Sewing with our Hemp/Cotton Denim

A fabric we hunted high and low to source for The Drapery was a good hemp-containing denim. Such a great basic and with the added eco-credentials of hemp.
We have two great options: the superb lightweight, versatile Hemp/Organic Cotton Denim and this one used below, which is 25% Hemp 75% Cotton, a substantial 340gsm yet actually quite smooth, supple and a little drapey. At 150cm wide, the dress below was eked out of a 110cm cut.

The dress is Style A from the Stylish Dress Book by Yoshiko Tsukiori - the translated and western-sized version which we have in the shop:

The sizing is very generous - in fact whilst I measured a size 14, I use the size 10 in this pattern and even still took it in a bit at the sides because the denim sits in a more pronounced A-line shape. The pattern has bust darts and soft gathers at the front for shaping, and for further shape and visual interest I added a button tab at the centre back to cinch it in a little. The tab was made with three layers of denim for structure and the buttonholes made with a fabulous vintage Singer buttonholer attachment. Buttons are handmade porcelain from Hobart, and have been sitting in my stash for a couple of years!
 Buttons stitched on with embroidery thread and reinforced with small circles of denim on the inside:

Friends, I cannot say enough good things about sewing and wearing this denim. It is easy to cut and sew and has enough suppleness that even sewing through multiple layers and joins is no problem. It holds its shape well and does not crease easily. Possibly best of all, it has an apparently Teflon-like ability to repel dirt: I have worn this at least five times (with tops and leggings underneath) and it still doesn't seem to need a wash. How eco-friendly is that? (I promise it doesn't smell either. Does it Fiona? No, she says!)

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. Wow - so thrilled you have those Japanese Pattern books! The sizing in those is always HUGE. I am trying to be very disciplined and am waiting to finish current project before I rush down and buy some of this gorgeous fabric! x

    1. My previous experience of Japanese patterns was from a magazine in Japanese and the sizing was definitely for the petite Japanese figure! I think they've over-compensated a bit here but once you know that, it's great that the patterns are accessible to a real range of sizes. And the styling is to die for - so inspiring :)

  2. The styling is to die for! I think maybe I messed it up somewhere along the line - or maybe it was just the particular dress I made had a lot of ease. x


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