints for leggings (Funki Fabrics offered me 4m in total). Anyway, weeks went by, and no fabric. It seemed like it must have been lost in the mail or something. It was kind of weird, because I have never had anything go missing in the mail, plus around the same time that FF sent out my order, I had ordered some denim from Ditto Fabrics in the UK and it arrived in just over a week with no problems. Luckily, the lovely people at Funki Fabrics were kind enough to send out another package, and it arrived about a week later. I was pleasantly surprised by the cotton stretch fabric, it is super soft and has a great 4 way stretch. I've only washed it once, but it washed up well and seems like it won't pill over time. I was going to make a dress out of it, but I didn't have quite enough fabric for the pattern I had in mind (poor planning on my part). Anyways, as I was browsing through my pattern stash, I was also reading the April issue of Seamwork. So far, I haven't found very many of the Seamwork patterns super appealing, but there was something about that Astoria pattern that finally made me want to try one. And coincidentally, this Funki Fabrics cotton elastane flexlite was perfect for it. #winning
I had no idea what I would pair the Astoria with, so I decided I would just make the Bristol skirt from Seamwork too. It looked like a pretty good outfit on the model. I wasn't super in love with the skirt at first glance, I mean it has a kangaroo pocket - interesting detail perhaps, but not necessarily the most flattering. Anyway, it seemed like it would be a quick and easy sew, and sometimes you have to try something to know if you like it.
Both Seamwork pdfs went together okay, I had a bit of trouble getting the lines to match up on a few pages, but for the price, I'm not complaining too much. The Astoria was a super quick sew, constructed with my serger and then topstitched with my coverstitch machine. The fabric performed beautifully, and was a perfect match to this little crop top.
When I first tried on this skirt, I wasn't overly keen on it, but looking at it now in these photos, I think it's actually quite cute. I think that it would be better with side seam pockets on my figure. I have a tummy, so the pocket in front kind of accentuates that, rather than flatters, and I'm not 100% thrilled with the elastic waistband either. It's really comfy, but for some reason I find it a bit bulky. I did not like the way the pattern instructions had you attach the waistband. You sew up the back seam, then press it in half, then you put the elastic inside, stretch and pin it in place, then you attach the waistband to the skirt, whilst trying to stretch everything to match. Um what?? That was so ridiculous to me. Why not attach the waistband, leave an opening, insert the elastic, and stitch up the opening. The end result is the same. So weird, and lots of unnecessary struggling - I even broke a needle!! Ugh! Anyway, if you decide to make this skirt, you might want to change that bit of construction.
For Astoria, I made a straight size Large, and I think it fits really well. I am in love with the neckline, the length, and the hemband. For the Bristol skirt, I made a size 12 (based on my waist measurement I should have made a 14) and I would probably would have been happier with a size 10. I also had to shorten the skirt by 3 inches.
The fabric I used for the skirt is a nice rayon challis that John picked out for me at Walthamstow Market. It's nice and drapey and perfect for a summery skirt. I'm not sure how much I will wear this skirt. I'm trying to be a skirt person, but I just don't seem to be. The Astoria on the other hand will probably get lots of wear. I think it will be perfect over dresses and I think it will even work with high-waisted Gingers. I also think you could lose the band and add a skirt for a Moneta-like look.
So back to Funki Fabrics. I also chose two really cool lycra prints to make leggings out of, and I used my trusty Cake Espresso Leggings pattern. I love wearing leggings for lounging around the house, and I wanted to see what this dancewear fabric was really like. I am happy to report that it's super stretchy with amazing recovery, and it wasn't at all hard to work with. I thought lycra would be slippery and hard to cut, but this wasn't at all. I think if you are looking for cool fabric to make a swimsuit out of, or maybe some kind of athletic outfit, or even leggings, then this is the place for you. My little sister used to be obsessed with gymnastics when she was young, and she lived in spandex outfits because of her dream of becoming a gymnast. She would have loved and outfit made from this type of fabric. It's a little bit pricey (especially with shipping), but in my opinion, worth it for a speciality garment. They also have lots of stretch velvet, and I'm kind of kicking myself for not getting some of it. I may still, we'll see.... Anyway, here's my leggings:
And now what you've all been waiting for: THE GIVEAWAY. Just after I finished up my Astoria, the original package from Funki Fabrics arrived (I know because they sent one via Royal Mail/Canada Post and one via DHL). I'm not sure where it was, or why it took so long to get to me, but it finally came. I offered to send it back to Funki Fabrics as they had already been so generous with letting me try their fabric for free, but they decided that I could keep it and do with it what I see fit. I decided I would do a giveaway. So if you would like to win an exact replica of my order: 2 metres of a delicious cotton jersey-ish fabric, along with 1 metre of crazy Batman print lycra, and 1 metre of a psychedelic butterfly kaleidoscope lycra print, leave a comment below and I will enter you into the draw.
I will leave the draw open until Monday May 4th, and announce the winner on Tuesday May 5th. Seeing as it will be me footing the bill for the shipping, I will ship to anywhere in the world so you can enter from anywhere - yay for no restrictions! Good luck everybody and happy sewing!
****This giveaway is now closed - to see who won click here.****