Monday, September 30, 2013

Mini-Wardrobe contest

It's that time of year again... Pattern Review's mini-wardrobe contest!  And even more excitingly, I actually finished!
For your edification:

For my wardrobe I made a coordinating skirt and blouse in a purple floral rayon with a white silk chiffon yoke, a high-waisted leather pencil skirt, and a long sleeve tee in a cream color jersey.  The purple print skirt was self-drafted, the blouse was loosely based on Simplicity 3688.  I made the skirt from Vogue 1324.  Which I discussed at LENGTH in posts from earlier this month. 

The purple print skirt was a simple self drafted pattern with gentle gathering, pockets in the side seams and an interfaced, slightly shaped 1" waistband that sits at the natural waist.  The skirt has a 9" zipper along the back seam and fastens with a large black button.  Now I am not a genius when it comes to drafting patterns by any stretch of the imagination (I'd love to take a class someday... and if wishes were horses) but this was a breeze and took no more than an hour to draft and construct.
For the purple print blouse I cut the bodice front and yoke from 3688; the front from the purple floral and the yoke from a white silk chiffon.  For the back, I frankenpatterned the back of 3688 and the upper back of the blouse from V1324 to create a light, easy feeling.  I then made bias tape from the print material and used that to finish the collar and armholes as well as creating a large buttonhole at the collar where I attached a black button which matched that on the skirt. 
The blouse can also pair with the camel-colored leather pencil skirt. 
The prize detail on this pencil skirt is the seaming at the front sides.  The back of the skirt has a shaped waistband which then ends at the front dart.  This bit was definitely tricky and I made a muslin out of a gray suiting before cutting into my skins.  On the original muslin I followed the directions as written and found it to be tricky to get the seams to line up perfectly.  On the second, leather version I assembled the entire side and sewed the seam last to create a clean line which I think turned out very well.  I am incredibly proud of this skirt which I finished with a zipper I picked up from the handbag department.  
And of course, a lovely basic like a leather pencil skirt will always pair nicely with another basic, the classic white T.  This t-shirt is a Palmer/Pletsch pattern from McCall's, M6399. I made view B.  Now, the beauty of the Palmer/Pletsch patterns is the very explicit fitting directions.  And not to step away from recieved wisdom, but I have to disagree with the pattern's esteemed creators when it comes to fitting this top in a knit.  I used a 4-way stretch jersey and realized that if I cut it in my normal size as the pattern recommends it would be HUGE!  I cut a straight 14 and it was still very roomy despite the pattern's insistence that I would need to make extensive alterations.  I also left out the shoulder pads, because...gross?  Here's the deal with this shirt... The pattern photo is incredibly dated as is the desire to make this in a woven, with a zipper and shoulder pads.  But in a drapy knit?  Those side pleats are gorgeous!  This is one of those cases where the dress form doesn't really do the garment justice.  The wide collar and raglan sleeves are flattering to the shoulders and collar bones and the pleats allow the fabric to ease over the bust without pulling and creates a nice drape over the lower mid-section.  I highly recommend this as a basic (so long as you promise to leave the 80s behind).


And of course, a lovely "not so basic" tee will pair nicely with the gathered print skirt.  I would probably add some additional chic-ness to this outfit with a jacket or cardigan, chunky jewelry and maybe some colorful pumps. 

In the end the mini-wardrobe contest gave me the opportunity to put together some easy basics for fall in this new California climate. 

Go to and vote for me!

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