In Sewing

Bearing Sea Blue


After my last experience with Organic Cotton Plus I was very pleased to accept the offer to team up with them again and review some more products. You’ve already seen this dress in casual action in my recent post, but I wanted to show the versatility of this particular fabric and how easily it translates to a dressier look.


This fabric is their organic cotton sateen in Bearing Sea blue. The photo on their website does nothing to help sell this fabric. The color, drape, and quality is absolutely beautiful in person.

The name of the color is initially what drew me in. I had my choice of any fabric on the website to review but the name “Bearing Sea” just stuck with me. Where the photos of this fabric don’t do much to represent it well, the name absolutely does. It is exactly the color I imagined. It’s a “shifty” blue that subtly changes color in different lighting. It has a gorgeous buttery sheen (like a proper cotton sateen should) and is equal parts tranquil and moody like its namesake would imply. It’s not quite a navy blue (though I would say it’s slightly darker than my photos are representing), or a slate blue, but something in between. It is a lustrous, profound blue.

With a deep blue such as this you’d expect the color might run in the wash, so I tested the amount of potential bleed by washing it with a white sheet. Much to my surprise, this fabric did not bleed! Not even slightly. Now, I don’t recommend washing your blues with your whites (especially since dye lots with naturally colored fabrics can vary) but I just wanted to mention that I thoroughly put this fabric to the test. I washed it on warm with a cold rinse in the permanent press cycle and tumble dried it on regular and it looked the same before and after. Folks, this is why I love cotton. It’s just practical.


One thing I noticed about this fabric when I received it is the weight. Both this fabric, and the Harmony Art fabric I used before, are listed as 4.5 ounces a square yard but the Bearing Sea fabric feels slightly lighter. For example: I would definitely use this fabric for a blouse or men’s shirt, but the Harmony Art fabric I would not (though I can only vouch for that one particular print I used). However, both fabrics would be perfectly suitable for dresses and skirts. The slight difference in weight is obviously not a negative selling point, it’s just something I noticed. This fabric, like the Harmony Art print, is 110″ wide, so I made this dress out of just one yard and still had enough fabric left over to make my own bias binding for the arm holes and neckline. (Keep in mind though that the factory fold line is only 36″ long. I refolded my yard along the 110″ length after washing in order to get my dress pieces to fit.)


The thread color Sapphire Blue matches wonderfully and is equally a joy to sew with as the fabric itself. The thread is highly comparable to Gutterman’s cotton thread, but I swear you can see a difference in the organic. There’s just something about it that feels better when you’re threading your machine. Perhaps that’s all in my head (we tend to think organic food tastes better because it’s organic) but the actual fact is my stitches were straight, uniform, and even. It’s just good thread! (the white thread shown below is not from Organic Cotton Plus)


The final notion I got to review was the 7/8 inch organic cotton ribbon in white. The first thing you’ll notice about this ribbon is it’s very matte. I have a hard time shopping for ribbon at Jo-Ann’s because it’s difficult to tell whether they’re appropriate for sewing or are meant to be used for decoration only. Those ribbons feel a bit plastic-y and fake. This organic cotton ribbon is none of those things. It looks natural and raw in all the best uses of the terms. The color is a natural bright white, like the color of dried bone, not an artificial paper white. It’s a great compliment to the blue of the fabric. I received 4 yards and had enough to trim the bottom of my dress, make a waist belt, and a pretty ribbon rose with the extra left over. I would recommend pre-washing the ribbon as well. I did not, and therefore my hem is ever so slightly puckered from washing and drying the finished dress after construction. 


I think the rose looks great on a belt and also as a hair adornment. You can notice the nice, tight twill weave of the fabric in this shot. This kind of weave makes the dress lightweight but not at all transparent.


The dress pattern I used is the Lisette Continental and is incredibly simple to make. It’s only the front and back pieces sewn together at the side, with some bias binding to finish the neck and arm holes. As I mentioned, I made this dress and all the binding with just one yard of fabric. That’s pretty amazing. (I feel like all fabrics should be 110″ wide now!) I wanted to use a simple silhouette to show off this fabric since it doesn’t take overly complicated sewing to make it worthy of wearing to a wedding. …which I did.




So the bottom line is this: Yes this fabric, ribbon, and thread was sent to me for free in exchange for a review, but these words are my own and I would never agree to “push a product on you” if I didn’t feel it was worthy of doing so. I’ve already convinced Florence she needed this fabric in her life before I even shared these photos, and I know she won’t be disappointed when it arrives at her doorstep. It is, in all honestly, one of the best fabrics I’ve ever worked with and I don’t think I can say anything better than that. I’m a lover of cotton fabric. It’s the only fabric I truly enjoy wearing and I think anyone who believes sewing with “plain ol’ cotton” is a cardinal sin should really give this fabric the opportunity to change your mind.

I dare say it’s extraordinary.



p.s. More photos of this wedding to come! There were goats. It was amazing.





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  • the fabric is beautiful! I was inspired to buy some back when I first read this post. I bought the Bering Sea Blue and also also some navy sateen. I used the navy to make a Belladone Dress and was saving the Bering Sea for something special. Yesterday I started thinking that I might have enough time to crank something out for the Fall for Cotton Challenge, and I remembered the Bering Sea Blue in my stash. Hopefully I can finish something in time!

  • I love this dress! That gray/blue color is just perfect! Your whole outfit looks super-cute too 🙂

  • Cotton is the best, and this dress looks like cotton at its finest!

    Man, I wish I could get married again so I could have goats at my wedding!

  • Still loving this dress! It’s rare you can dress something up or down so easily. That wedding location really just looked divine, can’t wait to see more. I am totally going to have to buy some of that fabric when I work through a bit of stash. I am ALL for finding new and great sources of cotton!

  • Gorgeous fabric, of course. and fabulous top stitching around the binding at the neck!! I am really quite taken with that rose, however. It really is beautiful. I’m heading over to watch that video right now!

  • Beautiful:)

  • Lovely dress, and your hairstyle is great, too!

  • MarieBayArea

    Who doesn’t love wearing cotton? That’s just weird. Love your dress and those cat eye specs.

  • The dress is gorgeous – perfect for a wedding. And I love the goats video, you’re adorable (it actually made me think of a scene from Anne of Green Gables for some reason).

    Your review has only made me feel more impatient & desperate to sew – I’m hoping it doesn’t spend a month in customs! X

  • What a beautiful dress. It looks amazing and comfortable at the same time.

    Hellcat Vintage

  • Beautiful dress! So simple, classy, chic… may I go on? And you look simply stunning in your photos – I love how you styled it!

  • Wonderfully lovely summer dress! I love the colours and accessories your partnered it with. I would have opted for the exact same colour cardi for a grey-blue frock like that too.

    Wishing you a beautiful Monday & week ahead, honey!
    ♥ Jessica

  • the dress is darling–I do really like the color too! And your hair is looking gorgeous miss. Kudos to your photographer once again.

  • I love this dress and the fabric does indeed look really soft and gorgeous! The photos are gorgeous as usual – looks like a lovely wedding venue!

  • Wow, so beautiful, you look gorgeous. And I can understand that you love the fabric, everything you wrote about it sounds absolutely amazing.

  • Gorgeous! I love this dress on you – and the painter in me wants to call this color “Payne’s Gray” (It’s a bad habit of mine to match colors with their paint tube names…) I especially love that ribbon. It’s so hard to find good ribbon, and you can just see from those shots that that stuff is the real deal! Well done Rochelle, and I’m also loving you as blonde!

  • Such a lovely dress, reasonably simple but very elegant and perfect for wearing to a wedding. I love the colour and interesting to learn about organic cotton ribbon.

  • The color looks beautiful on you! Did I mention yet that I’m loving you as a blonde? You look great!

  • I love this dress!

  • That dress is absolutely amazing! I’m so glad you guys had fun at the wedding, and I can’t wait to see more photos! Feel free to put up anything and everything! 🙂