It’s been a long old while since we’ve had time to write anything on the blog and given how much has changed in recent times, it’s very strange to be thinking about our latest pattern release, which has kind of been swept under the carpet since the arrival of the coronavirus back in February.
Clair and I were busy little bees off on our travels to both Birmingham for Stitches (our very first trade show) and then just up to London for the spring Stitches Festival (the newly named Knitting & Stitching Show) when the virus started to have more of an impact. In Birmingham, we were given an extra large stand space as the company next door to us couldn’t make it due to travel restrictions and then while we were in London, there was much talk of banning large gatherings of people, so we were all starting to think about the coming months and what that might mean for our industry. As it was, only a couple of weeks later the schools were closed and lockdown commenced, and now here we are – all doing our bit by simply staying at home. So our brand new girl Martha, who was in pride of place at both those shows has kind of gone under the radar and not had the time and attention she has deserved. But now, we are attempting to rectify that and give her a bit of the lockdown limelight with a blog post all of her very own!
Martha is a classic shift dress shape with a difference – asymmetric panels and in-seam front-side pockets take her from ordinary to interesting and as anyone with a passion for quilting knows, choosing your prints and colours to clash or complement makes a world of difference.
The pattern was conceived after so many of our customers asked Clair when she would be making an adult version of the kids’ reversible dress pattern, so after some months of development and a bit of head scratching she came up with the concept of an a-line shaped shift dress, with minimal shaping, that could be made reversible if you wanted, but whose real appeal was the potential for colour blocking and stash busting, because Martha doesn’t just allow you to showcase one gorgeous fabric, but three.
As with all of our patterns, Martha is a simple design, that makes the most of one or two features – long bust darts, three different panels front and back, in-seam pockets and a neckline facing are the only parts of the construction, making it super quick to sew. What may take you more time however is choosing your fabrics! We have gone with vibrant cottons, that allow those fantastic prints to really stand out, but Martha is also great for plain colour blocking or using just two different prints. Try out three different denims, velvets or linens – texture is a great way to experiment – try three different blues each with a contrasting print, or go all out with three (or six!) super bright and bold designs to really make the style shout. There is plenty to mix and match with.
Martha doesn’t just work as a sleeveless summer dress either – pop her on over a long sleeve t-shirt and some leggings and you are good to go for autumn too. Make her in corduroy and she’ll keep you snug in the winter, paired with a big cardigan and some warm boots. She can also go from casual to smart too, depending on your fabric choice and accessories – Martha would make an excellent choice for a work dress in some light wool or suiting. She’s another fabulously versatile pattern which we are delighted to introduce to you all. And since she hasn’t been given the chance to properly shine since being released into the big wide world, she along with all our other patterns have free P&P right now.
Head to our website to see our full range of patterns and some fabrics, all of which are still being shipped out twice a week – www.emporia-fabric.co.uk.