When you think of what clothes suit you and don’t suit you, you think of shapes and colours, right? That’s always been my take on it, but I’ve recently had the weirdest realisation: a fabric type doesn’t suit me. And that fabric type is viscose. I know, sad times.
I tend to lean towards structured fabrics; I’ve always been a huge fan of Miu Miu-esque quirky tailoring, but those floaty skirts and dresses that have been about over the last couple of years called out to me. You know the really cool nonchalant women with their breezy dresses and stompy boots? I wanted to be them. So, I set about making some cool floaty pieces.
Safiya trousers from Tilly and the Buttons
I made these in some AMAZING mustard and pink viscose I bought from Sew Me Sunshine. The sewing pattern is brilliant, and it works perfectly with the fabric, I even put a photo on Instagram (before trying them on – numpty) that everyone went a bit wild for:
But on…they just look weird. Is it my shape? The way I’m styling them? Who knows.
Lempi dress from Named
This is one of my top sewing patterns, I love the other two versions I’ve made (in cotton and needlecord), and I’ve got another dreamy one in my mind. I thought a viscose one could make a gorgeous floaty alternative, but something about it feels a bit…sensible? The collar to this got ripped in my washing machine (apparently viscose is very delicate!) and I’m pretty sure I’m not going to repair it for quite some time.
Honeycomb dress from CocoWawa Crafts
This dress is right up my street and I was so excited to make it. I channelled my Orla Kiely dreams into a clashing print viscose dress and it looked…not great. I chopped it into a peplum top but still no cigar. I wrote a blog post about the dress and the sewing fail, but now I write this I think there is hope; I just need to make the dress in a more rigid cotton, huzzah!
Martha skirt from Tilly and the Buttons
Another one that seemed so on trend, I got some beautiful pink dotty viscose from Sew Me Sunshine (can you tell it’s one of my favourite shops?!) and got straight to sewing. The fabric is so pretty but a bit edgy, so I was really excited about this one. Then it bloody happened again! Nothing I try to style it with looks right on me.
There have been a couple of exceptions to this: my spotty By Hand London Flora dress that I wore on repeat throughout summer, and a self-drafted gathered skirt made in proper bargain fabric from Maggie’s Fabrics in Lewisham Market, but other than these, I think I’m going to have to call it a day with viscose. My heart just can’t take the pain anymore*.
My tidbit of advice from this rigmarole would be that if you have a few garments that don’t feel right, but you’re not sure why, get them all out and look at them together. All my viscose clothes are different shapes, colours and prints, so it took ages for me to realise it’s the fabric type that links them all. Maybe it’s a certain length, or a colour tone that links all your iffy clothes, but if you have them all together in front of you, hopefully you’ll be able to see. And if not, drop me a message and I’ll try to help!
*No, YOU’RE being over-dramatic.