Yes, it’s true: I love border prints! They do the heavy lifting to make a simple pattern look unique, and that’s pretty much my entire wardrobe goal.
Here are some of my border print makes over the years:
This is the project that got me thinking about my love for border prints: an ombre leopard Ebony made in 45 minutes this summer! This is actually a panel print, so the ombre repeats every metre along the yardage. I don’t like panel prints quite as much as real border prints, because you have to think hard about how the pattern pieces will fit into the repeat!
This border print was a 90cm remnant… so I had to get creative piecing a back yoke from other fabric! I love the crazy colours, but I wish it was on a black background so that it matched better with shoes and leggings! I actually didn’t wear this once last winter, and that makes me sad.
Now for two garments that do get worn ALL THE TIME: Santa Fe tanks in ITY jersey! I think border prints work best with a straight hem, and I like how the angled side seams give this a longer-at-the-side effect.
Same pattern, slightly longer! This was another narrow remnant, luckily with a border along each side. I left the black selvedge unhemmed for extra length!
And now a little walk down memory lane… This pic is from Me-Made May in 2013, and I remember that I was having a bad day, though I don’t remember why! This is a Tiramisu, which was my absolute ride-or-die pattern for a good few years. I’m pretty sure my sister still wears this, and thanks to the magic of ITY, it still looks good!
Even further back, here’s a dress from 2012, just a year into my dressmaking obsession! I think this was at the beginning of my style transition from sewing fit-n-flare quilting cotton dresses to looking for a more comfortable, modern style. I made this floral Cambie dress out of a border-print bed sheet, then never wore it because it just felt too twee. Proof that we all go through style transitions, and that it takes time to develop personal style!
Now I feel like I’ve found “my style”, and it involves buying almost-garish over-the-top prints like this one! I ran the border print vertically up the centre front, and horizontally across the back. I love this dress!
And of course, more recently and along the same lines, there is my Oonabaloona maxi! There is a seam hidden in those orange stripes where I pieces the fabric to make the border print front and centre. I have worn this dress to work, on errands and when i want to dress up – it’s a winner!
I wish good border prints were easier to find – do you have any suggestions for where to buy them? It probably goes without saying, but I’m looking for knits! I’ve seen some fun bold ones at Michael Levine, but never quite found the one worth dropping $$ on shipping and conversion rates! Any suggestions?