What we have here, folks, is a double header.
First of all, I hope you had a merry christmas/awesome 6th day of hanukkah/day just like any other. I myself celebrated in the traditional way of my people, gorging on popcorn during Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows (it was awesome. AWESOME.) and then feasting on Chinese takeout in the company of my family. It was quite a day, I must tell you.
Second of all, quick, to the sewing project! Or projects, as the case may be. Because I recently completed an extremely frustrating little blouse that I decided to pair with a skirt I made the other evening and wear out to a neighborhood Christmas Eve party. Of course, no holiday is complete without me forcing my mother to take photos of me and yelling at her while she does so, so here we go:
Let’s break it down, shall we? First, the easy part. The skirt:
I love this skirt. Love. LOVE. It’s unbearably simple, but I believe it to be extremely flattering. It’s a basic six gored navy skirt made from Simplicity 3688, a reproduction 1940’s pattern. I love it. It’s full at the bottom but because of the gores it’s really nice from the side and the rear:
Glides right over, right? I think the key is, when you have a bit of junk back there in the trunk, which I do, and you like full skirts, which I do, you have to make sure that the skirt only fills out past the hips. Which is sad, because I love me a gathered skirt. It just doesn’t love me back….
Pleats are okay, though, right? RIGHT?
Whatever. Look at the pretty simple skirt:
It’s hard to see the gores, which are topstitched, but I love the 40’s flare of this skirt. I call it my Sleep No More Skirt (find out more about the show here and read my review here) because I was inspired by the event (on so many levels) and just adored the severe but elegant skirts of the female performers. So 40’s, so sleek and easy to move in but flattering and lovely. I whipped this skirt up over two evenings, and that includes hand stitching the hem and the zipper. I love 40’s style bottoms, they all use exactly one button which is a great way to get rid of those beautiful but seemingly useless one-offs you may or may not have haunting your button box.
Now, to the blouse, which is more exciting, but also more ANNOYING. I call it my “I Don’t Believe In UFOs” Blouse, because really, I don’t. I don’t like, nay, I can’t physically start one project, one big garment, before I have finished the one I’ve started. I just can’t do it. I have to finish what I start, I just have to. And that determination is pretty much all that kept me going, I must tell you.
zI got this blouse pattern from a lovely Etsy seller, SewUniqueClassique, and I was extremely excited about it. I waffled for a week or two after I found it online and then finally bit the bullet. I imagined that this would be my new go-to-blouse pattern, I would make every variation and use it all the time. I love this style of blouse, and this one seemed to have the shaping and details I’ve been looking for in a pattern. It looks perfect on paper, right?
Quick and easy, eh, Butterick 8097? Oh, sure. SURE you are. So I guess I’m just slow and frigid, because I had a hard time getting this one into bed. First of all, for such a short blouse (you can’t see in any photos but it only reaches a few inches below the waist) it ate up almost three yards of fabric. Second of all, it’s fussy. Really fussy. Lots of hand sewing (on shirting poplin? Really? That’s not happening), lots of silly steps, general struggle, but who would expect anything less? And while the fit is nice, it’s actually kind of baggy around the waist, despite the diamond darts and oddles of shaping, and it’s got a lot of fabric bunching in the back:
I should say that now that I’ve finished the thing I do really like it and will probably get a lot of wear out of it. That being said, I don’t know if I would make another of these. I might, because I like a challenge, and because I like a lot about this style, but my hopes for the blouse I make seven of and wear daily have been dashed. Sigh. I like the collar, though:
See? Happy Face. I guess it’s my own fault, really. I’m always looking for patterns I would make more then once, rather then something I would just do once but do really carefully. What about you? Do you look for patterns that will make one unique statement in your closet, or ones you can make over and over again?
I used picnik to make some 40’s style shots.
Can you just see me keeping the home-fires warm?
And there you have it.