Trousers and skirts

Freehand Fashion Blog Tour and Review

Hello hello!

almond rock chinelo bally freehand fashion

I hope you’ve been following the blog tour for Chinelo Bally’s new book Freehand Fashion. I’m the penultimate stop on the tour and hopefully I can say something about the book that helps add a little more insight into the composition and styling of the projects and approach. Plus you can have a nosey at my finished garment.

chinelo bally freehand fashion

Based on a traditional Nigerian technique, Chinelo’s book takes you through her innovative freehand cutting technique. Like many other pattern books it’s based around a series of standard blocks (bodice, dress, skirt, sleeve, and flare) that you draft using your measurements. But the difference is unique variations on the blocks and the way you plot the integral marks on your fabric. You cleverly take into account seam allowances (something normally omitted in pattern drafting). The bodice block actually covers the whole torso and hips (different again from many techniques). This lets you create 15 central patterns with a few variations to boot!

chinelo bally freehand fashion

I decided to try out the flared skirt block aka the double circle skirt project. This is a very approachable project (which fitted with my limited free time) but I also wanted to see how Chinelo would spell out this standard block.

Firstly it’s true of all the projects in this book but I really like the way the pages are laid out. Everything is clear and consistent and gorgeously crisp looking. The flared skirt is nicely broken up into how to achieve various amounts of flare but I fancied a full on circle. Chinelo advises using a regular less full skirt as the lining which was interesting. I chose a pink twill with a pink polka dot lining to compliment my uber polka dot set up! And I hemmed the skirt using bias tape since it takes so long to hem a full circle. Phew.

chinelo bally freehand fashion

It’s a pretty fun skirt and that’s probably because it’s a pretty fun book. I confess I’ve had a copy for a little while – the perks of doing book reviews in Love Sewing. And I love some of the dresses like the hot lace number. Woah momma. And the peplum flippy hem dress is all kinds of cute. There’s plenty here to find a few garments you like and plenty to learn from re-imagining the way you approach sewing patterns. I’ll throw it out there and then won’t mention it again. If you subscribe to Love Sewing during November, you’ll get a free gift copy of the book. Something to think about – maybe even suggest to your relatives as a good Christmas present? heehe.

chinelo bally freehand fashion

chinelo bally freehand fashion

So I hope I lived up to the challenge and gave you a good spin on the book with my review? I’d like to encourage you to try and pick up a copy of the book and take a look for yourself. I think the key thing to remember is that if you’re the kind of person who gets a bit nervous cutting straight into fabric without a toile, this book isn’t suggesting you do that. It just means you can cut out some of the time consuming steps of tracing and cutting tissue sheets. But if you’re still feeling a little concerned, you can try this circle skirt for an excellent easy win.

Right – toodlepip! I’m off to party in my new foxy skirt! You should check out Rachel’s blog tomorrow for the last point on the tour.

chinelo bally freehand fashion

(7) Comments

  1. Swirlyicing says:

    Loving this look on you. Pink and polka dots great together. X

  2. Amy! Freehand cutting sounds scary to me, but you make it look great. I love the punk rock color combo, too.

  3. Its totally awesome love them both! also love the wallpaper too 🙂 x

  4. Hi! Looks great! I just started looking at the instructions for this skirt, and was preparing for the cutting-part once I realised that I did not have enough fabric. How much fabric did you need for this skirt? I was planning on making it a bit shorter than yours, but when I did the calculations I found out I needed more than two meters of fabric. Can that be right, or are my calculations wrong?

    1. almondrock says:

      Hi Ida – I used about 1.75m of fabric but I’m quite petite (I have a 31 in inside leg). Circle skirts do gobble fabric. If you want say a skirt that’s only like 50cm long from the waist you’ll be able to do it in 1.5 or 2m I’d say.

  5. Gorgeous skirt! The colour is awesome!

  6. […] Tuesday 17th November • Almond Rock […]

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