It’s that time of the year again, isn’t it? I usually sew a new Christmas dress, but this year I made separates. SEPARATES, y’all! Both of these items coincide with some sewing goals I have for myself. The first is Shirtmaking Month that we’re currently hosting at the Curvy Sewing Collective and second is my Vintage Capsule Wardrobe Sewing that I’ve been planning with help and encouragement from the FB group of the same name created and administered by the lovely and knowledgeable Andrea.
My capsule wardrobe is vintage inspired and uses a mix of vintage patterns, vintage re-issues and modern patterns. It also fits in with my own challenge to sew five items that are much needed in my closet (two of which I’ve already completed!). My capsule colors are: green, navy, red, ivory and black, which you may notice from what I have sewn recently and what I’ll be sharing in the future. My wardrobe really lacks cold weather clothing, so having a plan and coordinating the pieces is really going to make it easier for me to get dressed.
On with my outfit! I used Simplicity 8243 to make my blouse. I had been looking for 1940’s vintage blouse patterns for some time before Simplicity released this pattern. I love the collar and it’s modern sizing, so I went for it. I did already review it on the CSC if you want to check that out.
I used this gorgeous emerald green stretch cotton shirting that I picked up at Britex Fabrics in San Francisco last month. I rarely look at the solid colored fabrics at Britex, and boy, was I missing out. I was shopping with my MIL and she had picked this fabric up in another colorway and it had me as first touch. This fabric is sublime. It has a bit of a shimmery sheen to it. It’s so wonderful to sew with and wear that I’m definitely picking some more up the next time I stop in at Britex.
I enlarged this pattern to about a size 26/28 and did a full bicep adjustment. I also added sleeve cuffs as the vintage photo on the pattern cover has the cuffs and the pattern does not. Next time I’m planning to add a little more width to the sleeves. I’m never quite certain how much ease I’ll need for a sleeve, especially when one wants one a little more fitted than baggy. This cotton has stretch, so it doesn’t bother me if they’re a little tighter than my ideal sleeve would be. With my next version, I’d also put the buttons a little closer to the edge than the pattern suggested.
This pattern has a different approach to sewing the collar than I’ve ever encountered. It has a facing that acts an upper collar. The instructions are well written and walk you through the process, so there wasn’t any head scratching involved. I enclosed all of the seam allowances with Hug Snug rayon seam binding, also using it as hem tape. There’s a lot of hand sewing as my sometimes uneven handstitching can attest to. I might make my next version of this shirt a little longer, but it works well tucked in to high-waisted skirts, which is most often how I will be wearing this. Below, you can see how it looks untucked. There are vents/slits (is that what they’re called?) at the side seams which make it easy to wear untucked.
My skirt is a “self-drafted” pleated number. I had considered using the vintage 40’s pattern in my capsule sewing photo at the beginning of this post, but decided that I didn’t want to hassle with re-sizing that small pattern (waist 30″) when I made this skirt. Instead, I cut my fabric to the length I wanted it, which was basically cutting my fabric width in half (it’s very wide) and using each piece for the front and back. I pinned it on my dressform, decided on the size of my pleats and started pinning them with help from my ruler. After I finished the first piece (which was the back), I did the front piece in the same fashion before cutting out a waistband and putting in an invisible side zipper. The center pleats are sewn down. I had them all sewn down, but had forgotten that I would have needed to curve the side seams of my skirt in order for them to lay properly. The center pleat in front does go askew a bit towards the bottom, but it did fall correctly in line later on (of course, after these photos were taken).
I used this luxurious wool tartan that I picked up on the remnant floor at Britex a couple of years ago. I always envisioned making a skirt with it and now I finally have. This wool is a dark chocolate brown and emerald green with metallic gold strands running through it. It’s difficult to see in photos how beautiful it is. And yes, more Hong Kong seams.
I decided to fray the hemline, which I accomplished all during an episode of Indian Summers. It gives that kilt-like appearance, but it also meant that I didn’t have to hem this skirt. Win-win. This skirt is a little scratchy (duh, wool). I considered lining it, but I’m lazy and didn’t want to. Wearing either a slip or tights/leggings will suffice.
I tell ya what. I am super in love with this skirt. I really don’t know why it took me so long to take this fabric out of the stash and make a damn skirt with it. For a brief time I had been considering making a shawl with it, but a skirt will suit me more as I’ve inherited a chest full of wool tartan shawls and shawl-like toppers. One needs more skirts and this one loves tartan, so this is somewhat of a utilitarian piece for me that will be worn past Christmas and for years to come. Maybe a couple of the aforementioned wool toppers need to be refashioned into skirts as well.
Rollie agrees that we love this outfit. <3
And here’s the skirt paired with a sweater that I already had in this year’s Hughes family Christmas photo. The two Bostons are Guinness (in my arm) and Rollie (in my husbands’). The Border Collies are Doc (B&W) and Laddie, our new red/white pup that we adopted from the Border Collie Rescue of Northern California a couple of months ago. It ain’t easy taking pics with dogs! 🙂
- Blouse: Simplicity 8243 in stretch cotton shirting, made by me
- Skirt: Self-drafted in wool tartan, made by me
- Shoes: Aerosoles
- Sunglasses: Tory Burch